A Natural Oven Cleaner Without Harsh Chemicals
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients on the label of a commercial oven cleaner, you know it’s a laundry list of chemicals. Conventional oven cleaners contain a range of chemicals such as potassium hydroxide, monoethanolamine, sodium hydroxide, and butoxydiglycol. These and other chemicals can irritate your respiratory system and burn your skin, lungs, and eyes. Directions for using a commercial oven cleaner recommend wearing long gloves and avoiding inhaling the fumes. Understandably, many people are concerned about using these chemicals around their families and pets or in an appliance used to cook your food.
Fortunately, there is a natural alternative to commercial oven cleaners, and you don’t have to worry about wearing gloves to use it. As a bonus, it costs a fraction of the price of spray-on oven cleaners and it doesn’t leave a chemical residue that can cause odors the next time you use your oven.
Basic Oven Cleaning with Baking Soda
Baking soda is non-toxic, inexpensive, easy-to-use, and remarkably effective on cleaning oven grease. Baking soda is alkaline, and oven grease made of food particles is typically acidic. Baking soda neutralizes acids and breaks down the grease, allowing you to wipe it up without a lot of elbow grease. It’s also a mild abrasive, so it works well at removing dried, stuck-on foods. You don’t have to turn your oven on, and you can use it immediately after cleaning with baking soda.
In most cases, baking soda works its magic in just 15 minutes, making oven cleaning less of an arduous chore and more something you can do in the span of a single episode of your favorite sitcom.
The basic baking soda oven cleaner recipe for regularly cleaned or lightly soiled ovens is as follows:
- ½ cup ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda
- 3 tablespoons water
- In a small bowl, combine the ingredients to make a paste roughly the consistency of pancake batter.
- Remove the racks from the oven.
- Using a rubber spatula or a gloved hand, smear the paste over the dirty parts, whether metal or glass. Avoid the heating elements.
- Let the paste sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Wipe up the paste and loosened dirt and grease with wet paper towels.
- Wipe the oven’s interior with a wet paper towel, using water or a 3:1 mixture of water and distilled vinegar.
Repeat if necessary for tougher stains, or try the heavy-duty method below.
Heavy Duty Oven Cleaning with Baking Soda
Let’s face it. Sometimes we don’t always make cleaning the oven a priority. Sometimes months, even years, can go by between oven cleanings. It happens. If your oven is in the heavily soiled category, you can still use baking soda to get it back to sparkling. Try this alternate recipe instead:
- 1 pound ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda
- 1 tablespoon salt (regular table salt is fine)
- 2 tablespoons water
Mix together in a bowl to make a thick, sandy paste, along the consistency of cake icing, adding additional water 1/2 tablespoon at a time if needed. This recipe will make enough to deep clean an oven floor. Triple the recipe if you are doing the back, sides, ceiling, and oven floor.
Remove the racks from your oven. Using a spatula, cover the entire metal or glass surfaces with the paste. Shut the oven door and leave it overnight in the cold oven. The paste will harden by morning.
Once the paste is hardened, use the rubber spatula and warm, wet paper towels to loosen and wipe up the baking soda and dirt. You’ll reveal the oven’s original, stain-free surface underneath and your oven will have gone through an extreme makeover.
Cleaning Your Oven with Baking Soda and Vinegar
You can also use vinegar in a spray bottle to help baking soda get the job done and to be sure you’ve removed all baking soda after cleaning. Here’s a quick oven-cleaning with baking soda shortcut you can use immediately after you have a spill in your oven.
- Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the stain.
- Spritz with water, or a 3:1 water to white vinegar solution. If you use vinegar, baking soda will bubble.
- Let sit for 15-20 minutes, after your oven has cooled.
- Wipe up baking soda and dissolved food with wet paper towels.
- Wipe the entire oven interior with a 3:1 water to vinegar solution.