It’s always the same – we get a shiny new oven (or a shiny new flat that comes with an oven) and we say ‘this time I will keep the oven as clean as my mother did hers!’
…and then 6 months in, the entire inside of the oven is black and sticky, and the window is so dark you don’t know or care when the lightbulb goes out.
So, knowing full well that we aren’t going to clean the oven once a month, here’s how to absolutely blitz it once or twice a year, and feel good about your cleaning chops for a few weeks:
- First, buy one of the really heavy duty oven cleaning kits, the kind with plastic bags to clean the racks in and the really dangerous chemicals. That kind really works. Follow its instructions exactly when it comes to the racks, and if it says something different to this guide, follow the instructions.
- Take the door right off. Most modern ovens have some kind of quick release, but you might have to break out the screwdriver. You really do need to do this.
- Before using the chemicals, use a scraper to get as much of that black crust off the flat surfaces as you can. Get whatever is left with steel scouring pads, especially in the corners and crannies where the scraper didn’t fit. This is the ‘hard work’ part.
- Heat the oven up, to between 50 and 70 degrees, before you use the chemicals. It will make them work better.
- Turn the oven off at the mains, or unplug it. Safety first!
- Follow the directions on the cleaning kit now. Each will be slightly different.
- Now break out the cotton buds and get all the tight spaces that still harbour yuck. There will be a lot of them, especially around where the door was attached.
- Do all this again with the door
- Finish by using a good glass cleaner on the window.
- Lastly, pretend you’ll do this once a month, and laugh quietly.
We have more information on how to deal with the maintenance of your oven here.