Beckie Hatton, from kitchen appliance repair providers Home Appliance Care, offers her advice for looking after your oven and keeping it clean.
When you think about it, it’s probably hard to remember the last time you cleaned your oven. It’s nobody’s favourite task, but did you know that ovens are supposed to be cleaned every 12 weeks? This isn’t just for hygiene reasons: build-ups of food and grease in dirty ovens are the cause of a 1 in 5 house fires (Real Homes), so it’s important we keep on top of oven maintenance.
Maybe we avoid it because it seems like such a big job but cleaning your oven can be surprisingly easy when you do it right. So, below I’ll be sharing my tips for maintaining your oven and keeping it free from grease, grime, and burnt-on food.
How to choose the right products and equipment
Ovens don’t actually need a lot of maintenance aside from regular cleaning; you just need to keep an eye on the bulb and the door seals. The bulb will occasionally need replacing, so it’s handy to have a few in the cupboard just in case. Check the user manual for your model oven to determine which bulbs you need. Look to see if the door seals are loose or torn: a faulty door seal can cause heat to escape and make your oven run less efficiently.
When it comes to cleaning, remember to wear rubber gloves to protect your skin and nails from damage. You’ll want to find a product that can cut through dirt, as well as lift stains. You also want to choose thick substances like foam or creams that will stick to the sides of your oven and won’t run. Luckily, there are plenty of specialist oven cleaners available to buy that are designed specifically with these criteria in mind.
For stubborn muck, it can be tempting to reach for a scourer or some wire wool to really scrub it away. However, it’s important that you check your oven brand’s instruction manual for cleaning tips, as some models may be damaged by these tough scrubbers. A brush or sponge might be better suited in these circumstances and can be just as effective at removing dirt.
Afterwards, you’ll need a microfibre cloth to wipe down and rinse your oven to remove the remaining dirt and excess cleaning product.
How to get your oven sparkling clean
- Remove all the shelves and racks from inside your oven and leave them to soak.
- Rather than going straight in with the oven cleaner, dry scrub your oven first. Grab your brush or sponge and scrape away all the biggest bits of dirt and food debris. It can be handy to put a tray, bucket, or even just a tea towel down below your oven so you can simply scrape the muck out the door and throw it away easily.
- Apply oven cleaner to the sides and bottom of your oven, then the door. Don’t apply cleaner to the door seals or elements as it could damage them.
- Close the oven door and leave it for the time recommended by the cleaning brand while you work on the outside of your oven. The exterior can be washed with regular kitchen cleaner.
- When the right amount of time has passed, scrub your oven. Remember to rinse regularly to get rid of the dirt rather than just spread it around.
How to prevent the build-up of dirt
To keep your oven free from grease and grime for longer, use oven trays instead of putting food directly onto the shelf. If you notice any drips or spills, clean them up as soon as the oven is cool enough to do so because, if you forget, the next time you use your oven they will become burnt on and pose a potential fire risk.
It’s a lot easier to incorporate regular deep cleans and wipe downs in your cleaning routine rather than having one big oven cleaning session every now and then. Dirt will remove more easily, there’ll be less accumulated grease, and it won’t take as long to do.
The tips in this guide can help you take care of your oven and keep it free from grease and grime. Remember that cleaning your oven is important for hygiene and reduces the risk of a fire.