How to Clean an Oven the Easy Way

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Cleaning my oven is one of those jobs that often gets pushed aside, simply because I am so frequently USING it and don’t want to set aside the 4 hours to use the self-cleaning feature. Once I have a cheesy casserole or sugary, fruit cobbler bubble over into the bottom, though, there is nothing to do but MAKE the time. When it gets to that point, where the splatters and spills can no longer be denied, I have to dive in and clean things up. Peering inside at the baked on remnants of delicious dishes past, it can become apparent that my oven has gone well beyond the abilities of “self-cleaning”. lol Well, at least the glass has.

Actually, as someone old enough to remember pulling half my body into a cavernous oven and proceeding to scrub, scratch and scrape while my eyes watered, head got woozy and I became encrusted in toxic black sludge — self-cleaning ovens are nothing short of miraculous inventions!  I love them.  They save me time AND brain cells.  All the stuff that used to take hours to scrub away and left the skin peeling off my hands from cleaning chemicals, now just ends up as a manageable little pile of gray dust, to be swept away, at the end of the self cleaning cycle.  That being said, it really isn’t terribly effective on the glass.  You know, that little window, that lets you drool and anticipate as things are baking, without opening the oven door?  Yah, that one.  Well, the self cleaning cycle doesn’t clean it.  Splatters and grease bake on, turning hard and brown; and when the cleaning cycle is over — the splatters and grease? — still baked on and brown.  Ummm…fail.


There is one other issue with oven glass — that vent that runs across the top of the oven door.  Now, if I was in a contest, and to win, I had to splatter something off the top of my range, into the narrow louvered slots of that horizontal vent and allow it to drip down in between the two panes of glass that comprise my oven window — forGET about it!  There is no way I could pull that off.  However, in some mysterious miracle of physics and irony, there is ALWAYS something splattered and dripping between those panes of glass.  It makes me crazy!  How on earth do I do that?

How on earth do we manage to drip things inside there?
It’s a mystery.

So, every so often, I have to do something to get that glass sparkling, again.  Fortunately, it doesn’t require any awkward sort of stuffing myself into an appliance or asphyxiating with toxic fumes.  It costs only pennies, doesn’t damage the glass and isn’t difficult to do.  You won’t be needing any of that blue stuff in the spray bottle.  It’s no match for this cleaning job.  You need something tough, but that won’t scratch your glass while you’re scrubbing — Arm and Hammer baking soda.  My sister-in-law, Elaine, suggested baking soda to me, years ago, for cleaning the film off of windshields.  It worked like a dream and I have used it for tough glass cleaning jobs, ever since.

I love baking soda for cleaning tough glass stains.

It really is as simple as sprinkling some baking soda on a damp cloth and scrubbing the glass.  Use just enough water to keep the wash cloth moist.  You don’t want a lot of dripping and the soda works best when it’s more paste-like on the cloth.  See how quickly it starts to come clean?  Look at the difference in that one small area!

See the difference in the area I have cleaned?

Rinse your wash cloth, as needed, and apply more baking soda.  Once you have finished scrubbing the glass, rinse it with cool water and wipe away any remaining soda residue.  It really is that easy.

Spic and span. Now for those pesky drips between the panes.

Now to tackle the drips between the panes.  You’ll need a screwdriver, because you will take out the two screws at the top inside corners of your oven door.  Yes, that handy-dandy tool bag, as well as the screwdriver, is pink.  My tools used to disappear on a regular basis, never to be seen, again.  I’ve noticed that pink ones are almost always right where I left them.

Loosen the screws at the top inside of your oven door. (They probably are designed not to come all the way out. Just unscrew them and let them hang in the other half of the door until you’re finished.)

Here are a couple of “before shots”, once I got the screws out and the door sections separated.  There is usually a pane of glass in each section; and this being the first time I have disassembled my new oven door, I discovered that this model actually has three!  Just check your owner’s manual, if you’re not sure about your specific oven.

We’ll call this the bottom section. Baking soda is perfect in here, too.
This is the top section and yes, baking soda cleans this right up, as well.

Use the same method, scrubbing both pieces of glass with a damp cloth and baking soda, then rinsing with cool water.  For my oven, the glass in this top section has space behind it, as well.  Leaving no path unexplored, my mystery drips have even gotten on the back side.  I am able to slide it out of the metal track that holds it in place, clean it thoroughly, and slide it back into place.

I slid the pane of glass right back into the track.

Replace the two screws that hold your oven door sections together and you will have successfully polished your oven door window, inside and out, to glistening perfection!  See how pretty mine turned out?  You’ve gotta love how easy and budget-friendly that job was, using nothing but a damp cloth and a few pennies-worth of Arm and Hammer baking soda.

Now, I won’t miss a minute of watching delicious things baking!

Next thing on the to-do list?  It’s time to make a little pile of gray dust!  Think I’ll enjoy a glass of iced tea and see what you guys are doing on Facebook while I “work”.  Self-cleaning is an amazing concept and it can DEFINITELY handle the rest of this job!

Do you have a self-cleaning oven?  How do you keep the glass clean in yours?

Everybody needs a basic set of tools to keep their home in top running order. My pink tool bag is always close at hand for making quick and easy repairs and updates around the house and I can’t imagine trying to function without it.

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