When was the last time you cleaned your oven? If you're like most people, it's been much longer than the recommended three to six months that's supposed to elapse between cleanings. While cleaning your oven is a pain in the neck, a dirty oven can affect the flavor of your food. You wouldn't cook food in a dirty pan, so why would you cook it in a dirty oven? If your oven is well past due for a cleaning, it's time to get to work. Choose one of the following four strategies for getting rid of the gunk in your oven.
The Traditional Method
The traditional method involves using oven cleaner and a bit of elbow grease. Spray your oven with the cleaner and let the recommended time elapse—usually several hours. After enough time has passed, wipe away the gunk with a wet, warm cloth or sponge. For extra tough spots, you can use a plastic spatula to lift up the heavy deposits.
The Green Method
If you want to use green products or prefer to use what you have on hand, you can. Sprinkle the base of your oven with baking soda and spray with vinegar until a light foam forms. Wait several hours while the homemade solution does it's job. Gently clean with a warm, wet rag.
The Easy Method
If you have a self-cleaning oven, cleaning it is as easy as pie. All you have to do is set the self-cleaning mechanism on your oven and allow it to run its course. The extreme heat generated during the process will turn your baked-on grease and grime into ashes that you can easily wipe away with a damp cloth. There's no elbow grease involved in this method.
The Hands-Off Method
If you can't even bring yourself to run the self-cleaning cycle or if you don't have one, there's a way you can get out of all the work. Simply hire a cleaning service to do it for you. Most cleaning agencies have several packages that include deep-cleaning or seasonal services. While you may not want to pay for cleaning all year round, a thorough cleaning that includes your oven twice a year will help you stay on top of things.
As you can see, there are several ways you can tackle the dirt and grime in your oven. If it's been several months since you've cleaned yours, it's time to pick a method and start cleaning.