I will tell you this fact with some pride, some embarrassment. The majority of my lifetime I have never used my oven enough to worry about cleaning it. There. I said it. People change, and so can your oven use.
The last two years, I’ve really embraced the art of food preparation. I’ve also become less dependent on hardcore cleaning chemicals. One lifestyle change has brought me to dig deeper into another. How can I clean my oven without using harsh cleaners or dynamite?
I did my research and came up with what seemed like a reasonable cleaning method for the hippie. I gathered the necessary items and got to it!
The instructions go like this. Remove racks. Fill spray bottle with distilled vinegar. Spray the surfaces of the oven with a generous amount of vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda throughout the oven. For future scrubbing, I am buying one of those cute little shakers that I see people use to shake powdered sugar on food. It sounds magical to sprinkle baking soda on the surfaces, and that in a sense is true. You will need to attend Hogwarts for a few semesters to get baking soda to sprinkle to all surfaces. And the oven’s ceiling, good luck with that!
As described in the description, you will begin to hear the ‘sizzling’ noise as the vinegar and baking soda start to combine and react to each other. Close your oven and wait for the red lava to start leaking from the cracks.
*Red lava never did come from the cracks. Seems that my overactive imagination and my long running jealousy of kids who make the volcano for their science project got the best of me. Screw you, volcano kids.*
An hour later, I opened the oven. There was no more sizzling. We must be ready to go!
I grabbed a pitcher of hot water and an old towel. I practically had to climb into the oven to reach it all. Scrubbing the oven must be more comfortable for the taller woman! It wasn’t long into the wipe down process that I needed to climb out of the oven and change my water. Ewwww!
That isn’t coffee folks! That’s the innards of my oven!
This was all the evidence that I needed to press on and keep cleaning.
Twenty minutes later, I felt that I had done all I could with the vinegar and baking soda. It was time to bring in the big guns!
Just joshing. BRING OUT THE BORAX!
Wet rag in hand, I dipped into the Borax and started scrubbing, and scrubbing and scrubbing.
Fifteen minutes into this I was ready to sell my soul for a can of oven cleaner.
Help me, Mr. Muscle!
I slapped myself and said, “Get it together, Mel!”
I thought to myself, maybe it is an issue of bonding. I haven’t named my oven. I name all inanimate objects in my life.
There’s Buttercup ….
What should I name my oven?
Marge. She definitely looks like a Marge.
I returned to the vinegar/baking soda combo. While it was setting in and doing its magic sizzle, I retrieved my favorite scrubbing toothbrush. Nothing is a match for my scrubbing toothbrush.
Shit. The oven is my scrubbing brush’s archenemy!
In the end, my oven came out pretty darn amazing. There were some tough areas that I didn’t get spotless, but I plan a revisit with this cleaning plan in the future. This cleaning plan with a much larger scrub brush!
I’ll start treating you better, Marge. I promise.