by Nicole Lisson
– The Capitol Hill Times –
When I first found my apartment, I immediately fell in love with its old-world charm. Crown molding, original hardwood floors, and the black and white tile in the kitchen had me signing on the dotted line. It wasn’t until after I moved in that I noticed there was no dishwasher. Five pounds of paper plates quickly fixed that problem.
Then came the holidays and my old fashioned oven, which I thought was so cute, wasn’t so cute anymore. Sticky residue from the roast I cooked, beer spillage from the bread I baked and other unidentified substances got glued to the bottom, causing smoke to billow whenever you turned it on. No problem, I thought to myself. That’s why you have the self-cleaning feature. As soon as the thought entered my mind, I was quickly disheartened to learn that ovens built in the 1960s do not, in fact, offer a self-cleaning feature. It was a blonde moment at my finest.
The morning of a dinner party, I had to scramble to find a solution or else my guests would have had to squint through a haze of smoke in order to eat their meal. Not exactly the kind of ambience I was going for. Baking soda and hours of elbow grease later, the sludge wouldn’t come off. My marinated pot roast was placed back in the refrigerator and three large pizzas’ were ordered.
Lucky for you, dear readers, if you have an oven that is older than your grandparents, I have just the solution. So roll up your sleeves and call me Mrs. Clean.
For Serious Spills
Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of a cool oven then spray it with water or vinegar. Allow to sit overnight, then wipe clean in the morning. Another option is to mix baking soda and water in a spray bottle, spray it all over the inside of your oven and then proceed to use your oven as needed. The heat makes the dirt flake off.
For Not So Serious Spills
Place some citrus peels (limes and lemons work best) in a shallow pan and cover them with water. Place them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow it to cool. As soon as the oven is no longer hot, wipe away the grease with a sponge or rag.