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How to Clean an Oven with Baking Soda | Myth or Reality?

Updated on April 22, 2015

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Myth or Reality?

My friend Easel shared an article with me in Facebook that got my attention. It said if we were using harsh chemicals to clean our ovens then we were doing it all wrong. I know when it comes to cleaning ovens, I always use 'Easy-Off Oven Cleaner' because it is the only thing I've heard that works. I don't particularly like it because it causes potent fumes that you should not inhale and it is probably harmful for the environment. It contains very strong and corrosive chemicals that eats away anything it touches. Perhaps that is the reason why most people clean their oven once a year or less.

The article provided step-by-step instructions to clean an oven with nothing but baking soda. Lets take a look:

  1. Remove all the racks from the oven.
  2. Mix some baking soda with some water to form a paste.
  3. Use a brush and apply the paste on the oven window, walls, door and base.
  4. Lastly, close the oven door and wait a full 24 hours before wiping down the oven with a wet cloth. Use some vinegar to remove any baking soda residue if any remains after you wipe the oven down.

The instructions were simple enough to try, so I removed the racks and proceeded to coat my oven with a baking soda paste. I mixed about 3 Tablespoons of baking soda with a few sprinkles of water. I stirred it and added more water until it was a nice white paste. You don't want it as thick as icing with stiff peaks but it should not be runny either. It needs to stay on the wall of the oven without dripping so make it smooth and thick.

The 24-Hour Wait and See

A full 24-hour had passed since I applied a coating of baking soda on the oven window, walls and base. It was time to see if using baking soda had worked or not. I started wiping the window with a wet cloth. The oil streaks were not coming off. I grabbed the brush from the sink and started brushing at the window. After a few strokes, the streaks seem to loosen up. Next, I brushed the oven door with a few drops of water and the baked on grease seem to fade with every stroke. I had to put some muscle on the scrubbing to remove the stubborn stains from the door. After scrubbing it down, a quick wipe with a wet cloth made the door sparkle.

The last part were the walls. I dampened the brush before scrubbing the walls and the grease seem to lift off easily. The chalky residue crumbled to the bottom of the oven. I used it to scrub the oven floor like an abrasive cleaner. It seem to help remove the years of baked on grease. The good thing was that I was not afraid of the smell because there weren't any. Water and baking soda does not produce an odour and there was no fume whatsoever.

The experiment was a success. I'm proud to stand up to the article that Easel provided me. Perhaps my oven was a little more greased than what the article recommended to do. That is why it failed to mention that you had to scrub it with a brush. With a little elbow grease, your oven can sparkle like mine so go at it!

Proof is in the Oven

After 24-hour, baking soda took away the grease
After 24-hour, baking soda took away the grease

The Verdict

With the experiment declared as a success, I can celebrate by baking cookies and a cooking a roast. By the way, have you made the 'Braised Short Ribs, Asian styled' yet? If not, please follow me and I will give you the recipe. It is similar to Roy Yamaguchi's recipe that he serves at his Roy's Restaurant in Newport Beach, Rancho Mirage, San Diego and his Hawaii locations.

Summarizing why you might want to consider using baking soda, here are the pros and cons of using baking soda to clean your oven:

Pros:

  • No harsh chemicals.
  • No strong fumes.
  • Easy clean up with water.

Cons:

  • Have to brush paste on instead of aerosol spray.
  • May leave chalky residue but vinegar cleans it up.
  • May have to scrub paste after 24-hour for stubborn stains.

Myth or reality? For me, it is a blessing.

Cleaning without Harsh Chemicals Tutorial

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