For those of us without self-cleaning ovens, using the spray oven cleaners can be too harsh resulting in breathing problems and skin irritation. One chemical found in oven cleaners, which is particularly concerning, is Monoethanolamine, which can cause air passages to constrict, resulting in asthma like symptoms including coughing and gagging.
A more natural solution to oven cleaning is to use lemons as a degreaser and deodorizer. To do this, squeeze the lemon juice from two lemons into an ovenproof dish. Add what is left of the lemons into the dish and fill it about half full with water.
Place the dish in the center of your oven and bake it for 30 - 45 minutes at 250 degrees. Let the oven cool, then use a non-abrasive scouring pad to clean the grease and burned drippings from the top, sides and bottom of the oven. Once the major buildup of grime is removed, dip a sponge into the left over lemon mixture and wipe the oven clean.
This method will require more scrubbing than what is required when using the strong oven cleaners, but your lungs and skin will thank you. So will your household pets.
Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Oven
Pairing baking soda with its good friend, vinegar, takes cleaning to a whole new level!
To clean your oven, first scrape out any loose icky burnt stuff and then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over all the other gooey, burned spots. Next, put some plain white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it over the baking soda. Now, watch for the cool science project that will happen in your oven. Let this bubble for a while; maybe 30 minutes or so. Then take a tough scrubby sponge or wired scrubber and start working away at the stubborn spots. Once all the stuck-on stuff is loosened, rinse with a cloth and warm water. You’ll probably want to wipe and rinse thoroughly a few times. Now, isn’t that better than using that smelly, chemical oven cleaner?
Use Baking Soda to Clean
Your Stove Top
The same cleaning technique you used to clean the inside of the oven also works great for cleaning the top of the stove. Use this method when you’ve had a bad spillover or there are some messy rings on the burners. The soft scrub mentioned earlier will do the trick on regular stove top messes, but when you’ve got a big job, baking soda and vinegar will tackle it much better. Sprinkle baking soda generously over the top of the stove and then spritz with vinegar. Let this sit for at least 15-30 minutes before scrubbing. Be sure to use a scrubbing sponge that’s recommended for stove top cleaning; especially if yours is glass. Don’t use a wired scrubber for this surface.
Oven cleaning tips: Montaldo, L.D. (n.d). Use Lemons as an Oven Cleaner. Retrieved from http://couponing.about.com/od/bargainshoppingtips/ss/benefitsoflemons_3.htm
Baking Soda Tips: Thomas, A. (February 20, 2014). How To Clean With Baking Soda. Retrievd from http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/house-home/housekeeping/how-to-clean-with-baking-soda