Caring For And Cleaning Your Oven
How to clean your oven or cooker and not damage it
We often get asked on the best way to keep your oven clean and, quite often, we get asked about the best products to use to do this. As many of us have been involved in refurbishing appliances we know many shortcuts and tips on cleaning and, keeping clean, most appliances.
We also occasionally hear of an oven that smells or has a burning smell and, even on occasion an oven or cooker that has gone on fire. Fro almost all of these sorts of faults the problem is that the oven has not been kept sufficiently clean and the built up grease has ignited or is emitting a foul odour or smoke. In virtually no instances is there a problem with the actual oven or cooker as manufacturers build them from non-flammable and non-fume emitting materials but, what you put in the oven can cause all these symptoms and more.
Many of these tips are from the refurbishment experience and a lot from the appliance manufacturers themselves with most of the products approved by us, we've tested them and we know they work.
Some manufacturers of cleaning products get a bit miffed with us as, if we don't get to test the product or, we don't think it's good enough we will not recommend it and we won't even offer it for sale.
Please Note: Many of these oven cleaning products can be caustic and we strongly urge you to wear gloves whilst using them to protect your hands
Cleaning The Inside Of Your Oven
A few manufacturers recommend that the interior (oven cavity) is cleaned using a Kleenoff Mop Head Oven Cleaner following manufacturer's instructions.
However we also have found that Fairy Power Spray is really good as well. The Mr Muscle oven cleaner is okay but tends to leave white residues if it isn't totally removed and, although clean, it doesn't look very good. You can get the same with the Fairy but it tends not to be as bad. However the caveat with both of these is that, if you use it on the door/s and it seeps between the glasses then it looks just terrible, but more on that below.
Our own current recommendation is the Oven Mate oven cleaner which, while harder to use, does do an excellent job. You can get Oven Mate from our store although this is more effective for a dirtier oven then the two products mentioned above.
Oven Mate is a gel like liquid that you brush on, leave for a while till it eats the built up grease and then wash off but, do be careful, it is particularly nasty in some ways and can cause skin irritation so the use of the included gloves is highly recommended. And, like all other cleaners, don't get it on any self cleaning catalytic liners of it will ruin them leaving you only the option to replace the inner oven liner.
Once you're done allow the oven to air and dry then remove any excess with a damp, soft cloth and the enamel should come up really well.
A top tip is to clean the oven door glass, especially the inner one using a good quality ceramic glass cleaner following manufacturer's instructions for the product. The reason is that this is designed to be used on this type of glass and not to lead to damage to the glass itself and, it does a cracking job.
Once done, remove the ceramic cleaner with a damp cloth or plastic scouring pad. Use only a damp cloth or scourer to avoid water ingression between the door glasses causing staining, again this looks really bad if it happens.
- Remove all oven furniture; shelves and trays etc
- Turn function knob to Pyrolitic setting and cleaning will commence once the door locks
- The minimum cleaning time is normally about 1hour 30 minutes this will clean only the oven lining
- The maximum cleaning time is 3 hours this will usually clean the entire oven cavity and the glass door
- To use this cleaning process for longer than 1hour 30 minutes, set the timer to the desired cleaning time
- The oven will turn off automatically at the end of the cleaning time
- Leave oven to cool
- Wipe any dust from the oven liners and from the base of the cavity
- Buff the exterior of the oven with a dry microfibre cloth
Stay Clean Liners
Stay clean liners are designed to "burn off" any grease that spatters onto them, especially useful if you like an open roast, but they have their downsides as well. One is that, should you get any chemicals on them at all then they will be ruined and need replaced. So don't go near these panels if they are fitted to your oven with ANY cleaning products even if you are told otherwise or you will ruin them.
You will know if they are ruined as they will go a sort of whitish and, after that, they will never work correctly again.
To clean these panels do the following:
- Set oven to 200°C or above
- Leave on this setting for approximately three quarters of an hour
- Environmental suggestion; simply leave the oven on after cooking a roast dinner
- Carry out this cleaning process at least four times a year dependent on how often the oven is used and how soiled the liners are
- If the liners are badly soiled; leave the oven to cool down and brush the worst of the soiling off the liners. Now set the oven to 200°C or above and carry out the cleaning cycle.
- The cleaning function can be carried out using any of the oven functions ie full fan, static, or fan ducted.
- The average life of stay clean liners is 5 - 6 years after this they will need to be replaced.
DO NOT USE DETERGENT ON STAY CLEAN LINERS as this destroys the self-cleaning properties in the panels.
On the outer door glass you can use the ceramic cleaner but this is mildly abrasive so if there are any stencils or writing on the glass it may remove them on poorer quality door glasses.
We do recommend using the likes of a microfibre cloth to clean the exterior with only water fro two reasons, one is that it does a good job and won't cause any damage to the stenciled or printed lettering on the oven fascia and also that it is a cheap and environmentally friendly solution. However, do be aware that there are different qualities of these types of cloth, just like most other things and you often get what you pay for. Our recommended cloth is available in our online store.
On most cookers and ovens the knobs will pop off (they are normally a push fit) to allow you to clean them separately and also to clean the fascia behind them. The clock knobs vary from model to model and may not be removable, but many are.
Of late we've seen a massive increase in the popularity of stainless steel ovens and, for these we do currently recommend the Chromol stainless steel cleaner as it is absolutely superb on stainless, especially in maintaining the look of highly polished stainless steel.
There is much more on cleaning stainless steel and information on other products that we use in the article from this link
Keeping Your Oven Clean
Keeping your oven or cooker clean helps the machine in many ways. Apart from the fact that the cooker of oven won't look as tired or old it can stop many components from failing early.
For example dirt and grease on the door has been attributed to a factor in causing door glasses to shatter, grease on elements can cause hot spots on them which can lead to early failure, grease build up in the hinges can cause them to go stiff and fail and so on.
It is simply good common sense to keep the oven clean as it will last longer.