Friday, September 7, 2012

Non-toxic oven cleaning

This last week, I've been deep cleaning my kitchen.  I was inspired by A Bowl Full of Lemons who has a kitchen challenge going on.  I'm not really taking part of that challenge, but after reading her post about her beautifully organized and clean kitchen, I woke up the next day and scrubbed my floors.  I'm talking on my knees, scrubbing, and sweating, but in the end, it was so worth it.  My floor needed it and the family was pretty impressed.  Points for the mama!  The next day I rearranged and organized the cupboards and counters; then the next day I cleaned my oven and microwave.  That's what this post is all about- cleaning your oven using a non-toxic method.  I love when I'm inspired to clean, and so does my family.

Look at those floors!



When it comes to cleaning the oven, I know that most of you have opted to use your self-cleaning feature.  I have a new oven with the same feature, but I have two problems when it comes to pushing that button.


Problems #1.   We have a bird.  His name is Pumpkin because he was born late in the Fall.  Cute, right?  Well, don't be fooled.  We call him Poop-kin because, you know, birds are pretty messy.  He was a Christmas gift for our oldest daughter who begged us for a bird for about 2 years.  She loves birds.  Pumpkin loves her and hates the rest of us.  I don't hold a grudge though.  We buy him food, whistle to him, and speak sweetly to him.  He returns our affections with his beautiful bird singing (when my daughter is around), but it's quickly followed by hissing and trying to bite if we get to close.  Birds are a one person pet...so we've learned.  Anyways, the first thing we were told after getting Pumpkin was don't use the self-cleaning function on the oven with the bird in the house.  Hundred of birds die each year after breathing in the fumes from ovens that are self-cleaning.  Very sad.  Their little feathered bodies just can't handle it.  Here's what you find on an Avian website.

Do not run the self-cleaning cycle on ovens when birds are around. Self-cleaning ovens are lined with PTFE (Teflon) and reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit during the self-cleaning cycle and emit gasses into the air that kill birds rather quickly.


Problem #2.  So if the self-cleaning cycle is toxic for birds, couldn't it be toxic for humans?  YES.  A big fat YES.  Self cleaning ovens are lined with Telfon, created by the Dupont company- a company whose employees have had their share of health problems.  No wonder.  When Teflon is heated up, especially when we're talking 900 degrees F. it emits gasses into the air.  These gases are carcinogens and those toxins are not easily flushed out of our systems. By 2015, the major chemical in Teflon (PTFE) will be phased out due to new standards, but not until then. 
 (For more information, I read a great post from Mommy Footprints
about the harmful effects of the self cleaning cycle on humans.)



So don't use the self-cleaning cycle on the oven.  It's bad, bad, bad for your pets, kids, and you!  Today, I'll show you how I EASILY got my oven clean.  It was by trial and error, but I figured out a really good formula that I will use every time from now on.  First the before pictures, and please don't judge me.  I use my oven a lot during the winter and since we're coming upon that time of year again soon, I knew it was time to clean this baby.



But wait...there's more!



Ok, so you get the picture.  Pretty gross, and that's just from 1 year.  We are a well fed family obviously.  You want to see the afters? I really can't believe the results myself.  This was all done with my own non-toxic, home made cleaner.







And really, there' wasn't hours of scrubbing.  So here's what I did.  When you google how to clean your ovens naturally or search on blogs and Pinterest, everyone says to clean your oven using just baking soda and water.  You're supposed to make a paste combing the two and let it sit for 15 minutes up to 1 hour.  Everyone says this works.  I tried it.  It doesn't.  Well, it does if you want to scrub and scrub and scrub.  I don't want to do that.

Cleaning using baking soda and water.  It doesn't work that well.

Here's the baking soda and water method.  I let it sit for about 30 minutes.  When I went to "lightly" scrub it off, the oven door was still yellow from several dinners many moons ago.


You can see from these pictures that I actually broke through the grease on the glass door, but I really had to scrub to get it off.  I sat there for a moment thinking this isn't working...at all.  I don't want to spent the day cleaning an oven door.  What can cut through this grease? And the answer came quickly- Dawn Dish Soap.  I poured a little bit on, sprayed some water on the glass to mix it in with the baking soda and let it sit another 15 minutes.  It worked.



Dawn is known to "cut the grease".  I've unfortunately seen the effects of a few oil spills in my day and we've all seen pictures of those sweet innocent animals covered in black goo.  They bathe them in Dawn to get through all that oil.   So, if it works for them, it can work here!  And it did!  The problem was that I didn't do the rest of the oven.  So the next day, I came up with this method of cleaning the oven.
Here's what you'll need:

1 and 1/2 cups of baking soda
1/4 cup of Dawn Dish soap
Water
Spray bottle of water
Towels


Mix the baking soda and Dawn dish soap.  Add just enough water to make a liquid paste, kind of like blue icing.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture.  I don't know what happened here.  I used a sponge paint brush to get my mixture all over the inside of my oven.  It was easy to "paint" it on instead of using a spoon.


