How to Clean Your Oven: The Complete Guide

If you’re like me, the idea of cleaning your oven is daunting.  Months (or worse) of built-up grease, splatter, and crusty bits of burnt food don’t make it any more appealing or easy.

But don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it may seem!

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to properly clean your oven.

Table Of Contents

  • How do oven cleaning products work?
  • Choosing your cleaning product
  • Cleaning Electric Ovens vs Gas Ovens
  • How to clean your oven
  • How often we should clean
  • Oven cleaning companies
  • Conclusion

How do oven cleaning products work?

When we think about what cleaning ingredients to use, we must first begin with what it is we’re trying to clean: food!

For the sake of this article, let’s split food into 2 components:

  1. Water Soluble Components
    • Carbohydrates, proteins, Vitamins (B-group, C), minerals
  2. Water Insoluble components
    • Fats (ie: grease), Vitamins (A, D, E, and K)

The goal of cleaning products is to dislodge all dirt on the oven and remove it from the oven.

Water soluble dirt is much easier, as it can technically be removed with water and some muscle.

However, it’s the fats that are the stubborn bits.

Oven cleaners are made up of what we call surfactants (ie: soaps, detergents).

These surfactants are quite special as they contain components that are both water-loving (can dissolve water soluble components) and fat-loving (can dissolve) fat-soluble (AKA: water insoluble) components.

As such, the most efficient cleaners is the combination of the strongest surfactant, the best anti-microbial (for whatever survives the heat) and that which least toxic – which takes us to choosing the right cleaning product.

Choosing your cleaning product

We can categorise oven cleaners into two: natural and synthetic.

The general consensus is that synthetic cleaners are more efficient at cleaning, yet more toxic if residue is leftover.

While this might be a rule of thumb, it’s certainly not the be-all-and-end-all.

Natural Oven Cleaning Products

Koh is an Australian brand of cleaning products designed by scientists and is a natural and efficient example of a product that can be used to clean your oven.

Alternatively, some product purists take it one-step further and use products like:

  • Eucalyptus Oil like the one from Bosisto’s,
  • White or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bi-carb soda

While these can be good at killing off bacteria, these don’t actually contain surfactants so it might be difficult to actually dislodge and remove the food stuck to the oven.

Synthetic Oven Cleaning Products

If you’re like most, you just want the best product for the job!

Brands like Easy-Off, Selleys, and OzKleen have oven cleaners available at any local supermarket.  You can also buy them online

Please take note of any safety precautions on the label.  Most oven cleaners will require the use of gloves due to the chemicals used.

Cleaning Electric Ovens vs Gas Ovens

Before you start cleaning, here are some tips for cleaning different oven types.  You don’t want to damage a heating element or gas vent accidentally.

Gas Ovens

Gas ovens use heat from an incoming source of lit gas to cook your food.  When you clean your gas oven, avoid spraying cleaner in the vent or on the igniter.

Electric Ovens

Electric ovens use heating elements instead of gas.  These are very delicate and can be damaged if cleaners are applied directly on to them. 

electric oven

Some oven designs let you lift the lower element to make cleaning the bottom of the oven easier.  If you can’t lift the element, don’t worry; just be careful cleaning around it.

If your elements do require cleaning, don’t stress, it can be done.  Dampen a soft cloth with a mixture of mild dish soap and water and wipe it down gently.

For any accidental damages, or if you notice that an element or vent needs replacing or servicing, please contact us.  Our friendly team of professionals are happy to help restore your oven to full functionality.

How to clean your oven

Even if you have a self-cleaning oven, you can still clean it manually.  In fact, for longevity of your oven, manual cleaning is better than using the self-cleaning feature.  Just make sure that your oven is turned off completely while you clean it.

Step 1 – Remove the racks

Pull the racks out of oven and clean them separately. 

The easiest way to get rid of all that tough, baked on grime is to soak the racks in hot, soapy water for 30mins to an hour.  If your kitchen sink is too small, try your laundry sink, the bathtub, or a cheap storage tub from Kmart.

