Clean that dirty oven without the nasty chemicals

It’s hardly a secret that conventional oven cleaners can be harsh, which is why so many look for more natural ways to get the job done.

With baking soda, vinegar and even plain old water you’ll have your oven gleaming in no time with these completely safe, natural and effective ways.

The baking soda method

First, remove the oven racks and anything else you have inside your oven (think, oven thermometers, pizza stones, roasting trays etc.).

Then in a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the ratio of both as needed until you have a spreadable paste.

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Spread the paste all over the interior surfaces of your oven, steering clear of the heating elements. Use gloves for this portion it can get pretty grimy in there. The baking soda will turn a brownish color as you rub it in; it also might be chunkier in some places than others. That is fine. Just try to coat the whole oven to the best of your abilities, paying attention to any particularly greasy areas.

Allow this mix to rest for around 12 hours — so tackling this dirty job is best done when you don’t need the oven for cooking and perhaps when you can leave it overnight. While you’re waiting give your oven racks and all those other items a clean. (See below for our secret tip to cleaning your greasy oven racks.)

After 12 hours, take a damp cloth and wipe out as much of the dried baking soda paste as you can. Use a plastic or silicone spatula to help scrape off the paste as needed (the spatula might come in handy in those hard-to-reach places). Put a little vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz everywhere you still see baking soda residue in your oven. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and gently foam. Take your damp cloth and wipe out the remaining foamy vinegar-baking-soda mixture. Repeat until all the baking soda residue is gone. Add more water or vinegar to your cloth as needed while wiping to really get the oven clean and shiny.

Once you’ve put the racks and any other items back in the oven, you’re done!

The water method

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If you have the option of using steam to clean your oven, then it is even easier than the above method. Of course, if you have an oven that is super greasy, you might want to use something stronger.

Place a large ovenproof container full of water into the oven on the lowest rack.

Turn the oven onto the highest setting and ‘bake’ for 20-30 minutes.

Let the oven cool without opening the door.

Then, use a damp cloth to wipe the oven down. The steam will loosen any grime and it should just wipe away.

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The secret to cleaning your dirty oven racks

If you’ve scrubbed and scrubbed at your dirty oven racks and find they aren’t coming clean, this method might be just what you need.

Half fill your bathtub with hot water. Add a cap full of Napisan and mix. Submerge the greasy oven racks into the hot water and let them soak for an hour. Then remove, rinse them well and let them dry in the sun. You’ll find that they will be super clean!

As an added bonus, this method can also be used for those grimy rangehood filters.

How often do you clean your oven? Do you have any tips to share?