Five things to know about keeping your oven clean
Do you enjoy cleaning your oven? If not then read on
Credit: DavidDave via Creative CommonsEven if you have an appliance that claims to have a continuous clean mode or is a self clean oven, you may still find the results variable and you will need to find ways of cleaning oven racks and trays, as well as spending time cleaning oven glass doors and the exterior in order to keep things beautifully clean and hygienic.
Oven Cleaning Specialists
Like anything else, someone will always do the jobs you hate for a price. There are many service providers willing to take you money in exchange for cleaning your oven. Prices range (no pun intended) from around $75 (£45) for a single oven, to $200 >(£130) for a full size AGA or Rayburn. Definitely something to consider if you have just purchased a classic cooker and want it returned to sparkling condition, rather more than most of us would be happy paying.
Spray on oven cleaner
Many of these require the oven to be warm, but not all, most foam up to cover the baked on food and grease and need to be left for anything from 30 minutes to four hours. For the most part they work well on more recent food residues, but they do often need a second or third coating on stubborn areas which may benefit from scraping or scouring to get truly clean. This can be time consuming and messy. The upside is that while care still needs to be taken, the chemicals are less caustic and some of the heavier duty products.
Heavy duty gel oven cleaners
A step up from spray on cleaners, gel based products are often significantly stronger and therefore more able to clean a heavily soiled oven. Heavy duty cleaners will contain alkaline and corrosive caustic compounds. Extreme care should be employed when using these products, either using supplied gloves or purchasing PVC gloves for use when carrying out the cleaning tasks.
Sometimes the products are provided with a thick sealable plastic bag, into these you place the trays and racks, pour in some cleaner, seal and coat the items by turning the bag around and spreading the liquid over the oven racks, while care should still be taken this method makes things significantly less messy and much safer.
You will find that the cleaner will remove all residue and return your oven to a near showroom condition, however, make sure you follow the instructions to remove the cleaner as thoroughly as possible to avoid unpleasant odours and smoke when the oven is next used again.
Protect your oven from spills and splashes
Avoid making a mess by avoiding cooking directly on the racks and trays themselves, and if this cannot be avoided protect them with either baking parchment or aluminium foil.
Another product to appear in recent years is silicone oven liners or teflon oven liners which you can use to protect the base and trays of your oven, these tough thin sheets can be easily wiped clean or even washed in a dishwasher, and are easily cut to size to fit your own oven.
If you don’t want to use strong chemicals or aerosols to clean your oven then there are plenty of traditional homemade oven cleaning approaches, the simplest being shaking bicarbonate of soda over the oven surfaces and then spraying with vinegar, leaving the resulting foaming mess a while will soften the grime but be prepared to get busy with a scouring pad.
Which even cleaning method you use, remember to protect yourself by wearing gloves and eye protection, especially if using the stronger heavy duty cleaners.