Can you remember the last time you cleaned your oven? We’re not just talking about a little dusting; we mean really cleaned the thing. You know, using heaping amounts of elbow grease (whatever that is) and an absurd amount of the first cleaning solution you can find.
If you’re like most people, your oven is in dire need of a little TLC, and for good reason — food stains, grease and crumbs can consolidate over time to build up a layer of nasty gunk that affects not only the food you’re making but also the efficiency of your oven. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute, that’s why you should really aim to clean your oven every month, with a spot clean every week or so.
You might be thinking that your oven has a “self-clean” function, and you’ll just go turn that on now. One little warning, though — never use that button. The electronics in many ovens aren’t equipped for regular use of the “self-clean” function, and therefore using it every month might cause your entire oven to break. It’s a much better idea to put on some gloves, find the perfect sponge or rag and clean it the old-fashioned way.
Fortunately, we’ve got just the thing(s). Because your oven deserves a little love, here’s everything you could ever need to help keep it clean.
1. First Things First, Grab the Right Gloves
These natural latex gloves offer a surprisingly solid grip without being overly tight or uncomfortable. The solid elastic design is made to help give you more range of motion, and the intelligent and unique hand design provides a textured grip, making them ideal gloves for when you want to get down and dirty. You can also use them to tackle nearly every cleaning chore in your house, so consider them a lifelong investment.
2. These Durable Sponges Will Help You Give Your Stove a Real Scrubbin’
Designed to help you target all those underlying grease stains and marks, these multipurpose cleaning sponges work on virtually every type of surface. However, they’re particularly great for cleaning your oven. Each pack comes with six sturdy sponges, each of which sports a lifespan of up to 500 uses (or three months, depending on how often you use them). All in all, that’s a pretty big bang for your buck, especially when you can buy a whole pack for less than $10.
3. This Professional Oven Cleaner Works Wonders When it Comes to Dirt and Grime
Sometimes all it takes is a little spray now and then. If that’s the case, this Easy-Off everyday spray will work wonders. Advanced technology lets this spray get down to eliminating dirt and grime and leaving your oven feeling (and smelling) fresh. Spray it onto your oven surfaces, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe down with a clean cloth.
4. These Deep Cleaning Brushes Help You Get Down and Dirty — and That’s a Good Thing
This brush set is custom-made for deep cleaning when you need to take a more hands-on approach. It features one small brush and one larger one. That way, you can cover both easily accessible spots as well as hard-to-reach areas. The comfy grip makes it easy to hold when you’re reaching those awkward areas, and the rough bristles are sure to withstand even the most stubborn stains. Just keep these far from the bathroom, so you don’t mistake them for toothbrushes.
5. Alternatively, You Can Also Add a Little Distilled White Vinegar to the Mix
Before fancy oven-specific cleaners, there was vinegar and its good friend baking soda. If you’d rather use an inefficient and non-chemical cleaning agent, we’ve got you covered. Simply make a paste with equal parts vinegar and baking soda, then scrub it on the walls of your oven. Another simple hack is to boil a pot of water, add a healthy amount of vinegar, place it in your oven and close the door. About 45 minutes later, open the door, remove the pot and begin the cleaning process. You’ll notice the grime is much easier to remove after letting the water and vinegar mixture cool in the oven.
READ MORE: How to Remove Scratches from Stainless Steel
6. Make Sure You Have a Good Concentrated Cleaner and Degreaser
Add a little spray to the mix with this handy 32-ounce degreaser and cleaner[/pmc-store-product]. Its water-based formula is 100% non-toxic, which means you won’t have to worry about spraying it with children and pets around. It’s also non-flammable, so it works exceptionally well in ovens. This option is excellent if you have grease build-up or need to remove stubborn stains.
7. These Natural Cream Cleansers Are a Must for the Eco-Conscious
For a more natural answer to your oven cleaning woes, turn to Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Cream Cleanser. This bleach-free, scratch-free cleaner is baking soda-based and has the lovely lemon verbena signature scent. To use it, liberally apply the cleaner to the burnt-on bits in your oven. Cover it with a damp towel and let it sit for an hour or two. The disgusting bits in your range will simply slide off the bottom and walls when you come back.
8. This Oven Cleaner Works Wonders on Your Racks
We talk a lot about cleaning the walls, bottom and door of your oven, but you shouldn’t forget about the oven racks. These grates can build up serious grime in the weeks between cleanings. To remedy that, invest in the Carbona Oven Rack and Grill Cleaner. To use it, place your oven racks in the included bags, pour in the solution, wait a bit and then rinse off your oven racks outside or in the bathtub. This also works great for barbecues or any countertop grilling appliance that has seen better days.
9. Having a Few Oven Wipes Will Also Come in Handy
This handy tub comes packed with plenty of individual wipes to help keep your oven, counters and countertops in tip-top shape. Able to remove most grime and dirt spots, these towels contain lanolin, aloe vera, and vitamin E to keep your hands smooth and free of that pesky chemical feel you get from most cleaners. Use these for a heavy-duty clean of your oven.
10. Use a Handheld Vacuum to Suck Up Extra Bits and Pieces
Before starting any oven cleaning, use a handheld vacuum to suck up all the crumbs in and around your appliance. Trust us; this will make your life so much easier. Thanks to its strong suction and washable bowl, the BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum is ideal for the job. It’s also quite affordable compared to other handheld vacuums, and obviously, you can use it for other purposes, like getting in between couch cushions.
11. Finally, Polish the Outside So That It Looks Just as Good as the Inside
The chances are likely that your oven’s exterior is made of stainless steel. After all of the effort of cleaning its interior, you’re going to want the outside to look just as good as the inside. Invest in a metal cleaner that will polish the surface and remove all fingerprints, smudges, and streaks for a reflective shine that screams, “I am cleaner than I’ve ever been before.”