Keeping an oven clean can be difficult. Burned-on stains and food spills are tricky to remove. However, with a few tips and tricks this task can be much easier. The best method is to prevent spills and clean up any messes as soon as possible. Using a drip pan at the bottom of the oven helps, but, despite your best efforts, food will find it’s way on to the walls and racks.
The door gasket seal keeps the heat inside the oven and improves energy efficiency. The seal can become compromised if too much debris builds up here. Use warm soapy water to clean it off. As a precaution it is worth noting that soap should not be used to clean the burners or heating elements as it can promote corrosion.
There are several professional cleaners that do a good job of cleaning the oven. Just make sure to read all of the instructions and warnings. Often times rubber gloves are required and the area needs to be well ventilated. Caustic chemicals will burn skin and fumes can be toxic.
Ammonia Cleaning Trick
An easier approach is to use a similar process to the microwave cleaning trick and take advantage of chemical vapors. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, shut of the heat, and then place an oven-safe bowl of ammonia on the middle rack. Let it sit overnight. The vapors will loosen any burned-on stains and make it easy to clean with a paper towel. Do NOT use a homemade cleaning solution of vinegar and water to clean up after. Vinegar is an acid and ammonia is a base, so they will effectively cancel each other out.
Be forewarned that ammonia has a powerful smell. The kitchen may stink for a little while. It is good to keep a fan running to disperse the smell.