Let’s face it. We’ve all been confronted with a dreaded filthy oven. It gets to a point where you can’t put it off any longer. It’s time to get rid of the accumulated muck and grime. Oven cleaning typically entails the use of harsh chemicals coupled with immense elbow grease. You get your gloves on, scrub until you’re knackered, and can longer feel your arms.
Fortunately, our in-depth guide offers a simpler solution by walking you through how to steam clean oven. Furthermore, you have free rein to choose the technique that’s best suited for your oven.
Why Should You Steam Clean Your Oven?
Ovens get quite filthy quickly. Cakes and casseroles boil over, spillage occurs on the way out. In a nutshell, accidents happen. Resultantly, the only thing you can do is watch the spillage burn to a crisp. That’s because wiping down the oven means waiting for it to cool completely.
By then, you’ve moved on to other activities. Meanwhile, fallen food and splatter remains exactly where you left it, and it’s a no-brainer that you can’t clean up the mess without a fight.
For this reason, it doesn’t come as a surprise that generic oven cleaning agents are loaded with harsh chemicals. Direct contact with or inhaling these products can result in burns which is why you’re advised to wear rubber gloves and a mask.
Furthermore, reports indicate that oven scouring pads with lye lead to corrosive repercussions. Toxicity from direct contact with oven cleaners is reported.
Nevertheless, the nature of the cleaning job makes it almost impossible to keep a safe distance.
After all, you need to reach into the oven and perform a thorough scrub to get it spick and span, which means further exposure. In comparison, steam cleaning is low-effort, low maintenance, and a safer alternative to harsh chemicals.
How to Steam Clean Ovens
Here are a few techniques of how to steam clean ovens.
1. Use Self Clean Steam
Take a peek at your oven, keeping your eyes peeled for an option that reads, ‘steam clean’ on the control panel. If so, that means your oven can steam clean itself. Usually, there’s minimal intervention required on your behalf when you have a self cleaning oven.
Once you add water into your self cleaning oven and activate the steam cleaning function, you’re good to go. It’s worth keeping in mind that the quantity of water and instructions are based on the particular model.
2. Steam Clean With Ammonia or Vinegar
For most people, ammonia is the perfect solution for handling big and small cleaning tasks. If you choose to use ammonia to steam clean your oven, follow the steps below.
Set your oven to the lowest temperature before turning it on.
Fill a pot or kettle with water and boil it as you preheat your oven. Remember, you’ll need an adequate amount of water for your largest oven-friendly pan or dish.
Insert a Big Container
Once you preheat the oven, place the oven-friendly container, such as a casserole dish, on the bottom rack.
Pour the Boiling Water
Carefully pour the boiling water into the container and fill it to the brim. Do so while the container is inside the oven to prevent spillage. Push the rack back into the oven.
Turn Off the Oven
Switch off the oven as heat is no longer required.
Pick another oven-friendly bowl or container from your cabinet and place it on the top rack of your oven. Pour up to 1 cup of concentrated ammonia into it and push the rack back inside.
Shut the Door
Close the door of your oven and allow the steamy ammonia to work its magic overnight.
Air the Oven
The following morning, allow your oven to air for 30 minutes or more to get rid of the powerful stench of ammonia. We also recommend quarantining the kitchen to avoid anyone inhaling the toxic fumes.
Wipe Down the Gunk
Wear a pair of rubber gloves and dilute the bowl of ammonia with water. Dunk a sponge into it and wipe down the surfaces of your oven to get rid of the gunk.
Dab a clean microfiber cloth or sponge into clean water and wipe down the surfaces of your oven to ensure no traces of ammonia (liquid or odor) are left behind.
Alternatively, if you gravitate more towards chemical-free cleaning, you can use white vinegar rather than ammonia. Vinegar is also acidic, which means it’ll get the job done just as effectively.
You can also try using baking soda to clean the oven. Sprinkle baking soda over the stains in your oven, spritz the baking soda with water, and let it sit for up to 20 minutes. Once the oven has cooled, you can wipe up the baking soda with a wet paper towel.
3. Use a Steam Cleaner
Let’s face it. Excellent steam cleaners such as the Vapamore MR-100 are handy devices that make tedious cleaning tasks a breeze. If you don’t own one, there’s the option of renting one from your local hardware store. Once you do so, follow the steps below to steam clean your oven.
Remove the Racks
Take out the racks in your oven to gain full access to easily maneuver with your steam cleaner.
Prepare the Steam Cleaner
To get your device ready for action, fill it with distilled or tap water and give it a few minutes to soar to 212°F or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Attach the Appropriate Accessory
If you have a scrub brush attachment on hand, here’s the perfect time to use it as it’s a lifesaver with neglected ovens.
Run the steam over the floor, walls, and ceiling of your oven, then wipe away the melted gunk and filthy water using paper towels, a sponge, or a rag.
Steam Is Your Holy Grail
With steam cleaning, getting your oven spick and span is no longer a punishment. You can reduce the frequency of cleaning by prevention. That entails layering the bottom rack of your oven with aluminum foil to catch spills.
Furthermore, exercise caution when removing soups and other foods from your oven and putting them in. It’s these small precautions that make all the difference in maintaining a clean oven for a while.