Step 2 – Prepare the oven interior

Use a cloth or silicone spatula to quickly remove any loose debris at the bottom of your oven.  Don’t worry about trying to scrape out anything stuck just yet, that will come off a lot more easily later.

Thoroughly coat the inside of your oven with your chosen cleaner.  Make sure it covers the wall, floor, ceiling and door (even the glass) really getting into the nooks and crannies. 

If you have a lot of burnt stuff at the bottom of your oven, give it a thick coat of cleaner or bicarb paste.  That way there will be enough of it to cut through the grime and make it faster and easier for you to wipe out.

Once you’ve applied the cleaner to every surface inside, close the door and give it time to soak.

Oven cleaners will have their wait times specified in their instructions, it’s generally around 30 mins.  If you’re using bicarb soda, the paste will lift the grease in most ovens after about 30mins to an hour.  However, you can also leave it for up to 12 hours to easily clean even the worst ovens.

Step 3 – Exterior Spray and Wipe

While you wait for the inside to soak is a great time to clean the outside of your oven.

You can either use a multipurpose cleaner (like Koh’s Universal Cleaner) or a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar to cut through any dirt.

Start by pulling your oven knobs off.  The easiest way to clean them is to let them soak in white vinegar or hot soapy water. 

While they’re soaking, spray the exterior of your oven with your cleaner.

Use a soft microfibre cloth to wipe down the entire outer oven, including the glass door.  For a streak-free finish, buff the glass dry with another dry soft cloth.

Use the same cloth you used to clean the oven to scrub the knobs.  Once clean, dry them thoroughly and put them back onto your oven.

Step 4 – Interior Wipe

After waiting the allocated time for the cleaners to work on the interior, it’s time to wipe it out.

If you’re using bicarb paste, give it a light spritz of white vinegar before wiping it down.  You’ll see the combination start to foam, making it easier to remove even the toughest grime.

Using a cloth or sponge, you can now wipe the oven clean.

Sometimes the bottom of your oven can build-up with a lot of baked-on grease and debris that’s difficult to remove.  Soaking it with the cleaner will have softened and loosened the grime in even the worst oven enough to come off with a little bit of scouring.

Step 5 – Oven glass door

You can clean the glass inside your oven door at the same time as you clean the interior.  But chances are there are still some stubborn bits of debris clinging to your oven glass.

The easiest way to remove these baked-on bits is to use a scraper like this one from Bunnings.

A paint or razor blade scraper will work too, just be careful when using it that you don’t scratch the glass.

Once the dirt’s been scraped off, wipe the glass over with a damp cloth for a clean finish.

Step 6 – Returning the oven racks

After your racks have finished soaking, scrub them over with a cloth or scourer.

Once they’ve dried, slide them back into your freshly cleaned oven.

clean oven

How often we should clean

If you use your oven regularly, you should give it a deep clean every three months.

If you only use it for the occasional bake or family roast, you should still perform a deep clean at least every six months.

roast in the oven

Ideally, a deep clean is not the only time you’ll clean your oven.

Just cooked a dish that left a bit of splatter?  It’s better to wipe up the mess as soon as the oven has cooled.

Maintaining a clean oven will keep it bacteria-free and means less work during your deep cleans.

Oven cleaning companies

If you don’t have the time to clean your oven, you can always call in a professional.

Hands down, the easiest way to clean your oven is to get someone else to do it for you.

There are plenty of oven cleaning companies and services in Melbourne that would love to help you out, here are some examples:

Conclusion

While cleaning your oven may seem a daunting task at first, it doesn’t have to be.

As well as keeping your cooking space hygienic, it’s a good opportunity to check the state of your oven. 

Deep cleaning is when you’ll look more closely at your oven and are most likely to notice anything that needs repairs.

If your oven does need maintenance or parts replaced, please contact us

We service all makes and models, even gas!  We offer fast, friendly service, and charge flat service rates so you know in advance how much your repairs will cost.

Otherwise, I hope you take pride in your newly cleaned oven.  Happy cooking!

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