Home remedies for cleaning stove

How to Deep Clean Your Oven with Baking Soda

Johnny Miller

From sauces that bubbled over to drips of gooey cheese now burnt, your oven is a canvas for spills and splatters of all kinds. And when it comes to cleaning it, chances are you’re, well, not. But tackling this appliance doesn’t have to be a heavy lift, nor do you need to spend extra money on special cleaning products. In fact, all you need to make your oven sparkle again are two pantry staples, likely already in your kitchen: baking soda and vinegar.

“These ingredients are great, all-natural cleaning agents, especially in place of many conventional oven cleaners which can often leave harmful residual vapors in your oven,” says Melissa Poepping, natural cleaning expert and author of the “Chemical Free Home” series. Both non-toxic and safe to use around food surfaces, baking soda (a natural alkali) and vinegar (a natural acid) work together to help lift off stubborn stains and grease for easy wiping. Smell of vinegar turn you off? Poepping says you can easily enhance your homemade cleaners with two to three drops of essential oil, particularly tea tea oil which can act as a natural degreaser. “For cleaning the oven glass, I also like to make a spray of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar with a few drops of added lemon oil for scent,” she says.

RELATED: HOW TO DEEP CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN FLOORS

As for how often you should really be cleaning your oven, Poepping recommends every few weeks, though this will vary depending on how often you use your oven. And while the self-cleaning function can be a great “quick-fix” cleaning alternative, she notes, “You should still aim to deep clean your oven regularly! Think of it as less of a chore, and more of a preservation of your appliance. You likely spent a lot of money on your oven, why shouldn’t it be well-taken care of?”

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Here’s how-to give your oven a deep clean:

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Make a Paste

Stir together 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup warm water, noting that a large oven may require more paste. If you are adding any essential oils, you can do so here (two to three drops should suffice, but you may add more if desired).

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Remove Racks and Soak

Always take your racks out even if you are using your oven’s self-cleaning function; the heat during the cycle can warp racks. Once removed, let them sit in dishwashing liquid for a few hours, scrub with a scouring pad, and then rinse well and dry. If racks need heavy-duty cleaning, apply the paste. Only use on stainless steel racks; baking soda can discolor aluminum.

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Apply the Paste

Fill any openings in the oven with foil. Using a paintbrush, spread the paste throughout the oven’s interior, avoiding bare metal surfaces and the oven door. To get into tight corners and tough spots, you can use an old toothbrush. Leave overnight.

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Clean It Out

Remove the paste with a plastic scraper, wetting as needed. Wipe with a damp cloth, repeating to remove streaks.

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Wipe the Door

Using a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar, clean the oven door with a soft cloth. Avoid wetting the gasket.

Then, watch the video below to see Martha’s favorite ways to use baking soda around the home:

Izabela Habur/iStock
Aluminum Foil
Are you baking a bubbly lasagna or casserole? Keep messy drips off the bottom of the oven by laying a sheet or two of aluminum foil over the rack below. Do not line the bottom of the oven with foil; it could cause a fire.

Ammonia

  • Here’s a practically effortless way to clean an electric oven: First, turn the oven on, let it warm to 150°F (65°C), and then turn it off. Place a small bowl containing 1/2 cup ammonia on the top shelf and a large pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven door, and let it sit overnight. The next morning, remove the dish and pan, and let the oven air out awhile. Then wipe it clean using the ammonia and a few drops of dishwashing liquid diluted in a quart of warm water — even old burned-on grease should wipe right off. Warning: Do not use this cleaning method with a gas oven unless the pilot lights are out and the main gas lines are shut off.
  • Get the cooked-on grime off your oven racks by laying them out on an old towel in a large washtub. You can also use your bathtub, though you might need to clean it afterward. Fill the tub with warm water and add 1/2 cup ammonia. Let the racks soak for at least 15 minutes, then remove, rinse off, and wipe clean.

