I recently became so embarrassed whenever I opened my oven door I just knew I had to do something about it.
That much grime and burnt offerings may have been fine in Medieval England, but in my kitchen – er, no.
The trouble was, I just wasn’t comfortable with those shop bought oven cleaners – they always looked they could strip metal from a car.
Then someone told me about the wonders of using baking soda to clean ovens.
One clean oven later and I was hooked.
Here are 3 reasons to clean your oven with baking soda…
- It’s non toxic
- it’s really cheap
- it works!
Store bought oven cleaners may work effectively at ridding your oven of all that grimy, greasy build up, but they’re also really bad for the environment, not to mention our health.
So making your own homemade oven cleaner with baking soda is a both a natural and effective way to clean your grubby oven.
What Do Store Bought Oven Cleaners Contain?
Conventional oven cleaners generally contain significant amounts of chemicals to lift off all that burnt on gunk.
The worst culprits are listed below.
- Sodium or Potassium Hydroxide – Sodium or potassium hydroxide can burn skin, lungs and eyes.
- Butane – Inhaling butane has been linked to drowsiness, asphyxia and cardiac arrhythmia.
- Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether – A suspected blood toxicant, can also cause liver and kidney damage.
- Monoethanolamine (MEA) – MEA can cause breathing irritation, burning, damage to eyes, plus liver and kidney damage.
Add to this the fact that whilst ingredient labels are mandatory for food, cosmetics and drugs, they are NOT for cleaning products.
The Bottom Line?
Companies can pretty much add what they like to their cleaning products without having to tell you about it.
In fact the Environmental Working Group discovered that of the cleaning products they investigated, just 7 percent adequately disclosed their contents. They also identify some oven cleaners with pretty harsh ingredients in their Wall of Shame List (downloads as a PDF).
Now, I’m of course not saying that using a conventional oven cleaner is likely to have you reeling off to the nearest doctor, armed with all the symptoms listed above.
But for me, what has become important is ridding my home of the cumulative effect of ALL the chemicals we are exposed to, on a daily basis, in the raft of cleaning and cosmetic products we generally have lying around the house.
Over time all these chemicals can take their toll on our bodies.
If I’m not pretty confident what’s in (or not in!) a product, I no longer buy or use it.
Cleaning Your Oven With Baking Soda: A Simple Recipe
So if like me, you want to rid your home of as many chemicals as possible, cleaning your oven with baking soda is a great alternative.
Making this 100% natural oven cleaner is also remarkably easy to do.
Baking soda is a staple of most food cupboards, plus its really cheap to buy.
The recipe works amazingly well at removing grease and grime build up from your ovens and grills and is completely natural.
To be honest, I was a bit dubious when I first tried it, but a liberal sprinkling of baking soda and a squeeze or two of lemon juice transformed my grimy embarrassment of a glass oven door, back to it’s original shining condition, in no time.
Here’s what you’ll need to start cleaning your oven with baking soda:
- Baking soda
- Vinegar or juice of a lemon
- Cloth or scourer (scourers are abrasive, so take care on areas of your oven which may scratch)
Your 5 Simple Steps To A Clean Oven
Step 1: Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda into your oven and squeeze a lemon or two over it. This will cause the baking soda to fizz which starts to break down the burnt on grime.
Note: Vinegar works just as well in place of the lemon juice – I simply tend use lemons as a personal preference.
Step 2: Make sure the mixture is evenly spread across all the grime and add an extra squirt of lemon juice (or vinegar) to any remaining dry clumps of baking soda.
Step 3: Leave the mixture to do its job for a couple of hours (or overnight works well, especially if there is a lot of grime.).
Step 4: Wipe your oven clean. Keep in mind here; depending on how significant your grime is (or how many Sunday roasts you have clinging to the bottom of your oven!), you may need to use some good old fashioned elbow grease to remove those extra stubborn stains. Alternatively, apply a second application of baking soda.
Step 5: Always double check you have wiped off any remaining residue of baking soda from your oven to avoid any possible smoking when you next use it.
Ready To View Your Muffins Through Your Glass Oven Door Again?
Because this natural way of cleaning your oven also works a treat on glass oven doors, where you tend to get that annoying cloudy residue building up over time.
Simply apply a layer of baking soda and sprinkle on some lemon juice, as per the instructions above and you’ll be watching your cakes rise again (a bit like they do in The Great British Bake off!) in no time.
How To Rid Your Oven of Bad Smells
If your oven gives off an aroma that is more suited to a greasy spoon cafe then simply squeeze a couple of lemons into a baking dish with an inch or so of water. You can also slice the actual lemons as well and toss these in for added freshness.
Then simply bake the mixture on a hot oven for around 30 minutes and hey presto! Your oven should now smell a whole lot better.
Have you started cleaning your oven with baking soda? How did you get on?