Here it is;  all covered in my home made oven cleaner.  Now the easy part.  Let it sit there for hours, over night if you want.  A self-cleaning oven has a cycle of about 5 hours, so there's really no difference except this won't hurt you.  The secret here is to spray it with water every few hours.  Baking soda has a tendency to "cake" so you want to get the soda back to a liquid-like form.  I sprayed mine twice then went to bed,  woke up, sprayed with water again, then let it sit another hour.  I used the scrubby side of a sponge to scrub the oven.  It gets really foamy, so you'll have to clean your sponge a few times.

Those gross food spots all over the oven, literally scrub off pretty easily.  It won't be perfect or look brand new, but I liked my results.  Once you've cleaned an area to your satisfaction, wipe off the cleaning solution with a dry towel.  It will be easier than adding water and trying to wipe it off with your sponge.  It just gets to soapy in there.  


Once my oven was cleaned, I turned it on to 350 degrees (F) for about ten minutes.  This was to make sure I got all the solution out.  It will cake up if you have extra and you can just wipe that off once it cools down.

Before

After

So there you have it.  I'm thrilled with my results!  I have a clean oven ready to be used this winter!

Tomorrow, I'll show you a quick and easy way to get your microwave clean.  Have a great weekend.

Blessings,
Lisa

I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style

No Minimalist Here
The Shabby Creek Cottage

Saved by Love Creations 
Miss Mustard See

Funky Junk Interiors
Coastal Charm 

Restore Interiors
Tip 
Junkie


TDC Before and After

66 comments:

  1. Lisa, this is fabulous, I have to try it on my next day off.

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    1. Thanks, throw it on and enjoy your day off.

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  2. Fabulous idea. I love it. I will definitely give it a try. Hugs, Marty

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  3. I also read that Dawn is good to bathe your dog and cats with as it kills fleas. I have not tried this as I don't have pets. Just thought I would pass this on..vera

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    Replies
    1. I didn't know that! Thanks for the tip.
      Blessings,

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    2. Dawn is not something you should bathe your pet with. It is best to use a shampoo made for dogs. They are designed to keep their ph balance. Dogs also shouldn't be bathed that often. It strips the fur of oils needed for healthy skin and fur. The best flea prevention is to use a product like fronline.

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    3. No u most certainly can use dawn dish soap to bath your pets, just use basic non-scented and bleach free. My vet told me to use it and u can use head and shoulders if they have dry flakey skin which can make them scratch a lot.

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  4. baking soda and water works for me, maybe it's what the gunk is that affects how much scrubbing is needed? I will try with Dawn next time to see if it's a lot easier. Thanks for the head's up!

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    1. Carrie, I have tried the baking soda and water mix a few times on my ovens and bake ware. It works if I scrub really, really hard but I find myself sweating and my arms sore the next day. Maybe I'm weak? This stuff was a lot easier.

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  5. I am so impressed! I had a chemical injury a few years back and I now can't handle most chemical cleaning solutions, this cleaning trick is awesome!!!

    I love the detailed pictures (before & after) and all the comments.
    Thank you!
    Debbie

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm sorry about the chemical injury. I can't handle chemical cleaning solutions either, that's why I make most of cleaning solutions. Hope this helps you.

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  6. I need this! I'm so glad you are sharing. My oven needs a cleaning ASAP, and I have all these things on hand.

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  7. I am totally trying this!! I tried the baking soda paste method too and it didn't work for me either so this has me excited about a new method. :-) Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday!
    Vanessa

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    Replies
    1. So much easier than the baking soda paste! Thanks for hosting, Vanessa.
      Blessings.

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  8. I'm going to give this a try!
    But, how did you get between the
    glass on the door? I've broken two
    oven doors trying to take the glass
    apart to get in between? Also having
    two birds I don't use the self cleaning
    feature.. it also uses too much energy
    to get to that 900' and hot!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Sandy

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    Replies
    1. Sandy, I didn't take the glass doors off. I didn't know that was a possibility. I just cleaned the glass from the inside of the door and wipe them on the outside. Sorry, I have no idea how to clean in between.

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  9. perfect. it's amazing that baking soda, dawn and water really can solve almost all cleaning problems. Are gas ovens the same as electric as far as self-clean?

