How To Clean Your Oven With A Bowl Of Lemon Water

All those baked lasagnas, one-pot casseroles, Thanksgiving turkeys, and chewy chocolate chip cookies are fun and games until it comes time to clean the equipment that made them, aka the beast known as the oven. With drippings of fat everywhere, forgotten spills clogging up the bottom, stubborn burnt bits stuck to the racks, and thick layers of grease built up over time, ovens are by far the toughest and nastiest things to clean in the entire kitchen. Safe to say, it's a chore that tends to be put off the most by people.

A dirty oven may very well be intimidating to clean, but it can be turned into an easier job with just a bowl of water and a lemon or two. Simply pop sliced lemons into a bowl of water and then place the bowl in a preheated oven set to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As the lemon water heats up in the oven, with some experts suggesting leaving it for an hour to process, all the stubborn gunk will loosen up, which can then be scrubbed off with a rag dipped in the heated citrus solution — it's as easy as that and just one more way lemons act as excellent cleaning agents.

Why lemons are great to clean with

A bowl of lemon water can do the trick of washing off stubborn stains and greasy patches left over in your oven, make surfaces like the glass inside microwaves gleam, and even descale your kettle thanks to the fruit's high concentration of citric acid — the same component that gives lemons their sour, eye-puckering taste makes it a cleaning wonder.

Citric acid can also immobilize food-borne bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli thanks to its natural antibacterial properties. Plus, if you're trying to get rid of the lingering smell of perhaps some fish you baked in your oven the previous night, a bowl of lemon water is all it takes. Especially when boiled in water, the fruit neutralizes stale odors, leaving a fresh and citrusy aroma instead.

That being said, while lemon water is an easy way to clean an oven, it's not the only way to use the fruit. Lemons turn into even more powerful cleaning agents when they react with other alkaline compounds such as baking soda.

Even more ways to use lemons to clean an oven

As discussed, one way to clean your oven is the bowl of lemon water method. After a few minutes in a hot oven, the steam will loosen all the gunk, and you can then use the warm solution to scrub everything off. And, as a bonus, the combo will also deodorize everything and leave a fresh, lemony scent lingering in your kitchen. 

If your oven requires a more heavy-duty cleanser, however, you can also mix a few drops of lemon juice into some baking soda and use the paste to scrub off stubborn patches of grease. Alternatively, you could also sprinkle baking soda inside the oven and then use a lemon wheel as a gentle abrasive scrubber to get off the grime.

A DIY spray of lemon juice mixed with vinegar is another effective solution to clean oven grease, as are drops of citrus juice stirred into a mixture of cornstarch and dishwashing liquid. Once the insides of the oven are spick and span — the most arduous part — you can rub some plain lemon juice all over the glass door and wipe it down with a cloth to make that part clean and shiny as well. With any method you choose, you'll likely be surprised to see just how far a few lemons will get you when it's time to clean!