These Two Kitchen Staples Are The Secret Ingredients To Keeping Your Oven Clean

When it comes to kitchen tidying tasks, ovens are one of the worst to tackle. No matter how hard you try, foods inevitably bubble over and splash out of pans to create burnt-on messes that thwart keeping a spotlessly clean oven. Many people shy away from using their oven's self-cleaning feature since it gets so incredibly hot, and reports of those cycles damaging plenty of ovens litter the internet. Others do their best to avoid toxic chemical cleaners to get rid of that baked-on grime. There's an easy solution that can save the day, though, and all it takes is two pantry staples: apple cider vinegar and sugar.

By mixing 8 fluid ounces of apple cider vinegar with 1 fluid ounce of sugar, you can create a safe and effective oven cleaner. Wipe it on the entire surface of your oven or add it to a spray bottle and spritz it on. After sitting for an hour or so, you should be able to wipe away the residue easily with a damp cloth. For persistent spots, you may have to spray them again and wait another half hour before you wipe the oven clean.

How apple cider and sugar work to clean an oven

As the name implies, apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider. Like white vinegar, it contains acetic acid – the active ingredient that breaks down baked-on foods and grease when it's employed as an oven cleaner. One of the advantages of using apple cider vinegar for cleaning is that it smells better than white vinegar. The sweeter-smelling vinegar, however, contains less acetic acid than its more pungent cousin, so it can be a little less effective when removing super-thick grime. For moderately dirty ovens, however, it does work well.

Adding sugar to a liquid like apple cider vinegar can boost its grease-removing properties, according to Dr. Francesca Kerton, a professor of Green Chemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. "Sugar is a great scrub because it is a crystalline material or a solid that likes to form small cube-like objects," says Kerton (via The Sugar Association). So, if you're seeking a way to clean your oven naturally using common kitchen ingredients, mixing apple cider vinegar with sugar is a combination worth trying.