With the holidays come so much joy and togetherness, shared with family and loved ones. Therefore, you should be expecting a full house which means you’ll have more mouths to feed. And this is where your beloved cooking appliances come in to make your job easier. The right cooking appliances will save you time to have fun with your family without compromising food quality.
Your oven is easily the most used cooking appliance during the holidays. It will be responsible for all the pastries and baked goodies your family will fawn and fight over this holiday. And since you’ll use your oven more during the holidays, oven cleaning is essential.
In this article, we’ve outlined a complete guide on how to care for and maintain your oven.
Which oven cleaner is the best: natural or chemical?
When making these kinds of choices, it’s a matter of personal preferences. However, let’s look at the pros and cons of both methods as a guide to help you make the best decision.
Chemical Oven Cleaners
There are various chemical oven cleaners available on the market. However, most of these cleaners have one chemical in common – sodium hydroxide or caustic soda.
The significant advantage of chemical oven cleaners is that they provide quick cleaning. The sodium hydroxide in them quickly burns away carbon, dirt, and grease in ovens. Therefore, you can save time and effort with these chemical cleaners.
However, chemical oven cleaners can be dangerous too. The caustic and other chemicals can irritate and burn uncovered skin and eyes, damage the oven’s enamel and element, produce harmful fumes, and more.
You’ll need to be extremely careful when using these chemical cleaners, especially if you have kids living with you. It’s best to hire professional oven cleaners if you can afford them.
Natural Oven Cleaners
Most natural oven-cleaning solutions use baking soda, salt, vinegar, and water in their composition. These products are inexpensive and readily available. You probably have them right now in your home.
Natural oven cleaners are just as effective as chemical ones. They are also less dangerous to you and the oven. However, you’ll need enough time and effort to use them properly. You'll need even more time if you plan to make the cleaner yourself.
Step-by-step guide on Oven cleaning
Whether you’re cleaning your oven with a natural or chemical solution, the following steps will ensure you do so effectively.
Switch off the oven: Unplug your oven from electricity if it’s an electric one and from the gas source if it’s a gas one. Also, ensure that it is cool before you start cleaning it.
Remove the shelving: An oven comes with trays, grills, rags, and other shelving. Remove all of them and keep them aside.
Wipe out the oven: When you have removed all the shelving, you need to clean the inside. The best way to do that is by using a damp cloth to scrub around the inside.
Scrape off any food leftovers: Scrubbing with a damp cloth only takes care of the loose food residues. You’ll need a scraper for the more stubborn ones. With a metal or plastic scraper, gently scrape off any food leftovers.
Spray oven cleaner or apply a natural cleaner: Wiping and scraping off food leftovers was in preparation for this step to make the natural or chemical cleaner more effective.
If you are using a chemical cleaner, spray the oven with it. Ensure you’ve gone through the manufacturer’s instructions first. Spray the sides and bottom (inside) and the oven door. Use a soft sponge to spread the cleaner throughout the oven. However, ensure it doesn’t touch the heating elements. Close the oven and leave it for 30 minutes.
No matter the type of natural cleaner you choose, you’ll need to apply them over the inside surfaces of the oven for all. However, they may differ in how long they should sit before you wipe them off. For example, if you're using baking soda recipes, you'll need to let the oven sleep overnight. You can also use hot water and a mixture of white vinegar and Dawn soap to cut the grease. This formula won’t need to sit for as long as the earlier one. You can still carry out your oven cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, mixing the previous two methods. Remember to apply the cleaner to all the shelving that you removed earlier.
Scrub the oven: After a while, your oven cleaner must have softened the dirt and stains. Now, all you need to do is scrub the oven with a brush.
Wipe the inside of the oven: Using a damp cloth, wipe the oven’s interior. Rinse the sponge regularly to ensure a clean wipe.
Wash or wipe the shelving: The dirt on the shelving must have softened by the time you’re done with the oven. You can choose to wash or just wipe the shelving clean. If you decide to wash them, you’ll eventually have to wipe them dry.
Oven Care and Maintenance Tips
Everything requires routine maintenance to run at its optimal level. Your oven will last for years, optimizing the quality of your food if you know how to maintain it. Here are some oven care and maintenance tips to help you keep your oven in top condition.
Clean your oven regularly. Generally, you should clean your oven as much as you use it. Even if you can’t do it often, thoroughly clean your oven at least twice a year. Visit the guide above to recall how to clean your oven.
Ensure you unplug your oven from its power source (gas or electricity) before you clean it. You can damage your oven if you don't unplug it. In addition, the water and electricity combo is dangerous for you.
Some ovens are self-cleaning. If you have one, you can use the features of your self-cleaning oven. Ensure you are home when your oven is self-cleaning because anything can happen.
If you’re using a gas oven, inspect and replace your gas line. A worn-out gas line allows gas to leak out. You don’t need anyone to tell you how dangerous it is to have a gas leak.
Replace your burners if you notice any damage. This is because those burners can spark and light up when damaged.
Ovens remain an all-time favorite in the kitchen. Considering their importance and how expensive they are, you would want to take the best care of yours, so you don't have to get another. Cleaning is the biggest part of taking care of your oven. The oven care and maintenance tips above will never fail you.
However, you can always hire professionals if you want to clean your oven but don’t have adequate time. You can contact Clean Tu Casa. We are a professional home cleaning service company that provides oven cleaning as an additional service.