Newspaper
They may call it a self-cleaning oven, but when it’s done cleaning, you always have to contend with mopping off that ashy residue. Don’t waste a roll of paper towels on the flaky stuff; clean it up with a few sheets of moistened, crumpled newspaper.

Salt
The next time food bubbles over in your oven, don’t give it a chance to bake on and cool. Toss some salt on the stuff while it is still liquid. When the oven cools, you’ll be able to wipe up the spill with a cloth. The same technique works for spills on the stovetop. The salt will remove odors too, and if you’d like to add a pleasant scent, mix a little cinnamon in with the salt.

Vinegar

  • When you’re finished frying, clean up grease splatters from your stovetop, walls, range hood, and surrounding countertop by washing them with a sponge dipped in undiluted white vinegar. Use another sponge soaked in cold tap water to rinse, then wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  • Get that blackened, cooked-on grease off your broiler pan by softening it up with a solution of 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar. Apply the mixture while the pan is still hot, and let it sit for an hour or so. Then watch in amazement as the grime slides off with a light scrubbing.
  • Got a hot plate that looks more like a grease pan? Whip it back into shape by washing it with a sponge dipped in full-strength white vinegar.
  • Fight grease buildups in your oven by wiping down the inside with a rag or sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar once a week. The same treatment gets grease off the grates on gas stoves.

Cleaning your oven (and oven glass) doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or effort. We tested 8 of the most popular natural oven cleaners to find the best oven cleaner. Learn the easy, healthy way to clean your oven and oven glass today!

The oven is a kitchen spaces that always seems to be forgotten… until it is so grimy and dirty that you’re shamed into completing the task.

Those mystery splatters and blackened bits seem to build up overnight!

When we moved into our current house we purchased a beautiful new gas oven that I vowed to keep sparkling clean… then life happened!

What can I use to clean my oven?

If you own a self-cleaning oven, you can run the auto-clean setting occasionally to keep your oven clean. This setting uses an extremely high temperature to burn the oven clean (you wipe the remaining ashes out when the oven cools). Auto-clean works fine, but it makes my oven glass look even dirtier, takes hours to complete, and makes the kitchen HOT and smelly.

There had to be a better solution!

I began to search for a homemade oven cleaner that would get the oven (and oven glass) sparking clean with no scrubbing and no harsh chemicals. (The fumes from commercial oven cleaners give me a terrible headache and make the house smell for days!)

But there were so many oven cleaning tutorials and such conflicting advice on Pinterest and Google that I was overwhelmed!

The Best Oven Cleaner Experiment

I decided to test the 8 most popular no scrub oven cleaners online to find the best oven cleaner. The oven cleaner had to be made with safe, all-natural ingredients and require no scrubbing.

Methodology

Each oven cleaner was tested on the same surface (a grimy oven door) and using same process to test each cleaner:

  1. The oven door was divided into 8 sections using painters tape. Each section was numbered with a post it note. (Yes, I’m a nerd.)
  2. Each diy oven cleaner was prepared in a separate, clean bowl then applied to one section of the oven door.
  3. Each homemade oven cleaner was given 20 minutes of “dwell time” to work then wiped off the oven door with a clean paper towel. (I did not scrub!)
  4. Finally, I recorded and photographed the results.

The differences between the natural oven cleaners were mind blowing! Some of the cleaners made absolutely no difference, some worked okay, and two left the door spotless.

The Natural Oven Cleaners Tested

Oven Cleaner #1

Ingredients: White vinegar (1 cup), cornstarch (1 tablespoon)

Directions: Stir together vinegar and cornstarch, heat until thickened, cool to room temperature. Apply to oven, let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

Oven Cleaner #2

Ingredients: Lemon juice (1 cup), cornstarch (1 tablespoon), dish soap (1 teaspoon)

Directions: Stir together lemon juice and cornstarch, heat until thickened, cool to room temperature, stir in dish soap. Apply to oven, let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

Oven Cleaner #3

Ingredients: Baking soda (1/4 cup), white vinegar (1/4 cup)

Directions: Sprinkle baking soda over surface until covered, spray baking soda with white vinegar until wet and bubbly. Let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

Oven Cleaner #4

Ingredients: Baking soda (3 tablespoons), white vinegar (1 tablespoon), dishwashing soap (1 tablespoon)

Directions: Stir together baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap. Apply to oven, let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

Oven Cleaner #5 (Winner!)

