Green Oven Cleaning

     I would choose to clean a plugged toilet before ever choosing to clean an oven.  It feels like I’ve cleaned a million toilets and bathrooms over the years.  First as a houskeeper at the College of St. Benedict during summer break when I cleaned student housing apartments.  Talk about dirty bathrooms and ovens!  While the students there may have been good Catholics they certainly were not good housekeepers.  Seventeen years of owning a resort  and I’m on top of my cleaning game.

     Everyone has their favorite cleaning supplies and I’m no exception.  For years I have used the same arsenal of cleaning supplies each for their own purpose.  Pinesol in a bucket of water for general purpose cleaning, Simple Green for sinks & appliances, Soft Scrub for stubborn stains on showers & countertops, Lysol toilet bowl cleaner and Windex for windows & to shine everything up.  When it comes time to clean an oven or oven racks I’ve always used Oven Off. 

     I’ve had near death cleaning experiences from time to time.  I now know too much chlorine bleach use in a small bathroom is not a good thing.  I also know spraying a can of Oven Off inside makes it feel like my lungs are burning(probably because they are).  Cleaning with non-toxic cleaners isn’t a new concept to me, it’s just that I tend to believe the toxic ones clean better. 

     I’m slowly becoming a believer of non-toxic cleaners.  Baking Soda is a wonder cleaner as well as vinegar and lemons.  There are plenty of books on green cleaning as well as websites.  The next time you smell stuff burning in your oven why not try some green oven cleaning?

Does your oven look worse for the wear? Clean up its act, since ovens caked with last month’s casserole drippings cook less efficiently. Just opt for a cleaner that works without caustic ingredients and without you having to fire up the self-cleaning option, which uses a ton of energy. Sizzlin’.
The Benefits

  • A richer self-image. On average, using the 900-degree self-cleaning function burns about 200 kilowatt hours of power (often from coal plants) per household per year, or about $25.
  • It’s not such a disaster for your body. Nontoxic cleaning products and a little old-fashioned scrubbing get the job done right without abrasive chems such as butane (a potential carcinogen) and sodium hydroxide (a toxin to the nervous system).
  • A planet that isn’t a total wreck. Less energy use + fewer harmful chemicals = a win-win equation for the earth.

Personally Speaking

Jenifer, our resident oven cleaner tester, figured it was time to clean her oven after she got smoked out of her apartment trying to roast some veggies. All of these options degreased, but she did have to work her scrubbing muscles quite a bit.

Wanna Try?

  • Restore the Earth Grill & Oven Cleaner – spray it on to cut grease and soot using botanical-based ingredients such as coconut and soy oils; use steel wool as a scrubber for the full effect ($9/22 ounces).
  • Earth Friendly Products Orange Plus Complete – orange solvents in a superconcentrated liquid, so you get more for your money ($8/16 ounces).
  • DIY Bite: Mix 1 cup of white distilled vinegar, 2 cups of hot water, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and a few drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle, shake it up, and you’ve got yourself a cheap, easy oven cleanser (though it takes a lot more elbow grease than the above options).
  • If you must use the self-cleaning feature, try not to use it more than a couple times a year, and fire it up after you’ve been cooking to make use of heat already lingering in the oven. Once it’s sparkling, maintain it by pouring salt on new spills and rubbing them away while the oven’s still warm.