Is your oven still smelling of the cheese-burst pizza you baked last week? Bread crumbs littering your oven chamber, burnt cheese stains on the oven floor or even the smell of charred chicken can be annoying sights. While baking and cooking using an oven can be delightful, doing a clean-up of the appliance can often be overwhelming.
So how often should you do a deep cleaning of your oven? What are the best cleaning hacks to keep your appliance as good and fresh as new? We help you answer these questions by giving you actionable tips and an understanding of the cleaning agents to keep your oven clean and odor-free.
How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?
This depends upon how often you use the oven. If you are a frequent baker or do a lot of oven cooking then deep cleaning the oven once every two months is a good idea. However, if you use the oven only once in a while, say just twice a month for some special dishes then you can deep clean the oven just once or twice a year.
Besides the above thumb rule, look out for some obvious signs that indicate it is time to clean the oven. A dirty greased oven floor or smelly inner chamber are some telltale signs of a dirty oven. Similarly, if there is smoke from charred food pieces when you switch on the oven then they strongly indicate the need for deep cleaning the cooking appliance.
Although cleaning an oven may seem to be a tedious task, remember it is important both for the appliance and the food that you cook in it. A dirty oven spreads dirt, debris, and bacteria from left-over food and your last recipe into your freshly cooked food. This could alter its taste, smell and nutritional value. Therefore, look out for signs of dirt and grease in your oven, and whenever you spot them, take up the cleaning tasks without delay.
An accidental spill should be cleaned immediately after the oven cools down. If you allow it to sit, dirt and grease accrue making the cleaning task more cumbersome. Remember, a gentle wipe-down after cooking saves a lot of effort during your deep cleaning schedule.
Related reading: How to Use An Oven
Common Cleaning Agents for a Sparkling Oven
To clean your oven you have got a handful of options. You can go for the store-bought cleaners that help you get rid of the grime and grease that accumulates in your oven. These cleaners are easy to use and take considerably less time to do the cleaning. However, they come loaded with chemicals, and using them has its own set of challenges and risks.
Alternatively, you can opt for the DIY hacks at home that use common kitchen ingredients to help you clean your oven. A combination of baking soda and vinegar is the most popular combo that helps you get rid of all the food debris, greasy slime, and foul smell in your oven.
The choice of cleaning tool depends upon the level of dirt, your preference, and the time that you are ready to devote to getting a clean and fresh oven.
Related reading: How To Clean Toaster?
Preparing For the Clean-Up: Materials Needed
Here is the armour to prepare you for the battle. Yes, collect and keep all things handy so that the cleaning process is less hectic and takes lesser time as well.
- Store-bought oven cleaner if you prefer to use one or
- Baking Soda, Vinegar, and water if you prefer the DIY trick
- A plastic spray bottle
- A pair of gloves
- Old Newspapers or paper towels
- Damp Cloth
How To Clean Your Oven Using Baking Soda and Vinegar ?-Based DIY Hack
Time needed: 13 hours
Skipping chemicals and trusting your kitchen pantry ingredients for cleaning an oven is any day a safer bet. Here we tell you some simple steps to follow for cleaning your oven using only three basic ingredients-baking soda, vinegar, and water. Though it mentions 13 hours, 12 out of them are passive.
Empty the oven. Remove all the racks, thermometers, or any other pans lying inside. Spread some old newspapers or paper towels beneath the oven to avoid dirtying the base and floor while you clean the oven.
- Make A Paste of Baking Soda
Take a small bowl and prepare a mixture of baking soda and water. Mix about ½ a cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water to obtain a paste that spreads easily. Depending upon the size of your oven you can double the recipe. Remember, you need to coat the entire oven with this paste, so prepare a generous amount.
- Apply Baking Soda Paste
Now wear your rubber gloves and apply this paste evenly all over the inner chamber of the oven. The rubber gloves protect your hands and nails from the dirt and grime that can cause your hands to go rough. Avoid applying the paste near the heating elements of the oven. Where you spot grease and burnt food, apply a thick layer of the paste. With time as the paste comes in contact with the burnt food, it turns brown indicating that it is doing its job well.
Allow the baking soda paste to sit on the inner chamber of the oven for at least 10-12 hours. You could also leave it overnight.
- Clean Oven Racks
While the baking soda mixture is doing its work, you can clean the oven racks. Soak the oven racks in hot water for at least 2 hours. Thereafter scrub them well with some soap and rinse them thoroughly.
- Spray Vinegar
Next, add white vinegar to a spray bottle and spray it all over the interior of the oven. Vinegar acts as a great cleaning agent causing baking soda to foam up instantly and loosen up easily.
Again wipe the interiors of the oven with a damp cloth and place all the racks. Allow the oven to dry completely.
- Clean Oven Window
Now, it is time to clean the oven window. Again apply a paste of baking soda and water to the glass window and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth or paper towel.
- Clean Exterior Body
To clean the exterior body, knobs, and display panel of the oven use a mixture of vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:1. Spray the mixture and wipe it off with a clean rag. Rub till you have a spotless and sparkling oven body.
Using Store-Bought Cleaning Supplies for a Clean and Fresh Oven
Some of the popular oven cleaning sprays you could consider are- Clecide, Cif, Avance, Blueoxy, Joff and Mr Muscle.
- First and foremost empty the oven chamber. Remove the racks and pans and set them aside.
- Spread old newspapers beneath the oven and on the floor below.
- Wear your rubber gloves and spray the store-bought oven cleaner in the inside chamber of the oven. Cover all areas-top, bottom, sides, door, crevices, and all the corners. Avoid spraying the chemical on the heating element.
- Close the oven door and allow the cleaner to sit and work for the time indicated on the label. Most oven cleaners need a sitting time of about 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, you can clean the oven racks. Place the oven racks in an open area and spray the cleaner on them. You can also place them in a plastic bag after you have sprayed the chemical. Allow the chemical to work for the time indicated on the label.
- After the set time, open the door of the oven and using a damp cloth wipe off all the sides, floor, and top of the oven. Closely cover all areas where you had sprayed the cleaner. If there are some stubborn spots or sticky food patches use a microfiber sponge to scrub them off. Thoroughly wipe off the chemical cleaner ensuring that there is no trace of it left behind.
- Remove the oven racks from the plastic bag and rinse them with hot soapy water. Use an abrasive tool like scouring pumice to get rid of chunky food deposits. Thoroughly dry the racks and place them back in the oven.
- Leave the door of the oven open for some time to avoid moisture retention and you are done!
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Availing Professional Cleaning Services for a Spotless Oven
If you can roll up your sleeves and devote a good amount of time to ensure deep cleaning of your oven then it is indeed worth the attempt. But if you feel that you can achieve only surface cleaning with minimum realistic results with your efforts then opt for some professional cleaning services. They use modern cleaning tools and techniques to give you a showroom standard clean and fresh oven. It prolongs the life of your appliance adding many more years of use. They ensure every corner of the appliance is clean and dry before they reassemble all the parts back.
However, professional cleaning services come at a cost, and be ready to shell out around Rs.1000 to obtain a sparkling oven.
So, the next time you decide to bake, check whether your oven is clean and fresh or not, else dive into a cleaning spree with some of the above tips and hacks. Because just like your freshly baked perfect cookies your oven needs to be clean and fresh too.