Instructables

Cleaning your oven without poisonous, earth destroying chemicals

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A few steps on how to quickly get rid of the grime and debris that make your kitchen smell horrible every time you turn on your oven. 


Things You Will Need
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar 
  • A bowl or a squirt bottle (Preferably a squirt bottle)
  • A dirty oven
  • A spatula
     
 
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Step 1:

First things first
Remove the racks. Using a spatula, scrape up as much of the debris as you can, and throw it away. Most of the big stuff should come up pretty easy. Tip: move the trash can closer to the oven....

THEN

Using about a cup of baking soda, more or less depending on the size of your oven, sprinkle it all over the floor of your oven. 

THEN

This is where a squirt bottle comes in handy. Spray vinegar all over the baking soda. Use your fingers or a rubber spatula to spread the baking soda around so that it comes into contact with the vinegar and every dirty part of your oven floor. Let sit for 10-20 minutes. 


(alternative: Mix vinegar and baking soda in a bowl to form a paste, and then spread that over your oven floor. Make sure to pour the vinegar slowly because it fizzes up pretty high.)

Step 2: Scrub a dub dub

Get a scrubbing pad (I used one of those metal curly wiry ones...) and scrub in a CIRCULAR motion, rather than back and forth -- this will make your job go by so much more quickly. Grime should come off pretty easily...  


When you can slide the pad gently all over the oven floor and no longer feel any rough patches, you are ready to clean up the excess baking soda/vinegar mixture.

Use a damp sponge and get it all out of there! 

You will have to keep rinsing off the sponge... 
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This totally works, it's a great way to clean your oven without harsh chemicals. I have some before and after posts on my blog if you'd like to see.

http://www.chachingqueen.com/how-to-clean-your-oven-without-chemicals/

Kind of sort of on topic... I read that if you lay waxpaper on top of high cupords, dust and grime will end up on the wax paper, and all you have to do is change out new waxpaper every 4 months or so.

I put an old towel on top of my fridge for the same reason; who wants to keep cleaning the top of the fridge, when no one sees it, but you have to keep it clean? Then just throw this towel in the wash periodically, and voila, clean top of fridge.

ejarrell (author)  porcupinemamma2 years ago
That's a really great tip! I don't have tall (or any, really) cabinets at my house, but I am going to pass that tip along to my mom!
csorensen121 days ago

Umm...Baking soda *is* a poisonous chemical.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/baking-soda-overdose

Sodium bicarbonate aka baking soda is just as posinous as dihydrogen monoxide aka water. You take to much of anything it becomes what you call posinous.
Wepwopper1 month ago

Once you get your oven clean, put a cookie sheet on the lowest rack to catch most spills.

iwinstanley1 month ago

Incidentally , if your pies boil over during baking , throw a handful of salt over the spill and when it's dry just scrape and brush it out.

iwinstanley1 month ago

Incidentally , if your pies boil over during baking , throw a handful of salt over the spill and when it's dry just scrape and brush it out.

I HAVE INSPECTION IN 2 DAYS AND WAS NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO CLEANING MY OVEN SO THIS MAKES ME MORE AMENABLE TO CLEANING...ALSO APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN LEAVE A FRESH SCENT WHILE CLEANING, THANKS FOR YOUR INSTRUCT-ABLE. WILL DEF CLEAN MY OVEN TOMORROW NIGHT WHEN I DO MY KITCHEN.
Who the heck is inspecting your oven? you poor thing!
lol I actually had an inspection with the rental people in the apartment complex where I live in WV and I actually forgot to clean my oven. I'm being re-inspected because I didn't clean it. I will now....at least this won't take my oxygen away while I'm trying to clean it.
I don't think that is legal in Ontario. Damage deposits are not allowed either. In lots of ways landlords have no rights, which seems a little one sided. How often is your apt. inspected? What happens if you fail and do not comply with their demands?
well...we have annual inspections by the manager as per the owner's rules. Those of us on HUD assistance also get inspected annually to renew the house/apt and see if it still complies...this can be the renter doing something wrong as well as the owner of the complex. I had my annual inspection from the managers that run the development for the owners and I failed because I forgot to clean the oven (I hate the chemical icky part...I have asthma...hard to breathe and scrub with that stuff)....I honestly forgot...I think It was my subconcsious trying to avoid the whole issue. they gave me three weeks to fix the issue. If it isn't done I would get weekly inspections until I comply. If I never comply....well, oops., I'm evicted. I have to say that I have OCD and I can make myself sick cleaning but I have to admit they do keep me on my toes. My place is respectable. I'm dead after all the 'hoop-la-rah' but I suppose its better than filth which I also despise. So everyone gets what they want.... I guess. :-}
I also have asthma, and I know exactly what you are talking about when you mention the fumes. OCD must be so exhausting for you. I'm truly sorry {{{}}} I know I'll get a lot of flack re this suggestion,because of reflection of heat increasing temp etc., but what about lining the bottom rack with aluminum foil?
Well...I tried to use the alluminum foil trick on my oven and the Landlord said I wasn't allowed to do that and made me take it out.....said it was a fire hazard. I just can't win with these guys.

I know this is an old post but hopefully you still check out Instructables.

Here's a link for an oven liner that is NOT a fire hazard, so your Landlord can not make you take it out.

