It’s that time of year again! My oven starts getting heavy use in fall – I’m roasting chickens, baking casseroles, whipping up muffins and biscuits, baking the occasional cake or pie, and roasting veggies. My oven can get pretty dirty, and this natural oven cleaner recipe does a great job of removing grease and burnt on food.
It can also be used on racks as well as the cooktops – even ceramic ones. During the summer I hardly ever clean my oven, but during fall and winter it might be every week. Keeping your oven in good shape makes things easier in the long run, but if your oven is dirtier than you’d care to admit, this cleaner will be your new BFF.
I’ve made a few different versions of this, but this is my favorite. Baking soda and water works, but doesn’t always cut the grease. Baking soda with soap also works, but adding salt gives it more scouring power.
The cleaner should sit on the oven for a while to dissolve the grease and burnt-on food. That’s when it works best, but if you’re in a hurry, you can use a little elbow grease to scrub the oven clean. Be gentle on oven glass. It’s not likely, but it may scratch if you scrub too vigorously. Some instructions say to heat the oven, but I find that it works just as well without heat (and I don’t care for the smell of baked on baking soda!). :)
How to clean the oven
Start with a cool oven. Remove oven racks. (Racks can be cleaned with the same paste. I place them in the bathtub and let them sit before scrubbing.)
Mix ingredients together to form a thick, spreadable paste. All you need is baking soda, coarse salt, liquid dish soap, and a sponge. (The warm water comes later!) The paste should be thick like frosting. You want it to stick to the oven walls and not run into a puddle.
Apply a thick layer of the paste all over the interior of the oven. Let the paste sit on the oven for several hours, preferably overnight.
Dip a sponge or brush in warm water and squeeze out excess water. Wipe down the oven walls, ceiling and floor, scrubbing if needed and watch the grease and grime disappear. Rinse and repeat until clean.
Spritz oven with a little distilled white vinegar to help remove any residue from the paste and wipe dry.
If the oven is particularly dirty with a lot of burnt-on grease, you may need to do this twice, or do touch-ups in spots. Generally this should work the first time though. Now your oven is ready for a fresh batch of cookies!
- ¼ cup castile soap or concentrated dish detergent
- 1 cup baking soda
- ½ cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- warm water, for rinsing plus more for paste, if needed
- distilled white vinegar, for rinsing
- Make a paste out of the soap, baking soda, and salt, adding a little water, if needed.
- Apply to the interior of the oven and let sit for several hours, preferably overnight.
- Dip a sponge or scrubbing brush into the warm water and wash the interior clean.
- Spray interior with some distilled white vinegar to rinse away any excess paste residue.