Fall, to us, feels like a second New Year, a season for new beginnings. We sharpen our pencils, cut our hair and set new intentions — like having more family dinners where everyone sits down at the same time, calling your parents more often and not waiting until the 11th hour before the bake sale to help your kid make treats (yeah, we’re still working on this one, too). But what about the star of the show? The one thing that ensures our family dinners are perfect and our bake sale treats beat out the competition. When was the last time you cleaned your oven?
If you’ve ever used the self-cleaning function, you know it can make things smelly and hot — so we’ve got a better, non-toxic way for you to clean your oven without harsh chemicals or setting off your smoke detector.
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Wide Paint Brush
- Spray bottle
- Rubber gloves
- Dish sponge or microfiber cloth
- Plastic spatula or scraper (like the kind you would use to scrape ice off your car)
- Empty the oven. Remove anything that might be inside the oven — racks, pans, thermometer, etc. — and set aside.
- Soak the racks. Soak the oven racks in soapy water and let them sit up to 12 hours. If the oven racks only need a light clean, let soak for an hour.
- Make the cleaning solution. Mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Stir until you have a spreadable consistency.
- Coat your oven. Using a clean paint brush, spread the baking soda mixture across the interior surfaces of the oven, concentrating on spots with extra build-up. You might want to wear rubber gloves for this step to protect your skin and clothes from especially grimy areas. Cover openings in the oven with foil and avoid exposed metal surfaces and the door.
- Let it sit overnight. Think of this as a sleeping mask for your oven.
- Wipe out the oven. In the morning, use a damp cloth to wipe out the interior. Use a plastic spatula or scraper to remove loosened carbon.
- Spray with vinegar. Combine equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray caked-on areas or anywhere else that needs extra attention. The baking soda will react to the vinegar and create a foam that will help remove the last of the build-up. Scrape and wipe until clean and sparkly.
- Wipe down the door. Dampen your cloth with the vinegar and water solution and wipe down the door, avoiding the gasket.
- Scrub the racks. Scrub, rinse and dry the oven racks that have been soaking overnight.
- Return everything to its spot. Replace your oven racks, thermometer, pizza stone, etc. and enjoy your new, shiny oven.
Improve the mileage of your oven, and keep it in tip-top shape between heavy cleanings. We recommend placing a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch anything that might bubble over and cleaning up spills as they happen. In the meantime, you’re perfectly set up to tackle your fall intentions. Tell us what yours are in the comments or show us by tagging us on Instagram at @wiltoncakes.