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    Replies
    1. Everything I've read about self cleaning ovens, whether gas or electric, is negative when it comes to the toxins released by the Teflon as it's heated. Hope this answers your questions.

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    2. I did it today and I didn't even need to leave the mixture on for very long! thanks for the great self-cleaning tips, I will never use or buy them again

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  10. Your oven is pretty clean compared to mine.
    I am definitely going to try this.

    Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I've had some pretty dirty ovens. This method should work on the worst of them, though.
      Blessings.

      Delete
  11. I sooooo need this information. I will be cleaning my oven this week-THANKS:)
    If you have a chance, I would be super excited if you linked up at my party going on right now (there is a giveaway too!)
    xxx
    Kim
    http://too-much-time.com/2012/09/get-schooled-saturday-40-shabby-apple-giveaway.html

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  12. What an amazing difference Lisa! Thanks for sharing that - I didn't know it was so dangerous to use the self- cleaning option!
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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  13. I had NO idea about the self cleaning oven! Our oven now doesn't have that option but we're moving soon and want to clean it so I'm going to try your magical recipe to leave our landlord with a pretty oven, lol

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    Replies
    1. How nice of you! The good thing is that it won't be too much trouble...hopefully :-)

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  14. Going to clean my oven right now....(and I NEVER clean my oven!)

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    Replies
    1. Too funny! You can see from my pictures, I never clean my oven either :-)

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  15. Thank you for figuring the recipe and passing it along. With two little kiddos I definitely want something non-toxic! Thanks for linking up to our Pretty Things Party. Hope to see you back next week!

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  16. I've been comtemplating cleaning my oven, with this tip it may move up on my list of things to do. Thanks! Oh and yes, Dawn does kill fleas on animals but it dries out their coats. I usually bath them with Dawn then rewash with an oatmeal bath.

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  17. GREAT tips, Lisa! I'm definitely going to try your recipe the next time I need to clean my oven! Thanks!

    xoxo laurie

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  18. I never realized that using the self cleaning option on your stove is so bad for you. I've pinned this and will give it a try the next time I clean my stove! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathy. And thanks for hosting every week!
      Blessings.

      Delete
  19. Great post, I am going to try that!

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  20. Thank, thank you! I have heard about the self cleaning oven being bad for birds, and always wondered about how safe it was for us, hence I have used our self cleaning oven four times in the 9 years we have had them. I know, gross....
    Reason? The first time it melted the "therma foil" cabinet beneath a tad, then it killed the microwave (combo)....I was told, oh no that can't be it, well, it did it again...so we live with no microwave. And each time I have run it, I sneeze...hummmmm
    This will be fabulous and just in time for Winter cooking!
    Thank you! I may share this on my blog when I use it!
    Nancy
    http://wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Yes, please share it with your followers. Healthy is always better.

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  21. You are featured this week on Busy Monday! Stop by this afternoon to grab a featured button from the button box. Pinned! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday and hope to see more great ideas soon!

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    1. Thanks Charlene! I honored to be featured on your blog!

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  22. I just love this! I've been finding so many ways to use baking soda to clean but never thought to use it in the oven... and since I just said to myself I really need to clean my oven {we have a bird too} I might have to give this a try too! I've used baking soda and lemon juice lately to clean the potty and kitchen sink! That works great and deodorized all those stinky smells!
    xoxo
    Kim
    ps, new follower!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kimberly! I've never used lemon juice to clean so I'll have to give that a try. Blessed to have you as a new follower!

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  23. Lemons really help in many ways. For it's not only used in drinks but now, it is also stain remover in oven. Amazing!

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  24. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about oven cleaning in your area. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about carpet cleaning. Keep it up! This is a good read. You have such an interesting and informative page.



    Oven Cleaning




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  25. OH! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have a self cleaning oven and I hate the feature. It stinks up the house and smokes it up. Your dirty oven looked cleaner than mine :) I am going to try this right now because I desperately need to do mine. I love dawn liquid. I use it to clean my showers also. Happy New Year and God bless you. BTW I love your blog!

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  26. I used this last night after a messy ham incident and it is fantastic! Thanks so much for doing the trial and error phase for me. I have two boys and two cats so anything I can use that isn't hazardous to them is a big big big plus. Thank you!!!

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  27. When making use of a baking soda mixture to cleanse the glass window people ought to meticulously implement a tiny quantity of the answer to the spot and use a damp towel to take away filth fairly than rinsing with a damp sponge or a spray bottle. The oven doorway ought to be opened to a fully flat position to stop any liquid from leaking in between the glass panels.



