We’ve all done it. You’re sitting on the couch, enjoying an episode of Downton Abbey when you hear something sizzling and popping in the kitchen. Maybe your smoke detector even goes off. Either way, you’re casserole is overflowing and the end result is an unrecognizable black substance. Nothing like a stinky charred mess to ruin your evening with the Crawleys. If you’re lazy like I used to be, you’ll just leave it be and try to ignore the black smoke and awful smell wafting from the kitchen every time you pre-heat the oven. But since I am a grown up now, I chose to clean the oven instead. Oh how I’ve changed over the years!
Before you bust out that oven cleaner though, take a minute to read the warnings on the label. If you read my post on how toxic products like Drano are, you’ll find the ingredients in oven cleaner equally as toxic. The main ingredient is lye, which can burn your skin and cause irritation to your lungs. You’re supposed to wear gloves and a mask while using this product, and once your oven is cleaned and you want to use it again, you should make sure pets, “especially birds” are not in the room when you pre-heat the oven. Yikes. I do no want to stick my head into an oven full of chemicals that is going to kill a parakeet, never mind eat food that was cooked in it. I think it’s time for a natural solution.
I’ve used Easy Off before, back before I realized how toxic most home cleaners are, so I can compare it to a homemade, all natural version. Let me tell you, the homemade cleaner really works. The first time I used it to clean my oven, I proceeded to use it on my toaster oven, microwave and stove top because it was so good at removing grease and burned on crap. I urge you to remove toxic chemicals like oven cleaner from your home and make your own! It’s cheaper, better for the environment, and you don’t have to worry about children and pets getting sick. Or you for that matter!
To clean your oven, just pre-heat it to 250 degrees for about 5 minutes, then shut it off and open the door. You don’t want it super hot, just warm enough to help get some of the gunk off. Next, combine the following ingredients in a plastic spray bottle and shake well to combine:
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup hot water
Spray the cleaner on the inside of the oven, and on the stove top if you want, or anywhere you need a good cleaning. Let it sit until it dries; it will turn white and chalky like, well, baking soda. Use a wet cloth or sponge and wipe down all the surfaces, removing any residue the cleaner leaves behind.
If you’ve really done a number and this formula isn’t enough, add some kosher salt to your sponge to help scrub the surface. A little elbow grease is a lot safer than a toxic cleaner.
Once you’re done with the cleaner, rinse out the spray bottle so it doesn’t get clogged up from the baking soda. You can easily make this each time you need to clean, since it’s so simple. Hopefully you aren’t spilling in the oven so often that you have to use it that much! Another great thing about this cleaner; you don’t have to evacuate your pets or be freaked out when you turn the oven back on. Nothing in it will harm you!
Have you ever made a homemade cleaner? How successful were you?