Cleaning the oven is something we tend to put off longer than any other chore in the house. Most ovens today are self-cleaning but it requires an awful lot of energy. The oven must burn full force for thirty minutes to an hour and even longer with some models.
Watching the power meter for a few seconds before and after switching on the self-cleaning oven will clearly demonstrate the power it takes to clean an oven this way. Besides, self-cleaning ovens don’t always do the job because they’re supposed to be used immediately after the oven has been soiled before it has a chance to get baked onto the surface.
If the oven has serious baked on stains, there are a number of products on the market such as Easy Off or Bake On. No top brand is particularly better than the other and there are sprays and brush-on liquids to choose from.
Regardless of the brand, caution needs to be used as they all contain harsh chemicals that could irritate lungs and sinuses. Anyone with breathing or sinus problems may want to consider a hot, soapy Brillo or SOS pad and a lot of elbow grease rather than an oven cleaner.
Of course, you can always hold your breath, spray or brush as much of the area as possible then hurry out of the room to breathe. Then take a deep breath and go back for more until it’s complete. This method is good for all areas where harsh chemicals need to be used.
The oven cleaner needs to soak for a few minutes anyway and once enough time has elapsed the fumes won’t be as bad. A facial mask won’t help much during the application as the chemicals would likely penetrate the mask but it would be handy for the second phase which is wiping the chemical off.
Allow the chemical to stand, following the directions on the oven cleaner then wipe it off with a damp cloth. The cloth will no doubt need to be thrown away so choose an old one.
It’s best to have a container of hot water beside the stove to clean the cloth after each wipe or fill the sink. Don’t use soap. The oven cleaner has detergent enough. If you do choose to use soap, wait until all of the residue has been completely wiped away and be sure to rinse thoroughly.
When the oven has been completely wiped down, empty the water and refill it with clean hot water. Wipe the oven down until you’re confident that all of the residue is gone else the oven will smoke as the remaining residue burns off.
If the electric coil wasn’t removed during cleaning, turn the oven on to burn off any of the chemical that might have dripped on it and let it burn off (about a minute or so). Do the same with the broiler. This will also burn off any other residue around the entire oven.
Lastly, when it looks as though all of the residue has burned off, turn the oven off and leave the door open to allow all of the fumes to escape until the oven has completely cooled down.