We’re guessing you don’t think about your oven all that much. (Unless you’re panicking that you think you left it on, in which case, see number 10 on this list.) Maybe you get annoyed by spills in your fridge? Or the lack of usable space in your freezer? Or that your dishwasher isn’t quite getting dishes clean? Of all the appliances in our kitchens, the oven is the steady, most reliable one. That’s not to say it deserves to be ignored, though — it does need to be cleaned, checked in on, and loved.
Here are the 10 best things you can do to make your oven cleaner and, well, just better.
1. Let a paste of baking soda and vinegar do all the scrubbing for you.
Scrubbing an oven (or anything, really) is no one’s idea of a good time. All that baked-on, burnt stuff! The awkward angles! Ugh! Because you should almost never hit your oven’s self-cleaning function, we’ve come up with a way to clean your oven that’s almost just as easy. You’ll want to coat your oven with a paste of baking soda and vinegar. And then let it sit for at least 12 hours. Then, all you have to do is wipe up the paste and loosened bits of food.
Get the steps: How To Clean an Oven with Baking Soda and Vinegar
2. Or grab a power drill.
Now THIS is fun. Harness the power of a battery-operated drill and it’ll do all the scrubbing for you! You can pick up the cleaning attachments here.
Read more: I Cleaned My Oven with a Power Drill and I’ll Never Go Back
3. Or try the $5 cleaner that Amazon shoppers are obsessed with.
Sometimes a good review from Amazon shoppers can be just as meaningful as a product recommendation from a friend you trust. Case in point? The fact that so many Amazon shoppers are obsessed with this Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner. It’s the bestselling oven cleaner on the site and also does most of the work for you.
Read more: Amazon Shoppers Are Obsessed with This $5 Oven Cleaner
4. Use this magical cleaner on the door.
One of our favorite writers at Kitchn had quite the saga while figuring out the best way to clean her oven. And the door was the hardest part. She eventually tried something from Norwex, a cleaning company that sells its products through a network of consultants, and got the results she was looking for.
Read more: The Only Way I Was Able to Clean My Greasy Oven Door
5. Give your racks a bath.
If you have a bathtub and dishwasher detergent (either liquid or powdered) you can easily have your oven racks clean themselves. Just be sure to put a towel down in the tub first, so that the racks don’t scratch the surface.
See the steps: How To Clean Oven Racks in the Bathtub
6. Wipe down the grates and stovetop.
The inside of your oven can be good as new, but it’s the stovetop that you have to look at day in and day out — whether you’re cooking something or you’re just popping into the kitchen to make some coffee. Cleaning your enameled cast iron burners or a glass stovetop is also, you guessed it, not super hard!
See the Steps
How To Clean Enameled Cast Iron Stove Grates
How To Clean a Glass Stovetop
7. DIY some burner covers to add counter space.
If you have limited counter space, you’ll see the need for this DIY project. We’ve got the steps to show you how to build burner covers, which you can use as extra work surfaces during your meal prep.
Read more: How To Build Burner Covers and Double the Counter Space in Your Tiny Kitchen
8. Skip the oven thermometer.
This one’s gonna be a little controversial but our gear pro says you really shouldn’t use an oven thermometer. Instead, she suggests really getting to know your oven (play around with a boxed cake mix or three!), so you can get a feel for things.
Read more: Why You Should Throw Out Your Oven Thermometer
9. Get a solution for all those crumbs.
You know how that space between your oven and your counter is just a magnet for errant crumbs? You can keep them out of that gap if you install this $7 guard.
Read more: The $7 Must-Have That’ll Help Keep Your Kitchen Crumb-Free
10. Start taking pictures of the knobs or display.
We’ve all been there — on the way to the airport and you can’t remember whether or not you turned off the oven. Maybe you turned it on by accident? Get in the habit of taking a picture before you leave for a trip and you’ll have proof to settle your nerves while you’re sitting on the beach.
Read more: The Single Best Thing You Can Do Before Going on Vacation
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