Mar 20 11
by cara
at 9:59 PM
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CLEAN In 2011: Cleaning the Oven

Time to let you all in on my dirty little secret. We’ve lived in this house since it was built in September of 2006, and I just cleaned the inside of the oven for the first time last week!


That’s four and a half years without cleaning the oven. And y’all know how much I love to cook and bake, so it’s not like it has been sitting in pristine condition for the last few years!!

Our oven has one of those “Self Clean” buttons, and I remember thinking about using it back when The Littlest Apple was about 6 months old (so, 3 years ago!). But when I looked at the oven manual to see what I needed to do, it said that it would take 4 hours to run the self clean cycle, that you needed to open all the windows, keep children out of the house, and take any small pet birds out of the house so they didn’t die from the fumes. THAT didn’t sound too promising.

As a result, I knew I was going to have to use some good old fashioned elbow grease on the oven and some kind of oven cleaning product. The ONE time I cleaned our apartment oven during law school, the oven cleaner fumes were so strong they made me sick. None of that sounded too appealing, so I put this task off for a few more years. Until last week. Who sees the inside of the oven, anyway?! It’s been my dirty little secret.

Until now.

Here’s what my oven looked like (I can’t believe I’m showing you this!)…..

The whole thing is awful, but the door was particularly disgusting.  You couldn’t see through the window!

I finally got around to cleaning it.  I used one of my favorite new cleaning products, Shaklee Scour Off Paste:

If you remember, I used Scour Off to scrub hard water stains in my bathroom sinks.  Well, this stuff is GREAT for cleaning ovens, too!  And it smells like cherries (no strong fumes) and doesn’t irritate my skin.  Yes, you have to use lots of elbow grease, but I think that’s to be expected when you’re oven is THAT dirty to begin with.

After two rounds with the Scour Off Paste (and a good 30-45 minutes of scrub, scrubbing scrubbing), here’s what the door looks like:

Big difference, right?!  Go ahead and scroll back up to the “Before” picture one more time!  It still needs another round (or two….or three) of cleaning, but I can actually see in the door now.  Yippee!  And I hereby promise to never ever let my oven get that dirty again.

How often do you clean your oven?  Do you have a self cleaning oven?

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  1. Djkoll permalink

    That’s ok – we just got a new oven and I hadn’t cleaned under the oven in almost 8 years.

    What I like best about this post though is the truth about the cleaner. I’ve seen so many posts about this cleaner lately and they all say “it works so easily – just wipes right off” but you stated what you really had to do. Yes – it obviously works great but you did have to scrub, scrub scrub! I was beginning to think it was magical and did all of the work. I like the fact that you don’t have to deal wtih the fumes though and that it really does get the stuff off! (I’m not knocking the stuff just glad for a more real post of how it works!)

  2. Katie : ) permalink

    Love it! My oven needs a good cleaning too!!

  3. Anonymous permalink

    So glad I’m not the only one who neglects the oven cleaning! I was super-nervous hitting “publish” on this post…I can hear my neat-freak friends gasping as they read it! Thanks for your comment.

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Yes, I’ve been seeing SO much hype about this cleaner lately too, and I was admittedly skeptical. And while it IS pretty magical-smells good, no fumes, gets the job done, you still have to do SOME work….especially when your oven is as dirty as mine was!

  5. Jennifer permalink

    I’m so surprised that your self-cleaning option requires you to open windows and keep kids away. Mine doesn’t say that! I run mine every few months; it turns the mess into ash, which then you just wipe away and you’r’e done. If I had to do it by hand, I’m sure mine would go years without cleaning as well. 🙂

  6. You’ve done a great job with the oven. You should take care of it more often, though.
    An easy way to clean it is with a paste made of baking soda and water. Spread the paste into the oven and leave it for a night. Remove it in the morning and wipe with damp cloth. 

  7. Bell permalink

    The inside of your oven actually looks better than mine.  I’ve been putting off the self-cleaning cycle because I was afraid it would start a fire – with all the grease that’s in there.  I think I’ve baked bacon 3 times in the last two weeks.  Glad I’m not the only one and will try to get mine clean, now that I have an idea of what to do.  Thanks!!!

  8. Oh..woow. I dont beleive until see the images you had posted. That is just easy and easily implementable.

  9. Informative post.I am surfing for something like this.Keep it up.

  10. Great post.Wish I’d found this blog earlier. Some really great posts.Very interesting. I hadn’t thought of some of these things before. Thanks.

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