Effort-saving oven cleaning tips that are easy to do

Cleaning an oven is a daunting task, but it's possible to reduce the amount of effort needed to do a good job.

Effort-saving oven cleaning tips that are easy to do

Use the power of steam

Fill a heatproof dish or metal tray with water and place it in the oven. Set the temperature to its highest setting and leave for an hour or so — the steam will help loosen accumulated grease and grime.

Remove the door

Allow the oven to cool down, then remove the door — it's easier than it sounds and makes it far easier to reach the oven interior. To do this:

  1. Fully open the oven door to expose the hinges; each hinge is fitted with a locking lever that keeps the door in place.
  2. Flip the levers up and grip the door firmly with both hands.
  3. Close the door until you feel some resistance — you should now be able to lift the whole door away from the oven.
  4. Place the door unit on an old towel on top of the kitchen counter.
  5. Use a glass scraper to remove any grease baked onto the window glass.

Cover the kitchen floor

Before cleaning the inside of the oven, lay down a few layers of newspaper on the floor to catch the inevitable drips.

  • Cleanup will be much faster.
  • Remember to also protect your hands and arms with rubber gloves and long sleeves.

Use a store-bought cleaner

You can use caustic cleaner (available from all supermarkets) to clean the oven.

  • Be aware that these chemicals are extremely strong and can damage rubber door seals and the glue that secures the oven's glass window.
  • Keep the liquid or gel away from these areas, and carefully follow the instructions.
  • They are also toxic and corrosive on uncovered skin, so should be handled with caution.

Try a traditional approach

A gentler and more traditional method to cleaning is to use a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

  • First, wet the cold oven with water and use an old cloth to rub a thick layer of baking soda over all the surfaces except the heating elements. Leave this for four hours.
  • Then fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.  Spray the vinegar over the bicarbonate paste and leave it to fizz away and penetrate the grease for another few hours.
  • Next, scrub the interior with a plastic (not metal) scouring pad and rinse with warm water to finish.
  • Now clean the door in the same way.
  • Finally, give the window some sparkle by spraying it with pure white vinegar before wiping it away with a damp sponge.

Use the dishwasher

Metal oven shelves can be cleaned in the dishwasher.  Just run an intensive program with your usual dishwasher detergent.

  • Alternatively, cover the shelves with a commercial oven cleaning gel or paste and place them in a large plastic bag, such as a garbage bag, for a few hours to keep the gel moist and active. Scrub clean with hot water.
  • If you don't have a commercial cleaner, use a strong solution of biological liquid laundry detergent (one with enzymes) instead.
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