We spoke about scrubbing your refrigerator in our last post on cleaning appliances. This time, we get into your oven for some tips on an easy and thorough clean. No more pizza drippings on the floor of the oven, no more grease stains on the door, no more tacky and grimy racks. 

If you use your oven often, the general rule of thumb is to clean it every three months, but you can gauge this based on just how mucky it looks inside. If you need more convincing to clean it, that caked-on grease could be influencing the meals you cook. Do you want your freshly baked cookies to subtly taste like that pizza you cooked last month? Plus, looking after your appliances will keep them functioning well for years to come. 

You may think the best way to clean an oven is by using its self-clean function. And it is an excellent option for moderately dirty ovens – but to clean a truly grimy appliance, you’ll need something better. You don’t even need harsh or toxic cleaners to get the job done. 

If you do go the self-clean route, be sure to check your oven’s manual for details. And read on for an old-fashioned, all-natural cleaning method.  

What you’ll need: water, baking soda, vinegar, a spray bottle, rubber gloves, a scouring pad, and some old rags or cleaning cloths. 

STEP 1: Remove the racks and soak them in your bathtub in hot soapy water for two hours. Yes, your bathtub. You’ll likely want to give your tub a wipe-down once you’re finished, but this is the best place to give the racks a good soak. If your racks are really dirty, use the baking soda and vinegar paste below.

STEP 2: Make your cleaning paste. Grab a small bowl and mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Keep tweaking the ratios until you have a smooth paste. 

STEP 3: Spread the paste around the oven’s floor and walls using your fingers and the rubber gloves. 

STEP 4: Leave this to sit overnight. 

STEP 5: The paste will now be dried and can be wiped off with a damp sponge (you may need to scrape off with a silicone spatula in some areas). To get any stubborn baking soda off, spray it with water and vinegar and gently wipe away. 

STEP 6: Give your oven a final wipe-down, inside and out, with the water and vinegar solution. And replace the racks. 

And you’re ready to get cooking again!