Ingredients: Baking soda (3 tablespoons), water (1.5 tablespoons)

Directions: Stir together baking soda and water. Apply to oven, let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

Oven Cleaner #6

Ingredients: Rubbing alcohol (1/4 cup), water (1/4 cup), dishwashing soap (8 drops)

Directions: Stir together, spray oven, let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

Oven Cleaner #7 (Runner up! My favorite all-purpose cleaner.)

Ingredients: Baking soda (3 tablespoons), hydrogen peroxide (1 tablespoon), dishwashing soap (1 tablespoon)

Directions: Stir together baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Apply to oven, let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

Oven Cleaner #8

Ingredients: Baking soda (1/8 cup), salt (1/8 cup), dishwashing soap (1 tablespoon)

Directions: Stir together baking soda, salt, and dish soap. Apply to oven, let sit for 20 minutes, wipe clean.

The Oven Cleaner Results

The Winners

The best oven cleaner is the most simple: baking soda and water. Oven Cleaner # 5 and #7 both use this combo and had great results.

Why this combo works:

  • Baking soda is a mildly abrasive cleaner that absorbs grease and is good for scrubbing. It helps to break up and remove the dirt that is stuck to the oven surface without causing damage.
  • Water softens the grime and baked on food particles so they can be easily wiped away.

Baking soda is one of my favorite green cleaning ingredients. It’s in my DIY Natural All-Purpose Cleaner that works great household cleaning and is perfect for stain removal. You can learn more about cleaning with baking soda here.

The Losers

The most disappointing oven cleaners mixed the reactive ingredients of vinegar and baking soda.

  • This combo creates a reactions that cancel out the cleaning power of both ingredients. (Read more in Green Cleaning Ingredients That You Should Never Mix.)
  • If you want to use vinegar for oven cleaning save it for the final step: after the baking soda has been wiped away, spray the oven with a little white vinegar to neutralize any that remains, then wipe dry with a paper towel.

I was also let down by cleaners that took a lot of time to make (such as heating and cooling vinegar or lemon juice) and didn’t do much cleaning. I’d rather stick with simple cleaners that are easy to mix and apply!

How to Clean an Oven with Baking Soda

Baking soda makes a great oven cleaner. It’s cheap, won’t damage the oven surface, and has great scouring power without harmful chemicals. Here’s how to clean an oven and glass oven door with baking soda:

  1. Combine water and baking soda to form a thick paste.
  2. Spread the paste across the glass and other dirty areas of the oven (avoid the heating element).
  3. Let the baking soda paste work (dwell) for at least 20 minutes (or overnight) then wipe away with a clean rag or paper towel.

You may also love: how to clean your oven rack naturally

… and easy tips for cleaning with baking soda

How to Clean an Oven Quickly

Getting ready to clean? These oven cleaning tips will help you get fast results:

  1. Remove the loose debris. Vacuum or wipe out the bottom of the oven before applying the baking soda cleaner. This will remove some of the black ashes and stuck on grime. It will also loosen the dirt making it easier to clean.
  2. Give the oven cleaner some dwell time. You’ll get the best results if you allow the wet baking soda some time to work (also called dwell time) before you start wiping. Let the cleaner sit on the surface for at least 20 minutes then wipe out the dirt.
  3. Use a circular motion. Oven grime can be baked on, caked on grease. Remove most of the baking soda cleaner then wipe any hard-to-clean spots firmly with a rag using a circular motion.
  4. Make chemical reactions work for you. Baking soda can leave a bit of grit in your oven. Spray the oven with white vinegar after wiping out all of the baking soda cleaner, the vinegar will react with any leftover baking soda so you can easily wipe out the bubbling remains.
  5. Clean first then shine. Finish by buffing the oven surface with a damp microfiber rag. Your oven will look as good as new!

