How to Clean an Oven with a Toddler

Cleaning the oven with a toddler is not easy but it is possible. Sometimes you just gotta tackle the job that needs to be done, toddler in tow or not. If you’re faced with a dirty oven and a “helpful” toddler, here are my tips for getting it done…

How to clean an oven with a toddler

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First, put the baby to sleep (and wait ten minutes to make sure she’s really asleep). Wish that the toddler would nap too, but realize it’s not going to happen and that oven won’t clean itself. Gather your supplies: oven cleaner, Envirocloths, scratch-free scrubby.

Next, open oven, remove first oven rack and allow toddler to help remove second oven rack. Warn toddler to stand back and spray oven with cleaner. Repeat warning every thirty seconds as toddler advances. Close oven door and turn on oven fan. Read a story to toddler while waiting the required twenty minutes for oven cleaner to work.

Get two Envirocloths damp and open the door. Commence scrubbing oven door and only mentally saying nasty things about the stains that aren’t coming out despite being soaked in cleaner. Give toddler one cloth to “help” you scrub the door in the place you’ve already wiped it. Turn your Envirocloth to a cleaner side and keep wiping down the door. Toddler observes, “Dirty.”

Spray more oven cleaner on the stains. Use the scrubby to scrub the stubbon spots. Some will come out. Some may not. Wipe it down with the Envirocloth.

Commence scrubbing interior of oven. Try to tell toddler that she cannot lean on oven door (even though Mommy is practically doing that in her attempt to clean the oven.) Scrub carefully around the hot oven light to avoid burning yourself. Try to tell toddler to wipe the door while you wipe inside.

Rinse your Envirocloth and your toddlers. Show toddler where she can scrub oven while you continue scrubbing the really dirty parts. Admire the clean, shiny sides of the oven that look so much better now.

Pour more oven cleaner in bottom of oven on tough dirt spots. Remind yourself to add oven liner to the grocery list to make the oven easier to clean next time. Tell toddler to get off the door again. Tell toddler she doesn’t need “soap” for her “towel.” Scrub the tough spots again. Use wet Envirocloth to give the entire oven one last rinse—too bad for the stains that won’t come off (maybe they were there when you moved in).

Scrub oven racks with a spirinette (at least the racks are easier to clean). Move over so toddler can stand on chair watching you scrub oven racks. Wash toddler’s hands. Rinse oven racks, return to oven, close door and wash down outside of oven. Remind yourself that this job should be done semi-annually and not left until you move out of the next place in four years or so (try not to think about what an oven would look life if not cleaned for four years).

Tell toddler, “Oven done.” Toddler nods and repeats, “Oven done.” (Hurrah.)

Check to see what’s next on the list of spring cleaning tasks to do with a toddler…

My recommended oven-cleaning products.

More Tips for Cleaning an Oven with a Toddler

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