Cleaning the oven is nobody's favourite chore. In fact, a recent survey found that many households will go a whole year and six months before cleaning their oven. Putting things off can only make things worse in the long run, leaving you with an oven caked in dirt, grease and unrecognisable remnants of food.
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So if you can't put it off any longer, we'll at least try to make it a bit easier (and less disgusting) for you with our tips on how to clean an oven quickly and easily. Honestly, it might not be as bad as you think!
1. How to clean an oven with oven cleaner
Start with the shelves
Before you start, make sure the oven is off and the inside is completely cool. Then arm yourself with a pair of rubber gloves. Remove the shelves and using a specialist oven-cleaning kit, carefully coat the shelves in gel, put them in the sealable plastic bags provided and set them to one side while you clean the rest of the oven.
Work on the oven cavity
Cover the floor in front of the oven with newspaper and start by scraping off any burnt-on food inside. Coat the inside of the oven with the rest of the gel with a sponge, avoiding the heating elements and working into any hard-to-reach places with an old toothbrush. Leave to work for the time recommended.
2. How to clean an oven with baking soda
As an alternative to traditional chemical oven cleaner, make your own by mixing half a cup of bicarbonate of soda with a little water to form a paste. It's far more eco!
Apply to the oven and leave overnight before rinsing away with hot water. Spray white vinegar over any remaining residue – it will foam up and can be wiped away with a cloth.
3. How to clean the oven door
If the door glass is removable, take it out and leave it to soak in hot soapy water. If not, one top tip is to use a combination of Mrs Hinch favourite The Pink Stuff and a dishwasher tablet! Apply The Pink Stuff with a cloth, then rub it into the glass door with the dishwasher tablet. The grease and grime will disappear right before your eyes.
4. How to clean the hob
While the oven cleaner is doing its work, give the hob a once-over. Remove any burners and rings, washing in hot soapy water, then spray the hob with multi-surface cleaner and wipe with a soft cloth. Use a scourer to tackle stubborn, burnt-on bits.
5. Remember to rinse
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Once you’ve given the oven cleaner time to work its magic, use a sponge and hot, soapy water to clean it off, rinsing and repeating until the oven is completely clean. Rinse the oven glass and replace in the door. Remove the racks from the plastic bags and rinse off in the sink or a bath, dry and replace.
How often should you clean your oven?
Cleaning the oven shouldn't be a yearly chore. 'Leaving long gaps between your oven cleaning will make the job much harder and tedious,' explains Ivan Ivanov from EOT cleaning London. 'The key is to clean your oven little and often. Our team recommends wiping down your oven - at the very least - once a month.'
'If you have cooked something that has caused a mess in your oven, it’s a good idea to wipe down the appliance once it has cooled,' he suggests. 'Another sign of a dirty oven is a burning smell when it is turned on and pre-heating. In this case, it’s a good idea to wipe it down (when it’s cooled) to make it spick-and-span.'
How to keep your oven clean
If you really hate cleaning the oven, the best course of action to take steps to keep your oven clean for longer. For example when slow-cooking food, make sure you put a lid on or cover the dish with foil. Place any dishes that could drip food on a baking tray, so they won't drip on the oven.
When was the last time you cleaned your oven?
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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