How often do you clean your oven? Chances are, you don’t clean it enough! Ovens are among the most-used kitchen appliances and quickly get covered in grime. Cleaning an oven is a tedious task and it is hard to get an oven completely spotless, which is why many homeowners put the task off. Eventually, however, there will come a time where you can no longer avoid cleaning your oven.
Here are some signs that it is time to get scrubbing.
One of the first indications that your oven needs cleaned is that you’ll begin seeing visible black grime on your oven racks or on the bottom of your oven. This grime is usually a result of food bubbling out of pans and/or grease. If you ignore this grime, it will only get worse. Over time, the grime will begin to accumulate into small piles at the bottom of your oven. It may even spread onto your oven door. Eventually, it will reach the point where you’re no longer able to see into your oven because of the grime.
Burning food is an unpleasant smell. Burning grime is an even worse smell. When grime begins to accumulate in your oven, it gets heated up over and over again. Eventually, this will result in an unpleasant odor every time that you turn your oven on. This smell is an indication that bacteria could be growing within your oven. If you ignore these smells, eventually the smell will linger even when your oven isn’t in use. So if you notice a smell in your kitchen that isn’t coming from your trash can or your fridge, your oven could be the culprit.
Food tastes funny
Grime doesn’t taste any better than it smells. If you continue to cook in an oven that is caked in grime, eventually some of those fumes will infuse into your food, which will leave your food tasting weird. Even the best tasting dishes will develop a foul taste if they are cooked in an oven of grime. And not only does this food taste bad, but it could also be hazardous to your health.
Smoke is never a good sign. If you notice that your oven is smoking and your food doesn’t appear to be on fire, the smoke is likely coming from the grime within your oven. Sometimes when this grime heats up, it will begin to burn, which results in smoke. This smoke will often have an odor and will make your food taste weird. If your oven is smoking, you’ll likely experience all of the other problems mentioned above.
Not working properly
Finally, an oven that has been neglected may stop working properly. If you notice that your oven no longer preheats as quickly as it once did, it could be because it is in desperate need of a cleaning.
What to do with a dirty oven
If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, it is time to begin cleaning. Once enough dirt and grime accumulate in your oven, your only option to get it completely spotless is to do a deep oven clean. A professional can help you with this process, but you can also do it on your own.
Avoid using chemical cleaners. Instead, use a homemade cleaning solution. Simply pour a generous amount of baking soda on the grime, spray vinegar over the baking soda, and allow the baking soda to sit overnight. You will notice the baking soda bubbling, which is completely normal. The next day, use a sponge to wipe up the baking soda. The grime should also come up. Once you have cleaned up the majority of the baking soda and grime, use water and a rag to finish cleaning your oven.
Once you have your oven free from grime, there are certain preventative measures you can take to help keep your oven clean. Whenever you are cooking a dish that is in danger of bubbling over, put a cooking sheet under the dish. The cooking sheet should catch the majority of the mess. You can also put a layer or two of aluminum foil at the bottom of your oven. Avoid wrapping the bottom racks in the foil because this can be a fire hazard. Instead, lightly lay the foil down and replace it as needed.
If your kitchen is filled with funny smells and smoke whenever you turn your oven on, it is time to clean your oven! While it is a tedious task, the outcome of a clean oven is worth it. Remember, a clean home is a happy home.