Few parts of your house are as hard to clean as your oven. From food spills to grease to grime, there’s a good chance your oven is caked with black baked-on residue that resists wiping clean. It’s easy to slam the door and walk away rather than wanting to deal with it; but eventually, you have to face it. How are you going to bake a delicate cake or roast a chicken in an oven that looks like a health hazard?
Below, we discuss the pros and cons of the most common ways to clean your oven, and how to get the most out of each method.
Most modern ovens have a self-cleaning function. It basically works by running your oven at super-high temperatures for an extended period of time. Any residue inside your oven is burnt to a crisp and is loosened enough to wipe clean with a damp sponge.
- You don’t have to scrub and scrape, bent over double, expending elbow grease.
- Time Efficiency. While your oven is working, you can be doing other things.
- You still have to clean the edge of the door, the seal, and the doorframe by hand. You have to wipe up particularly large spills and remove the racks.
- Heating your oven for reasons other than cooking food is costly and wastes power. To lessen this impact, try to run the cleaning cycle after baking something.
- Smoke and Smell. This form of cleaning can generate smoke from burning grease and stinky odors. It can even set off your smoke alarm, and in worst-case scenario, cause a fire inside the oven. In the latter case, immediately call 911.
- There are some concerns about Teflon oven coatings and the high temperatures inside ovens during self-clean cycles. Particles of Teflon can release from the oven surface and be breathed in.
There are many canned oven cleaners on the market. Relatively inexpensive, these products are often thick foams that you spray on and leave for an extended period of time. Like the self-cleaning oven cycle, you have to wipe the oven clean afterward. Always read the directions on the can before using any chemical cleaning products.
- For the most part, these cleaners are just spray and wipe.
- Time Efficiency. While your cleaner is working, you can be doing other things.
- Safe to Use. When used appropriately and according to directions, scientists have said these cleaning solutions are safe.
- If these products come into contact with skin or are inhaled, they can cause serious irritation.
- Poisoning Risk. Although safe to use, these products pose significant risk to children and animals if they are ingested.
- Non-biodegradable. Again, although safe to use, these products are not biodegradable and can cause harm to the ecosystem, including water and soil.
Natural Cleaning Products
As an alternative to the more traditional oven cleaning methods, more natural products have come onto the market in recent years. Additionally, there are many “recipes” online for cleaning solutions you can make at home from items in your kitchen.
- Safer to Use. Ingredients like citric acid, lactic acid, and enzymes are safer to use.
- Relatively Harmless. Although natural chemicals are still chemicals, they have relatively less effect on humans, animals, and the environment.
- Depending on the manufacturer and ingredients, these products can be more expensive to use.
- Natural products are generally not as effective as other methods and require more elbow grease and more time. This can be lessened by periodic, frequent, preventative oven cleanings to keep things under control.
Want a clean kitchen but don’t have the time to do it yourself (or you just don’t want to)? Give us a call at Vantage Point Cleaning Services in Strongsville!