How to Clean An Oven: 3 Reasons Why Cleaning Your Oven Is So Important
Learn the best way on how to clean an oven and 3 reasons why it is so important. Following these steps will allow you to increase the lifespan of your oven
One chore everyone should do but very few people do it regularly is cleaning their oven, but knowing how to clean an oven the best way possible is something that shouldn’t be forgotten. Cleaning your oven properly will increase the lifespan of your oven and also make it look great for much longer.
In addition, if you want to ensure all of your meals are efficiently cooked and avoid a costly oven repair, cleaning your oven regularly is a given. Let’s take a look at the reasons why cleaning your oven is important and the methods you can use for regular maintenance.
3 reasons to clean your oven regularly
Regardless of which one you prefer in the gas vs electric oven debate, regular oven cleaning is important for multiple reasons.
It prevents fires
Probably the most important reason why you need to make sure your oven is clean is that a dirty oven is typically filled with grease, food debris, and grime. All of this or even a simple accidental spill can cause the oven to burn.
Ovens are more likely to catch on fire when dirty than when they’re clean. A clean oven is a safe oven.
It improves your oven’s lifespan
If you want to increase the longevity of your cooker, you need to keep it clean. When an oven becomes dirty and covered in grease, it will be harder to heat it up and even maintain the cooking temperature you want.
The best way to avoid an oven element replacement, paying for oven repair, or even buying an entirely new oven is to have a regular cleaning schedule.
It improves your oven’s efficiency
Those who want their oven to operate at full capacity for as long as possible need to clean it regularly. Clean ovens without any dirt and food debris are more energy efficient because the heat is distributed evenly and efficiently.
And let’s not forget that if you have grime all over your oven door, you won’t be able to see the contents inside. This means that you will have to open your oven door much more frequently and let heat out, lowering the oven temperature and disrupting your cooking or baking.
4 ways to clean your oven
For everyone who wants to know how to clean an oven, there are four different ways to do it:
- Using its self-clean function
- Using natural supplies
- Doing it with store-bought cleaners
- Hiring professional services
#1 How to Clean an Oven: Use the self-clean function
If you own a self-cleaning oven, you need to use this functionality. It’s important to mention the function should only be used for slightly to moderately dirty ovens, but it’s still a big time-saver. And if you use it regularly, you won’t have to do the dirty work yourself.
When you hit the “self-cleaning” button, your oven door will automatically lock and the temperature will go up. The temperature depends on the oven type, but it usually goes up to 550°F (288°C) and these high temperatures will help burn off the stuck-on residue.
The self-cleaning cycle typically lasts for about 2 hours. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t open your oven until it’s completely cooled off. After the cleaning is done, the bottom of the oven will be covered in white ash you’ll occasionally have to clean with a damp cloth.
Just keep in mind that before you turn the self-cleaning function on, you need to remove the racks from the oven and clean them by hand.
#2 How to Clean An Oven: Use natural supplies
Did you know you can clean an oven with baking soda? Some people don’t like to use store-bought cleaners due to the chemicals found inside, so they use natural supplies. If you want to try this, all you need to do is mix half a cup of baking soda with 2-4 tablespoons of warm water.
This will create a sticky paste you should spread on the oven door and around the insides while wearing gloves. If you have an electric range oven, avoid the heating element and if you have a gas oven, avoid the slits from which the gas comes out.
Then, close your oven and let the mixture sit overnight for 10 to 12 hours. As for the racks, take them out and soak them in hot water for the same amount of time.
The next day, wipe the mixture off with a damp cloth and spray your oven and oven door with white vinegar. Then you wipe that off as well and you’re done.
#3 How to Clean An Oven: Use store-bought cleaners
Store-bought cleaners allow you to clean your oven much more quickly than natural supplies do. But since they contain chemicals, make sure your kitchen is properly ventilated before you start cleaning.
All you need to do is spray the oven cleaner inside your oven and oven door and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Don’t forget to wear gloves and glasses while doing so. After that, simply wipe off the cleaner with a damp rag.
