The Most Important Thing You Can Clean Before Thanksgiving

published Nov 21, 2021
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Credit: Rikki Snyder

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Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, or Friendsgiving, or reserve the big holiday meals for later in the year, you can’t deny that your kitchen gets a lot of use this time of year. Especially the oven: Between ham and yams and cookies and challah, the oven gets a real workout.

You know how it’s more enjoyable to work and relax in a clean house? You can channel that energy on the micro level, too, to carry you through all your holiday baking. Yes: I want you to deep clean your oven.

A spotless oven is going to set you up for all the cooking you need to tackle, feeling more confident in the kitchen the whole way.

Credit: Rikki Snyder
Libman's Power Scrub Brush has a contoured handle with extra grip that adds power on the tough-to-scrub areas like the oven.

Day 9: Deep clean your oven.

There are many ways to deep clean an oven. You should choose whatever method appeals to your schedule, supply of tools, and particular mood today. Unfortunately, each method involves just getting in there and cleaning the oven. So it’s better to just dive in and tackle the job.

First, clean the inside of the oven. Remove the racks and grates (leave them to soak in soapy water in the bathtub or sink if you have the space and time). Then turn your sights to removing any grease or grime caked on to the inside chamber. You can opt for a commercial oven cleaner here, if you’d like, just follow the instructions on the label. Or for something a little more I-already-have-this-at-home, make a paste of baking soda and water and coat the inside of the oven with it. Let that mixture sit for a few hours, then use a brush to scrub and scrape every inside surface clean. A scraper tool might also come in handy here, if stuff is really caked on. Once you’re done here, wipe down and replace your oven racks.

Credit: Rikki Snyder
A Microfiber Sponge Cloth is a great tool for the outside of appliances. It's super-absorbent and lifts dirt and grime, but it doesn't streak.

Next, clean the outside of the oven. Vacuum or sweep away crumbs from the top. Soak or wipe down the grates, if you have them. Then just give the outside of the entire oven a once-over with a microfiber cloth and your favorite surface cleaner. (Don’t forget the knobs and the instrument panel!)

Credit: Rikki Snyder
Libman's Microfiber Sponge Cloth is reusable. Toss it in the washing machine and ditch single-use products.

After all this, you might find that your oven glass still isn’t spotless. That’s fine, if you can live with it (it won’t affect your holiday cooking in any way, except you might need to open and peek to see when your cookies are golden brown). But if you’re after that like-new feeling, you’ll need to perform some appliance surgery to clean between the panes of oven glass. It’s not for the busy or faint of heart.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: The Un-Sexiest (But Most Satisfying) Thing You Can Clean Before Thanksgiving