Winter is my absolute favorite time of year for cooking. I am a huge fan of roasted winter veggies, apple pies, and cookies – all representative of the winter holiday season. In preparation for winter cooking, I like to do an annual deep clean of the inside of my oven.
There are plenty of commercial products that will get the job done well and with minimal effort. The problem is, most of these products are extremely unpleasant to work with (dare I say dangerous?) and can seriously burn your skin if you aren’t careful.
Since I am often cleaning with my 17 month old nearby, I much prefer using just a little extra elbow grease and non-toxic cleaning ingredients as a natural oven cleaner.
How to Clean Your Oven Naturally
What You’ll Need:
- Dish Soap
- Baking Soda
- Sponge or Scrub Brush
- Distilled White Vinegar
Step 1: Remove Oven Racks
Start with a completely cool oven. Remove the oven racks and clean those separately. This will leave you with an open oven ready to be cleaned.
It is also a good idea to use your scraper tool at this point to break off any large burnt food residue that might have collected on the bottom of your oven. Clear that out before you apply your cleaning products if possible!
Step 2: Formulate a Cleaning Paste
Create a cleaning paste by mixing the following ingredients:
- Baking Soda
- Coarse Salt
- Dish Soap
You want to end up with a mixture that is has a similar texture to frosting. It should be spreadable but also thick enough to cover the walls of your oven without dripping.
Step 3: Spread the Paste
Apply a thick layer of your cleaning paste to the walls and surfaces of your oven. Allow this paste mixture to sit for several hours on the surfaces of your oven to properly break down any grime covering the surface of your oven. I recommend letting this mixture sit overnight before moving to the next step.
Step 4: Wipe it Down
Use a sponge or a scrub brush that has been dampened with water to wipe down the walls of your oven. You will need to repeatedly rinse your sponge with water then continue scrubbing until most if not all of the food debris has been wiped away.
Step 5: Distilled White Vinegar Spray
Once most of the paste has been wiped away, finish by spraying the inside walls of your oven with a vinegar spray (I use 1 part vinegar and 1 part water). Feel free to use vinegar infused with nicely scented natural ingredients like herbs or citrus.
Step 6: Repeat if Necessary
If you weren’t able to completely clean the inside of your oven the first go around, you might need to repeat this process one more time or spot clean stubborn food debris.
DIY: Non-Toxic Oven Cleaner
- 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.