Did you know that dirty ovens are fire hazards? Here's how you can prevent a kitchen blaze

Soap suds really could save lives

We’ve all been guilty of failing to give the interior of our oven a good once over. But while a bit of grease and grime accumulating on our oven shelves can seem harmless, a new analysis has revealed that dirt can lead to danger when it comes to this white good staple.

Related: How to clean an oven and hob – including the oven rack and glass door

Oven cleaning specialists Ovenu looked at the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics and found that cooking appliances were responsible for 1 in 5 blazes in homes last year.

kitchen room with white wall tiles and oven

(Image credit: future PLC/Darren Chung)

Further figures showed that food materials are also responsible for igniting nearly one third of all house fires.

Despite this fact a recent study showed that the average Brit cleans their oven just twice a year.

Commenting Rik Hellewell, Managing Director of Ovenu says: ‘Over time food and grease stick to the hot plating, grills and metal trays inside of the oven and if left this will burn whenever its used. Continuous cooking with a dirty oven can create carbon-based fumes and excess smoke during cooking is often an indicator of a potential fire hazard.’

Continuing he added: 'Homeowners and tenants should really be cleaning their oven at least every 12 weeks or as often a twice a month if it gets heavy use.'

kitchen room with wooden flooring and oven with black chimney

(Image credit: future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Before you start cleaning your oven ensure it's switched off and cool. Cover gas burner jets and any visible heating elements and open doors and windows to ensure your kitchen is well ventilated to ensure you don't breath in any harmful cleaning chemicals.

Choose the right cleaning products and equipment

room with rubber gloves and cleaning equipment

(Image credit: future PLC/Andrew Woods)

Opt for safer caustic-free oven cleaning products that won't strip away your oven's natural coating. You'll also need to have the following items to hand:

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • A scourer
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Sponges
  • Rubber gloves
  • An old toothbrush

Oven cavity

Apply your chosen cleaning product to the corners of your oven with a spray or sponge. Leave for a few hours to help break up an stubborn burnt-on food, wipe the inside with a damp sponge and repeat this process until the oven is clean. If there are any areas of dirt or grime that aren't shifting applying some baking soda and leave overnight. Finally use an old toothbrush to clean those hard-to-reach areas.

Oven shelves

Soak shelves in warm soapy water and leave overnight to break down food and grease before using a scourer to scrub down both sides.

Oven baking trays

Again soak trays in warm soapy water, before scrubbing with a scourer and patting dry. If grease and grime remain mix hot water with bicarbonate of soak and leave trays to soak for an hour before scrubbing.

For a more thorough explanation, read: How to clean an oven and hob – including the oven rack and glass door

Which of the above tips will you follow?