Person scrubs at inside of oven

The best way to clean your oven to leave it sparkling

Published 13th January 2023
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Are you tired of avoiding cleaning your oven because you think it's a daunting task? You're not alone! Many people believe that cleaning an oven is a difficult and time-consuming chore, but it doesn't have to be.

With the right tools, techniques, and a bit of elbow grease, cleaning your oven can be a breeze. In this guide, we will demystify the oven cleaning process and show you just how easy it can be to get your oven looking like new again.

Why should I clean my oven?

The first reason is that it looks nice! A clean oven is also a sign of a well-maintained kitchen, making it a more pleasant and inviting space to cook in - and your guests will definitely appreciate their meals coming from an oven! But there's other reasons to keep your cooker sparkling.

For one, a clean oven ensure your food is properly cooked. A dirty oven can lead to uneven heating, which can result in undercooked or burnt food. Not only that, but a dirty oven can also be a fire hazard. Grease, food spills, and other debris can accumulate and potentially ignite if not cleaned properly.

Another reason to clean your oven is food smells. If your oven is covered in old food that's been burnt over and over again it can give any recipe you cook in there an unpleasant, bitter, smoky aftertaste. Give your oven a good clean, and the next time you make a lasagne, or bake a batch of cookies, you can be confident you'll get that perfect golden brown colour and mouth-watering flavour that your friends and family will love.

What do I need to clean my oven?

Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure you have all your cleaning tools on hand:

Oven cleaner

It shouldn't be a surprise that these are at the top of the list! Commercial oven cleaning products are convenient to use and very effective – their ingredients can dissolve grease and dirt in next to no time.

The trouble is, oven cleaners are so powerful because they're corrosive, containing powerful alkali chemicals like lye. They won't harm the tough insides of your oven, but they can cause severe irritation to your skin and your eyes. That's why it's important to always follow the instructions on the cleaner label when you use them.

Vinegar & baking soda

Before companies started making household cleaning sprays, vinegar and baking soda were the best way to clean an oven, and loads of people still swear by them! Vinegar and baking soda are popular alternatives to chemical oven cleaners because they are natural, non-toxic, and affordable. Not only do they effectively remove grime and stains, but they also leave your oven smelling fresh and clean.

It's easy to use these two ingredients. Just mix equal parts baking soda and white vinegar together to form a paste, and then spread it on your oven. The downside to using baking soda and vinegar compared to commercial oven cleaners is the time it takes for them to do their work: You need to let them for hours, preferably overnight, for them to lift all the dirt off the surface of your oven - not ideal if you need to cook a meal in the meantime!

Cleaning gloves

Wearing a sturdy pair of cleaning gloves is essential when cleaning an oven. They'll stop your skin touching any caustic chemicals while still giving you a firm grip for scrubbing.

Eye protection

Your eyes are very vulnerable to commercial oven cleaning products. To protect yourself from injury it's a good idea to wear eye protection while you scrub.

Dustpan & brush

You'll want a dustpan and brush to wipe away any ash or other loose dirt inside your oven, either right at the start or at the end if you're using a pyrolytic self-cleaning oven.

Cleaning cloths & scourers

Use cleaning cloths to wipe down surfaces inside the oven after applying cleaner or degreaser. For bits of stubborn grease or burnt-on food, you might want to use a kitchen scourer instead. Make sure they are non-scratch so as not to scratch surfaces inside the appliance, and avoid using scourers on the oven door.

All purpose cleaners

For cleaning the hob and wire racks you'll rarely need something as powerful as oven cleaner. Some all purpose cleaning spray or liquid will be enough to leave them sparkling.

How to clean your oven, step by step

  1. Switch off your oven at the mains and lay out some newspaper or paper towels to catch any debris
  2. Remove any baking trays and wire racks from the inside of your oven and set them aside for later.
  3. Use the dustpan and brush to sweep out any easy-to-move dirt onto the paper.
  4. Spray the inside of your oven with the oven cleaner (or use a sponge to spread the vinegar-baking soda paste around the inside of your oven). Avoid spraying the heating elements, pilot light, gas supply line (if your oven runs on gas) and the fan if you have a convection oven.
  5. Leave the cleaning solution for as long as the instructions recommend.
  6. Wipe the inside of your oven with a sponge until all the grease and dirt are removed.
  7. To clean the oven door, use warm soapy water, followed by a vinegar-based glass cleaner. Wipe away both cleaners with a sponge.
  8. To clean the wire racks, wipe them down repeatedly with all-purpose cleaner and a scourer. For tougher stains, you can soak them in washing up liquid for several hours in a large washing up bowl and then scrub them clean.
  9. To clean the hobs, spray all-purpose cleaner on the top and use a non-scratch scourer to wipe away the dirt.

To clean an oven with a self-cleaning feature, repeat steps one and two, then activate the oven's self-cleaning programme, following the manufacturer's instructions. You can then use a dustpan and brush to wipe all the ash from the inside of your oven. Clean the oven door, wire racks and hobs as normal.

With the tips and techniques shared in this guide, you now have the tools to tackle even the toughest grime and stains with ease! With a little effort, you'll have a sparkling clean oven that will make your kitchen look great and your food taste even better! If you're in the market for a new oven, make sure you read our brilliant oven buying guide to find the perfect model!

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