DIY Oven Cleaner
If you don't have a self-cleaning oven (which burns off residue at very high temperatures), try this eco-friendly solution instead.
Photography: Di_Studio via Getty Images
Source: Healthy Home 2008, Spring 2008
From sauces that bubbled over to drips of gooey cheese now burnt, your oven is a canvas for spills and splatters of all kinds. And when it comes to cleaning it, chances are you're, well, not. But tackling this appliance doesn't have to be a heavy lift, nor do you need to spend extra money on special cleaning products. In fact, all you need to make your oven sparkle again is baking soda and a few standard kitchen tools. For an extra fresh touch, try enhancing your homemade cleaner with two to three drops of essential oil. Tea tree oil, in particular, can act as a natural degreaser.
How often you clean your oven will vary depending on how often you use it, but as a general rule, plan for a deep-clean every few months, or sooner if it smokes when in use.
The technique below will help make the walls of your oven look like new. To clean oven racks, soak them in warm, soapy water for several hours (try a tub or utility sink if they won't fit in your kitchen sink). Scrub with a scouring pad, then rinse, and dry.
As with many household chores, minimizing the time you spend deep cleaning all comes down to prevention. Top your oven racks with a few sheets of aluminum foil (never place foil on the bottom of the oven, which can cause a fire), especially if you anticipate a dish might spill over. If it does, wipe the stains immediately, before they have a chance to set.
Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Coat the oven surfaces with the paste (avoiding bare metal and heating elements), let stand overnight.
While wearing gloves, use a plastic spatula to remove the paste. Wipe away any remaining residue with a clean, wet sponge.