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Get Ready for Holiday Cooking with These Oven-Cleaning Tips

by Olly Mason

a man cleans his oven

'Tis the season to give your oven a good scrub? Cleaning your oven before the holidays is a classic case of "do it now or regret it later." We know, there’s nothing more off-putting than being told to do something that’s already not-so-desirable. However, setting aside enough time to clean your oven frees up time you’ll need for cooking when it’s time to throw down in the kitchen.

Before you begin, make sure to prepare a safe working environment by running through this quick checklist:

  • Make sure your oven has enough ventilation when using a store-bought oven cleaner
  • Avoid food particles catching flame with a proper oven wipe down
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy when using your oven’s self-cleaning cycle
  • Keep children and pets away from the hot oven door during the self-cleaning cycle
  • When manually cleaning, turn off the electric power or gas supply

Santa’s Little Oven-Cleaning Helper

Self-cleaning oven cycles aren’t the newest feature ovens have to offer, but the convenience of letting your oven do the hard work for you is a desirable incentive for both the busy and the practical home cook. Not a lot goes into it: Simply select the cycle, and it runs and shuts off automatically. With that said, there are some general rules when running your oven’s self-cleaning cycle.

  • Do not use chemicals or cleaners; they will corrode your oven’s special enamel surface
  • If your oven has plastic knobs, remove them to avoid melting
  • Plan enough time; depending on the oven, it can take up to six hours for the self-cleaning cycle to finish cooling before it is able to operate again
  • Properly ventilate your kitchen
  • Thoroughly wipe ashes clean at the end of the cycle

Give Your Oven a Clean Coat for the Holidays

If you’re concerned with running a 900-degree oven around children buzzing with holiday cheer, you can still properly clean your oven with items you already have in your pantry. Mix together baking soda, water, a modest amount of dish soap and vinegar until it forms a paste. You’ll be using a lot of this mixture, so it’s a good idea to prepare it in the largest container available.

Once you’ve reached a paste-like consistency, coat the mixture on your oven walls, floor, ceiling and door. If you have a gas oven, make sure to avoid the vent holes at the bottom (you can line with aluminum foil for extra insurance). Then, leave overnight and wipe off in the morning.

Depending on how often you clean your oven, you might find this can take a few tries to get a sparkly finish. We recommend performing a trial run a few days before your holiday cooking and following up as necessary.

Store-bought oven cleaners are still a convenient option if your hands are tied with all the holiday prepping. However, certain chemicals can be harmful to your oven’s interior coating or heating element. Make sure to consult with your oven’s manual to be sure you’re using the right kind of cleaner.

person smearing baking soda paste into their oven for cleaning

Dazzling Oven Racks

While it’s not the same as hearing silver bells, there is something quite satisfying and special about opening your oven door and catching the glint from sparkly clean oven racks. This is how to clean your oven racks:

  1. Remove the oven racks
  2. Place in your kitchen sink or a large basin
  3. Shower in homemade oven cleaner or spray with store-bought oven cleaner
  4. Leave overnight
  5. Scrub with a brush or scour pad
  6. Place back in the oven

person in rubber gloves cleaning their oven racks

Don’t Settle for a Frosty Oven Window

The holidays are for baking cookies and sweets, and anyone who’s stood in front of an oven watching holiday treats bake is familiar with how grimy an oven’s glass panel can become. Scrub as you may, the inside of your oven window is still stained by specks of grease. Here’s how to clean the glass in your oven door:

  1. Open your oven door and locate the screws holding the glass panel in place
  2. Depending on your oven, use a hex screwdriver or Phillips screwdriver to take apart the door panel
  3. Once revealed, carefully slide the glass panel out
  4. Gently place on a towel and liberally coat with either a homemade cleaner or store-bought cleaner, keeping proper ventilation in mind
  5. Scrub thoroughly with a scouring pad; use a plastic knife to gently release caked on messes
  6. Dry the glass
  7. Slide back into door panel
  8. Replace the screws

a hand wipes grease buildup off an oven door

Impressive holiday meals begin in an oven you’re proud to present to family and guests. For an impression that lasts even longer, shop for a new oven in our appliances catalog. We are your trusted provider for reliable ovens and ranges that keep the holiday traditions alive and fuss-free. Shop today or give us a call!