Cleaning an Oven: Help and Advice
Oven cleaning is an important and essential part of looking after yourself and your household. Over time, food, grease and other waste will attract harmful bacteria. As they multiply, this can have a serious effect on the food you cook.
Read on to get the answers to your oven cleaning questions, covering:
- How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?
- What Happens if You Never Clean Your Oven?
- What is the Best Way to Clean an Oven?
- How do I Clean the Bottom of my Oven?
- How do I Clean the Inside Glass of my Oven?
- Can you Clean the Element of an Oven?
- Is it safe to Cook in an Oven After Cleaning it?
If this isn’t what you’re looking for, you’ll also find other useful guides and household tips for appliances throughout the home.
While this can give you an idea of cleaning options for your oven, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions of your appliance for more specific advice.
How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?
How frequently you should be cleaning a cooker will depend on how often it’s used. Maybe you’ve found you do most of your cooking on the hob more than the oven? Cooking regular meals, or baking in the oven will of course mean there’s a greater need to clean.
For most people, an average of every six months is sufficient for cleaning the oven. If used more heavily, it might be better to clean every three or four months.
What happens if you never clean your oven?
Along with the risk of illness from food poisoning caused by the build-up of bacteria, there are two other reasons to ensure your oven is kept free of dirt and grime.
Where there’s smoke - With already charred and burned matter in the oven, it will begin to create more smoke, which can taint the taste of your food. If spilled grease is left unchecked, grease fires are also a possibility.
A spanner in the works – The build-up of dirt and grime can affect the oven’s operation by clogging vents and other mechanical parts, leading to irregular temperatures and unpredictable cooking. If it continues, it may need an oven repair engineer.
What is the best way to clean an oven?
There are two ways to clean your oven, depending on the type of cleaning solutions you are most comfortable working with. Some prefer chemical cleaners, others choose more organic methods. But when it comes down to it, a lot of oven cleaning comes down to old fashioned elbow grease!
- Chemical oven cleaner – Chemical cleaners are designed to attack dirt that’s hard to shift, so avoid contact with skin and breathing in chemicals. Wear rubber or nitrile gloves while using chemical oven cleaner, and wear a mask because of fumes. If you’re wondering if it’s safe to cook in an oven after cleaning it, it’s best to leave the oven at a high heat for around 20 minutes before use. This should burn away any trace of the cleaner.
- Organic oven cleaner – For those wary of using chemical cleaners, there are recipes online that suggest a mix of water, baking soda and white vinegar. While this can help to clean the dirt from inside the oven, be prepared to work a lot harder at scrubbing. The added benefit, however, is there’s no harmful fumes or residue like chemical cleaner, so there’s no need to ‘burn off’ the excess afterwards.
Self-cleaning ovens use a process called pyrolytic cleaning, which means the internal temperature of the oven is raised to around 500 degrees centigrade. This intense heat burns any matter away, reducing it to ash, making it easy to clean out with a cloth. However, a self-cleaning cycle will take a few hours, and longer than manual cleaning.
Oven Racks Cleaning
Cleaning oven racks is easy in one way, because you can take them out of the oven and you don’t have to wipe and scrub the oven near floor level. When cleaning oven racks, spray them with oven cleaner, but leave them to soak overnight. It’s best to do this outdoors because of fumes. Because they’ve been left with the cleaning product on them, this will make them easier to clean off and rinse with water, then wiping them down with a cloth.
You can apply this to the natural cleaning methods, although there might be a little more scrubbing involved.
How do I clean the inside glass of my oven?
As with the rest of the inside of the oven, you do have options for cleaning the oven door glass. Again, you might choose to opt for a chemical cleaner or the alternative of the baking soda and vinegar mixture.
However, if you are using a chemical oven cleaner, check the bottle to see if it can be used on the oven glass. Some cleaners are too strong and abrasive, which can lead to cracks or shattering.
Improving the life of your oven
By keeping your oven clean and well maintained, it will give you better service and help to reduce bacteria, while making it more efficient and safer to use. Of course, all appliances are at the risk of failure, so it’s a good idea to keep your cooker insurance cover up to date.