Oven Cleaning FAQ

How do you clean the glass on the oven door?

  • Combine 3 tablespoons baking soda and 1.5 tablespoons of water. Open the oven door. Spread the mix across the glass on the oven door. Wait 20 minutes then wipe clean.

What is the fastest way to clean the inside of an oven?

  • Remove as much loose dirt as possible from the inside of the oven with a wet paper towel. Mix together water and baking soda. Spread the paste over the dirty areas of the oven. Wait 20 minutes then wipe clean.

What is the best natural oven cleaner?

  • A paste of baking soda and water.

Can you clean your oven with baking soda and vinegar?

  • There are a lot of online cleaning tips that recommend mixing baking soda and vinegar to clean your oven. This fun bubbling reaction is actually the baking soda neutralizing the vinegar. The resulting mix cleans about as well as plain water. Save the vinegar for the final rinse.

Do you have oven cleaning experience? I’d love to hear your favorite method. Comment below with your favorite cleaner or stop by my Facebook page.

Love my green cleaning recipes and tips? Sign up for my free newsletter below and never miss a thing!

How to Clean Your Oven, According to an Expert

Photo: Jen Causey

Cleaning your oven is kind of like going to the dentist. Few of us look forward to the experience (and some of us outright loathe it), but oftentimes, it’s the thought of cleaning that’s worse than the cleaning itself.

With the right knowledge and basic tools, oven cleaning needn’t be an overwhelming chore—mentally, or in reality. Here to help is Debra Johnson, the in-house cleaning expert at Merry Maids, with advice on why scrubbing your oven is important, how often you should do it, and three fool-proof options for getting it done today.

Struggling to cook healthy? We’ll help you prep.

Sign up for our new weekly newsletter, ThePrep, for inspiration and support for all your meal plan struggles.

As for the dentist…sorry, but you’re on your own there.

How Often Should I Clean My Oven?

There are three telltale signs it may be time to give your oven a scrubbing, says Johnson. The first: general appearance. Do you notice crust or residue on the bottom? Is the door coated or splattered in grease or grime? Number two: odor. When you fire up your oven, does a distinct smell arise? Catching a stanky whiff before you’ve cooked anything means there’s lingering grease, dirt or food inside. And lastly: smoke. A clean oven shouldn’t smolder, so this can also signify buildup.

How often you use your oven will impact how often you should clean it. For avid cooks and bakers who regularly rely on it, a general rule of thumb is to scrub it once every three months. If you rarely fire up your oven (say, just a couple times a month), cleaning it about once or twice a year should suffice. Of course pay attention to the signs listed above, and if something arises, don’t hold off on a cleaning just because it hasn’t been that long since your last one.

Why Is a Clean Oven Important?

Although it’s certainly not a glamorous task—and can easily be an “out of sight, out of mind” thing—regularly cleaning your oven improves the quality of the food you cook in it.

“The aromas of any stuck-on grease or dirt could influence the dish you’re cooking,” says Johnson.

Ew. Enough said.

RELATED: Roasting 101

Can I Use the Self-Clean Function?

Self-clean be a helpful tool if—and only if—your oven is moderately dirty, says Johnson.

When you press the self-clean button, your oven locks and climbs to a high temperature of upwards of 550 degrees. This heat helps to melt and remove your grease and grime, but if you have a large amount of buildup on the bottom, it can backfire and smoke up—and in some cases, start a fire.

“It comes back to frequency,” explains Johnson. If it’s been many months since you’ve given your oven a spruce-up and it’s splattered with caked-on food or other questionable chunks, for the sake of your own safety, you should roll up your sleeves and do the deed yourself.

If you do decide to go for the self-clean, you’ll want to remove the racks first and clean those yourself (see below for instructions). The self-clean cycle takes about two hours (exact time may vary based on your oven type) and you should stay at home while it does its job, just in case anything goes awry, recommends Johnson. When it’s over, you’ll see a white ash at the bottom that you’ll need to remove once the oven cools.

