How to Safely and Effectively Clean Your Stove

Are you tired of smelling the pizza sauce that dripped on your lower oven rack two or three years ago and now burns and smokes every time you cook something in the stove? Can you write your name with your finger in the layer of grease that covers your stove top? Well, perhaps it’s time to clean your stove. You may wonder if there is an easier way to do this task besides suiting up like an astronaut and spraying what smells and looks like napalm into an appliance that you, you know, cook food in? Thankfully, there is. Here’s what you need to do to safely and effectively clean your stove no matter where you live- Ohio, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Delaware, etc.

  1. Top of the oven:

    First, make sure your oven is turned off. You don’t have to disconnect the gas or unplug it, unless you plan on moving the stove for some reason, or plan to remove and clean the burners under the stove top. Remove the oven grates, and spray a layer of white distilled vinegar over the top of the stove. Then sprinkle a good amount of baking soda until you end up with a paste. You can add salt to this mix for some extra abrasive cleaning. Let the pasty mixture sit for about 15-20 minutes, then scrub the top of the stove with a sponge or a non-scratch cleaning brush.

  2. Oven rack cleaning with bathtub and soap:

    Assuming your bathtub is big enough, you can clean your oven racks by soaking them over night in the tub in hot water and about a cup of dish soap. Adding three to six dryer sheets in between the soaking oven racks is a neat trick that will help loosen any dried on food and grease.

  3. Oven rack cleaning with ammonia:

    If you’re comfortable using straight ammonia for your household cleaning, try placing your oven racks in a heavy-duty trash bag with half a quart of ammonia. Seal the bag, and leave it outside overnight. In the morning, remove the racks, try not to gag, and rinse them off with a garden hose. Never mix ammonia with bleach or other cleaning products, and be sure to wear a mask and gloves when using ammonia to prevent injury.

  4. Cleaning inside your oven, part one:

    This is a cheap, effective way to clean the inside of your oven, and it even smells good. Cut two lemons in half and squeeze the juices into a baking dish. Fill the dish about 1/3 of the way with water, and add the squeezed out lemons as well. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure you have a window open and a fan on as the oven will smoke. Once the oven is cooled down, use a scouring pad to scrub off the crud on the walls and bottom of your oven.

  5. Cleaning inside your oven, part two:

    What worked for the top of your oven will work for the inside as well. Spray the inside of your oven with white distilled vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda over the wet areas just like you did when cleaning the stove top. Let the pasty mixture sit for 30 minutes, longer if you haven’t cleaned your oven in over a year, then scrub and rinse with a sponge.

  6. Clean under heating elements:

    The heating elements of an electric oven often sort of clean themselves, given the degree with which they heat up. However, if you do need to clean them, or they’re in the way of the cleaning you need to do throughout the inside of your oven, unplug your oven, and use a screwdriver to carefully remove them. They too can be cleaned with a combination of salt, white distilled vinegar, and baking soda. Let them dry completely before returning them to the inside of your oven.

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