Oven Cleaning Using Bicarbonate of Soda

The hardest part of cleaning an oven is getting all that baked-on black stuff off the inside walls of the oven. It’s called carbon. Her are 8 easy steps to get the hard-stuck carbon off:

  1. Buy an empty spray bottle and some baking soda.
    You’ll find that baking soda is cheap especially if you buy in bulk.

2. Using a funnel, place 3 heaping teaspoons of baking soda into the spray bottle. If the baking soda clogs the funnel, unclog it with water.
Three heaped teaspoons of baking soda is enough for a large spray bottle (1L)
Be sure to buy an empty spray bottle. Bottles that previously contained window cleaning solution, or other substances, do not work very well. That’s what I hear.
One person, who wrote in, got their empty spray bottle at a flower shop. Years ago, I got my empty spray bottle at Costco. That was over 10 years ago.

3. Wash the baking soda into the spray bottle by running water into the funnel. Fill the bottle with water. After the bottle fills, you’ll notice undissolved baking soda that has settled at the bottom of the bottle.

4. Shake the spray bottle so that all the baking soda dissolves in the water.
Unless all the baking soda is fully dissolved, some of it gets left behind in the bottom of the bottle as a residue.

5. When the oven is cold, spray the baking soda and water solution on to the black stuff. Do this one or more times a day.

6. Use your oven as you normally would. Keep spraying wet baking soda on to the top and sides of the interior of the oven between meals.
Wet baking soda will break up the carbon sticking to the sides of the oven. Keep spraying baking soda on to the black stuff between meals until it is all gone.

Don’t worry about getting baking soda in your food. Baking soda is one of the prime ingredients of many recipes such as corn bread. It is safe to add it to your food should you do so inadvertently.

Using this technique, the black carbon that was stuck to the sides of your oven will flow to the floor of your oven and settle there as a black carbon powder that can be wiped away.

Your oven will look like a mess while this is in process. Choose a good time to do this.

  1. At your convenience, when the oven is cold, wipe your oven with a damp cloth.
    Eventually, you will have to wipe down your whole oven with a damp cloth. The black carbon and baking soda will will settle together on the bottom of your oven.  Both are easily removed with a damp cloth.

In theory, you will have to apply the spray bottle many times but you should only have to wipe down your oven once. Try not to wipe down the oven prematurely as this removes the active ingredient that makes the whole thing work – the baking soda.

Important! Let the baking soda accumulate so that it can do its job.

  1. Repeat, repeat, repeat until all the black carbon is gone.

This technique can be used on carbon that is baked on to casserole dishes as well.

Keep Spraying to Clean Oven

This technique is the thrifty person’s oven cleaner. You’ll notice that the main ingredient in many commercial oven cleaning products is baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate).

One disadvantage to this approach is that it takes time for the baking soda to chemically react with the carbon. Time and repeated applications of the spray bottle solution are your keys to success.

A clear advantage to this approach is that it is not very labour intensive. Just keep spraying the carbon stuck to the interior of the oven until it all flows to the bottom of the oven. Then wipe it all out with a damp cloth.

One more thing to consider: It takes a lot of baking soda to remove a lot of carbon. Be sure to apply a significant quantity of baking soda before giving up on the project.
Significant quantities of wet baking soda and the passage of time are your keys to success.
Remember! The baking soda does not react with the carbon unless it is wet.

On particularly difficult spots, you may want to dampen the baking soda in a bowl and apply it directly on these spots as a wet paste. If you do this, keep the baking soda wet for an extended period of time by coming back often and spraying it with your spray bottle.

If the accumulation of carbon is particularly heavy on the bottom of your oven, you can sprinkle baking soda on to the bottom as a dry powder and then dampen it with your spray bottle.

Oven Door Glass Window Warning

Be careful when cleaning the glass window on your oven door as it is possible to get baking soda between the panes of glass.  Once the baking soda runs streaks down the glass, it is nearly impossible to remove these white streaks unless someone qualified to do so disassembles the oven door and cleans up the baking soda that lies between the layers of glass.

The best solution, of course, is to not allow baking soda to penetrate the interior of the oven door. How do you avoid having this happen to you?

Look for the vents on the top of the oven door. These vents, or holes, allow air to escape the interior of the oven door as it heats up. Unfortunately, if you spray baking soda into these vents, it can also allow baking soda to deposit itself between the layers of glass of your oven door.

Your oven door then allows baking soda to run into the vents and down the interior surfaces of the glass window. Of course, you have to spray your oven door with quite a bit of water and baking soda to allow this to happen.

Clean Oven Door in the Horizontal Position

Something that should help you to avoid getting baking soda on the interior surface of your oven door window is to always clean the oven door in the horizontal position. When the oven door is all the way open, it is horizontal. When it is all the way closed, it is vertical.

Always clean the oven door in the fully open, laying down, horizontal position. In this position, it should be difficult or impossible for wet baking soda to run down the interior of the glass.

Use Baking Soda as an Oven Door Spot Remover
Besides cleaning the oven door in the horizontal position, you can use baking soda to spot remove carbon on the oven door. In other words, target specific spots rather than using the spray bottle on the whole door. Better yet, dispense with the spray bottle entirely when working on the oven door. With your fingers, use a barely wet baking soda paste to target remove every single black spot on your oven door.

Be sure to buy your spray bottle empty rather than using a spray bottle that is pre-filled.
Seems that prefilled spray bottles are very application specific and therefore cause problems.

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