It was made just FOR this use!

http://www.harrietcarter.com/product/oven-liner-4310-1/#

Watkins is a company that has a great degreaser. You can even use it to wash pots and pans. I stumbled on it at a garage sale and love the way it works. It has cleaned things I didn't think could be saved.

lol A friend of mine suggested that. My feeble mind didn't pick up on that by myself. I thank God for the Instructables info and the feedback...I need the help. lol

Instructables is totally cool. We get to cyberly meet such creative and kind people. My life is really enriched by the group of people that hang out here! :0)
if you visit the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board website for the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act it does say: A landlord may enter a rental unit to inspect for maintenance problems, make repairs, do work or replace something, and then goes on to give details as to how this must be done (ie written 24hr notice, why they wish to enter, the date, and the time between 8am-8pm). on a side note, Co-ops aren't governed by the this Act but by their own by-laws.
I didn't see your post until now. Thanks so much for the info :0) Do you think a landlord could check for general cleanliness? I just purchased a duplex, and the tennants have some questionable habbits that concern me.
why bother telling them you're only there to inspect cleanliness? just tell them you're there for an 'inspection', don't give details. as far as whether or not you are allowed to tell them that they aren't keeping the place clean enough, i don't know about that. are we talking bugs? hoarding becomes a fire safety issue, that's for sure. take a read around the LTB website: http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/en/index.htm i did find the following on the site: [I]A tenant must keep their rental unit clean, up to the standard that most people would consider ordinary or normal cleanliness.[/I]
This is totally normal and legal pretty much everywhere in the US, including West Virginia where the previous poster is from, Kansas where I grew up, and North Carolina where I am now.
And generally, though this varies by how the rental agreement is set up and local laws, a failed inspection loses you your deposit or gets you kicked out.

I'd hate to own rental property in Canada. Sounds like a renter can pretty much just use it as a party house and destroy the place without being responsible for it at all.
at least in Vancouver -you're right - I'm a renter but I clean professionally and I've seen some horrendous apartments after the tenants have left, booted out or done a bunk without notice, etc. The landlords here say it's all part of doing business- personally I'd check out their refs before they'd get into any of my property.
Recently, a landlord I worked for had to call in a specialty hazmat cleaning team, protective gear & breathing apparatus, etc because the place was that bad and the tenants had only been there a few months!
joan.lolley3 months ago

How do you clean the baked on grease splatters from the glass inside the oven? I've tried everything, including a straight blade scraper with no results. Please help!

Rutitut1 year ago
I so hope this works, I make yorkshire puddings or as they are know in the US as popovers, I think, so I have oil burnt into the bottom of my ovens, have tried to turn them up full blast, its burns but its doesnt clean it and neither does the poisonous cleaning products, so here goes
Use baking soda to clean the kitchen cabinets and counters. The stove and refrigerator will come out sparkling. Baking soda is a mild abrasive, so check for wear on “soft” paints and varnishes.

http://www.localrestoration.com/ water damage restoration

MsJan2 years ago
Most shelf cleaning products are toxic to humans. My main cleaners are vinegars, baking soda, peroixde, washing soda, and borax. Glad to see someone else using their head and keeping our world a safer place to live. A Healthy Home Has No Smell.
ejarrell (author)  MsJan2 years ago
:)
So this works for someone who bakes alot? I use the oven about 4-5x a week and I hate cleaning it so it only gets cleaned about once a month. Would this work on heavily used ovens?
ejarrell (author)  fabled_tales2 years ago
I'm not sure... My oven is small and only used by a family of two. Perhaps for a larger, more used oven, you could try the self cleaning method Raksab mentions below...
Raksab2 years ago
There is a way that is even easier than this! A lot of ovens have a "self-clean" setting, and the ones that don't, just turn them up as hot as they will go (500 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) and leave it on for a couple hours. All the gunk in the oven will burn to ash. Then you just have to turn it off, let it cool, and wipe away the ashes with a damp cloth.
ejarrell (author)  Raksab2 years ago
I'll have to try that!
tqwerty3 years ago
I read this instructable a long time ago and finally tried it out today.

Worked great! Thanks ejarrell!
ejarrell (author)  tqwerty2 years ago
You're welcome :) I'm glad someone got something out of it!
I don't care what the reason is-the vinegar and soda really worked. I tried it on a drain pan the I call "seasoned" but my husband calls "dirty". I keep a spray bottle of vinegar (so many uses). After a few minutes of the soda-vinegar mix, most of the crud came off. Thanks!
Next time, try just the baking soda and water procedure, and see how it works. Baking soda and vinegar have pH levels that essentially cancel each other out, depending on the amount of each that is used. Because of this, it's about the same as using just water. If you use just baking soda and sprinkle with water, then allow to sit overnight, there will be no scrubbing needed. Just wiping away the amalgam of baking soda/water/grime that has been created with virtually no work on your part! Chemistry is wonderful! We just need to use it to our advantage. :-)
Because of Princessalex's thoughtful reply, I tried just baking soda and water on the other side of my crusty pan and let it set all night, just knowing it would not work as well. It did. A little bit better. The other upside to this is that the stainless sink I had it in is cleaner and shinier than I have ever seen it. Yes! You can teach an old dog new tricks.
I was curious how much better it would be, too. I learned about natural cleaning when I was pregnant with my first son, and knew that I didn't want heavy chemicals being used around my babe. While pregnant with my second, we moved and needed to clean everything up. I had no problem cleaning my oven with just baking soda. And, while the oven didn't come out perfect, it was far better than it was when we moved in! I'm thinking that some items may need this application 2-3 times, if they have a lot of grime.

:-)
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