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Eco-Friendly Way To Clean Your Oven

    Ask anyone what chore they hate the most, and nine out of ten, you’ll get the answer, “Oven cleaning!” Whether you’re a homeowner or manage a commercial kitchen, this is one job that overwhelms you. Unfortunately, the more you put off this work, the worse it gets. When you finally get down to cleaning, you must use harsh, expensive, chemical-based products to do a good job. Which means you spend the next week recovering from allergies and headaches. The answer is to clean regularly and to use environmentally friendly products that don’t harm you or the planet. With a little research and patience, you can find your own eco-friendly way to clean your oven.

    Why You Should Clean Your Oven Regularly

    Using a clean oven:

    • improves efficiency
    • prevents accidental fires
    • prevents food contamination and smoky taste
    • enhances food taste and flavor
    • extends the life of your oven
    • prevents toxic fumes
    • prevents pest attacks

    What About Self-Cleaning Ovens?

    Sure, today, there are amazing technological advances in this sector. You must have heard about self-cleaning ovens. But frankly, they’re beyond the average person’s reach. Besides, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. You still have to do some amount of cleaning and wiping. These ovens work on the principle of pyrolytic cleaning. In the cleaning cycle, the temperature typically ranges between 880-900°F. With such extreme heat, anything inside the oven turns to ash. This includes food particles, grease, and dust. In most models, you can select the cycle length between 90 minutes and 5 hours. This includes 2 hours for cooling. The oven, including the door, gets auto-locked and extremely hot.

    The advantage of self-cleaning ovens is that you don’t have to use any cleaning products. You can save time as the process is fully automatic. However, you must wipe off the ash residue inside and manually clean the racks. You will get nasty burnt smells and smoke in your kitchen during the process. Harsh products can damage your oven and affect its efficiency. Remember that these ovens are a tad more expensive compared to conventional ones.

    But if you have asthma, allergies, or sensitivity to different products, it’s important to explore different cleaning ideas and concepts. One of these is about considering the environment. Corrosive products are harmful to human health. Additionally, they can contaminate groundwater and soil. Wildlife, plants, and animals get affected by chemicals.

    Off-the-shelf products are expensive. If they promote “deep” cleaning and quick cleaning, it only means that they are more harsh and complex. If you use strong scrubbers, they can scratch metal and glass.

    Eco-Friendly Oven Cleaning

    Using products and methods that are more environmentally friendly provides overall benefits to not just yourself and your family but also the ecosystem surrounding you. The ingredients that commercial oven cleaners contain include:

    • caustic soda (sodium hydroxide)
    • ethers and alcohols to dissolve grease
    • ethylene glycol helps to break down oils and grease
    • methylene chloride strips layers of grime

    Each of these cleaners is toxic to humans, animals, and plants. You need to remove all food items around the oven, use a diluted proportion of the cleaning product, wipe and rinse the oven thoroughly after cleaning and not use the oven for 24 hours after cleaning. Leave the oven door open, and don’t let children and seniors get exposed to the fumes.

    You will find most of the eco-friendly products in your home and larder:

    Vinegar: This is great for spot cleaning. If your oven has spots of pizza cheese or tomato sauce that have dried up or splattered, soak these areas with a few drops of vinegar. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes. You can dry the areas and then wipe them with a wet cloth. Vinegar is also a great product to use if you’re trying to eliminate burnt smells or strong odors in the oven. Pour some white vinegar into a dish and leave the oven on “Warm” setting for a few minutes. This will banish nasty smells immediately.

    Salt:

    1. Heat the oven gently on low setting, switch it off and spray plain water inside.
    2. Take two cups of table salt and sprinkle it thickly on the hot, wet surfaces (you may need more if you have a large oven).
    3. Leave it on till the oven is thoroughly cool.
    4. Scrub well to remove grease.
    5. Wipe dry with kitchen towels.

    This is good for frequent cleaning if the oven is not too dirty.

    Baking Soda:

    1. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water.
    2. Apply thickly over the entire inner surface.
    3. Leave it on overnight, scrape off the dry paste with a wooden spatula and wipe clean with a wet towel.

    Vinegar plus Baking Soda: This is great for especially greasy ovens. Spray inside the oven with vinegar. Then, sprinkle baking soda thickly on the wet surface for a minute or two. Wait for 30 minutes. You may need to scrub hard with a tough scrubber if the oven is very dirty. Finally, wipe clean with a damp sponge.

    Ammonia: This method can give off strong smells, so if you’re allergic, avoid it. Heat the oven and switch it off. Fill a bowl with ammonia and place it on the middle rack, and place another bowl filled with plain boiling water on the bottom rack. Keep overnight. Wipe down the next day with a damp sponge dipped in baking soda.

    Lemon Juice:

    1. Fill a bowl with lemon juice diluted with a little water.
    2. Switch the oven to a low setting and place the bowl in the hot oven.
    3. Once the mixture starts steaming, switch off the oven.
    4. Let it sit till the oven cools down fully.
    5. Remove the bowl, dip your sponge in and wipe the stains.
    6. Wipe clean with a dry towel.

    Final Word

    Using eco-friendly cleaning products means you’re doing your bit to protect our planet. These products prevent allergies and the build-up of chemical toxins in the environment. Most ingredients can be found in your kitchen or the local supermarket. But the ultimate cleaning mantra is “Clean Regularly.” This saves time, effort, and money. If all else fails, get in touch with a professional cleaning surface to help you tackle a seriously dirty oven.