Well, at least the glass is. Actually, as someone old enough to remember pulling half my body into a cavernous oven and proceeding to scrub, scratch and scrape while my eyes watered, head got woozy and I became encrusted in toxic black sludge — self-cleaning ovens are nothing short of miraculous inventions! I love them. They save me time AND brain cells. All the stuff that used to take hours to scrub away and left the skin peeling off my hands from cleaning chemicals, now just ends up as a manageable little pile of gray dust, to be swept away, at the end of the self cleaning cycle. That being said, it really isn’t terribly effective on the glass. You know, that little window, that lets you drool and anticipate as things are baking, without opening the oven door? Yah, that one. Well, the self cleaning cycle doesn’t clean it. Splatters and grease bake on, turning hard and brown; and when the cleaning cycle is over — the splatters and grease? — still baked on and brown. Ummm…fail.
There is one other issue with oven glass — that vent that runs across the top of the oven door. Now, if I was in a contest, and to win, I had to splatter something off the top of my range, into the narrow louvered slots of that horizontal vent and allow it to drip down in between the two panes of glass that comprise my oven window — forGET about it! There is no way I could pull that off. However, in some mysterious miracle of physics and irony, there is ALWAYS something splattered and dripping between those panes of glass. It makes me crazy! How on earth do I do that?
So, every so often, I have to do something to get that glass sparkling, again. Fortunately, it doesn’t require any awkward sort of stuffing myself into an appliance or asphyxiating with toxic fumes. It costs only pennies, doesn’t damage the glass and isn’t difficult to do. You won’t be needing any of that blue stuff in the spray bottle. It’s no match for this cleaning job. You need something tough, but that won’t scratch your glass while you’re scrubbing — Arm and Hammer baking soda. My sister-in-law, Elaine, suggested baking soda to me, years ago, for cleaning the film off of windshields. It worked like a dream and I have used it for tough glass cleaning jobs, ever since.
It really is as simple as sprinkling some baking soda on a damp cloth and scrubbing the glass. Use just enough water to keep the wash cloth moist. You don’t want a lot of dripping and the soda works best when it’s more paste-like on the cloth. See how quickly it starts to come clean? Look at the difference in that one small area!
Rinse your wash cloth, as needed, and apply more baking soda. Once you have finished scrubbing the glass, rinse it with cool water and wipe away any remaining soda residue. It really is that easy.
Now to tackle the drips between the panes. You’ll need a screwdriver, because you will take out the two screws at the top inside corners of your oven door. Yes, that handy-dandy tool bag, as well as the screwdriver, is pink. My tools used to disappear on a regular basis, never to be seen, again. I’ve noticed that pink ones are almost always right where I left them.
Here are a couple of “before shots”, once I got the screws out and the door sections separated. There is usually a pane of glass in each section; and this being the first time I have disassembled my new oven door, I discovered that this model actually has three! Just check your owner’s manual, if you’re not sure about your specific oven.
Use the same method, scrubbing both pieces of glass with a damp cloth and baking soda, then rinsing with cool water. For my oven, the glass in this top section has space behind it, as well. Leaving no path unexplored, my mystery drips have even gotten on the back side. I am able to slide it out of the metal track that holds it in place, clean it thoroughly, and slide it back into place.
Replace the two screws that hold your oven door sections together and you will have successfully polished your oven door window to perfection! See how pretty mine turned out? You’ve gotta love how easy and budget-friendly that job was, using nothing but a damp cloth and a few pennies-worth of Arm and Hammer baking soda. Check out these other great tips for cleaning with Arm and Hammer baking soda.
Next thing on the to-do list? It’s time to make a little pile of gray dust! Think I’ll enjoy a glass of iced tea and watch a little Food Network while I “work”. Self-cleaning is an amazing concept!
Do you have a self-cleaning oven? How do you keep the glass clean in yours? One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win a $25 Visa gift card for sharing how they tackle their toughest kitchen cleaning challenge! In a comment below, just share your tip for conquering a tough kitchen cleaning challenge and you’re entered. It doesn’t get easier than that!
You must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, June 19, 2011.
This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Save 50¢ off two 2lb or 4lb boxes of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. And be sure to visit The Switch & Save Challenge to tap into more resources and enter to win $25,000.