Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oven Cleaning & Alynn's Turkey Tips

Well, I only finished two more kitchen cabinets today, but I did clean my desperately needed oven. My oven is self-cleaning, but it's not just that easy. Today I took some time to learn a little bit more about it. Here's what I learned.

No matter how many precautions we take, the day comes when a meal boils over onto the bottom of the oven. In that instant, we feel powerless. We can't stop and wipe up the spill due to the burning risk in a hot oven. We can only stand by and wait as the oven cools down, and the spill burns on. Then we assess the damage and start to clean.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Know Your Oven Type

    Before you can clean your oven, find out what type you have to prevent damage. Determine if your oven is a self-cleaning model, a textured model, or a regular non-self-cleaning oven. Always follow manufacturer's instructions for maintaining your oven.

  2. For Self-Cleaning Ovens

    Run the self-cleaning cycle for your oven as often as you need to. It reduces almost any spill to a powdery gray pile of ash that can easily be wiped away at the end of the oven's cleaning cycle using a damp cloth. Make sure you have a window open during the process, to help keep smoke from sticking to walls and your ceiling. You may need to wash down the oven door and frame with a gentle cleaner to remove soil residue. Don't scrub the rubbery gasket that seals the oven door. Just rinse it with dish soap and then water. Don't use abrasives, or oven cleaners on the interior of the oven.

  3. For Textured Ovens

    Textured ovens are sometimes called continuous cleaning ovens. They have a special surface that has a rough porcelain layer that is supposed to burn off food gradually as you continue to use your oven. To clean this type of oven, you should only need to wipe down the inside with a damp cloth when your oven is cool. Never use abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or oven cleaners.

  4. For Regular Non-Self-Cleaning Ovens

    Each time the oven is cooled off, wipe up any spills with a hot, wet cloth. If you do this each time, food will not build up or burn onto the oven surfaces. Some people prefer to cover the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil, but you'll need to make sure that no vents are blocked if you choose this prevention trick. For really stubborn stains or buildup, you'll need an oven cleaner and a plastic scrubbing pad or brush. Make sure you use good ventilation when using an oven cleaner.


  1. For self-cleaning ovens, you may want to remove plastic knobs for the duration of the cycle. There have been several people with warped or melted plastic knobs once their oven is finished cleaning itself.
  2. Baking soda can be used on regular non-self-cleaning ovens as a gentle abrasive that also soaks up grease and oily stains.

What You Need:

  • Manufacturers Instructions
  • Damp Cloths
  • Mild Detergents
  • Non-Self Cleaning Only: Oven Cleaner
  • Non-Self Cleaning Only: Aluminum Foil (optional)
  • Non-Self Cleaning Only: Plastic Scrub Brush or Pad

BTW, my oven got dirty when I baked a turkey this weekend. The turkey was fabulous! I followed Alynn Hansen's tips posted on her blog. But for some reason my oven was a disaster afterwards.

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