Spring Cleaning Tips – Cleaning your oven and hob

Cleaning your oven and hob properly can improve its efficiency, extends its life and, most importantly, reduces the risk of a fire. Before you start to clean, you should always refer to the manufacturer’s manual to find the best method of cleaning for your model.

Prevention is better than a cure, so if you know you will be cooking something that could spill over, protect the bottom of your oven by placing a baking sheet on the base to catch any spills.

To clean your hob

  • Wipe away any oil and other spillages with a paper towel, then wipe the surfaces with a moist sponge and a solution of washing-up liquid and warm water or a 50-50 solution of vinegar and warm water
  • Do not use a scouring pad as this will scratch the surface of the hob

Wipe the exterior surfaces of your oven with a moist sponge to remove food spills every time you wipe down your kitchen worktops. Make it a habit and you’ll save lots of time because even the exterior surfaces get warm enough to bake food on very quickly!

To clean your oven

  • Start by removing all oven racks and grill pans.  Wash them by hand in the sink using a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid.  Scrub with a nylon-bristled brush or another gentle, non-metal scrubber. Anything abrasive, such as steel wool, will scratch the metal’s finish. This can lead to the racks and grill pan rusting, causing food to stick
  • Loosen baked-on deposits in a conventional (non self-cleaning) oven by filling a glass bowl with half a cup of full-strength ammonia.  After making sure that the oven is completely cool, put the bowl of ammonia in the oven, close the door and leave it to stand overnight. The fumes will release the bond between the crusty food and the oven interior. The next day, open the door and let the fumes dissipate – be sure to open all windows and doors. Remove the bowl and wipe away the loosened food with a cloth or sponge
  • To remove stubborn food marks, try scouring with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad dipped in a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid.  As with the racks and grill pans, avoid scratching the oven’s surface

Only use a commercial oven cleaner if the above doesn’t work on your oven.  Follow directions carefully and wear protective rubber gloves when applying the solution as these products are very strong and harmful.  Never spray a commercial oven cleaning on a hot oven, electric elements or oven lights. Heat can make the cleaner even more caustic.

If you own a self-cleaning oven, be aware that it will need some cleaning.  Self-cleaning means that it will break down food spills with temperatures as high as 480°c. However, the high heat doesn’t reach all areas of the oven, such as the frame and the edge of the door. The self-cleaning cycle can actually bake food on even more, so check the manufacturers instructions to see how you should clean your oven.

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