Cleaning your Oven

Published on 18 July 2023 at 00:32

With the right tools and tips,cleaning your oven can be effortless

Cleaning your oven may be one of those jobs that you put off for weeks, months, or even years, but, a clean oven will ensure your cooking environment is hygienic and you don’t get funny smells from burnt-on grease.

Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions around oven cleaning and offer up tips and advice to help you keep yours gleaming.

What products should I use to clean my oven?

Because oven grease can be stubborn, a lot of commercial oven cleaning products contain powerful chemicals. These include ethylene glycol, ethers, methylene chloride, lye (sodium and potassium hydroxide), petroleum distillates and pine oil.

Oven cleaners can be corrosive to skin and eyes, so it’s vital that you follow the instructions on these cleaners to the letter, including wearing the correct protective gloves, eyewear and clothing, and ventilating your room while the oven cleaner is taking effect.

Can I clean my oven with bicarbonate of soda?

If you’d rather go down the natural route, many people swear by everyday products such as bicarbonate of soda for oven cleaning.

You can make up a cleaning paste of equal parts bicarbonate of soda and water. Rub it onto any stubborn areas of grease or burnt-on food, then leave for a few hours before scrubbing off.

No matter what you use, you’ll need decent scrubbing brushes or sponges with scourers. An old toothbrush can help you get grease out of any nooks and crannies.

Don't use scourers on a glass oven door, though. These can introduce tiny scratches on the surface of the glass, which could leave it vulnerable to shattering in the future.

I How do I clean the inside of my oven?

The internal cavity of your oven is the area most likely to get greasy through continued use. Follow these steps to remove the worst of the grime:

  • Switch off your oven at the mains and lay out newspaper on the floor to catch any debris.

  • Use a dry brush to get rid of caked-on food and sweep them onto the newspaper.

  • Spray the interior of the oven with your chosen cleaning product. Avoid spraying the fan or the gas supply elements and pilot light if it’s a gas oven. Leave the product on for the specified time.

  • If you’re using a bicarbonate of soda paste, leave it on overnight, as it will need longer to work.

  • Finally, wipe or sweep away the cleaning product and debris. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and don't let the products touch your skin.

If you have a double oven, or your main oven includes a grill, look out for the option of a folding grill. This means you can move the grill heating element aside and clean behind it.

If your oven has a pyrolytic function, you should use this about once a month, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. You’ll still need to wipe away ash from the incinerated food, but this won't take much elbow grease. Remember that you should remove the shelves before starting the cleaning process.

How do I clean a glass oven door?

A grimy glass oven door will stop you getting a clear view of your cooking. 

  • Use a sponge or microfibre cleaning cloth to remove baked on foods. Don't use harsh scourers such as wire wool, which may introduce minuscule scratches onto the glass, and weaken it.

  • You may be able to remove the glass part of the door for soaking, which will allow you to reach the area between the inner and outer pieces of glass that make up the door, where grease can also accumulate. Check your instruction manual for guidance on how to do this.

  • Some chemical oven cleaners are suitable for use on glass, but don't use caustic-based oven cleaner, which will damage it. For a gentler approach, use warm, soapy water followed by a vinegar-based glass cleaner, which should leave it streak-free.

  • After replacing the glass, wipe down the outside of the door and the control panels. This can be done with standard kitchen cleaner or warm, soapy water.

How often should I clean my oven?

Little and often is the key here. 

We’d recommend you wipe down your oven at least once a month. If you’ve cooked something that you know has splattered everywhere (such as a roast or a bubbling casserole), you should wipe your oven down once it has cooled.

If you notice a burning smell when your oven is preheating, it’s usually a sign that a previous cooking spill is gradually burning off, so it’s best to wipe it down (when cool) to reduce the risk of anything getting ‘cooked on’.

Likewise, if there's a large spillage on the floor of your oven, wipe it out straight after use.

Image of an oven in a kitchen

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