A Mindless Task

Does anyone really enjoy cleaning? If you do, I commend you. I clean A LOT because we have five pets and a day without cleaning makes our house look like a tornado went through it, but that doesn’t mean I fully enjoy it. Sure, I put on loud music and sing obnoxiously to make it bearable, but ultimately, I wish the task would do itself.

I want the cleaning process to be two things: Quick and as natural as possible. I work full-time, which includes traveling a lot. Matt is a full-time student currently on rotations. We do not have the time to spend hours cleaning our house only to have it be dirty again the next day. I’ve started do to one to two tasks a day so I don’t feel overwhelmed when the weekend comes and I feel I need to clean everything.

Today was oven day. I have pushed it off for MONTHS because seriously, who wants to spend a Saturday morning cleaning their oven? I tried a baking soda cleaning recipe last year that, despite how much I swear by baking soda for almost everything, DID NOT work. It left a crusty brown layer of crap inside my oven that probably just baked along with the food every time I turned it on. I did not want to purchase some chemical filled cleaner, especially I would be using it where I bake my food, but my usual All-Purpose Cleaner wasn’t strong enough to do the job. Alas, this is where Dr. Bronner saved the day. If you haven’t heard of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, click on that link and purchase it right now. The stuff is pure gold. I have it in three scents: Peppermint, Lavender, and Rose. Peppermint is perfect for cleaning because it adds a subtle fresh scent without making you feel nauseous. Trust me, you won’t want to clean with anything else once you’ve discovered this product.

What makes it so awesome is a combination of things. For starters, let’s talk about the packaging. It has tons of reading material on it if you are bored and feel like learning random facts. Second, it is 100% natural. It’s made with organic oils, is fair trade (meaning those involved in production are paid an acceptable living wage), is non GMO certified, and is cruelty free and vegan, meaning it is not tested on animals nor does it have animal by-products in it. Lastly, IT WORKS. It’s a win-win all around.

When it came to my disgusting oven, I diluted the castile soap in a bowl of hot water (Did I measure? No. Should I have? Probably). I’ll guess I used 1/4 cup or so of castile soap with 2 cups or so of water. Trust me. You don’t need a lot. I added water until the mixture was extremely soapy and I knew I had enough water for my whole oven. I used a scrub brush dipped in the mixture and basically scrubbed all the gunk out of my oven the best I could. Warning: Put a towel or something on the floor because the stuff that drips down is filthy. I took the oven racks and cleaned them separately in the bathtub (with the same mixture) after the oven itself was done. After the entire oven was covered, I let it soak for 3-5 minutes and then wiped everything away with a towel. I started with paper towels, but quickly realized I would need a whole roll, so I used an old towel we hardly use anymore. The difference between pre and post-cleaning was incredible. It’s not perfect, but it’s 10x better than it was before. I don’t even have a before picture because I don’t want to gross anyone out. The bowl below does show the gunk though, so just use your imagination of how the oven looked.

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Below are the two products used along with a picture of my recently cleaned oven. The whole process took me about 15-20 minutes and now I have a clean oven to use. If it ever gets as bad as it was before (I’ll try my hardest to not let it get that way), I now have my go-to method to get it clean again. This cleaning method can be used on pretty much anything, as long as the scrub brush doesn’t scratch what you’re cleaning. Good luck!

*This is a referral code if you’re interested in purchasing anything off of Vitacost. I get $10, but you also get $10 off your first order. http://goo.gl/ykAyVW

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