As for the racks, take them outside and spray them with the cleaner. They also need to sit for about 20 to 30 minutes but put them in a sealed trash bag so the fumes don’t escape. After that, rinse them with water and place them back in the oven.
#4 How to Clean An Oven: Hire professional cleaners
While you can clean your oven by yourself, sometimes it’s best to leave the hard work to the professionals. A professional cleaning service has access to the best cleaning supplies and will know how to clean parts of your oven that are hard to reach.
A cleaning service will not only clean your oven better than you ever could but it will also save you a lot of time. So save yourself the trouble and hire qualified professionals. They will clean your oven spotlessly, make sure it’s safe to use, and save you the hassle. Best of all, these services are very affordable and won’t break the bank.
When talking about professional services, it’s good to note that there are professional oven repair services and microwave oven repair services such as Cocoon home services that might come in handy. Especially if your oven runs into problems due to a lack of or improper cleaning and appliance repairs become unavoidable.
Appliance repair services aren’t something you think about until you need them, but it would be smart to think ahead. Professional oven services that are provided by skilled technicians are very convenient and everyone who provides appliance repair services is a professional with the proper training. With regular cleaning and professional repair, your oven will last for a long time.
The DOs and DON’Ts of cleaning your oven
Finally, here are some DOs and DON’Ts of cleaning your oven so you can be sure you’re doing everything right.
DO empty your oven before you clean it
Before you start the cleaning process, make sure to take out everything that may be inside. This includes any pots and pans you may still have in there and don’t forget to take out the oven racks as well. This way, it will be much easier to reach all of the walls of the unit as well as the roof and floor.
Additionally, don’t forget to remove any loose food residue from the oven chamber as well as large chunks of food debris. You can turn on your oven light to see if you got them all out.
DON’T clean all of the components
When cleaning an oven, some people assume they need to give all of the compartments a good scrubbing, but that’s not true. Some compartments simply aren’t made to be clean, so before you go in with your cleaning supplies, know what should be clean and what shouldn’t.
The one thing you should never clean is the heating elements that are located on the floor and roof of an electrical oven. If you clean these compartments, you might scratch them or even cause them to produce a flame or spark if they’re still slightly warm. You should also avoid cleaning the gas burners in a gas oven.
As for the oven’s flexible gasket that you can find on the interior of the door, you should clean it but be very careful and gentle. If you aren’t careful, you risk degrading the seal that is responsible for keeping heat inside.
DO pre-soak the oven components before cleaning
If you want to save time and effort, pre-soak the compartments you’ll be cleaning and let them sit for a while. If you do, you will loosen up the grime and avoid most of the heavy-duty scrubbing.
DON’T use cleaners with chemicals in self-cleaning ovens
Self-cleaning ovens sometimes need a good cleaning too but it’s important to remember that you should never use a chemical-based cleaner in one of these ovens. While they are safe for a commercial oven, self-cleaning ovens have a special enamel coating that can corrode when it comes into contact with certain chemicals. So use natural cleaners and avoid unnecessary repairs.
How often to clean your oven
There isn’t a schedule you should abide by when cleaning your oven. Instead, try to create a cleaning routine that is based on specific clues.
For example, if the inside of your oven has burned-out residue, the door has splattered grease on it, or the oven smells when you heat it up, it’s time for a good cleaning. Another good indication an oven needs to be clean is when smoke appears when you turn on the oven.
That being said, you should never go more than 3 months without cleaning your oven.
How to find a perfect oven for you
We have explained how to clean an oven in full detail, but we should also put some focus on how to choose the perfect oven that suits you, your cooking needs, and your kitchen. Not to mention that the type of oven you have will also influence how you clean it.
Wall vs. range oven
The first thing you need to take into consideration is whether you want to have an oven installed into your wall or if you would prefer a range unit.
A wall oven is a great choice if you’re looking for flexibility and convenience. They easily fit into a wall and are installed at the proper height that allows you to avoid bending over to get your food. Their standard size is around 23 inches, but you can also find 27-35 inch models.
