There are many situations when you can end up with a grime filled unusable oven, whether it be from forgetfulness or part of a home renovation. If it is someone else’s property you have recently purchased, or even your own, you may find that food material has built up quite heavily and will require some hard work to remove. Pull on your cleaning gloves, it’s time to get that oven squeaky clean.
Clean as You Cook
The hardest grime and mess to get off your oven walls is that which has had time to set hard. Over many changes in temperature any fluids and food material that has caked the walls of your oven will begin to set and harden, very hard. My recommendation is to give your oven just a brief 5 minute clean after every meal. It’s not very difficult and will save you hours of hard work in the future.
Cook in A Clean Way
Unfortunately, it’s another hindsight tip. The easiest way to prevent your oven from getting dirty is to just cook in a clean way. For example, when cooking things like chicken cover it in tinfoil to keep the juices in, and if cooking bacon there are various ways to prevent oil from flying out of the pan or tray.
Prepare Your Oven Properly
No oven cleaning tip is going to work if your oven is not prepared properly. Make sure all oven racks and trays are removed so you have the bare minimum to clean in the oven itself. Many ovens even come with removable walls and heating elements making your job far easier. These can be left to soak in hot water and a cleaning agent separately from the main oven.
Stay Away from The Chemicals
Man made chemicals are the quick and easy way to get your oven clean. But over time they will destroy your oven and cost you more money than your time is worth. White spirit is an example of a chemical many people will have for home decoration and reach for during oven cleaning projects. Take a bit more time to use conventional methods and your oven will last you far longer. Naturally occurring ingredients like baking soda and vinegar are your friends here. Prepare baking soda into a paste by mixing it with water. 75% baking soda and 25% water will make a good paste that should stick to your oven walls. For tougher stains that fail to budge use a solution of vinegar and water. If you have to use man made cleaning agents check that they won’t damage Oven surfaces.
Check Your Manufacturer’s Recommendation
There are various different substances that manufacturers use to coat the surfaces within your oven. Each of these materials may react differently to cleaning. It’s best to check the manufacturers guide (if one is available) to make sure you aren’t about to use a potentially damaging cleaning agent, or miss out on a useful tip for that specific oven.
Know Your Oven
Ovens these days are cunning pieces of technology. Manufacturers know the difficulties of cleaning an oven after months of cooking various culinary delights. Modern ovens (and even some older ones) come with various ways to make this less of a hassle, such as auto-clean modes.
Cleaning an oven properly is not a short process. If you are having a dinner party this evening and you need a clean oven first you are better off getting takeout. Most cleaning processes you will find require solutions to be left on overnight and I recommend this also.
Use the right tools for the job
Some stains and food material are going to need some convincing to remove. This is where physically scraping the walls of your oven can come in. A home improvement tool that you will likely already have is a wallpaper remover. These can be used (carefully) to scrape material off the walls. If you are worried about scratches wrap a metal scraper in a tea towel or use a plastic one instead.
Always wear thick rubber gloves when cleaning your oven. Many chemicals are toxic and can be irritating to skin. Also leave windows open and keep kitchen well ventilated during and after cleaning. This will help remove the smell as well.
So there you have it, oven cleaning doesn’t have to be a difficult process it can just take some time and effort. Remember preventing the build-up of grime will always save you time and money in the long run. Hopefully you now know how to clean an oven and can use these tips in the future.