How to clean your oven naturally with vinegar

Learn to make your oven shine with items that you already have in your home.

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The oven is perhaps one of the most used kitchen appliances at home. From preheating food to roasting and baking your favourite baked goods, you can use the oven for almost everything. 

But after months of cooking and roasting, no matter how heedful you are in handling the cleanliness of your oven, it’s bound to get grimy. And a dirty oven is not only unpleasant, but the built-up grease and burnt food accumulated in the oven could also absorb heat and make the oven less efficient. If left unchecked, the food scraps will turn into carbon, which in turn will taint your food, or worse, become a fire hazard. 

Thankfully, there’s a solution to this. Sure, it may seem like a daunting task, but the payoff is worth it.

Here are some items you need for cleaning your oven: 

  • Baking soda
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Cloth
  • Water
  • Spatula

Step 1: Prepare for cleaning

Before you get started, make sure that your oven is turned off and cooled completely. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we may not even realise that the oven’s still warm hours after the last use. The last thing you want is to burn yourself while cleaning the inside of your oven. 

Step 2: Remove the racks

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Next, take out all removable items such as oven racks, trays and grills from the unit and set them aside. Give them a good wash and scrub in the sink with soap and lukewarm water.

Read more: 5 eco-friendly cleaning products for the sustainable home

Step 3: Get scrubbing

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Now it’s time to make your own natural oven cleaner with baking soda, vinegar and water. Mix three parts baking soda and one part water for the paste. Once you’re done, coat the interior surface of your oven with the paste, but steer clear of the heating element. For areas that are extra greasy, put a little extra baking soda paste on them. Don’t worry if the paste turns brown. 

Pro tip: Use a toothbrush to scrub the corners and other hard-to-reach places.

Step 4: Let it sit overnight

Close the oven door and let the paste sit for at least 12 hours or so. This step is important as the paste needs time to absorb all the grease and filth. So just let it be and head to bed. The next morning when you wake up, your oven should be ready for the next step. 

Read more: How to get your house squeaky clean in one hour

Step 5: Wipe the oven

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After 12 hours of waiting, now it’s time to clean it. Wet a piece of cloth and wipe away the dried baking soda paste. For areas that are harder to reach or stubborn stain, you may choose to use a scraper or a spatula to help scrape off the paste.  

Step 6: Spray vinegar 

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Don’t worry if you can’t get all of the paste out. Just pour some vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz the interior of the oven. When the vinegar is mixed with baking soda paste, it’ll cause the residual to loosen and foam. 

Step 7: Clean the glass door

While waiting, spread the remaining baking soda paste all over the window and let it sit for half an hour.  Many people tend to neglect the window as it doesn’t look as grimy as the rest, but it’s always good to clean it as it has also been exposed to grease. 

Read more: Saturday spruce-up: The forgotten cleaning jobs

Step 8: Give a final wipe down

Finally, wipe the oven and glass door clean with a damp cloth. Allow it to dry completely before cooking. If you want it to dry faster, heat up your oven but put it on the lowest setting. Let it run for 10 minutes or so to dry the interior.