Cute and short instructional videos as seen on Facebook and Instagram are becoming the new Pinterest DIY’s. Having a video demonstration seems more trustworthy than a pretty pin. After all how much editing can go into something I just saw unfold? It reasonable to believe if I do as I saw I will yield the same result. Or is it?


After watching hundreds of clips teaching me how to make my own lampshades out of empty tins, coloured putty and intricate cake bombs, I happened on a video that seemed real-life useful and legit. The Clevery video for cleaning an oven using water, vinegar and baking soda, seemed like something you would actually do at home. Everyone has an oven and unless you’re using it as a storage facility ala Carrie Bradshaw, it’s going to need to be cleaned sometime. In addition Baking soda and vinegar are known to be great for cleaning, adding to the accuracy of the 1 minute and 7 second clip (spoiler you need quite some time longer than that).


According to the Clevery Oven Cleaning Hack video (scroll to the bottom to watch it) a simple solution of baking soda, vinegar and water and working electricity can yield you a shiny clean oven within the hour. This seemed too good to be true, but I have a baking problem and with that comes messy ovens. The thought of going green and ditching oven cleaners, not to mention skipping the scrubbing was all too appealing.


So dressed in my finest cleaning gear – an old (now collectors item) Slow-Mag marathon tee, sized S for small dress – and armed with a playlist and ingredients I headed into the kitchen.


I looked at the ingredients, back to the video and it hit me. They had conveniently left out the amounts. Scrolling through comments I saw the words “mix everything together until you can feel a paste forming”. Which is actually how my mother cooks, and whilst it works for her I need measurements.


Not one to back down I guestimated my quantities and created a white paste-like consistency. As per the video, I dabbed the solution onto the oven door and inside the oven. To be safe I started with just one oven. The video showed the oven racks still in the oven, so I dabbed them with solution and put the almost empty container of let over solution on them. The oven was set to 100°C for 45 minutes and I patiently waited.


As I waited, I momentarily wondered if I should be opening a Snapchat account to document this exciting adventure. I then swiftly got a hold of myself and realised it would be tantamount to asking people to come and watch paint dry.


45 minutes later, I opened the oven door to a dried baking soda crusted all over the oven. Gingerly I took a wet sponge and just like the video gave it a little swipe. It seemed to work. It was also hot. They don’t tell you to let the thing cool down. After letting it cool, I returned to wipe it clean. Now, this was no quick swipe of a sponge and a clean oven is yours, no, that would be too easy. It involved scraping the dried bits out and washing the oven clean. The thing about baking soda, they forget to mention is that you think it’s clean, only to have that distinct white powder take over your oven. It’s like those annoying birthday candles that refuse to go out. I finally got it clean and happy with the result, decided to take on two slightly bigger and slightly messier ovens.


That’s when things went wrong. After 45 minutes, whilst a lot of dirt was cleaned those little marks on the oven windows refused to budge. But like the back of my shirt said “Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done”, I too refused to budge. So desperate to prove this a fail proof method I scrubbed and scrubbed. I even tried doing the whole solution again to no avail.  Another little emotion of the video is they fail to show that when you start wiping it down with a wet sponge that liquid runs through the oven door making a mess of the wall.


A few hours (yes hours) later, I ended up with one almost Clevery clean oven, and two cleaner, but not Cleverly clean ovens. As well as an appetite larger than when I actually ran the Slow-Mag Marathon.


So should you try this oven cleaning hack? Well it worked on 1 out 3 ovens and uses things you most likely have at home, so go ahead. But don’t be expecting an oven that’s so shiny it practically pings at you.


As for me, I’ll be holding out for Suzelle DIY to come up with an oven cleaning hack. She seems trustworthy.



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  • Cynthia
    June, 23, 2020

    I’ve read on other YouTube demonstrations that you have to use vinegar to wash the baking soda out after it cools. They say it reactivates the baking soda and makes it easier to wipe out. If true, that would be nice to know! I’m reading this thinking about trying it myself because I did the self cleaning and wasn’t happy with the results!

  • Robyn
    March, 14, 2019

    I almost attempted taking the cleverly challenge glad I read your post first.