I’m a firm believer in cleaning power of vinegar and baking soda.  I use it to clean most things.  The baking soda acts as a “scrubber” and the vinegar reacts to it to create fizzing bubbles that break up dirt and grease.

Part of cleaning my house involves cleaning the oven.  I can’t stand a dirty oven and although I should clean it more, I clean it every 6 months or so.  

Here’s how I frugally (and non-hazardously) clean the oven.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar in a spray bottle
  • Super fine steel wool (optional)
  • Bucket of clean water (you’ll need to replenish this throughout the cleaning)
  • Green scrubby
  • Rags/old towels or paper towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Lots of elbow grease

Process:

  1. Unplug the oven.
  2. Remove the drip pans and coil rings from the stove top.  If you don’t already do this, now’s a great time to clean the drip pans and line with aluminum foil.  If they are already lined with foil, rip out the old and put in new foil.  Set these aside for later.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda all around the burner openings and spray with vinegar.  You can also do this under the burners in the area directly below where the burners sit (as they are now exposed because you’ve removed the drip pans and burners). 
  4. Open the oven and spray with vinegar (the inside of the door and the walls of the oven as well).  Sprinkle with baking soda, close the door and let it sit overnight.
  5. In the morning, re-spray the area with vinegar and wipe it clean.  You may need to use a little elbow grease and scrub it good (depends on how dirty the stove top is). 
  6. Once the top is clean, lift up the stove top to clean underneath it.  Re-spray with vinegar.  As the baking soda fizzles and foams, start wiping it up.  The chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar helps to break up the mess that’s been collecting over time.  If you are having a hard time, you can also use the back of a metal lid for canning (the smooth side).  I found that this works great in removing some of the caked on yuckiness without harming the enamel coating of the stove.
  7. When the stove area is clean, re-spray with vinegar and wipe it down real good.  Close the top and move on to the oven.
  8. I tend to start cleaning the oven door so that I don’t lean over it while cleaning the oven.  Again, re-spray with vinegar and while it’s foaming, wipe it down.  Use the canning lid or even a green scrubby to remove the caked on stuff.  Wipe it down with another spray of vinegar.  Move on to the oven and follow the same steps as above.
  9. While you’re at it, clean out the drawer underneath the oven using the same method (although this area should be a lot cleaner already).
  10. When you’re done, wipe everything off (inside and out) one more time with vinegar and a clean towel.  Replace the drip pans, reconnect the burners and plug the stove back in.

Here are a few tips:

  • Either use an old t-shirt cut into rags to clean out the really dirty stuff or use a lot of clean water to keep your rag clean.
  • Super fine steel wool really helps in removing the caked on food, etc.  It does not ruin the enamel and cleans up quickly.
  • Use rubber gloves (as you don’t really want all that yucky stuff under your nails and staining your hands).
  • There are no harsh chemicals so you don’t have to worry about harming your family in the process.
  • Keep a trash can close by so that you can dump the goopy stuff (you’ll see what I’m talking about when you get started) quickly without dripping it all over your kitchen.
  • Wear old clothes.
  • Prepare to take a while to get this done.  I spent 2 hours cleaning the oven this morning. 

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