How to Clean and Maintain Your Oven
Whether you are a home chef or still starting to explore your love for cooking or baking, your baking oven or microwave oven serves a unique purpose in carrying out your tasks. While helping you with multiple culinary purposes, you need to give back to your oven by giving it the care it deserves. The drippings, oils, smoke, and grease residues don't just affect your oven's look; they also affect its performance.
Cleaning your oven regularly will help you avoid future maintenance problems, which can really be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are several ways you can clean and maintain your oven without diving into the heavier work. Check out these tips before you begin.
What Type of Oven Will You Clean?
Not all ovens are the same. There are built-in ovens, solo ovens, microwave ovens, and induction ovens. The way you maintain your very own appliance depends on its type, so before you clean your oven, make sure to check its kind. Even better, look for manufacturing instructions to understand what cleaning products to use and the cleaning precautions.
Many modern ovens come with a self-cleaning function, which is by far the easiest way to clean an oven. Simply use the self-cleaning cycle with a high-temperature setting and steam to eliminate grease and dirt residues straight from the oven. Many users prefer using this function. However, on hotter days, the heat retained by the cycle lasts longer and may emit an unpleasant odor.
Non Self-Cleaning Ovens
These are traditional ovens that do not have a self-cleaning cycle. Thus, they require the conventional way of maintenance.
Before You Start Cleaning Your Oven
There are simple preparations that you should make before the actual cleaning process. First, choose your cleaning agent correctly. As much as possible, use natural and safer solutions that you can find at home, like baking soda and vinegar. If you need store-bought chemicals, choose a mild soap and a non-abrasive sponge. Look for eco-friendly solutions that will not harm your oven material or affect the safety of your meals. Choose soft-bristled brushes to clean hard-to-reach corners and a soft cloth for wiping the exterior. Keep your area dry after cleaning it using paper towels or, even better, used newspapers.
Prepare Your Oven
Before cleaning your oven, make sure it is turned off and unplugged. Be careful around hot surfaces or wait for the oven to cool down before starting the process. Take out your baking trays, pots, and pans, and remove the oven racks.
Now you have an empty and more accessible oven.
How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?
Spot cleaning your oven every time after use is important to prevent dirt and bacteria from building up (remember to wait for it to cool down). You can start by wiping up spills with a damp cloth. If there are crumbs or bits of food, make sure to also take them out. You can use mild cleaning agents to tackle oils while still keeping your oven safe for handling food for your subsequent use. Gently clean the surfaces and avoid hard scrubbing to maintain the quality of your oven's interior. Mild cleaning may not suffice for a decade's worth of dirt, so make sure to clean your oven regularly to prevent piles of dirt.
Regular deep cleaning can be done every 3 or 6 months, depending on how often you use your oven. Deep-cleaning your oven more often is also recommended. Regular cleaning will help you make safer meals and preserve the optimal function of your oven.
How to Deep Clean Your Oven
When deep cleaning your oven, start with the racks. If you can remove the shelves, do so. Soak the oven racks in a big container with baking soda and vinegar to get rid of grease. This mixture creates a foam that loosens food particles. You may also use a sponge and gentle soap to tackle the stains if the natural solution isn't available in your kitchen. Just make sure to wash the racks thoroughly to remove all the chemicals.
Clean the sides and bottom of your oven with the same solution to gently remove the grease, even in hard-to-reach areas. This will also help remove the greasy smell inside your oven. Gently scrub the interior with a non-abrasive pad to remove residues.
After cleaning the interior, you can reattach your racks and clean the door. Make sure to tackle the knobs, handles, and glass door to make your oven fully clean. Be careful when cleaning the knobs with detergent, or simply rub them clean with a damp cloth to prevent shorting. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the glass door to avoid scratching the surface.
How to Clean the Bottom of the Oven
Compared to the sides and interior, the bottom part of the oven is the most challenging part to tackle. This is where all the stains and residues pile up. When left uncleaned, the dirt will be harder to remove.
You may clean the bottom part of the oven using a homemade baking soda paste and sponge or a plastic scraper. Lay the paste at the bottom of your oven and let it sit for an hour or more, depending on how often you clean your oven or how thick the residue is. When wiping or scrubbing the bottom of your oven, make sure to avoid heating elements and parts that must not be in contact with water or cleaning agents. Practice regular cleaning to prevent stubborn dirt from building up.
How to Clean Your Oven's Exterior
If your oven comes with an enamel finish, you will only need mild soap and a sponge to clean the surface. If your oven is made of stainless steel, you will need to do more to prevent fingerprints and dust from staying on the surface. Always maintain a dry exterior to preserve the quality and look of your oven. Don’t forget to clean the gap between your door and glass panels, as they also acquire so much grease and dirt over time.
Don't wait for your oven to break down before cleaning it thoroughly. Remember that even the best oven in Singapore can break down without proper cleaning and maintenance. Like other frequently used appliances and home furniture, ensuring that your oven is cleaned and well-maintained will surely make your home experience more convenient.