How to clean your oven (properly)

by Jason Campbell, Aug 2020

Cleaning your oven can be one of the most daunting, however one of the most rewarding if done properly. Paul Bristow, executive director of built in cooking at GE Appliances at least every three to six months, however he also recommends doing smaller spot-cleans throughout the month. While this may seem like a lot, a cleaner oven will lead to tastier and healthier food.

Benefits of a clean oven

A clean oven can also save you a lot of money as it will be able to reach the desired temperature at a much quicker rate, essentially using much less energy. Furthermore, if the oven door is greasy, this makes you much more likely to open it in order to check how near to completion your food is. This releases heat from within the oven and in turn means your food will take longer to cook. Well, with a clean oven (and a clean oven door) you wont have to do that anymore. Instead, it will be sufficient to simply look through the glass to see how the food is getting along.

Risks of a dirty oven

A dirty oven is also a huge fire risk. While the self cleaning function on many others is a true godsend, it may only be effective against light to moderately dirty ovens. When on the self cleaning setting, burnt and crusted food can produce a great deal of smoke, particularly if it has been there left over an extended period of time.

In addition, your internal fan may develop a build up of dirt and grease, which again increases the risk of a fire. The best way to avoid your ovens spontaneous combustion and untimely demise is to simply keep it clean.

How to clean your oven

Here is the step by step guide on how to clean your oven to sparkling perfection:

1.Remove all oven racks and excess food.

Take out all of the oven racks and use a dishcloth or paper towel to scrap the larger, burnt pieces of food from the oven. Make sure the oven is completely cool when you begin. If the oven is not cooled down completely when you begin to clean it, you should wait for a while, or risk burning yourself and potentially ruining your cleaning implements.

2.Oven cleaning solution.

The tried and tested solution with which to clean your oven has to be baking soda. Mix around half a cup of baking soda with water until it forms a thick paste. Then, spread this paste along the bottom of the oven.

It may also be a good idea to add a small amount of vinegar to your baking soda and water mixture for a slightly more effective cleaning solution, however this is entirely optional.

This mixture will need to sit overnight however, in order to be effective, so make sure to do all this the night before you intend to clean your oven. It is also a good idea to use a spray bottle, to effectively hit each part of the oven with the cleaning solution.

However, there are of course other solutions you can employ. For example, lemons and water that have been allowed to sit for 1 – 2 hours are a great, lower effort cleaning solution, but only really effective if your oven is only a little bit dirty, so do make sure to determine what sort of treatment your oven needs before beginning.

Additionally, you may find old fashioned store bought oven cleaning solution to do the trick when it comes to getting to those tough spots of grime and gunk. However, be mindful of the fact that this cleaning solution tends to be quite caustic, so it may not be appropriate for those who are sensitive to harsh chemicals.

Essentially, take a look at your oven and diagnose what you think it needs and create (or purchase) your cleaning solution accordingly.

You will also need some other implements, including rubber cleaning gloves, to create a thick barrier between your skin and the harsh chemicals. Paper towels or newspapers will work to line the floor around your oven so as not to make a mess of your whole kitchen.

3. Leave the mixture to rest (baking powder, water, vinegar solution)

It seems that out of all the mixtures, the one combining water, baking soda and vinegar is the most effective, so allow this mixture to sit overnight. You can spend that sleep thinking about all the wonderful things you’ll be able to do with your clean oven.

4. Cleaning the oven racks

The oven racks can be very awkward to clean, so the best thing to do is to at first let them soak. Place the oven racks in a bath of very hot water and washing powder. Leave them overnight and in the morning give them a good scrub.

The soak overnight should have helped to loosen up some of the more awkward and difficult to access bits of grime on the racks, making the cleaning much easier. If you choose to clean your oven with the store-bought solution, spray the racks with a good helping of the cleaning agent and leave in a black bin bag, tied at the top. Allow them to sit in this bin bag-cleaning solution concoction for the time listed on the bottle,

After this time has passed, place the racks in hot soapy water and use an abrasive cloth or sponge to give them a scrub; the dirt and grime should come right off.

5. Cleaning the oven glass

Easily the most satisfying part of the whole process. Use your baking soda and water mixture to the inside and allow to sit for half an hour. After this time has passed, use a cloth to wipe it off. The glass should become completely see through so that any other time your oven has been put to work, you can see the delicious meal you’re cooking up without having to open the door, allowing the heat to escape.

6. Cleaning the stovetop

Another relatively easy step, mix together a tablespoon of salt, baking soda and water and scrub. Wipe clean after fully scrubbed. Again, it would be a good idea to use a spray bottle here so you’re not just pouring loose liquid on top of your oven.

The next morning (baking powder, water and vinegar solution) After you’ve rested and dreamt of all the weird and wonderful things you’re going to do with your not so new but improved oven, use a damp cloth to wipe away the dried paste. You can even use a scraper or a spatula to remove the tougher areas of paste, or perhaps a stainless steel cloth would be abrasive enough to catch all those little bits of burnt food. Clean up the old newspapers and paper towels and you should be done!

And that’s it!

Your oven should now be nice and clean and ready for the next challenge you choose to throw its way. Check back again in another three months to see if it may need another spruce up, or sooner if you use your oven with increased frequency. I’m sure you’ll certainly want to after the way it looks now!

If you would prefer to book a weekly cleaner who can keep on top of the oven spruce ups for you – enter your postcode below to find your local office.

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