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Ovens are a staple in every kitchen across the country. Some get used everyday and some hardly ever get used at all. They come in all shapes and sizes, there are electric ovens, wall ovens, gas ovens, the list goes on and on. The one thing they all have in common, no matter the type of oven, they all get dirty over time. Unless you have hired a service like Molly Maid, oven cleaning is going to fall into your hands. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! Here are some tips on how to clean a self cleaning oven manually.
Many ovens come with a self-cleaning function. This process works by heating the oven to very high temperatures. Because all of the heating elements are working in this self-clean feature, the temps can be between 500 to 900 degrees fahrenheit, thats really hot!
When the oven reaches such extreme heat, this causes the food particles and the food residue to burn up and fall to the bottom of the oven as a powdery ash. Once the oven cools, you can open the oven door and clean up the food remains with a damp cloth or paper towel.
This self-cleaning feature might sound appealing, but there is still manual cleaning involved. The oven has to be wiped out as well as the door cleaned, and don’t forget the oven racks. They will have residue that needs to be cleaned as well.
Common Problems of Using the Self-Clean Option
There have been many problems associated with self-clean function of an oven below are some of the most important problems to think about before using self cleaning feature in your home.
- The high heat caused by self-clean ovens can lead to bigger problems. Sometimes with those temperatures, the oven parts can wear out causing you to buy replacements or a new oven totally.
- Carbon monoxide gas can build up in the air from the food particles left in the oven.
- Smoke and odor can happen when the food is heated up to such a high temperature using the self cleaning feature. This can be unpleasant to be around and also harmful for someone with respiratory problems.
- The length of time the self-cleaning process takes can be from 3-5 hours. You shouldn’t leave the oven unattended while it’s cleaning, so it can take up a majority of your time just waiting.
There are still many people who prefer to use the self cleaning cycle in their home. It can be useful if you have taken the steps to prepare before hand.
Step to Prepare for Using a Self Cleaning Oven
- Removing the oven racks before starting the process.
- Removing as much food residue inside of your oven as possible including the sides of the oven. This will stop some of the burning and smoking smells.
- Taking anything off of the top of the stove while cleaning. The temperature gets so hot, anything laying on top of the stove could heat up severely and possibly melt.
If you do decide to go the self-clean route, make sure you read your oven manufacturers owner’s manual to get the specific instructions on how to clean your model. Different makes and models could have different features. Better safe than sorry.
How to Clean Your Self Cleaning Oven Manually
Cleaning your oven manually is not as bad a one might think. The best way to accomplish this task is to do it in steps and think ahead of time. When you do this yourself, you can choose what cleaning agents to use, when to make the time to do it, and how often you want to do it. With just a little bit of elbow grease, you can get the task done with no problem at all.
Supplies and Ingredients Used for Cleaning Your Oven
Some of these are common household products you might already have laying around and some are ingredients to make more natural cleaning agents to clean your oven with. You don’t have to use chemical oven cleaners or harsh chemicals to clean your home. Commercial oven cleaner can have a lot of harsh chemicals in them and they usually don’t smell to pleasant either!
Supplies and Ingredients
First things First
First things first, you need to get the oven ready to be cleaned. Here are some easy things to get the ball rolling.
- Clean all of the things off of the top of the stove. This will give you a chance to see if the top needs to be cleaned thoroughly as well.
- Take out the oven racks. They will get in the way when you are trying to clean the oven. It’s also easier to clean oven racks in the sink so you don’t have to reach them in such a small space.
- Get your supplies ready to go including your cleaning agents. There are several oven cleaning products on the market, but I like to use more natural based ingredients in the home. Here is a great recipe for making your own oven cleaner.
Cleaning with Baking Soda Paste
1. Mix Baking Soda Paste
Mix 1 cup of baking soda to 1 cup of warm water or hot water until it forms into a paste. You will need enough to cover your entire oven, so make more if you need to.
2. Apply the Paste
Wearing your cleaning gloves, cover the entire inside of the oven with the baking soda paste mixture. Make sure you give the really greasy areas a good coating they might need more than all the other areas.
Stay away from the heating element with the paste. There is no need to take a chance on something going wrong with these, they are, after all, what make the oven work.
This mixture will need to sit on your stove for several hours. The easiest way to do this is just let if sit overnight. That will ensure that the mixture really has a chance to penetrate the dirt and grime.
3. Clean the Rest of the Oven
Clean the oven racks in the sink. You can use soapy water for this step. Depending on how dirty they are, you might need a sponge or a cleaning brush.
You can also take this time to clean the top of the stove really well. You can add a little bit of hydrogen peroxide to the paste and it will clean the top of the stove like a charm, plus disinfect it!
While you are at it, clean off the oven glass, the knobs and buttons, and down the sides of the oven. Sometimes a magic eraser works well on this. Be careful of the finish of your stove, before using this method, so you don’t scratch it.
4. Wipe Out the Paste
Once the mixture has sat long enough, use a damp rag or a sponge to clean the mixture off of the oven. This is usually a pretty easy process, but some dirt might be more persistent than other.
5. Final Clean with Vinegar
To get all of the mixture out of the stove, it will need to be sprayed down with some white vinegar. This will completely get rid of the baking soda residue and give the oven a final clean. Let the oven dry completely before trying to cook anything in it.
6. Re-install the Clean Racks
Place your clean racks back inside the oven interior. If you have had a problem with the racks sticking in the past, a little trick is to use some vegetable oil on them. Rub the vegetable oil onto the edges of the racks until they are lightly coated.
Just like that, you have a sparkling clean oven again ready for it’s next meal. The best way to get ahead of a dirty oven is to clean it often. You don’t have to do this process every week, but do little things like clean spills before they have time to become a burnt on mess. Just a simple wipe down after a spilled meal will work wonders.
I hope you found this post on how to clean a self cleaning oven manually helpful. Check back for more cleaning tips and tricks in the future.