The simplest way to clean your oven

Whether you’re just now diving into spring cleaning or trying to clean your way into getting that security deposit back, the oven always seems to be the most daunting task. However, cleaning your oven doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, with this simple trick, you can clean your oven in no time with half the elbow grease.

What you’ll need:

  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • a spray bottle
  • aluminum foil
  • rubber gloves (optional)

Step 1: Take the oven racks out.

If they’re really dirty, you can soak them in a basin (or bathtub!) overnight in some kind of grease-cutting cleaner like dish or laundry detergent. Otherwise, simply wash them in the sink with detergent and a dish sponge.

Step 2: Mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste.

Using your rubber gloves, cover the interior of the oven (which you definitely remembered to turn off and let cool…) in the baking soda paste. If the paste is dripping down the sides, you probably used too much water. Make sure it really sticks to the surface. You’ll want to completely cover the oven window, too.

Step 3: Let paste sit overnight.

If you can’t do it overnight, try to let the paste sit for at least a few hours. After the paste has had time to do its thing, wipe it off with a damp cloth. Either use an old cloth you plan to throw away or a paper towel because it’s bound to turn brown.

Step 4: Spray the oven with vinegar.

Once most of the paste is wiped away, use your spray bottle to coat the inside with vinegar. What’s left of the baking soda will react with the vinegar and make it easier to scrub away any leftover grime. Rinse your cloth and use the vinegar to wipe the oven clean, avoiding the oven window for now.

Step 5: Clean the window.

Grab your aluminum foil and mold it into a ball the size of your palm. Use that ball of foil to scrub the glass window, scraping away any brown, burnt-on residue. Keep adding baking soda and vinegar if necessary to really get it sparkling. Using the damp, rinsed cloth, wipe away the rest of the baking soda residue.

Step 5: Pat dry and replace the racks.

Using a paper towel, pat the inside dry and place the racks back inside the oven. And finito! Your oven is as good as new. The best way to celebrate, I think, is to christen it with a fresh batch of brownies.