If you’re anything like me, the kitchen is the nerve center of the entire house. It’s the place where delicious smells waft out to attract the household members, and it’s the spot where friends always seem to gather when they come over. The critical importance of this room means that you should take especial care to keep it clean and sanitized.
One area that nobody really wants to tackle is cleaning the oven. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who has a self-cleaning oven? If so, you can skip this post, or feel free to read on and see what your not-so-lucky friends have to deal with.
Here’s how to manually clean your oven, the Speed Cleaning way.
Tools we recommend for this job:
Spray the oven the night before you plan to clean it.
Before spraying, be sure to remove the racks, placing them on top of the stove in the exact order you took them out so you don’t waste time figuring out which rack goes on top and how they go back in. This is the time to remove anything else in there that should be taken out, like heating coils that pull out or unplug. Also, put down old cloths, paper towels, or newspapers to catch any drips.
Now you’re ready to spray the interior of the oven and the door. If you’re also cleaning your racks (skip this whenever you can because they take a lot of time), then put them back in and spray them as well. Be generous with your spray. A bit too much is better than not enough. Try to keep the spray away from the interior light and thermostat.
If you’re really up to the challenge, you can clean your broiler, too. So spray the boiler tray if you’ve decided to embark on this effort. Don’t spray underneath the boiler—this area doesn’t have cooked on bits of food, so you can simply clean it with Red Juice and a sturdy sponge.
Then close the oven door and hit the hay (aka go to bed). Do not turn the heat on in the oven while there is spray lingering overnight.
Tackling the oven the next day
Well rested? Good! Put a trash can by the stove and a roll of paper towels or rags that are ready to be tossed away. Get your scraper ready (we recommend this one), placed in front of the stove, because you’ll be using it frequently. Most important step: put on gloves!
Clean the inside of the oven door with a sturdy sponge and use your razor on the glass door. Wipe the oven cleaner off the door, then spray this area with Red Juice before wiping it clean and dry.
Next, clean the racks, starting with the top-most one, using a sturdy sponge. As you finish each rack, pull them out and place in the sink to rinse with tap water. Then let them drip dry while you finish cleaning the oven.
Now you can move on to clean the inside of the oven itself. Start with the inside top and wipe and agitate with your sponge over the entire top of the oven until all the baked-on food and bits are loose. Then move to the right side of the oven, wiping with the sponge. Next, the rear of the oven, and finish on the left side. Use your scraper on areas where there are baked on lumps (this is usually the bottom of the oven). By knocking off most of the gunk with your scraper, you save time getting the remainder with your sponge.
While you’re cleaning, you’ll notice that your sponge quickly becomes a gross mess. But try not to rinse the pad out in the sink because it’ll just be back to yucky within seconds. The sponge actually works quite well when it’s “dirty” and you’re just wasting time going back and forth to the sink. If it becomes completely full of oven cleaner and gunk, try folding it in half or gripping differently, or squeezing it out onto the bottom of the oven. When it can’t handle any more, go ahead and rinse it.
Wiping comes next. Use paper towels or disposable rags and start wiping the reverse of how you scrubbed it, so start with bottom, left side, back, right side, and finally the top. Once you wiped it clean, spray the entire inside with Red Juice and wipe this clean to remove any residual oven cleaner.
If you are cleaning your broiler tray, now’s the time to finish it. Otherwise, fold up your towels and discard the paper towels or rags you used to wipe the inside of the oven. It’s a good idea to set the oven to 400 degrees for fifteen minutes while you clean the rest of your kitchen, assuming you still have energy to tackle the rest of the room. This way you’ll remove any stray odors before you have your dinner ready to pop in.
That’s it! You have cleaned your oven the Speed Cleaning way.