3 tips for keeping your oven clean to make it last

A clean, well-maintained oven can last for many years. Here are some clever tips for keeping your oven clean that may not be obvious.

3 tips for keeping your oven clean to make it last

1. Give your racks a bath

Stop! Before you start giving your arms a workout scrubbing oven racks, give the racks a bath.

  • Lay old towels in the tub to protect it from scratching and put the racks on the towels.
  • Then mix 50 ml (1/4 cup) of white vinegar with 50 ml (1/4 cup) of dishwashing detergent and pour it in the tub.
  • Fill the tub with enough hot water to cover the racks and let them sit for an hour. Meanwhile, relax.
  • When you return, just rinse and dry the racks.
  • Rinse and wipe out the tub right away so the grease from the racks doesn't get a chance to adhere.

2. Clean that grimy window

Oven windows tend to become so dirty we can't even tell what's in there, let alone whether it is done cooking.

  • When you think about it, a dirty window actually reduces the efficiency of your stove because you keep opening the door to check the food.

To clean the window, rub it with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda.

  • If stuff is really baked on, wipe the window with ammonia, let it stand for 30 minutes, then scrape it off a plastic ice scraper. Don't use a metal tool.

3. Protect your continuous-clean oven

The key to keeping your continuous-clean oven looking great for many years is to wipe up major oven spills promptly. Otherwise they form a glaze that prevents the interior from burning off more minor spills. When a major spill happens:

  1. Blot up as much of the spill as you can with paper towels. Do this while the oven is still warm and the spill is soft. Don't rub — any paper particles can clog the rough surface.
  2. When the oven is completely cool, spray it with an all-purpose cleaner. Work the cleaner in with a nylon-bristle brush or net pad, let stand for about 30 minutes, then scrub with the brush.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with cold water by squeezing a wet sponge over the area. Then wipe up the excess with a paper towel or a sponge.
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