Wednesday "How do I clean my oven safely?"

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Welcome to Ask Brini!

Our question today comes from "overitjacob" from ATX:
"Brini, I love you! Longtime fan. Recently I cleaned my oven with a leave-on foaming spray. Worked like a charm -- but now I'm terrified to use it, in case I didn't get all the stuff out of there. How can I make sure all that's in my oven is oven?"

Thank you for your question Jacob!

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth 

a pound of lye and sodium hydroxide.
-- Love, Brini

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No matter how many precautions we take, the day comes when a meal boils over onto the bottom of the oven. In that instant, we feel powerless. We can't stop and wipe up the spill due to the burning risk in a hot oven. We can only stand by and wait as the oven cools down, and the spill burns on. Then we assess the damage and start to clean.

Know Your Oven Type:
Before you can clean your oven, find out what type you have to prevent damage. Determine if your oven is a self-cleaning model, a textured model, or a regular non-self-cleaning oven. Always follow manufacturer's instructions for maintaining your oven.

For Self-Cleaning Ovens:
Run the self-cleaning cycle for your oven as often as you need to. It reduces almost any spill to a powdery gray pile of ash that can easily be wiped away at the end of the oven's cleaning cycle using a damp cloth. Make sure you have a window open during the process, to help keep smoke from sticking to walls and your ceiling. You may need to wash down the oven door and frame with a gentle cleaner to remove soil residue. Don't scrub the rubbery gasket that seals the oven door. Just rinse it with dish soap and then water. Don't use abrasives, or oven cleaners on the interior of the oven.

For Textured Ovens:
Textured ovens are sometimes called continuous cleaning ovens. They have a special surface that has a rough porcelain layer that is supposed to burn off food gradually as you continue to use your oven. To clean this type of oven, you should only need to wipe down the inside with a damp cloth when your oven is cool. Never use abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or oven cleaners.

For Regular Non-Self-Cleaning Ovens:
Each time the oven is cooled off, wipe up any spills with a hot, wet cloth. If you do this each time, food will not build up or burn onto the oven surfaces. Some people prefer to cover the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil, but you'll need to make sure that no vents are blocked if you choose this prevention trick. For really stubborn stains or buildup, you'll need an oven cleaner and a plastic scrubbing pad or brush. Make sure you use good ventilation when using an oven cleaner.

For self-cleaning ovens, you may want to remove plastic knobs for the duration of the cycle. There have been several people with warped or melted plastic knobs once their oven is finished cleaning itself.  Baking soda can be used on regular non-self-cleaning ovens as a gentle abrasive that also soaks up grease and oily stains.

What You Need
Manufacturers Instructions
Damp Cloths
Mild Detergents
Non-Self Cleaning Only: Oven Cleaner
Non-Self Cleaning Only: Aluminum Foil (optional)
Non-Self Cleaning Only: Plastic Scrub Brush or Pad


Described as part Donna Reed, part Mary Tyler Moore, Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy through her unparalleled personal flair for home design, entertaining and savvy household tips. Inspired by a divine thrift shop purchase of 1950's nesting bowls, she first began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites in 1998 through her self-titled cable access television show. With an emphasis on uncompromising fabulousness, Brini quickly garnered a devoted fan base and established herself as the go-to-girl on vintage fashion and mid-century modern treasures. After five years on the local airwaves her show was picked up by the Style Network. The subsequent series has been called a delightful success and has attracted a diverse audience thorough its national platform.

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