Monday, January 28, 2013

Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It: Non-Toxic Oven Cleaning

I have a little explaining to do...

I consider myself a cleaner than average person. I am in no way OCD, but I'm sure I get pretty close to riding the line sometimes. I'm one of those clean and try to keep clean for a few days and then Ill give up for a few days and then Ill do another deep clean. I am the one who cooks most of the time and the kitchen is also my responsibility when it comes to chores. Nathan and I have lived in our apartment for almost three and a half years and in those three and a half years I have yet to clean the inside of my oven, until now. 

There are a few reasons why I chose to do this Pin.

1.) I think the first is obvious. I needed to clean it, bad.
2.) I like the idea of cleaning with non-toxic products, although I don't limit myself just because of that.
3.) I have two pets in my small apartment so I was worried how the oven cleaners could harm them.
4.) Its way too cold outside to properly vent my apartment by keeping the windows open. 
5.) It seemed easy enough.

Oven BEFORE!! 
*Cringing from embarrassment about how dirty it is, don't judge!*

I remember exactly what most of that is. I tried a new recipe and it was some kind of rice casserole thing. As I was taking it out of the oven I burned my hand, thus dropping the dish and the whole thing spilled on the bottom. I was so angry I left most of it there. Hah!


I first gathered all my ingredients and tools. Baking Soda, Dawn dish soap, water, a sponge with a scrubbie side and mixed everything together like the original Pin said. I also scooped up all the loose burnt bits on the bottom of the oven before spreading my mixture all over. 

This was the easiest part. I felt a little strained as I was spreading the goop all over the oven because its hard to get in there with the door in the way. I started this around 9 am and I let the mixture stay on the oven until 4:30 pm. It had plenty of time to sit and soak into the really stuck on gunk. 

I started scrubbing the door. I quickly realized it wasn't washing off as fast as I thought and I had to use a LOT of elbow grease. I had to rinse...and rinse...and rinse the sponge every time I took a good swipe otherwise I was left with a bunch of tiny bubbles all over the area I was trying to clean because of the Dawn soap. It took me a good hour to clean all the mixture off the oven, maybe even longer. Not only did it not get all the stuck on grease off like I thought it would, I really had to scrub. Finally, I got closer to the end and rinsed the final bits of the goop off the oven. 

For what it looked like before, I think it looks much better but its still only about 85% clean.


Those black spots in there were a b*tch!!

 The door still has stuck on grease after all that scrubbing!

I even tried to use a scraper to get that crap off and it only got about half of it off.

At the end of it all I have a mostly clean oven and I didn't have to use any harmful chemicals that could have hurt me and my animals. It took the majority of my day to complete and I had to use a LOT of elbow grease and I came out of it with a sore back. 

Will I do it again? Nope. I think Ill opt for the good old fashioned "Self Cleaning" method on the oven and make sure to vent my house real well. 

It was worth a try. :) Thanks Pintrest.

Tonight I decided to cook some tader tots in the oven and about 15 minutes in I started to get this nasty smell coming from the kitchen. I went in there and steam/smoke was coming from the oven and I opened it up and some of the residue solution was burning. The baking soda also puffed up and now I have these weird crusty white things all over that I'm also going to have to clean off.

Total bust. You might try some of the other Pins out there that use Vinegar instead if you want to try it out yourself still.


  1. I have heard of another one with Vineger but my oven looks like that did before you cleaned it. Here is the Vineger one I found.

    1/2 cup homemade liquid soap (I used homemade soap nuts liquid)*
    1 1/2 cup aluminum-free baking soda
    2-4 drops lavender essential oil (you can use any scent you like, or none at all)
    1/4 cup organic white vinegar (you can also use apple cider vinegar)
    Water as needed to make a “paintable” but thick paste

    * If using store-bought soap instead of soap nuts liquid, use 1 tbsp soap.

    Mark's mom swears by Vinegar.....Maybe I will have to try this one and we can compare?

  2. Try it out! Id be curious to hear how this one would work out. My version was way too much effort.

  3. Were your tater tots still eatible?