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How To Clean an Oven

Continued from page 2

Cleaning Glass and Plastic

A 1 to 1 ratio paste of baking soda and water can also be used on glass and plastic surfaces following the above method for stubborn residue. Because baking soda is a mild abrasive, test the paste on an inconspicuous part of the plastic to make certain it does not cause scratches.  Some plastic surfaces, coatings on plastic surfaces, and coatings on glass surfaces may tend to scratch. When using even mildly abrasive materials such as baking soda, or potentially abrasive tools like paper towels, always test an inconspicuous area. Soft microfiber cloths and sponges are good substitutes for paper towels.

Vinegar is an easy solution to apply and remove. For light soil, dilute vinegar with equal parts water. Apply the vinegar mixture to glass and plastic surfaces using a clean paper towel. Rub gently in a circular motion to dislodge caked-on stains. Wet a clean paper towel with water, and use to rinse stain and vinegar residue from the cooktop. Dry with a clean paper towel. Don't use vinegar on metal parts as it can damage the finish.

You can also use vinegar on heavy soil and baked-on grease.  Soak a paper towel in undiluted vinegar. Press securely onto the stain and allow to sit for 15 - 20 minutes. After 15 - 20 minutes, rub in a circular motion to dislodge stain material. Wet a clean paper towel with water, and use to rinse stain and vinegar residue from the glass and plastic surfaces. Dry with a clean paper towel.

If the odor of plain vinegar is bothersome, apple cider vinegar will produce similar cleaning results with less odor. The brown color of apple cider vinegar may stain light-colored rags and clothing. Apple cider vinegar contains a small amount of sugar, so because sugar can damage black glass cooktops if allowed to sit, do not use apple cider vinegar for the heavy soil and baked-on grease method on a black glass cooktop.

If your oven has removable plastic knobs, you can submerge them in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar to help dissolve stubborn residue and clean hard to reach areas. First check the knobs thoroughly to make sure that they do not have metal parts, as vinegar damages metal. Then, submerge the knobs in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar for 10 to 15 min. After 15 - 20 min. use a clean sponge or paper towel to dislodge and remove stain residue. Thoroughly rinse under a cold, running tap to remove vinegar residue. Dry completely.

Rubbing alcohol is an effective glass cleaner and disinfectant. Use with caution on plastic as it can cause reactions with certain types of plastic. To use as a general spray cleaner for glass and some plastics, combine 1 part commonly available rubbing alcohol (70% concentration) to 2 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray surfaces thoroughly and evenly. Use a clean sponge dampened with water to remove stain/cleaner residue. Dry thoroughly with a clean, dry paper towel.

Diluted bleach, 1 part bleach to 10 parts water, is also an effective general spray cleaner and disinfectant. It can cause pitting or discoloration if allowed to sit on metal surfaces. Never use clhorine bleach on stainless steel.

Diluted ammonia is also an effective general spray cleaner. However, the toxicity and damaging effects on stone surfaces commonly used in kitchen countertops make it less suitable for oven cleaning than other methods that we've described.

Safety Tip: Keep a box of baking soda or salt handy. In the event of a greasy spill, dumping baking soda or salt on the problem area will help prevent grease fires and  help make the spill easier to clean up once the oven is cool.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material.

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