Yesterday I told you all about that leaky garden hose and the simple fix of adding the washer, and now I introduce you to...
Exhibit B: Oven cleaning
Simple solution: Using the self-cleaning setting.
Now, maybe this post just reveals the fact that my education included little to no education on domesticity, so I have been required to figure out a lot on my own along the way. But, I am guessing some of you are in the same boat as me.
After one-too-many sweet potatoes dripped onto the bottom of our oven and our kitchen smelled a little burnt every time we cooked, I figured it was time to finally clean our oven. I knew we needed to steer clear of those oven cleaners, as they are supposed to be some of the most intensely chemical household products out there. (And, when you have a self-cleaning oven, you are specifically not supposed to use cleaners inside it.) Yet, for some stupid reason, I was afraid to test out the self-cleaning feature on my oven because I knew it would get really hot, and I didn't know much else. The good news is that I did not need to know much else.
It takes very little work to get this oven clean! (This is an after shot; you'll have to imagine the oven with black-coated sides as the before...)
Well, here are the couple items you should know about using the self-cleaning feature on your oven:
1) Be sure you lock your oven before you use the self-cleaning feature. Mine locks automatically when I press "Self Clean," and there's a good chance that if your oven is from the past decade yours locks automatically, too.
2) Clean your oven on a cool day. I realize in many parts of the country it may be too late for that this season, but perhaps you've got a couple cool days left in your region. If so, take advantage now...it will get toasty! We chose a crappy Saturday a couple weeks ago when the temperature barely reached 50 degrees. We also opened a couple windows for good measure.
3) Make sure you'll be around for at least four hours. It doesn't seem like a good idea to keep a self-cleaning oven unattended.
4) Most of the junk inside your oven will miraculously disappear once you have completed the self cleaning, and any larger residue will form an ash-like substance on the bottom of your oven. This can be easily wiped away with a cloth.
And, the mistake I made...
I took out our two oven racks, thinking that I would be able to scrub them better in the sink. I was wrong. In retrospect, I should have left the racks in the oven, and the self-cleaning feature would have taken off their grime just like it took off all the grime coating the sides of the oven.
Next time it's a chilly Saturday or Sunday in your home, take a few hours to clean the oven!