Cleaning the stove top, oven and microwave
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Your oven has been called the “heart” of the kitchen. You prepare every meal on the stovetop or inside the oven itself. Your stove and oven get lot of use AND abuse. Spills dry, harden and burn onto their surfaces. Let’s look at a few ways we can clean them as well as prevent spills and messes on your stovetop, microwave and oven.
Tips for your stove top
Spills should be wiped up as soon as they happen, but the burners have to cool down before you can wipe the stovetop. Because you need to wait for it to cool, the spills to continue to burn onto the cooktop. Start by letting the stovetop cool completely before trying to clean it. Use a wet microfiber cloth and wipe off large debris. Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and spray the entire stovetop with straight vinegar. Let the vinegar sit on the stovetop for a few minutes. Vinegar is a natural acid and the longer you let it sit on the surface, the better the acid work on the buildup. Wipe the area again with the microfiber cloth that’s been rinsed with very hot water. If there are still some stubborn spots, respray the area with vinegar and then sprinkle the area with baking soda. Use a scrubby sponge that is designed to be used on non-stick surfaces and scrub the areas in a circular motion. I recommend using aSkoy Scrub and also an Xtreme Sponge. The sponge will start to turn brown as the buildup is removed. Rinse and repeat the process until the entire stovetop is completely clean. Finish with a gentle glass cleaner and a fine woven microfiber cloth to leave the stove top with a nice shine.
If you have a glass topped stove, there is a great little tool that will help keep the cook top looking great. It’s a flat-edged razor. The razor will remove burnt on spots with a quick pass. You can also use the razor with a combination of baking soda and vinegar to remove buildup. Make sure the razor is very sharp and is always used at a 45-degree angle to the stovetop.
If you have a gas stove, be very careful when cleaning around the area over the pilot light. This area is extremely warm and if you spray a cleaner directly on the area, it can damage the finish. Also, if you are using harsh chemicals the heat will turn it to steam and off gas fumes into the air.
Tips for your oven
One great tip to prevent spills from getting to the floor of your oven is to use something to catch and keep spills off of the oven floor. You can use aluminum foil and place it under the pan you are using. Don’t place the foil directly on the oven floor as it may actually stick to the surface. Instead, use foil on the rack underneath the one you are using or around the pan that is cooking on the rack. This will let the air continue to circulate in the oven and bake evenly. You can also use a cookie sheet as long as it’s larger that the pan you are baking. An oven liner is designed specifically for preventing spills. The oven liner is not affected by the heat, but some manufactures recommend not using around birds – which means they are off-gassing. You need to check with the manufacturer of your oven before using an oven liner so you don’t damage the oven floor or restrict the air flow in the oven its self.
Self-cleaning ovens should never be cleaned with a chemical cleaner. The finish is designed specifically to have the debris fall off once the oven is heated to 500 degrees. If you use a chemical on the finish, it will damage those properties. You can wipe the finish with a damp microfiber cloth after the oven has run through the self-cleaning cycle and has cooled completely. You can also spot wash spills with a damp microfiber cloth.
Ovens without a self-cleaning option can be cleaned by mixing up a paste of baking soda and water and “painted” on the walls and floor of the over. Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and spray all the surfaces. You will see the baking soda start to foam up. Continue to spray the oven every 15 minutes for an hour. Then let this mixture sit on the oven surfaces overnight. The next morning all you will need to do is wipe the entire oven down with a wet microfiber cloth. The reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar will lift everything off the oven walls and base. It also will leave the oven clean without any residue that could be dangerous to your family. Regular oven cleaners are very toxic and if they aren’t completely rinsed from the oven can penetrate your food and seep into your air. By using vinegar and baking soda you are using the science of natural cleaners that won’t hurt anyone.
Tips for your microwave
Microwaves should wiped thoroughly after each use. But not everyone that uses the microwave wipes it out after they use it. Instead, leftover spills and spatters get microwaved onto its surface. A quick tip for cleaning the inside of the microwave is to place a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a microwaveable container in the microwave. Microwave this mixture for 1 to 2 minutes until it boils and steams up the inside of the microwave. The lemon juice is a natural acid and it will adhere to the spills on the walls of the microwave and work to loosen them while the microwave is cooling. Once it’s completely cool, use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the inside surfaces. All of the debris will wipe off and the microwave will be sparkling clean with no residual chemicals to have to rinse off.
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This episode is sponsored by Maid Brigade