I’ve decided this is to be the year when I really get a handle on homemade non-toxic cleaners of all kinds, by testing a bunch of recipes and tips to see what works.
I already use my citrus-vinegar spray as a general purpose cleaner, either diluted with water or neat, which I love. And I use homemade wool wash and sometimes use homemade general purpose laundry powder.
And I also use vinegar and bicarb soda for their many cleaning properties in various ways around the house, sometimes together, sometimes alone.
But there are so many other DIY cleaners that I’ve read about, which I’m sure would make my house that much nicer and cleaner if I were to use them.
Or would they?
Well, I have started testing.
Now, here is where I confess to what sort of a housekeeper I am. A lazy one. That does not mean I have all sorts of tips to, for instance, clean your oven without effort. No, it just means I don’t clean my oven.
Now long term readers may have picked up that I am home with the kids three days, and my husband is two days. So does he clean the oven on his days? No, I’m afraid not.
He generally does most of the laundry on his days, but clean the oven? I think not.
So, I had a good and filthy oven to test the oven cleaner tips on. In fact, a while ago I made a rhubarb pie which bubbled up and leaked onto the oven floor, and I forgot to clean it up before I turned the oven on the next time. Needless to say, blacker than black was hardly an exaggeration.
So, the standard advice for eco-cleaning your oven, is:
- Sprinkle liberally with water, then
- Sprinkle even more liberally with bicarb soda (also called baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate), so that the entire floor of the oven is white, then
- leave it over night.
- In the morning you can wipe it out easily (!?), and perhaps use a little eco-safe dishwashing liquid to give it a final wipe down.
I didn’t have quite enough bicarb, but I here is what it looked like when I’d sprinkled it in:
Did it wipe out easily? Well, the bicarb did, but was the oven magically cleaned under it? Not so much. I am, however, perfectly prepared to believe that a less filthy oven might have cleaned a bit more easily. I imagine this may clean off the grease, but baked on sugar is a different matter.
As it is, the oven floor is a lot cleaner than it was yesterday.
I am out of bicarb now, but when I get some more I will try it again, to find out if my now much cleaner oven will clean all the way with another go. I suspect it will still take quite some elbow grease….
Edited (2019) to add: I now prefer to recommend the Norwex enzyme based Oven & Grill cleaner (here are some before and after pics), though I also know some people like to use the (more all-purpose) Norwex cleaning paste. I find the cleaning paste, like bicarb soda, requires a bit more elbow grease, and a lot more clean up afterwards. But they all all options you can choose from in moving to the use of fewer harmful chemicals.
You can purchase the Oven & Grill Cleaner online from me, in Australia. Or book a party (online or in-home) to see it in action and get it with your host credit! If you would like to see it in action on YOUR oven, I can do an oven demo for you, if you are in or near Canberra, or if you are elsewhere in Australia or New Zealand, I can probably recommend a consultant for you.