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You know the story: After cooking a big meal—especially after doing so several times a week, for months—splattered grease and unidentifiable bits of stuck-on food inevitably end up clouding the glass of your oven window. There’s no harm in allowing gunk to accumulate there for a while, but sooner or later you need to clean the oven glass, not only for appearances’ sake, but also to uphold the performance and longevity of your appliance. The catch? It’s rarely easy to clean oven glass, especially if a lot of time has passed since you last made the effort. In fact, getting the glass truly spotless may be the toughest part of cleaning your oven. It can be more difficult than cleaning the oven interior, especially if you’re fortunate enough to own a model with a self-cleaning mode (which, sadly, does little to clean the glass). Even cleaning the oven racks can be much less of a chore, as there are methods of getting the job done that require relatively little exertion. In comparison with these other tasks, cleaning the oven glass is labor intensive, but it’s uncomplicated work, and you probably already own everything you need for the job.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Baking soda
- Glass bowl
- Microfiber cloth
- Handheld vacuum (optional)
- Razor blade (optional)
Start by preparing the oven. After making sure it’s off, open the door all the way and remove any loose bits of blackened food. As you work, pay special attention to the area where the oven glass meets the door. A handheld vacuum makes it easy to draw crumbs out of the seam here, but a moistened cloth works fine in a pinch.
Start by mixing baking soda and water into an effective, natural cleaning agent. In a small bowl, combine one-half cup or a full cup of baking soda with just enough water to form a thick, shaving-cream-like paste. Spread the paste evenly over the oven glass, adding a bit more water for even coverage, if necessary. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
Allow the paste sufficient time to work its grime-loosening magic, then proceed to wipe the glass using a clean, moistened microfiber cloth (or any rag, really, so long as it’s fresh). Next, rinse the glass thoroughly with water. Afterward, wipe the surface dry, taking care to pick up any residual baking soda.
Depending on the condition of the oven door when you started, you may have one more step to tackle. If, after you’ve applied and wiped away the paste, burnt-on grease stubbornly remains, use a razor to scrape it away—gently! Finish by vacuuming up debris (or wiping it up with a cloth), then wipe the door down once more with a clean, damp cloth.
In extreme cases—for example, if you’re living in a rental where the oven window hasn’t been cleaned in years—a natural paste may not pack enough power. To get the job done, you may have to opt for a more potent, store-bought, and potentially toxic solution. If you go that route, be sure to follow the instructions on the product label. For me, though, the timeless combination of baking soda and water left the oven glass restored. By the time I’d finished razoring off the last chunks of gunk, the glass was so clean that I could see my reflection in it!