RELATED: This Oven Hack Will Change the Way You Cook

What Materials Do I Need to Clean My Oven?

  • A quality cleaner: You have several options here.
  1. Store-bought oven cleaner: This is the easiest, fastest process and will remove serious amounts of grease and grime. The caveat: oven cleaner can be quite caustic, so if you’re sensitive to harsh chemicals or prefer an all-natural approach, you may want to choose option 2 or 3, says Johnson.
  2. Baking soda, water, vinegar and a spray bottle: This DIY method is good if you have lots of buildup. You’ll be making a paste with baking soda and water that will need to sit for 10 – 12 hours (or overnight), so make sure you carve out enough time.
  3. Lemons (2) and water. Another DIY option that takes about 1 -2 hours; good if your oven is only mildly dirty and your racks don’t need a cleaning.

  • Rubber cleaning gloves: Please no disposable gloves. This is especially important if you go with option 1, as you’ll want a heavy-duty barrier between your skin and the cleaner, says Johnson.
  • Protective safety glasses: To guard your eyes from the cleaner. You won’t need these with options 2 or 3.
  • Old newspapers or paper towels: To pad the floor around your oven, in case anything drips out while you’re cleaning.
  • Damp cloth rag(s): To wipe off the grime once the cleaner has been applied. You may need more than one if your oven is especially grimy.
  • Scouring pumice or microfiber sponge (optional): Helpful if you’re tackling lots of buildup.
  • Large plastic garbage bag: You’ll need this to clean your oven racks with option 1.

How to Clean Your Oven With Store-Bought Cleaning Products

  1. Remove everything from your oven—racks, pizza stone, thermometer, etc.
  2. Lay out newspapers or paper towels on the floor beneath your oven.
  3. Put on your gloves and safety glasses. Spray the oven cleaner around the inside of your oven, covering the back, sides, bottom, top, door, corners and crevices. If you have an electric oven, don’t spray on the heating elements; instead, simply lift them up and spray underneath. If you have a gas oven, don’t spray where the gas comes through. Close the oven when you’re done.
  4. Let the spray sit for the time listed on the label (most cleaners will need about 20 – 30 minutes).
  5. In the meantime, take your oven racks outside, spray them with the cleaner and place them in a large plastic garbage bag. Either tie or twist the top shut. Leave racks outside in the bag for the time listed on the cleaning label.
  6. Once the appropriate amount of time has passed, take a damp cloth rag, open the oven and wipe down all surfaces. If there are extra sticky spots, use a wet scouring pumice, microfiber sponge or other abrasive tool to remove all grime. Be sure to really hit every crack and crevice so that you aren’t leaving any traces of dirt or cleaner behind.
  7. Remove racks from the bag and rinse them in your sink with hot, soapy water. Again, use a pumice, sponge or other abrasive tool as needed on any crusted-on chunks. Dry racks and place them back in the oven.
  8. You’re done!

How to Clean Your Oven With Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Remove everything from your oven—racks, pizza stone, thermometer, etc.
  2. Lay out newspapers or paper towels on the floor beneath your oven.
  3. Grab a small bowl and mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Tweak the ratio until you have a spreadable paste.
  4. Put on your gloves and using your fingers, spread the paste around the inside of your oven, covering the back, sides, bottom, top, door, corners and crevices. If you have an electric oven, don’t put paste on the heating elements. If you have a gas oven, don’t put the paste where the gas comes through. Close the oven when you’re done.
  5. Allow paste to sit for 10 – 12 hours, or overnight.
  6. In the meantime, place racks in your kitchen sink (or bathtub, if you have extra large racks). Sprinkle baking soda on your racks and then pour vinegar on top. This combination will foam. When the foaming stops, plug your sink or tub and run hot water until the racks are fully covered.
  7. Allow racks to sit for 10 – 12 hours, or overnight.
  8. After 10 – 12 hours, put on your gloves again and taking a damp cloth rag, open the oven and wipe down all surfaces. If there are extra sticky spots, use a wet scouring pumice, microfiber sponge, or other abrasive tool to remove all grime.
  9. If there are chunks of paste that won’t come off easily, put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on the chunks. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and foam. Take your damp cloth again and wipe off all foam.
  10. Remove racks from the water and scrub with a cloth rag until all grease and grime is gone. Use the pumice or microfiber sponge on any tough spots.
  11. Dry racks and place them back in the oven.
  12. You’re done!

