How to clean your oven: 3 unusual hacks for a chemical-free clean

Charley Webb discusses her clean-out at her home

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Getting the job done is at the top of the agenda when you have a dirty, grime laden oven and harsh chemicals are pretty good at doing the trick. Trying out natural alternatives is a safer way to achieve that deep clean whilst avoiding corrosive chemicals and caustic fumes, but what are the best tried and tested solutions for an oven that looks just like new?

The dangers of chemical cleaners

Ditching harsh chemical cleaners is a no brainer if you suffer from the likes of asthma or contact dermatitis as the strong fumes can pollute the air in your home and irritate your skin.

Research conducted by Asthma UK and the London Doctor’s Clinic has found that the volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) found in cleaning products can trigger anything from skin reactions to fatal asthma attacks, with symptoms including:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose or throat
  • Shortness of breath, cough, wheeze
  • Nausea, headaches/migraine, dizziness, skin issues and allergic reactions

Not only are chemicals irritating to the respiratory system and skin but they can also be damaging to the environment and so can their plastic packaging.

Whilst there are several eco-friendly brands on the market which contain significantly reduced levels of VOCs and less plastic, the best way to go green when cleaning is by making your own natural solutions.

1. Steam

Cleaning your oven doesn’t have to be a time consuming, dreaded process with this ‘steam and leave’ method.

One of the most natural ways to clean your oven is to place an oven-safe pot or bowl filled with water inside to steam clean the dirt away.

Set your oven to 450 degrees for 20 to 60 minutes to loosen dirt and grease with the steam.

Turn off your oven and leave to cool before wiping away the condensation with a clean cloth or paper towel and watch the dirt lift off with it.

Why not add lemon?

The citric acid found in lemons is antibacterial and antiseptic, making it one of nature’s most versatile cleaning tools as it acts as a natural bleach.

These bright yellow fruits contain a lot of oil in the rind to help add shine to your appliances and of course, the fresh fragrant scent is not something to be missed.

Simply cut a few lemon slices and add to your bowl of water for a citrus steam clean.

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The fruity paste solution

Another natural home-cleaner for use on oven cleaning can be made of one cup of lemon juice, one tablespoon of cornstarch and one teaspoon of your regular dishwashing liquid soap.

In a saucepan, stir together the lemon juice and the cornstarch and heat the mixture until it starts to thicken.

Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature then stir in the washing up liquid.

Use a clean cloth and apply to the oven then scrub gently – applying more of it to stubborn areas and leaving to sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping clean.

Cream of Tartar

Bicarbonate of soda is not the only baking ingredient that can be used when cleaning.

Most commonly used to stabilise egg whites in recipes, cream of tartar is a great natural polish replacement for your oven.

Sprinkle on the inside of your oven and let it sit for 10 minutes with the door open.

Using a clean, wet cloth simply wipe away the cream of tartar to reveal a polished oven that looks brand new.

Tip:

Use a microfiber cloth when cleaning your home – whether it be your oven or sink, these rags are made up of millions of tiny fibres which have the ability to attract and trap dust, dirt and bacteria.

They also absorb fluids more effectively than conventional cotton cloths and mean you can ditch the cleaning products entirely by just adding water to microfiber and giving your surface a good scrub.

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