Are you sick of scrubbing caked-on grime? Here’s a foolproof way to clean your oven, without the elbow grease.

How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?

This may sound obvious, but you should clean your oven whenever it’s dirty. So many people procrastinate, and put off cleaning their oven for as long as possible. But the more you procrastinate, the more the grime builds up, leaving you with a bigger mess than necessary.

Instead, spot clean splatters as they happen. Ideally, wait until your oven has cooled enough to touch, and wipe it out as soon as you’ve finished baking. This way, the splattered food won’t dry out, and you won’t need as much elbow grease to get it clean.

How to Clean Your Oven When It’s Really Dirty

Okay, so you’ve let a few spills and splatters sit in your oven for a while, and now you’re faced with a caked-on, baked-on mess. The first thing you want to do is remove your oven door and set it aside. Most models of oven have a small metal catch on each side of the door. Simply open each catch and lift your oven door upwards to remove. Be careful, though, the door will be heavy!

Now, remove the racks, and place them in a sink or tub. Fill your chosen vessel with some hot water, and sprinkle laundry detergent on top. Give the water a good stir and leave your racks to soak for at least a couple of hours.

While the grime on your racks is loosening up, tend to your oven. If you’re dealing with grease-based gunk, use a quality, kitchen-friendly spray, coating the entire inside of your oven (and your door) before promptly wiping it away. If you’re dealing with baked-on, hardened food, give this trick a go:

Make a thick paste using baking soda and water, and apply it to the entire inside of your oven (avoiding the elements, and ignoring the door). Let the paste sit for around half an hour, and the grime should come away with the help of a damp sponge. Follow up with a spritz of diluted white vinegar, and you should have a squeaky-clean oven. Now, simply wipe down the racks and reassemble!

How to Clean Your Oven When It’s a Little Dirty

If your oven is only a little bit dirty, skip removing the racks and the door. Use a grease-busting spray for the majority of the grime, and use the baking soda method as a spot treatment for any fussy, crusty messes. Finish off with some window cleaner to really get things sparkling, and you’re good to go!

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