When it comes to oven cleaning, most people tend to avoid this task for months (or sometimes, even years) because, let’s face it, it’s one of their least favourite household chores.
However, a dirty oven causes smoke (which makes your food taste terrible), takes longer to heat up (which adds to the electric bill), and may even give your landlord an excuse not to give your deposit back when you are moving out.
To make this process easier on you, we’ve gathered a list of the best oven cleaning hacks.
Five ways to easily clean your oven
Before You Start
Here are a few helpful tips that are good to know before we begin:
- Unplug your oven;
- Vacuum the inside of your oven to scoop the largest pieces and prepare the environment;
- Any fresh spillages on the surface of the oven should be sprinkled with a bit of salt, which will form a crust and make it surprisingly easier to clean after it has cooled down;
- To protect your skin, make sure always to wear rubber gloves.
White Vinegar And Soda
- Add together a cup of baking soda and 1/3 of the same amount filled with water;
- Stir the mix until it becomes a soft paste;
- Use a cloth or a sponge to apply the mixture onto the inside of your oven. Let it sit overnight (minimum 12 hours);
- Fill an empty spray bottle with vinegar and spray it onto your oven’s surface over the soda, which will result in a pleasant fizzing sound. Use a spatula or a razor to scrape away any stuck-on bits;
- Wipe the mess away with a damp cloth, followed by a dry one.
You could also use vinegar to steam clean your oven, so it will be easier to clean off manually afterwards:
- Bring a medium-sized pot filled with water to a boil;
- After 30 minutes, fill it with the same amount of white vinegar and bring it to a boil for half a minute or a so;
- Then, place the mixture while still hot inside a cold oven for an hour. The steam will loosen all the dirt and grime inside and make it easier to clean your oven if you haven’t done it in ages.
Ammonia And Water
WARNING: Only use this method on a gas oven if the pilot lights are out and the main gas lines are shut off. If you are not sure what you are doing, never use ammonia to clean a gas oven.
- Turn your electric oven on and warm it to 150°F/65°C;
- On the top shelf, place half a cup filled with ammonia and a large pan filled with boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the door and let it sit overnight (minimum 12 hours);
- On the following day, remove both bowls and ventilate well before proceeding;
- Make sure to put a face mask on and wear rubber gloves, and using the ammonia and a few drops of diluted washing liquid in 1/4 cup of warm water, wipe the oven clean.
This method is a little more effective than vinegar and soda and will surely help leave your oven sparkling.
Lemons And Water
- Prepare 3-5 lemons and an oven-safe pan;
- Cut the lemons in half, squeeze the juice, and set everything aside;
- Fill the pan with water, and add the liquid and the lemon halves. Put everything inside the oven and turn it on;
- As soon as the mixture starts to boil, turn your appliance off. Leave the steam from the lemons to circulate inside, as it will help loosen the grime and grease, resulting in a much easier cleaning afterwards.
After the oven’s cooled, use a damp cloth or sponge to clean, and that’s it.
Oven liners are an excellent cleaning hack, as they prevent food and spillages from sticking to the bottom and make the cleaning process a little easier. When the liners get dirty, you simply clean or replace them, saving you some of the overall hassles. Most of them are made out of oven-safe silicone. That’s a non-stick surface, which makes cleaning those items relatively easy. Just place them on the bottom shelf (not the base) of your oven, and save yourself some of the work. Make sure you don’t stick them to the bottom, as they are not designed to withstand direct heat and may even cause fires or build-up of toxic carbon monoxide if misused.
The safest options to buy are BPA- and PFOA-free oven liners, and most are safe to use for up to 260°C.
Oven Maintenance & Deep Cleaning Services
Regular maintenance is vital, but to extend the lifetime of our appliance, oven cleaning specialists from Guildford advise us to do a deep cleaning at least once a year. This is often too time-consuming, and we simply lack the expertise and equipment to disassemble and deep clean all those little components. To complicate matters, non-commercial cleaning products can’t be found anywhere on the market, making doing it ourselves even more difficult. That’s when it’s warranted for us to seek an oven cleaning specialist who will perform a deep cleaning service that will leave our appliance sparkling and extend its lifetime.
Calling on the services of a pro is also the best option for when you are moving out and want to make sure you will get your deposit back in full, as most landlords are only looking for an excuse not to pay it back to you.
What about Self-Cleaning Ovens?
The self-cleaning function sounds like a great idea. However, your oven is not designed to withstand the extreme heat generated to incinerate all the built-up grease and grime, and it will cause your appliance to wear out prematurely.
If you care about the longevity of your oven, then your best option is to clean it manually, using the baking soda or water-and-lemon method.
Never use metal scrapers, wire brushes, or scouring pads, as they will surely damage your interior walls.
Can you use an oven cleaner on a self-cleaning oven?
That’s a big no-no. If you have used any cleaner, remove all traces of it before you start the self-cleaning function. The oven cleaners contain lye and solvents, which will release dangerous fumes if you use them on a self-cleaning oven.
Remove self-cleaning oven smell
Simply use the lemon or vinegar steam cleaning methods mentioned above to remove the bad smell. Another cleaning hack is to open a box of baking soda and leave it inside your oven overnight to absorb the burnt smell.
Remember, no oven cleaning hacks are as effective as regular maintenance. Next time, clean spillages and spots immediately to save yourself some work. Also, if you proactively try to prevent most areas from getting baked on, you will have a lot easier time next time you clean.
We hope this list has been helpful to you and has made cleaning your oven a bit easier and a lot less daunting.