Everyone (or at least I think everyone!) hates to clean the oven. The best solution is to wipe it clean after each use but if that does not happen and the oven is starting to look rather crusty and you do not wish to asphyxiate on a shop-bought oven spray, Gyre and Gymble has an alternate method.
This will take no more effort than using commercial foaming spray cleaners, but it will save your lungs and the waterways.
One dirty oven
1 cup bicarb soda
Lots of hot/warm water (in bucket near the oven will help minimise the mess)
Rubber gloves (just because it is dirty)
3 damp cloths (old ones)
Plastic or silicone spatula
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
50/50 Castile soap and water in a spray or just add to hot water in the sink. The spray will make this job easy.
1 tps salt
A quick once over after each use
Heat the oven to 125°C or just cooled slightly after use, then wipe clean with hot Castile soapy water or spray with vinegar and add lemon juice. If very greasy, cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice directly onto the oven.
Wipe the oven clean and dry then place a sheet of aluminium foil at the bottom of your oven to catch any future drips when cooking. This should not take any more than a minute. Also if you have cooked something with a pungent aroma the lemon will help remove the smell. You can also add a little salt when wiping clean, it will act as a scouring agent.
A very good clean
Take everything that you can out of the oven. Place to one side or in the dishwasher for an intensive wash.
Mix a 1 cup of bicarb soda with a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the ratio of both as needed until you have a thick paste. It will need to be a consistency that will allow it to stick to the oven walls.
Spread the paste all over the inside of the oven. As you do this, the white paste will start to turn brown which is ok, this is what is meant to happen. Make more paste if needed. Place extra paste in the extra dirty areas.
It is best to let this sit in the oven overnight.
The following morning take a bucket of warm water and an old, clean cloth, and wipe the oven clear of the white paste. You can use the spatula if needed to take off some of the dirt.
Spray a little vinegar over the oven and wipe it down until all the mixture is gone.
Put the clean oven racks back in the oven, and you're done!
Everything you have used can go down the sink and will not hurt the environment. You will also have saved your lungs from the fumes of some of the more pungent commercial cleaners.