    Oven Cleaning Gold Coast
    BBQ Cleaning Gold Coast

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  28. Make the paste with out dish soap and then spread in your oven. Then spray it with VINEGAR! :)this worked wonders for me :)

    Just thought you might wanna try
    chloe

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  29. Hi Lewisville,
    I have just been searching for info about this topic for a while and yours is the best I have found out so far.


    wilson
    steam cleaning

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  30. Thanks for this tutorial. I tried it when I first read about it on your blog a few months ago. The good news is that it worked great!!! The bad news is that ever since I cleaned it this way, even though I wiped it out thoroughly with wet towels, it continues to drop the powdery baking soda into the oven and I continue to wipe it up as it appears. Did you have any issues with that?? Even with this issue, I would still choose to clean my oven again this way.....very effective:)

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    1. I have cleaned up the baking soda with every use of the oven too. I use a water bottle to spray it down and wipe up the excess. One reader said vinegar works well for this problem, so I'll be implementing a spray down of the oven with vinegar when I'm done cleaning it.
      Thanks for stopping by and reading.
      Blessings,
      Lisa

      Delete
  31. I would like to see more cleaning tips without Dawn dish soap. One of the main reasons I look up green cleaning, is because I horribly allergic to anything without natural ingredients.

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  32. When I found this post, I was in the middle of moving. I was very impressed. I also used steel wool pads to get the stubborn spots. Will definitely use again. Thanks! Smiles

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  33. This is so simple, thank you! I admit I've used oven cleaner solihull profession cleaners in the past but now my wife is breast-feeding I really want to use natural ingredients. Thanks again - I'm off to make some before and after photos :D

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  34. Cleansing a range is amongst the almost all tedious as well as time-consuming jobs, in line with almost all of people. A different reason will be in which clean-up ranges require using unpleasant compound solutions.
    Oven Cleaners brisbane

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  35. It always pleasanty surprises me at how simple seemingly impossible things can be made! I have no shame in admitting I'm awful at cleaning ovens, and although I use bicarb, vinegar, lemons, etc throughout my home, I just never fancied doing the cooker myself! I have a house for my family and a small flat in birmingham that I rent to two students and I don't know which gets worse, ours or theirs! In the past I've used oven cleaner kent and oven cleaner birmingham and I've always loved seeing the clean cooker, but with posts like this it gives me the confidence to go ahead and have a go myself... wish me luck! :)

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  36. Been looking for something like this. As a landlord of a few properties I've always used two fantastic cleaning companies, oven cleaning kent and oven cleaning birmingham, but at home I fancied trying something myself and seeing how it went. Thanks for the advice!

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  37. In the midst of trying this. One thing I realized a little too late is clean up is much much easier if you let everything dry and then scoop out the baking soda as best you can. If you get it super wet it activates the dish soap as is quite a bear to get out.

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    1. I'm the same commenter as above. Now that I'm done-ish the next time I clean the oven I'm going to try using vinegar instead of Dawn to make the paste or I would suggest using much less dish soap. Getting all that soap out was/is a major PITA. Every time I thought I got it all I'd let it dry and there'd be a film of soap on everything. I know it was the soap because wetting it made suds. Also I managed to get the paste in every crack in the oven. Still trying to figure out how to remove it.

      Overall I'd say it worked well but no happy with how long it's taking to remove all the goo.

      My oven is on the floor so reaching in was a huge hassle. I finally removed my oven door. This made getting to the back a lot easier but before you do that triple check you know how to remove and reassemble. I'm no expert so take the door removal with a word of caution.

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  38. Thanks for the information. Our cooker recently died a sorry death (right before Christmas, I know! *weep*). We were kindly given an old second hand one from a friend of a friend - it has apparently been in the garage a while but seems to work fine. However, it's filthy! With my own cookers in the past I've used oven cleaning solihull and oven cleaning sheffield, but they do such a good job it seems a shame to waste money on an oven I'm only going to use until new year in the sales, so this blog has been very helpful indeed thanks... I don't want my turkey tasting of nasty chemicals! ;) Thanks again, have a great Christmas :) x

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    1. Dione, what's the chances??? this might be helpful to me as I am located in Sheffield. I think I will give oven cleaning sheffield a bell tomorrow as my oven is in a dire need of a really good DEEP CLEAN!

      I am ashamed to say but, my oven is far worse than the pictures posted on this blog and I just cannot manage it :(

      Delete
  39. Lisa,
    I love your blog! Cleaning my oven is on my procrastination list, but I will definitely try your method. My favorite dish soap is Dawn. I tried your shower cleaning formula and it does work. I still use my bleach ajax as a scouring agent for the tub but the vinegar with Dawn worked great. Keep up the great work on you blog. I appreciate it! From a SoCal girl!

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