Oven Cleaner: Everyone has them—casserole overflows, batter oops’ when putting a full cake pan in the oven, and burning drips from sweet potato explosions … Our friends salt and baking soda are superheroes when it comes to cleaning the oven. You will need to set aside a good chunk of time, but you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner when you see how nice it looks (and how it doesn’t smell like you burnt dinner before you even put anything in the oven from all of the buildup). Anytime you entertain, people will comment on how clean the inside of your oven is.
• Stainless steel scouring pad
• Grill brush for really stubborn stains
• Small squeegee or pan scraper that can act like one
• Small bucket
• Lots of rags
• White vinegar
• Baking soda
• Citrus Vinegar (pg. 16) in a spray bottle
First, fill a 9”x12” baking pan with an inch or two of water. Place in the oven, turn on the oven to 300 degrees, and let the water sit in the hot oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off. When the oven is mostly cool, but still a tiny bit warm, remove the pan and all oven racks. Dip a sponge in white vinegar and scrub the entire surface to get the first layer of grease and grime loosened. Then, sprinkle flat surfaces with baking soda.
Spray with orange vinegar to fully saturate the baking soda. Make a paste of the baking soda and orange vinegar to spread on the walls of the oven. Let the paste sit at least a few hours, overnight if your oven is particularly caked. Spray the orange vinegar on the baking soda periodically to keep it moist. When you’re ready, put on your gloves and use the stainless steel scouring pad and/or grill brush to scrub, scrub, scrub.
The vinegar will have done a lot of the loosening for you, but it’s your elbow grease that will make it shine. Keep spraying vinegar as needed to keep things wet. Use the small squeegee to squeegee water into the bucket if necessary or sop it up with rags. The water will likely be greasy and dirty. When the grime is pretty much gone and the vinegar and water spray is running clear, give it one good last vinegar spray, then a water rinse. Let air dry with the door open, then admire your shiny oven interior.
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