Cleaning an oven can feel like a Sisyphean task. Given that ovens get a lot of use, it can seem like a waste of time to clean them when they're bound to get covered with grease and other debris almost immediately. However, cleaning the oven is an important part of housekeeping, and fortunately, numerous commercial cleaners can make the process easier. However, sometimes the solvent dries too quickly and you're stuck trying to remove the product that has dried onto the inside of the oven.
Oven Cleaner Stains
Most commercial oven cleaners are made out of chemicals that can dissolve grease, protein and oil. While this makes the task of cleaning an oven easier, it's not great for cooking when the food begins to take on the taste of the oven cleaner. Careful cleaning and following the product's directions can help avoid this.
Once you've applied oven cleaner to the interior of your stove, use a damp sponge to scrub the surfaces and wipe any grease and food particles from the inside. Once you've scrubbed and successfully removed the grime, rinse your sponge clean in fresh water.
Rinse all of the oven's surfaces thoroughly with cold water, at least twice, until all traces of the oven cleaner have been removed. This should take care of any lingering stains from dried oven cleaner and prevent your food from tasting like the product.
Types of Oven Cleaner
The most popular kind of oven cleaner is a spray that you can buy at commercial hardware stores. Many people wonder if the oven cleaner smell is dangerous, and because some brands may contain toxic fumes, it's advised to clean your oven in a well-ventilated area. Open windows and turn on a fan to keep the fumes from spreading through your home.
If you'd like to avoid using commercial oven cleaners, you can use nontoxic household ingredients to clean your oven and even remove dried-on oven cleaner stains. Baking soda, white vinegar, hot water, dish soap and abrasive agents like Bar Keepers Friend can each be employed to remove buildup inside your oven.
Spray the interior of the oven liberally with white vinegar. Then, apply baking soda or the nontoxic abrasive cleaning agent of your choice to a sponge and rub it into the vinegar-dampened walls until it begins to form a paste. Scrub in a circular motion, allowing the grit of the abrasive agent to remove grease buildup and leftover oven cleaner stains. Rinse thoroughly with cool, clear water.
Removing Oven Cleaner Stains From Other Materials
While oven cleaners can leave stains on the inside of your oven, they can do even more damage when they come into contact with other materials. Oven cleaner stains on wood should be treated as quickly as possible. Wipe the area with a soft cloth dipped in cool, clear water. Dry it immediately and polish it with a polishing agent that will help seal and protect the wood.
Getting oven cleaner stains on fabric can be tricky. For stains that are on fabrics like cotton or linen, soak the piece in cold water for about 20 minutes, agitating it gently so that the water flushes the surface of the stain. Then, launder it immediately.
For animal-based fabrics like leather and suede, create a sudsy bath of household cleanser and water. Apply only the suds to the affected area and immediately blot with a cloth. Repeat until the stains have dissolved. Gently dab with clear water and allow to dry.
Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience working in the home, design and interiors space.