‘Best’ non-toxic method to eliminate ‘stubborn’ oven grease with ease

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Mrs Hinch reveals super effective oven cleaning hack

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Ovens are one of those kitchen appliances that have the distinct ability to turn into a culinary crime scene real fast – particularly after cooking the Christmas dinner. There are the oil drippings that have accumulated in a sludgy pool at the bottom, a rogue piece of veg that slipped through the rack and has essentially turned into pure carbon, and the slick film of grease on the glass that prevents you from being able to peer into the oven. Not only do greasy ovens need to be cleaned as they are unsightly, but they can also be a fire hazard as the oil splatters may eventually ignite if they come into contact with the hot oven surface or heating element. Burnt grease can also create excess smoke to set off your fire alarm and leave an unpleasant smell that will linger in your kitchen.

To avoid these issues, Express.co.uk has spoken exclusively to three cleaning experts on their best advice to tackle greasy ovens after cooking the Christmas Dinner.

Sarah Dempsey at MyJobQuote.co.uk shared that a household’s “best bet” to clean their ovens is to use a combination of baking soda and white vinegar. 

She said: “If you’re looking for a non-toxic method of cleaning a greasy oven, baking soda and white vinegar are your best bet. These two ingredients are likely found in most kitchen cupboards, and when combined give exceptional cleaning power.”

The pro advised simply making a paste using baking soda and water using a ratio of half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Once the mixture is a spreadable consistency, coat the interior of the oven generously. 

However, households should pay attention to any areas that have extra build up, and steer clear of any heating elements.

For the “best results”, Sarah recommended letting the paste sit on top of the grease overnight. She explained: “This will allow for the baking soda to sufficiently break down any stubborn grime. After around 12 hours, dampen a cloth and wipe over the area, removing as much of the mixture and grease as possible. 

“If some areas remain more stubborn, you can use a silicone spatula to loosen them further. Avoid metal tools, as this can cause damage to your oven interior.”

After, pour some white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray over the oven interior, “particularly over any stubborn areas”. Allow the vinegar to react with any remaining baking soda paste; this may fizz and foam a little.

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The last step is to take a clean, damp cloth and wipe over the area to remove the white vinegar and remaining paste. The expert instructed adding more water or vinegar if needed, until the oven interior is “sparkling clean”.

For those who don’t have baking soda or white vinegar in their pantry, Sarah noted that households could alternatively grab a couple of lemons and squeeze them into an oven-proof tray or bowl filled with water. 

Put the tray inside the oven, close the door and let it run for 30 minutes. The expert said: “The steam and lemon juice will work wonders to loosen any debris and melt away any grease or grime. Allow your oven to slightly cool before wiping over with a clean, damp cloth to remove residue.”

When speaking to Kathleen Bell, smol’s sustainable cleaning expert, she recommended households to use a dishwasher tablet when cleaning the oven after cooking Christmas dinner.

She said: “After the roasties have been served, your oven can often be left with a greasy residue that can be hard to shift. However, rather than buying a bunch of bulky new oven cleaners with harsh chemicals that are bound to sit in your cupboard for years, you can turn to something you’re likely to already have to hand and that costs next to nothing – a dishwasher tablet.

“With this, some warm water and a little elbow grease you can ring in the New Year with an oven as sparkling as the glass of bubbles being popped.” 

First, pop on some washing up gloves and make sure the warm water is close to hand. Dip the dishwasher tablet in the warm water and scrub it directly onto the oven door. As you work across the door, continue to occasionally dip the dishwasher tablet back into the water. Then simply wipe clean.” 

Kathleen noted that for the inside of the oven, households may need another dishwasher tablet. She added: “Work your way around the oven, paying close attention to any particularly greasy patches. 

“Again, occasionally dip your dishwasher tablet back into the water as you go. When you’ve covered the whole oven, take a damp cloth and wipe away any residue. 

“This works brilliantly for a burnt roasting dish or stained pan too. Each smol tablet contains rinse-aid, salt and even glass protector as an all-in-one package, and are 100 percent plastic-free.”

According to Laura Mountford, also known as @lauracleanaholic on Instagram, a greasy oven can be tackled by using washing up liquid and a window scraping tool. She said: “Washing up liquid is fantastic for removing grease, simply squeeze onto a damp non scratch scouring sponge and scrub. 

“The sooner you do this the better so that the fat doesn’t become burnt on and tougher to tackle but if you do find the grease more stubborn, then my top tip is to use a window scraping tool. It is a game changing gadget for cleaning your oven and only costs a couple of pounds to chip away the burnt on food.”

To keep oven racks grease free, the expert suggested using soap pads which are “really inexpensive and great for tackling grime”. For more stubborn burnt on food, Laura said soak them in a bath with a dishwasher tablet and the grease will brush off much more easily with less stress.

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