How to Clean Your Oven With Lemons

  1. Fill a medium-sized, oven-proof mixing bowl with water. Cut two lemons in half and place them in the bowl.
  2. Heat your oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Once heated, place the mixing bowl inside on one of the racks. Leave for one hour.
  4. After an hour, turn off the oven, open the door and let it cool slightly.
  5. While the oven is still warm (but cool enough that you could safely touch the inside without getting burned), put on gloves, take a damp cloth and wipe down all surfaces, including the back, sides, bottom, top, door, corners and crevices. If needed, use a wet scouring pumice, microfiber sponge or other abrasive tool to target any extra sticky spots. Be sure to wipe thoroughly so that you remove all grease and grime.
  6. You’re done!

When was the last time you cleaned your oven?

Be honest.

Would you be embarrassed if a neighbor … or your mother-in-law, opened it up?

Sadly, I have been known to leave my oven completely filthy, with burnt sugar, crumbs, and ash down in the bottom for months at a time.

Shameful. Especially since cleaning your oven takes very little effort. Over the last couple years, I’ve made it a point to keep my oven clean, and have been amazed at just how easy it is.

So how should you go about cleaning your oven?

The easiest way to clean your oven is to use its built-in self-cleaning function.

Chances are, if your oven is less than 50 years old, it has a self-cleaning option. A setting that you might not have ever tested.

The Self-Clean Function starts a heating cycle that rises to over 900ºF, from 2 ½ to 4 hours. The oven door will lock for safety, while the high heat burns all debris to white ash. When the temperature drops and the oven is safe to open, you simply wipe the ash out of the bottom with a wet paper towel. Voila!

There really isn’t an easier way to clean your oven than with your built-in self-clean feature.

I will say, the high heat cycle can make your house smell funky for the few hours it’s running. I usually like to start the self-clean function when I’m going to be around the house all day, then I open up the window to ventilate. I’ve never had an issue with it, but I don’t like the idea of leaving the house while it’s running.

Self-clean has been a lifesaver in many situations. Especially after I’ve spilt something sugary in the oven. There’s nothing it can’t burn up!

Afraid of your self-clean function?

You’re not alone. Some people simply don’t like the idea of an appliance rising to such high temperatures in their house.

Not to worry. If you refuse to use your self-clean function, you can still easily clean your oven without self-clean, and without harsh chemicals.

The Baking Soda Scrub Down

Remove the wire oven racks and set them aside.

Make a paste with baking soda and water.

Use an old sponge with an abrasive pad to rub the baking soda paste over the sides and bottom of the oven.

If the debris is baked-on and resistant, you can attack it two different ways.

Method One: The easiest, yet slower, method is to leave a layer of the baking soda paste over the surface of the oven for 12 to 24 hours. Then wet it later and scrub off. Over time, the baking soda will loosen the debris, making it easy to wipe away.

Method Two: After you’ve spread baking soda paste over the surface of the oven, pour vinegar over the surface and allow the baking soda and vinegar to react and fizz. The chemical reaction will help loosen the debris, so it is easy to scrub off.

See? That wasn’t so hard.

I’d go with the self-clean function, personally. Yet if I can’t convince you to try it, a good scrub-down with baking soda will certainly do the trick!

Your oven is going to be so spotless, the next time your mother-in-law stops by, you’ll make up excuses for her to open it up.

