Cleaning your best oven for baking is similar to visiting the dentist. While few of us look forward to the experience (and some of us despise it), the concept of cleaning is frequently worse than the act of cleaning.
With the proper information and basic tools, oven cleaning does not have to be a daunting task—either psychologically or physically. Debra Johnson, Merry Maids’ in-house cleaning expert, is here to help with tips on why oven cleaning is critical, how often you should do it, and three foolproof ways to get it done today.
How Frequently Should My Oven Be Cleaned?
According to Johnson, there are three unmistakable signals that it’s time to scrub your oven. The first consideration is one’s general appearance. Are there any crusts or residues on the bottom? Is the door coated in grease or filth or is it splattered with it? No. 2: odour. Does your oven emit a particular odour when you turn it on? Getting a pungent odour before cooking anything indicates that there is remaining grease, grime, or food inside. Finally, there is smoke. Smoldering is also a symptom of accumulation in a clean oven.
How frequently you use your oven has an effect on how frequently you should clean it. For frequent cooks and bakers, a good rule of thumb is to scrub it once every three months. If you use your oven infrequently (say, once or twice a month), cleaning it once or twice a year should enough. Naturally, pay attention to the indicators indicated above, and if an issue emerges, don’t put off cleaning just because it’s been a while since your last one.
Why Is Maintaining a Clean Oven Critical?
Although cleaning your oven is far from glamorous—and can easily fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” category—regularly cleaning it enhances the quality of the food you cook in it.
“The scents from any stuck-on grease or grime may have an effect on the meal you’re cooking,” Johnson explains.
Ew. That is all that needs to be said.
Is it Possible to Use the Self-Cleaning Function?
Self-cleaning can be beneficial if — and only if — your oven is somewhat unclean, according to Johnson.
When you push the self-cleaning button, your oven locks and rapidly heats up to a maximum of 550 degrees. While this heat assists in melting and removing grease and filth, if there is a significant buildup on the bottom, it can backfire and cause smoke to rise—and in some circumstances, start a fire.
“It boils down to frequency,” Johnson explains. If it’s been several months since you cleaned your oven and it’s splattered with caked-on food or other suspicious pieces, you should roll up your sleeves and perform the job yourself for your own safety.
If you choose the self-clean option, you’ll want to remove the racks first and clean them manually (see below for instructions). The self-clean cycle takes around two hours (precise duration may vary depending on the model of oven) and Johnson recommended that you remain at home during this time in case anything goes wrong. When it’s finished, you’ll see a layer of white ash in the bottom of the oven, which you’ll need to remove once the oven has cooled.
What Cleaning Supplies Do I Need for My Oven?
A reputable cleaner: There are various alternatives available to you here.
Oven cleaner purchased in a store: This is the simplest, quickest method for removing significant amounts of grease and grime. The caveat: oven cleaners may be pretty caustic, so if you’re allergic to harsh chemicals or want an all-natural approach, Johnson suggests opting for option 2 or 3.
Water, baking soda, vinegar, and a spray bottle: This is a wonderful approach to use if you have a lot of buildup. Make a paste with baking soda and water that will need to soak for 10 – 12 hours (or overnight), so plan accordingly.
(2) Lemons and water Another do-it-yourself alternative that takes around an hour to two hours; this is a good option if your oven is just minimally unclean and your racks are in good condition.
Cleaning gloves made of rubber: Kindly refrain from using disposable gloves. This is particularly critical if you choose option 1, as you’ll want a strong barrier between your skin and the cleaner, Johnson notes.
Protective eyewear: To protect your eyes from the cleaner’s rays. These are not required for alternatives 2 or 3.
Newspapers or paper towels from the past: To protect the floor surrounding your oven in case anything spills out during cleaning.
Damp cloth rag(s): To remove any remaining filth after applying the cleanser. You may require more ones if your oven is particularly dirty.
Pumice stone or microfibre sponge for scouring (optional): This is advantageous if you’re dealing with a large amount of accumulation.
Plastic rubbish bag, large: This is required to clean your oven racks using option 1.