I’ve been cleaning empty apartment units and rental homes for about ten years now. It’s been a good source of side income to help with the little purchases that I otherwise might feel guilty making, such as my Bare Escentuals makeup. It’s great makeup and the investment is well worth it, I just prefer to make my own money to make these kinds of purchases so my husband won’t need to do that for me. And besides, it feels really great to accomplish a job that pays, because getting my own floors cleaned doesn’t pay in cash.
I figured it was about time I share some of the cleaning tips I have been discovering along the way. The single most frustrating cleaning task I face is the oven, stove, and fan. I have tried several products and the one that has always stood above the rest is Easy Off Oven Cleaner, but I prefer the fume free version. However, I don’t use Easy Off alone, I also use SOS Soap Pads, but the generic version works just as well with this task. You’ll also want to be sure to use rubber gloves, especially if you have acrylic nails you want to protect or sensitive skin. I use Dawn dish soap for the knobs and for cleaning the painted slash marks that indicate the ‘on’ position. Using Easy Off and SOS pads would scratch those off and you don’t want to do that.
So in all, you’ll need the following items:
Easy Off Oven Cleaner- Fume Free
SOS Soap Pads
Paper towels (Brawny work best, because you can rinse them and re-use.)
Dawn Dish Soap
Sponge with the scratchy side and soft side
The first step is to remove the racks from inside the stove, and everything on the stove top such as the drip pans and electric coils and the burner racks from the top.
Pull the oven away from the wall so you can clean the sides of the oven too.
Line the floor under the stove with paper towels or foil to protect the floor from Easy Off.
Follow the Easy Off Instructions for spraying the inside of the stove. Some people leave the racks inside the over while doing this, but I have found that the portions of the rack that rest on the grooves don’t get clean all the way, nor do those groves. I then take the racks outside to a safe place (away from children and pets) resting against something that isn’t important such as a piece of plywood or cardboard, and coat the racks on both sides with Easy Off. Let them sit while you do the next step.
Remove all knobs and place in a bowl and fill with hot water and a few drops of Dawn. Let soak.
Remove the fan filter from the inside of the stove’s fan and spray the inside of the hood with Easy Off, using caution to not let the spray fall into your eyes.
Place the metal filter in the sink and run very hot water over it then flip and run water through the other side. Spray with Easy Off and let sit. If the filter hasn’t been changed in the past 6 months, you might want to just replace it. You can call an appliance store and give them the make and model of the hood fan and they’ll let you know the cost.
Lift up the stove top and be sure the wire arms are rested in the open position so it doesn’t fall on your arms. Remove all debris with paper towels then spray with Easy Off and close the stove top to let the solution soak in.
Line inside of your sink with paper towels and place the drip pans in the sink. Spray them generously with the Easy Off. Let sit.
HOOD: Now, with your gloves on, use the SOS pads to start circular motions on the inside of the stove hood to help loosen the grime. You can use paper towels to remove the suds as you go along. Add just a few drops of water to the SOS pads as needed so the solution doesn’t dry up. You’ll want to keep wiping away the soap with those paper towels until you see the grime is gone. Once you see that all the grime is gone, using the clean wet sponge to finish removing the soap, wiping with paper towels until clean and dry.
UNDER STOVE TOP: Clean under the stove top, using the SOS pads in a circular motion to loosen the grime, wiping with paper towels along the way.
STOVE TOP: Next, clean the stove top with Dawn dish soap and your sponge. If there are stubborn grime spots where the drip pans had been, you can spray Easy Off on those spots and let sit for a few minutes, and then gently scrub with the SOS pads. You can also use a plastic spatula to scrape it if needed. Once the stove top is clean, lift the top up again and begin wiping out the tray underneath. Be sure not to miss the underside of the rim of your stove top and the sides of it. Wipe away all soap, then wipe down with a clean wet sponge until all the soap is removed. Then wipe down with paper towels. Another friend of mine suggested using Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser on the stove top.
RACKS: Take a bucket of water with you, some SOS pads, and the gloves. Begin scrubbing down the racks by wrapping the pad around each bar, scrubbing in an up and down motion (depending on the direction in which the rack is standing, you might be scrubbing side to side). Dip the soap pad in water periodically to avoid the soap drying. Once you have scrubbed all the bars with the soap pads, spray them down with a hose on all sides. Let drip dry.
OVEN: With the gloves on, use the soap pads to wipe down the stove, and be sure to scrub in between each groove that the racks rest on. Once you have scrubbed down the stove, wipe as much of that soap out as possible with the paper towels. Then use a wet sponge to wipe out the stove, rising sponge as needed. Once you think you have gotten all the soap and grime out of the oven, wipe thoroughly with paper towels (again, making sure to get those grooves wiped out well). Don’t forget to wipe down the inside of the oven door and along the sides of the door. When the inside is clean, close the door and wash the front of the oven door with a sponge well soaked with Dawn, but rung out just enough that the liquid is slightly drippy. Clean well and wipe down with paper towels.
KNOBS: Wash all the knobs with the sponge, applying Dawn directly to stubborn grime, rinse well and place on paper towels to dry.
FILTER: Rinse the Easy Off, off of the metal fan filter with hot water, spraying both sides, then set on towels to dry.
SIDES: Be sure to clean the sides and front of the oven.
Once every part of your stove/oven has been cleaned, dry with paper towels and replace all parts to their positions.
Be sure to clean up the mess on the floor. Sweep and mop behind the oven. Sometimes grime drips along the side of the cabinets that your oven is next to, you’ll want to be sure to clean that as well. The Dawn soap can be applied to break up the grime before wiping down.
You can do one final step if you would like. Make a solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the stove and oven and wipe down with paper towels.
Your stove will look much better now, but may not look brand new if it had been a while since you did such a deep cleaning.
I suggest that you wipe down your entire stove and oven each week to avoid having such a difficult task. You can line your drip pans and oven with foil to prevent food and oils from creating those stubborn spots.