Oven Cleaning: the Natural Way

I had some high hopes for finding a natural cleaner for our oven. It really needed it. Something in our oven had spilled, and since then, our oven has emitted a slightly smoky smell anytime we use it.

Sad dirty, crusty oven

Our oven has a self-clean option, but the thought of sitting in a hot home with a smoky smell all day isn’t what I had in mind.

So off to Pinterest I went.

And I found pin after pin of using baking soda to clean off the burnt on gunk. Supposedly the baking soda, when dampened and left to sit overnight, reacts with the carbon of the food. (It doesn’t quite make sense to me isn’t carbon a base and baking soda’s a base? Maybe someone with more science background than me can explain this?)

But, I didn’t have all night to wait, so I tried the faster version (found here). It was basically a souped up version of the tub scrub I use. So I set out to have a sparkling oven. Maybe this stuff would work just as well on my oven as my tub.

So I mixed up the concoction, slathered it on our oven and waited 15 minutes.

When I opened the oven, I admit, I expected a slight natural miracle. Buuut, I didn’t see one.

I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed until my hands were sore. I poured on more baking soda and squirted lemon juice and vinegar. Nothing.

Well, little bits of food came up but nothing spectacular.

So, since I had been scrubbing the oven for over an hour and a half (yes, I am persistent) and it was already way past the time I should have thrown dinner in the oven, I decided to try the long method and let damp baking soda sit in the oven overnight. (We ate a dinner made on the stove top instead.) I sprinkled enough baking soda in the bottom of the oven to cover the grime and sprayed it with water until it was damp, but not sopping. I kept it damp the rest of the evening and then slept while the baking soda did its job.

While this method lifted more of the burnt on grime, it still didn’t do too much.

My secret weapon? My super strong husband, who after 15-20 minutes scrubbed the oven to this:

I DID get the smaller stuff off myself, but my husband did most of the hard scrubbing (thanks, C!).

Long story short, it can be done, but it won’t be perfect. No matter what we do those larger spots will never go away.

And, the people who claim that baking soda is a small miracle and requires no scrubbing are stretching the truth a bit.

Yes, natural options are always better choices, but one of the main ingredients in several of these solutions is good old fashioned elbow grease!

Do you have any natural oven cleaning solutions? (Any thing that will save my hands next time??)

3 comments on “Oven Cleaning: the Natural Way

  1. Mrs. Graham Gardens on said:

    I’m pretty sure elbow grease is considered “all-natural!” :)

    • Melanie on said:

      Yes, I think it is! (I’ve been saying recently that I would be in good physical shape if I did chores like this and making bread by hand!)

  2. Jean Manning on said:

    Hi everyone! great post, enjoyed the tips and look forward to trying a few things myself :) I’m currently on extended sick leave so I really want to give myself something to do – cleaning the house is well needed! I usualy use oven cleaner maidstone for my cooker, I’d recommend to anyone in the area, but for the DIY route you have some brilliant tips, thank you!

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