cleaning the oven

Handy tips to keep your oven clean

Cleaning the oven is probably the most avoided kitchen chore. Very few people clean the oven thoroughly after every use. Consequently, there is almost always a build up of grime even after only a few uses. Because of the diversity of ingredients used inside the oven, the possibilities for build up are endless. There is almost always a build up of grease as oils spatter when food gets hot. Often it is the spatter that turns otherwise dry ingredients into sticky grime.

There are age old remedies that are popular. Often vaguely remembered when grandma was around, these tips may nudge your memory a little.

Bowl of hot water

bowl of boiling water

If the oven is relatively new or old used occasionally and cleaned in between major use, then it is quite possible that a steaming bowl of hot water will simply soften any recent grease and grime. Use a glass or ceramic bowl and fill it with hot water from the kettle. Place it in the centre of the oven and close the door. After 5 minutes remove the bowl and wipe the oven starting at the top and back. Move down the sides to the bottom. If you discover that the grease and dirty residue is a little tougher than you thought, then try a few of the methods mentioned below.

Use car wax on grease

car wax

Car wax is recognised as being exceptionally effective as a degreasing agent. Spread a thin layer over the grease on the hob and along the inside walls of the oven. This is quite simple because all you have to do is apply it and gently wipe away. If you see the grease coming away but some stubborn stains remain, the reapply. Wipe away one more time.

Glass scraper

Glass scraper

By using a combination of the last method mentioned in this list – the one with the bicarb of soda and a glass scraper, you will get the oven door spotlessly clean. If the glass in the oven door can be removed, try removing it and leaving it to soak in a bathtub of hot water then apply the bicarb of soda mixture and scrape away gently with the glass scraper.

Use oil on oil

As incredible as it may seem, oil removes oil. Place some oil on a cloth and rub over the grease. This will gently dislodge the grease and oil residue that is already in place. This is especially effective for grease and grime that has settled on the exterior of the cooker hood.

Cream of tartar on steel surfaces

When you have steel surfaces both in the oven and on the hob, interior and exterior – cream of tartar will help to dislodge dirty residue. It is exceptionally effective not only at cleaning the surfaces, but also for polishing and shining them. Use an electric toothbrush to get between the cracks and crevices to get rid of dirt in difficult to reach places.

Dishwasher tablets

Dishwasher tablets

Since dishwasher tablets are very effective at removing grime and dirt inside a dishwasher, it stands to reason that they will do the job just as well outside of the dishwasher. By dipping half a tablet in warm water and rubbing intensely on stubborn grime and stains the dirt will come away with relative ease.

Bicarb of soda

Bicarbonate of soda

Bicarbonate of soda is the holy grail of household cleaning. Sometimes mixed with lemon juice and more commonly mixed with white vinegar it forms a natural eco friendly solution that packs a punch. This solution is routinely used to clean surfaces and the inside of most appliances. The reason for this is because it is exceptionally effective. Getting the mix right is simple as most recipes recommend an equal mixture of vinegar to bicarb of soda. If you need it to be a little runnier simply add a bit more vinegar.

Prevention is better than cure

Where it is possible try to remember to clean the oven after every use. After it has cooled down spray the inner four corners with oven cleaner. Leave it overnight and simply wipe away in the morning. If you know that you’ll be’ turning over a lot of meals inside the over, you will find that oven liners will make a significant difference to your cleaning regime.

On very rare occasions an oven will fail mechanically because it hasn’t been cleaned properly. Should you discover that after a good clean, it is still not working as well as it should there could be problems with the thermostat or other components. Rather than try to work out what the problem is, contact a reputable oven repair engineer.

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