The best advice for keeping a clean oven is prevention and to try and clean up spills and overflows when they happen and as soon as the oven has cooled. It's a good idea to clean your oven regularly - the longer you leave it, the harder the task will be.
You'll need a sponge, cleaning cloths and rubber gloves. An old toothbrush is useful for removing baked on grime from difficult to reach nooks and crannies.
Using a chemical oven cleaner
Instructions can vary, so please read them before you start. Set aside a time when you'll not need the oven for several hours, or better still overnight.
- Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and open a window for ventilation
- Take off the oven knobs and leave them to soak in a pan of water and detergent
- Remove oven racks and place them in hot soapy water to soak
- Read the instructions on your oven cleaner, apply to oven and leave for the required amount of time
- Wipe the cleaner and dirt away with a damp sponge, rinsing frequently
- Dry with a soft cloth
Green oven cleaning
You can also tackle your oven clean using a few household staples. Not only is this environmentally friendly, it's a cheaper alternative too. A tried and tested method is to use a mixture of baking soda and salt: set aside a time when you can leave the oven cleaning overnight.
- Remove the shelves and leave them to soak in some hot soapy water
- Mix together one cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of table salt and make it into a paste with some water
- Spread the paste on the glass door and bottom of your oven (include the walls if they're not self cleaning. Leave overnight.
- Wipe off the baking powder mixture and grime with a damp sponge, rinsing frequently
- Dry with a soft cloth
Lemon juice and salt is also effective at removing stubborn grease and grime from your oven, while vinegar is excellent for cleaning glass surfaces.
A cooker gets to see quite a bit of grease and food grime during its working life - especially the accessories that are in constant use like shelves and trays. And as you well know, these need regular cleaning, not just for hygienic reasons - a cooker looks great when all its components are nice and clean.
- Place all your oven shelves, trays, gas hob rings (if you've opted for gas) etc in a bath of hot water
- Add a couple of cups of washing powder and leave to soak for about an hour
- Wash in the normal way with washing up liquid and hot water
- Dry gently with a dishcloth and put them back in/on the cooker
And relax - you've done it! Hopefully these methods will get rid of your grime in no time and you can put your feet up (while promising yourself you'll clean the oven as-you-go in future!)
Always refer to the manufacturer's manual for specific details.