Cleaning the oven is something nobody looks forward to. That’s why people often hire us to do the oven cleaning. No shame in it, plus we’re likely to do it better than you. If you feel like doing it on your own, we’ve prepared this small guide on how to make that easier on yourself. This applies both to your oven and stove top.
Prevent messes in the first place
This might seem like it’s obvious, but a lot of people just don’t think of the mess when they cook. However those tiny splatters, droplets, and crumbs tend to accumulate. So the less they do, the easier it will be later on when you get to the scrubbing.
- Take care of spills when they appear – With safety first in mind, of course. Wait for the oven to cool off before you go wiping those spills. It’s important not to leave them to dry and harden, because can potentially double the work to remove the stain.
- Cover food while cooking – Whether you are using the stove top or the oven it’s a good idea to cover the cooking container to minimise spillage. When applicable to the recipe of course.
- Shield the surfaces – If you can’t cover the meal there’s another thing to do to help yourself later on. If you are cooking on a classic stove top, what you can do is lay aluminium foil over it. Cut holes for the hotplates and go wild. After you are done with the cooking simply take away the aluminium foil. When cooking in the oven put a baking sheet lined with foil on the lower shelf. It will catch any spillage or crumbs.
Clean your oven regularly
But what’s easy about cleaning your oven at least once a week? Sure, you can do it biannually, but we promise you the hassle will be much greater(and may require a chisel). Wiping it down each week is times easier. If your oven is rather modern, it is sure to have a self-cleaning feature.
- Get to know the self-cleaning feature – Before considering trying that out be sure to read the user manual provided with you are appliance. The process heats the oven to extremely high temperatures, burning everything inside to a fine ash that is easy to sweep up once it cools down. Because of the way it works, a lot of people chose to forego using that function for fear of a fire or damaging their appliance. It is entirely up to you, but if you are going to use the self-cleaning function we advise you to be present for the duration.
- Soften the residues – Before starting to scrub your oven, you can do a very simple trick to soften the caked residue. Take a bowl of water and put it inside the oven on the highest heat setting. The resulting hot steam will help loosen the grime. It should take 20 minutes, give or take, depending on your oven. Ensure the bowl is fireproof. To get the mess off the shelves of your oven, find a container that can fit them and fill it with hot water and dish soap. Soak them in there until the water starts getting tepid then scrub them clean. Alternatively you can just put the shelves in your dish washing machine.
- Be careful with the appliance – Cleaning your oven callously can cause it damage and cost you much more than hiring a professional to clean it for you. Be careful how much water you use when cleaning it on the inside. Also remember to unplug it when you do. No matter how tempted you are to pull out the knobs and clean under them, mind that you should do so only with a dry cloth. Getting moisture there can damage them. When using strong chemicals to clean surfaces, watch out for stencils and/or raised lettering, because the harshness of the detergent could cause them to fade off. Speaking of chemicals.
- Mind the chemicals – Naturally it’s advisable to be careful with the detergents when it comes to the place that most of your food goes trough. To ensure no traces will be left when you are done cleaning, apply the detergent to the cleaning cloth rather than the surface. A very efficient yet harmless approach is using baking soda and vinegar. First mix a paste of soda and water and apply it over the surfaces. Let it sit for a while, then put some vinegar into a spray bottle and go to town. Let the reaction fizz for a while and extract the grime before cleaning it off. Vinegar is excellent for polishing the metal parts of your oven.