How to Clean Your Oven
Cleaning the oven is a job that many of us put off – scrubbing and chipping away at burned-on grease and food. But, while cleaning the oven may take a little planning and preparation, it doesn’t need to be hard work.
It’s easy for food oils and fats to spit out and cling to your oven’s walls. Over time, this build-up can cause unpleasant smells when cooking, generate smoke and eventually even pose a fire risk. Follow our simple steps below to give your oven its shine back, without the use of harsh chemical cleaners.
You will need:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Dish cloth
- Firm brush
- Rubber gloves
Cleaning your Oven
- Remove everything from the oven – Ensure that any pans or trays are removed from the oven, as well as the oven’s shelves.
- Mix a baking soda paste – Combine a cup of bicarbonate of soda with water. You want to mix in just enough water to make a paste, which will clean the oven.
- Apply the baking soda paste – It’s time to get your rubber gloves on. Spread the paste around the inside of your oven, making sure to cover the appliance’s walls and floor. If any areas of the oven have particularly bad grease marks, work additional baking soda paste into them. Take care to avoid the oven’s heating element.
- Leave the mixture to sit – Give the paste time to work its magic, loosening and breaking down the burnt-on grease. Ideally, this should be left overnight for the best possible results, but a few hours will help you lift the grime if you’re in a hurry.
- Scrub the shelves down – Now that we’ve left the paste to rest in the oven, it’s time to turn our attention to the shelves. There’s no wrong way to do this – some people rest their shelves in the bath to soak, while others prefer large, re-sealable bags of detergent and water. Of course, if you have enough room in your sink, then there’s nothing wrong with giving them a regular scrub down.
- Wipe out the oven – Now that the baking soda paste has worked its way into the grease, we can clean the mixture out of the oven. If you have a brush with stiff bristles, this may help to cut through the mixture, making it easier to wipe down. You may want more than one dish cloth to hand, depending on the amount of grime in your oven.
- Add vinegar – Put some white vinegar into a spray bottle, and target any areas of baking soda you can still see inside the oven. Spraying vinegar onto these patches will cause them to react and foam gently. Give the oven a final wipe down once the vinegar has reacted.
- Return oven shelves – Job done. Now, return the shelves and anything else you may have removed from the oven.
Steam Cleaning Your Oven
Looking for a quicker, easier way to clean your oven? You might be in luck. By heating a bowl of water inside the oven, you can generate steam to loosen any grease or grime for an easier clean.
Please note that this method is intended to provide a quick clean for a lightly soiled appliance – if your oven contains a lot of grease and grime, you’ll need to take a tougher approach.
If you think a steam clean is just what your oven needs, follow these steps:
- Fill a large, ovenproof container with water and place it on the lowest shelf of your oven.
- Turn your oven onto its highest setting and run it for about half an hour.
- Turn the heat off and allow the oven to cool. Make sure to leave the oven closed as it cools, as this gives the steam more time to work on any burnt-on marks.
- Wipe down with a damp cloth.
Tips to Prevent Oven Grease Build-up
Stop spits and splatters inside your oven before they get out of hand – follow these steps to make cleaning your oven even easier:
- Prevent hot oils and fats from gathering at the bottom of your oven by lining the base of the appliance with foil. Non-stick oven sheets are also available in a range of sizes.
- Use cooking bags to roast meat or fish – this prevents oil from your food spitting against the oven wall.
- After cooking, use the steam cleaning method outlined above. This will regularly refresh your oven, preventing the need for a deep clean.
By covering food and occasionally refreshing your oven’s interior, you can prevent the need for lengthy deep cleans and keep your oven at its best. It’s no-one’s favourite job, but with a little work here and there, you can stop it from becoming a big task.