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How To Clean an Oven

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Citrus-based Cleansers on Metal

Citrus-based cleansers that contain the active ingredient d-limonene are a good choice for metal surfaces, because d-limonene doesn't react with metal surfaces. Do not use citrus-based methods on plastic or rubber surfaces, because the d-limonene is damaging to those materials. Commercial cleansers with d-limonene may also contain additional ingredients, such as abrasives added for scrubbing properties, so you should still test in an inconspicuous spot on any material or surface you might be concerned about scratching or damaging.

For a cream cleanser, use a damp sponge to apply 1 tablespoon of cream citrus-based cleanser to the metal surfaces of a cool oven. For a spray cleanser, thoroughly and evenly spray the the metal surfaces of a cool oven, and use a clean sponge dampened with water as your cleaning tool. In both cases, a sponge is easier than paper towels because the paper towels tend to tear. Rub in a circular motion to dislodge stains and remove light soil. Remove stain/borax mixture. Using a clean, damp sponge, wipe any remaining  residue from the metal surfaces. Dry the metal surface thoroughly with a clean, dry paper towel or clean, dry soft cloth.

A non-commercial citrus-based solution is to use the peel of an orange or lemon with ordinary salt. Use the peel instead of the fruit because it contains d-limonene and is less acidic than the fruit (acid promotes rusting in metal). Pour 1 tablespoon of salt in a shallow bowl. Press the outside of the citrus peel into the salt, so that the salt sticks to the peel. Rub the salted peel on the dirtied metal surfaces of your oven. The d-limonene in the peel will act as a degreaser, while the salt will act as a mild abrasive and help absorb oven soil. Rub in a circular motion to dislodge stains and remove light soil. Remove stain/citrus salt mixture. Using a clean, damp sponge, wipe any remaining  residue from the metal surfaces. Dry the metal surface thoroughly with a clean, dry paper towel or clean, dry soft cloth.

Basic Cleaning Remedies

There are other basic remedies for the metal parts of your oven that also use common household ingredients. Mix 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoon of vinegar to make about 1/4 cup of a fluffy, mildly abrasive cream cleanser. The baking soda is an essential ingredient because it acts as a mild abrasive and helps neutralize the acidic pH of the vinegar so that it will be less likely to damage metal surfaces.  Use a damp sponge to apply the mixture to the metal surfaces of a cool oven. Rub in a circular motion to dislodge stains and remove light soil. Remove stain/cleanser mixture. Using a clean, damp sponge, wipe any remaining  residue from the metal surfaces. Dry the metal surface thoroughly with a clean, dry paper towel or clean, dry soft cloth.

You can also use the mixture above for extremely stubborn areas of hardened cooking residue on the metal surfaces of your oven. Use a clean sponge dampened with water to apply the paste to specific problem areas. Allow to sit for 1 - 2 hours. Once the stain is softened,  Rub in a circular motion to dislodge stains and remove light soil. Remove stain/citrus salt mixture. Using a clean, damp sponge, wipe any remaining  residue from the metal surfaces. Dry the metal surface thoroughly with a clean, dry paper towel or clean, dry soft cloth. Before using test an inconspicuous spot, including the wait time of 1- 2 hours, if you are concerned about discoloring or damaging the metal finish.

You can use baking soda alone, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1/2 tablespoon of water to make a soft paste. Apply the baking soda mixture to the metal surface with a clean paper towel or a damp sponge. Rub in a circular motion to dislodge stains and remove light soil. Remove stain/baking soda mixture. Using a clean, damp sponge, wipe any remaining  residue from the metal surfaces. Dry the metal surface thoroughly with a clean, dry paper towel or clean, dry soft cloth.

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