34 Weeks of Clean: Catching Up on the Oven

As you may know, I’ve been attempting to keep up with the 34 Weeks of Clean over at Family, Faith, and Fridays. I say trying, because obviously I’m not managing very well. Somehow it seems I missed oven cleaning. And last week was dining rooms.

As it turns out, I have no dining room- and the extra “dining room” storage I have was cleaned up with the kitchen. And I do have an oven- which was very, very dirty. True confessions: The last few times I’ve cooked the kids have asked if it was burning because all the crud in the bottom of the oven caused a burning smell. Uggh. So when I saw that I had skipped the oven week, I decided to take advantage of no dining room and catch up this week. (BTW, see that beautiful dining room in the photo below? That’s not mine. 🙂 )

I’ll admit that when I first was married, I had no idea about cleaning out an oven. I honestly can’t remember my mom cleaning the oven. She might have. But she didn’t often cook, so maybe it didn’t need all that much cleaning. Or maybe I was just very unobservant. At any rate, I had no idea what to do.

So I bought a chemical, spray on/wipe off oven cleaner. I used it, and I thought the smell was horrific, not to mention the somewhat dizzy feeling I got from it. So I decided the oven didn’t need to be cleaned that often. Later, we got a “self-cleaning” oven. I know it sounds crazy, but I honestly didn’t know how it worked. But I thought it was a great idea. Self-cleaning: that means I don’t have to do anything but turn it on and sit back. The first time I tried it, I realized that it cleaned by getting so hot that it literally burned everything inside to ash. And then I had to sweep out the ash. This method didn’t seem so great either with little ones in the house. Because even though the oven locked while it cleaned, the outside got hot enough to burn anyone who walked by. And I honestly thought the cabinets against the stove might catch on fire.

After all this, I didn’t clean the oven very often. Then, as I began to learn more about all natural cleaning, I realized there might be an easier, safer, non-chemical way to clean my oven. I tried it, and it worked. This recipe is similar to the one I used the very first time I cleaned the oven without high heat or chemicals. I did use dish washing detergent instead of an all natural soap.

I mixed baking soda, dish detergent, and white vinegar. My younger girls were around and thought it looked like punch!

The oven was extremely nasty. I’m almost ashamed to show pictures, but I’m being honest here.

I took out the racks and scraped the burned on stuff to get off the flaky parts. (Yes, those racks are laying on a pile of dirty dishes. Don’t worry I washed them all right after this picture!)

I painted the pasty mixture on to the inside of the oven with a basting brush. The younger girls got into helping with this part.

Then I left it all for several hours. The directions say you can leave it over night, but I started in the morning, so I wanted to be finished in the afternoon.

I scrubbed with a scrub brush and then rinsed. The results were pretty good. It isn’t perfect, but it looks so much better than it did.

I’m very glad that it’s clean and maybe there won’t be a burned smell every time I cook now!

This coming week is a deep cleaning for the living room. Just reading Michele’s post here makes me tired. But maybe I can space this one out over a few days. You can join in with all the cleaning fun at Family, Faith, and Fridays.

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