Cleaning your oven: Pantry staples to the rescue

Want a sparkling clean oven but don’t want to use harsh chemicals? Jasmine ‘Jam’ offers a natural oven cleaning alternative using everyday items from your pantry.

Oven Cleaning

As fervent foodies, we spend a lot of time in our kitchens, whipping up dinners, prepping lunches and baking. While you might find yourself wiping down the benchtop after every meal you cook when was the last time you cleaned the oven? It gets put through its paces with cakes, roasts and everything in between so it’s a good idea to give it a good clean when you can.

Next time you need to replace your bottle of store-bought oven cleaner, you could raid your own pantry for a natural alternative. You might find that you already have two simple ingredients (baking soda and vinegar), that when combined, will help restore your oven to its former glory.

Baking soda is versatile, cheap and not just limited to giving your baking a little lift. When it is combined with an acid, a chemical reaction occurs which releases CO2 gas bubbles. This reaction helps cakes rise. If you notice a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar in a baking recipe, it might not be there to add flavour. Instead, it’s most likely there to help activate the baking soda! In a similar way, just as it agitates the cake batter, causing it to expand and rise, baking soda can be combined with an acid to help lift grease and grime from oven surfaces. The abrasiveness of the baking soda also helps to shift more stubborn spills.

To clean your oven the natural way, liberally sprinkle baking soda on the patches you are wanting to clean. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, before spraying generously with white vinegar. You will immediately notice lots of bubbling. Leave to sit for another 10-15 minutes, before wiping down with a damp cloth.

If you are cleaning larger areas, you may find it easier to make a paste with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water. Spread this over the affected area and leave it to sit for a few hours (or overnight, if possible). Spray with vinegar, then wipe. You should be left with a sparkling clean oven!

Once your oven is nice and clean, be sure to maintain your hard work. The best time to clean spills is as soon as you notice them after cooking. Allow your oven to cool down, before wiping drips with a damp cloth. If there are clingy patches, use a soapy cloth for a bit more power.

If you do end up buying cleaning products off the shelf, or simply don’t have time to make your own, just be sure to check the labels to make sure you are purchasing products that aren’t too harsh on the environment. There are more natural alternatives out there that will help you do your bit for the world around you by creating a more sustainable home.

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