Cleaning the oven is daunting. There are layers of baked on food scraps, plus you have to hold the oven racks at such odd angles to clean it in the sink. Then you have the stubborn grease all over the oven glass not to mention you have to spend time leaning into the oven to clean it - that's a lot of work!
For those of you who are up for the task, we've put together a comprehensive process for you to tackle this beast of a chore with as little effort as possible. Most ovens will take 30-45 minutes to clean, but it could be more if you’re oven has been heavily used.
Get the Right Tools
Easy Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner. The fumes are still noticeable but they have more of a citrus scent than chemical.
Spray on the Oven Cleaner
Spray the oven cleaner throughout the oven. Make sure to cover any vents so that the cleaner doesn't get in them. Spray the inside door and glass as well. Close the oven and let the cleaner sit for 10-30 minutes. Check the instructions on your oven cleaner for specific time limits. Some oven cleaners may be stronger than others and will require less time to work.
Some oven cleaners will ask you to heat the oven to a specific temperature. This helps to melt/loosen any baked on spills and make it easier to clean off. Not all cleaners will ask you to do this so read the instructions first.
Clean the Oven Glass
Start by working your way from the oven door and then towards the back of the oven. This way your clothes stay clean as you lean into the oven. Wipe off the oven glass and door with the soft side of the sponge. If there are any stuck on messes, you can use the razor blade to gently scrape off what you can from the oven glass. It really doesn't take much pressure at all. Just enough to keep the blade on the glass - you don't want to scratch it. Before using the blade, make sure you spray an all purpose cleaner or mixture of dish soap and water (1 oz dish soap to 32 oz of water) onto the glass. This creates a barrier between the glass and the blade and will help protect the glass from being scratched by the blade.
Clean the Rest of the Oven
Start with the bottom of the oven and the walls of the oven. Then work on the top. Again, this way you'll avoid getting the mess on your clothes. You'll likely have a lot of baked on grease and food left, but it should be loosened up. Use the rough side of the sponge to scrape the stuck on spills. You can also use the razor and pumice stone to help. Make sure you have some lubrication like water or an all purpose cleaner on the surface when using these tools. The liquid will help you avoid scratches. Again, not too much pressure - just enough to keep the tool on the surface of the oven.
Wipe the Residue Off with the Sponge
Use the sponge or a wet towel to wipe off the rest of the oven cleaner from the oven. Then dry the surfaces off with another towel. Repeat if needed.
Scrub The Racks
By now, your racks have been soaking for about 30 minutes. You should be able to scrub them clean with your sponge and water. You won't need to apply too much pressure, most everything should come off pretty easily. Once the racks are clean, dry them off and put them back in the oven.
Two Ways to Clean the Racks
Soak The Oven Racks in the Tub - Lay a couple old bath towels on the floor of the tub. Place the racks on top of the towels. Fill the tub with warm water and a cup of Dawn detergent. The Dawn and warm water will help to break down the mess stuck on the oven racks. Let the racks soak for at least 2 hours. The longer it soaks the less scrubbing you'll need to do. Then wipe the racks off with a sponge and rinse everything down the tub drain. You may want to pick out larger chunks of debris to help avoid any clogging though.
Or you can spray the racks with oven cleaner while they are inside the oven. Remove the racks and clean them over the sink using the sponge. It’s easiest to do this if the sink is large enough to fit the racks. If the sink isn’t large enough, focus on cleaning one half of the rack first (top and bottom) then rotating the rack and cleaning the other half.
Voila! It's a clean oven in about an hour.
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