Sommer

Sommer Collier is a wife and mother who is always looking for ways to make life just a little more interesting. She developed a love for cooking by standing on a wooden chair, watching her mother and grandmother cook as a little girl. Then later her eyes were opened to the vast possibilities in the culinary world through a series of international mission trips and travel experiences as a teenager. After breathing in the spicy air in the open markets of Africa, India and China, she knew her life would never be the same. She started her blog after teaching cooking classes for several years with the intention of helping the average spatula owner to feel a bit more comfortable in their kitchen. Nowadays she shares easy-to-make recipes, with a touch of moxie, as well as travel content with the hope of encouraging her readers to break out of their comfort zone and taste the world around them. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband lovingly known as Lieutenant Dan (for no other reason than she met him right when the movie Forest Gump came out), two scrappy kids with highly developed taste buds, and her golden retriever Kona—because (she believes) all animals should be named after places you’d like to live. She travels with her family as often as possible, always looking for new ways to experience this delicious life.

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How to Clean With Baking Soda

Baking soda – it’s been around for a long time (even dating back to ancient Egyptians who used it as a cleansing agent, like soap). Turns out, they were onto something. It’s incredible that such a simple product can be a powerful cleaner and yet non-toxic and gentle at the same time. .

Many people are looking for a greener way to clean their homes. If you’ve got kids or pets, baking soda should be on your list of must haves since it’s a perfect non-toxic cleanser. Hey, even if you don’t have kids, harsh chemicals can leave lasting effects on everyone. Baking soda is a healthier, gentler way to a clean your home. Here are my 8 best baking soda cleaning tips:

Tip #1: Use Baking Soda as a Kitchen Scrub

Does your kitchen need a good scrubbing? There’s no need to use harsh chemicals that can damage surfaces and make you sick. Just mix equal parts baking soda and dish soap. My favorite is the original blue Dawn dish soap. Mix thoroughly and use this as a soft scrub to clean your sink, stove top, stubborn residue on pans, bathtubs, tile grout, and just about anything else in your kitchen. As with any scrub, you’ll want to make sure to test an inconspicuous spot first to make sure it doesn’t damage your particular surfaces.

Tip #2: Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Oven

Pairing baking soda with its good friend, vinegar, takes cleaning to a whole new level! (Even Everyday Einstein says so. Check out his episode called Vinegar + Baking Soda = The Ultimate Cleanser?)

To clean your oven, first scrape out any loose icky burnt stuff and then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over all the other gooey, burned spots. Next, put some plain white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it over the baking soda. Now, watch for the cool science project that will happen in your oven. Let this bubble for a while; maybe 30 minutes or so. Then take a tough scrubby sponge or wired scrubber and start working away at the stubborn spots. Once all the stuck-on stuff is loosened, rinse with a cloth and warm water. You’ll probably want to wipe and rinse thoroughly a few times. Now, isn’t that better than using that smelly, chemical oven cleaner?

Tip #3: Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Stove Top

The same cleaning technique you used to clean the inside of the oven also works great for cleaning the top of the stove. Use this method when you’ve had a bad spillover or there are some messy rings on the burners. The soft scrub mentioned earlier will do the trick on regular stove top messes, but when you’ve got a big job, baking soda and vinegar will tackle it much better. Sprinkle baking soda generously over the top of the stove and then spritz with vinegar. Let this sit for at least 15-30 minutes before scrubbing. Be sure to use a scrubbing sponge that’s recommended for stove top cleaning; especially if yours is glass. Don’t use a wired scrubber for this surface.

Tip #4: Use Baking Soda to Unclog Drains

Do you have a clogged drain? Maybe your drain is running slow? Baking soda comes to the rescue here as well.

Simply dump a ½ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a ½ cup of white vinegar. (are you sensing a theme here?) Let that bubble and fizz for about 15 minutes. Then follow up with a nice big pot of boiling water. If you have a stubborn clog you may have to repeat this process one more time. Unclogging your drain using this method not only saves quite a bit of money, it’s also easy on your pipes.

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