The last time D’s Mum & Dad came to stay we let the side down. We were away at a wedding for the weekend and had left Ma & Pa back at our place to fend for themselves. We were relaxing having a coffee in the Hunter Valley sunshine and D thought he would call home to check they were doing ok and had everything they needed. Unfortunately D’s Mum had just that moment ventured into the kitchen and upon inspection of the oven found it unfit for purpose due to the layer of grime within. She was most unimpressed. We returned from the Hunter Valley the next day with our tails between our legs and bearing gifts of cheeses and chutneys. Our oven, it was noted, was lovely and clean.
So to avoid disappointment and embarrassment amongst the family during this visit D asked me to research natural ways we can clean the oven. Of all the products we all use to keep our homes clean, oven cleaner is arguably the most toxic. When you use it it’s important to keep the area well ventilated and even then it can make people feel dizzy or nauseous. Are potential side effects like that really necessary just to have a clean oven? Well apparently not because there are lots of tried and tested natural alternatives available.
It can be done a number of ways but it generally involves baking soda. Ah baking soda, is there anything you can’t do? The general gist is spray the inside of the oven with water, chuck around lots of baking soda including a nice thick layer on the base of the oven. Make sure the baking soda is wet with water then leave for a few hours and wipe it all away. Some people use a vinegar based solution to clean off the baking soda, some wet the baking soda a second time before bedtime then leave it overnight. Some make a paste with baking soda and vinegar, paint it on and then put the oven on for a while.
We just went for the standard baking soda and water, for a few hours, without the oven on (as it’s gas and I had read that you can expect some pyrotechnics!) It worked pretty well. It was definitely non toxic which was pleasant compared to the usual cleaners. It also got the oven pretty clean. There were a few stubborn spots so I sent D in armed with some Bar Keepers Friend. Now there’s a product that can’t be beat. It got those last baked on spots looking sparkling and apparently it’s a pretty friendly and natural substance.
So there it is. The whole house has now been spring cleaned ready for Ma and Pa’s arrival in the morning. And it was achieved for the first time ever using 100% natural and 95% homemade products! All I used was my glass cleaner, my dusting spray and my kitchen spray. The kitchen spray doubled as a bathroom spray and I even used it on the floors with a microfibre mop. Job done!