Hayes & Harlington Gazette
Keep it clean
Experts share their top tips on removing oven grease and grime. SAM WYLIE-HARRIS reports
WHEN it comes to the household chores you find yourself putting off for forever and a day, cleaning the oven is right up there.
Tough, time-consuming and even back-breaking, depending on the height and size of your unit, no wonder it’s way down the to-do list.
In fact, research by Thomas Sanderson reveals we only clean our ovens once every 18 months on average. We asked experts how to make the process less painful...
Get ready to clean
First and foremost, ensure your oven is turned off and has cooled down from previous use before you start any cleaning, says Natasha Sweet, product specialist at AEG.
“Remove the oven trays and shelves and don’t forget to take out the shelf support,” she adds. “Each oven will be different, so check your manual, but usually you should be able to lift the shelf support up to release it from the catch, and carefully remove it before placing to one side.” Most racks and trays can be placed in the dishwasher (always check user manual). However, if you have telescopic rails, she says it’s best to wash these by hand in hot, soapy water to avoid damage. If the rack is an awkward size or too big for the sink or dishwasher? “To ensure they get the deep clean they need, I recommend lining your bath with towels to avoid scratching the surface, then leave the racks to soak in hot water with a dissolved dishwasher tablet overnight,” suggests Olivia Young, cleaning chemist at Astonish. “In the morning, they will appear good as new.” Before you start cleaning the oven’s surface, Olivia suggests using a vacuum to remove excess crumbs.
“Make sure to target the area behind your oven door, as this is often a prime spot for excess mess.”
Tackling the cavity
Once it’s emptied, you can spray inside the oven freely.
“We recommend using non-abrasive cleaners to prevent damage to the oven coating,” says Natasha. “However, always check your manual for more information before using any cleaning products.”
She recommends using a moist cloth or sponge to wipe clean the oven’s inside. If it’s been working overtime, Natasha says to spray your preferred oven cleaner into the cavity and place dampened kitchen roll gently around the inside, to lock in the moisture.
Once you’ve wiped away all the excess grease, hopefully you’ll have a sparkly clean oven cavity. But what if the dirt doesn’t lift?
“We’ve all been there – sometimes no matter how hard you scrub, it can appear as if the stain simply won’t budge,” says Olivia.
“Grease stains can be your worst enemy when it comes to maintaining oven cleanliness, especially those which are baked onto the surface.”
The good news is, you’ve probably got the solution to this problem in your kitchen cupboard. She says next time you need to tackle a stubborn grease stain, dissolve a dishwasher tablet in warm water, before using it to wipe the affected area with a cloth. “The stain will begin to
lift in no time,” adds Olivia.
Get glass door panels to shine
Some oven doors and glass panels can be removed for easy cleaning. However, Natasha says to always check the instructions in the manufacturer’s user manual before dismantling them and even if you’re not able, or don’t want to remove the panels, you can still get them gleaming.
“When removing glass, be sure to place carefully onto a soft, flat surface, such as a towel. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or cloths, as this can damage the glass,” warns Natasha.
Use warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge to gently wipe away the dirt. She says to then use a microfibre cloth and a glass cleaning spray on the front of your oven door to see how it sparkles. Ta-dah!