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Make Your Own Natural Oven Cleaner

You could run the self-clean feature if your oven has one. The down side of this is that self-clean settings are best known for using a lot of energy and for putting the oven itself under such strain that it might cause it to break down, or at the very least, shorten its overall lifespan. Another alternative is to buy a commercial oven cleaner, it will do the job but the price you pay is harsh chemicals, and a tell-tale odour that can linger for days.

If you don't like chemicals and don't want to risk shortening the lifespan of your oven, one alternative is to make your own natural oven cleaner. There's every chance you have the ingredients necessary to produce a non-toxic and odourless oven cleaning solution already sat in your kitchen cupboards. There are several different recipes and methods, here are a few tried and tested ones:

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Method 1

  • 1. White vinegarPreheat your oven to 175 degrees C. Half fill a baking pan with water and add 240 ml of vinegar to it.
  • 2. Put the tray in the oven on the middle rack and leave it to 'bake' for one hour.
  • 3. Turn it off, leave it closed while it cools off. This is likely to take around 45 minutes.
  • 4. Open the oven, remove the baking tray and your oven racks.
  • 5. Spray the inside of the oven with white vinegar then sprinkle baking soda on the sides and bottom, leave for 5 minutes while the mixture foams.
  • 6. Use a damp sponge to spread and scour the mix and the dirt. If there are stubborn lumps use a plastic spatula to remove them.
  • 7. Rinse off the sponge and fill a dish with clean water, use this to remove the baking soda and vinegar mix, along with the grease and grime.

Method 2

Baking soda
  • 1. Empty the oven of all racks, trays, thermometers and anything else that's in there.
  • 2. Half fill a cup with baking soda and add enough water to make a thick paste.
  • 3. Spread the paste over the walls, roof and floor of the oven, avoiding the heating elements. You'll need gloves to do this as the soda picks up the dirt quickly.
  • 4. Let the mix sit in the oven for at least 12 hours.
  • 5. Wipe out the oven using a damp dishcloth, use a plastic spatula to lift stuck-on lumps.
  • 6. Spray vinegar inside the oven, this will make it easier to spot any remaining baking soda residue as it will foam.
  • 7. Use a damp cloth for your final wipe down, spray more vinegar as needed to remove remaining baking soda.
Tip - Add a little dish-washing liquid and some coarse salt to the mix to increase the scouring and grease-busting power of the mix. The technique followed is the same.

Cleaning with Lemons

  • 1. Preheat your oven to 120 degrees C.
  • 2. Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into a baking tray, add the lemon skins and fill the dish to 1/3 with warm water.
  • 3. Bake the citrus solution for 30 to 60 minutes, 30 minutes will do it for a relatively clean oven, you'll need the full hour for a very dirty one.
  • 4. Switch it off and allow it to cool.
  • 5. Once the oven is cool remove the baking pan and racks.
  • 6. Use the citrus solution to manually clean the inside of the oven with a sponge or plastic scouring pad.
  • 7. There's no need to rinse the oven after cleaning with a citrus solution, just put the racks back and you're good to go.