If you go for a range unit or a freestanding oven, you’ll have the addition of a cooktop which you don’t get with wall ovens. They also come in multiple variations and designs as well as divided compartments, and the standard size is usually 35 inches, so it’s ideal for making big meals.
Double vs. single oven
If you opt for a wall oven, keep in mind that you also have the option of installing a double oven in your kitchen. Double ovens are ideal for people who like to cook or bake multiple things at the same time.
Both of these ovens work independently and when you use them, both of the dishes can be cooked at exactly the right temperature required. If you have a large family or often throw dinner parties, a double oven could be a smart investment.
However, it’s important to note that double ovens are more expensive and harder to install. Not everyone needs that additional space, and if you believe you wouldn’t enjoy the benefits double ovens bring, then you should probably stick to a single oven.
However, if you’re really struggling with a small space, there is a third option. Toaster ovens, also known as benchtop ovens, are a compact alternative to full-sized ovens and they can toast, bake, grill, and roast. Some of them even come with a hotplate on top.
However, they’re not ideal for preparing any big meals, so if you need something for larger-scale baking, this isn’t a good option for you. Toaster ovens are an excellent option for those who don’t have a lot of space or a lot of requirements.
What type of cooking method you’re going to use is far more important than some people realize. The type of oven you get will influence what kind of meals you can make and therefore you should know all of the options before you take the plunge and buy a new oven.
Here are the main types of ovens:
- Conventional. Conventional ovens use radiant heat and come with two heating elements located on the top and bottom that cook and heat up your food. However, conventional ovens have a downside, and that is that it’s hard to distribute the heat evenly throughout the oven.
- Convection. Unlike the previous type, convection ovens have a fan inside them that distributes the heat evenly and so allows for even cooking. They’re the most common type of oven because they’re extremely versatile.
- Steam. Those looking for healthier ways to cook their food often opt for a steam oven that is less versatile but better preserves nutrients during the cooking process. These ovens come with a water tank that steams the food within them.
- Wood. You can often find wood ovens in high-end kitchens. They are in no way versatile and can’t be the only oven in your kitchen as they’re primarily used for preparing dough.
- Microwave. A microwave oven isn’t a typical oven and is often an additional accessory in the kitchen. It uses radiation and can’t be used for large-scale cooking, but it’s great for when you just want to heat something up.
- Combination. Finally, we have combination ovens that combine multiple features such as the ones that come with a conventional and a steam oven, all in one unit.
Additional features you may like
We live in a world where technology is more advanced than most people realize. Ovens aren’t what they used to be just a few decades ago, and nowadays, you can find ovens with features old-time cooks could only dream of.
Of course, you can still find an old-fashion standard oven with no special features, but if you’re someone who wants a little extra, you can easily get it.
Here are some of the additional useful features modern ovens come with:
- Self-cleaning. This is a feature we already mentioned, but it deserves to be repeated. The self-cleaning option in ovens is becoming more and more popular because it saves people both time and money. While you still need to occasionally clean your oven, a self-cleaning option can be a real time-saver.
- Timer. Most ovens come with a timer, and if the one you’re considering doesn’t, you should probably look at other options. Forget the old-fashioned kitchen timer and get an oven that has a timer that will shut off the appliance as soon as the time runs out.
- Delayed start. Have you ever been in a situation when you prepared the entire meal and got it ready for cooking but the time still wasn’t right to put it in the oven? With the delayed start feature, you can simply put your meal in the oven, set the timer for when you want the cooking process to start, and sit back and relax.
No kitchen is complete without an oven that is used to prepare all kinds of meals and baked food. But for this cooking and baking to be enjoyable, you need to make sure that you clean your oven regularly. Also, a dirty oven will lead to at least one costly repair.
On the other hand, a clean oven prevents fires and improves your oven’s lifespan and efficiency. And since you also know the best ways to clean an oven, you can now create a cleaning schedule that will give you all of the benefits of a clean and safe oven.