Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Little Lovin' for the Oven

Hello friends!  I don't know about you but I cannot stop eating Easter candy.  It is a bad addiction. Those Cadbury mini eggs are my greatest nemesis.  I should just throw the rest of them away but I can't bring myself to do it.  Somebody help me!

Besides shoving chocolate into my face (I swear that Frozen reference was accidental), I have been busy continuing to plug away at my monthly cleaning list.  It has officially been more than a month now, but some of these "20 minute" chores are taking me a lot longer than 20 minutes!  I am hoping that if I can keep up with this monthly list, the chores will go much faster, but the initial cleaning of some of these tasks has been brutal.  Case in point: our oven.

While it certainly was not as disgusting as our dishwasher, it was equally as time consuming.  Here is what we started out with:

We have a self-cleaning feature on our oven but lately I have been reading a lot about how using the self-clean feature really isn't good for your oven, plus the fumes are nauseating, so I decided to go at it the ol' fashioned route. 

I started by pulling out the oven racks and put them to soak in the bathtub lined with a bath towel to prevent scratches.  I added a bit of dawn dish soap to the water, covered the racks with dryer sheets and let them soak. 

Apparently the dryer sheets somehow help to loosen any caked-on bits and I have to say it worked really well.  I let them soak several hours (probably could have let them sit overnight) and then used the wet dryer sheets to wipe down the individual rungs.  The racks were not too bad to begin with, but they definitely came out even shinier and cleaner than when they went in.

For the oven itself, I began by spraying the entire inside with a combination of 1 cup water, 1 TBS castile soap.  I then sprinkled a layer of baking soda on the bottom of the oven and on the door.

After I let the baking soda sit and do its magic for 30 minutes, it was time to put on my pink cleaning gloves and get to work with the scrubbing.  I repeated the spray/baking soda trick a few times and ended up busting out some SOS pads to get off some of the tougher messes. 

Not wanting to leave the job only half-done, I pulled my oven away from the wall so that I could  sweep up crumbs that I was sure were hiding underneath. 

So, I guess "crumbs" was a bit of an understatement.  It was basically a week's worth of garbage back there. 
With my oven pulled away from the counter, I was able to get a good look at the sides of my oven.   WARNING!  Once you look at these pictures, you will not be able to un-see them!

Yeah, nasty, I know. 

A bit of sweeping, a bunch of scrubbing, and things were looking much better:

Since I was already elbow deep in muck and grime, I decided to tackle our toaster oven as well.  It was in seriously bad shape:

Toast, anyone?

I used the same cleaning method on the toaster as I did on our oven (soapy water, baking soda and an SOS pad).  It took a lot of elbow grease but it was worth it. 

I think this transformation is worthy of a little before-after photo op:

Check out that glass door!  I can't even believe how dirty it was.  And we were eating toast out of that thing every morning!  We are disgusting.

After all those appetizing photos, I think it is time for me to pop a few more mini eggs into my mouth.  Happy cleaning, everyone!