Comparison Challenge – DIY Oven Clean vs Ovenu

By on 9th September 2014 (updated: 10th March 2020) in Cleaning Tips

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Ever wondered why you should bother having your oven cleaned by a professional when you can probably just do it yourself?

If so, then this article is for you, demonstrating the difference that having a trained Ovenu technician working on your oven makes, compared to a normal DIY household clean?

To showcase the two processes, we’ve enlisted the help of a member of our handy team, who’s taken on the responsibility of cleaning his oven using every day household products. We’ve also sent out one of our trusted technicians to numerous locations to show you just how deep a clean Ovenu can provide.

We’ll pit the two against each other and see who comes out on top with the cleanest oven.

Want to see the results? Read on to find out more.

Ground rules:

Before we begin our comparison, let’s lay down a few simple ground rules to ensure that the cleaning is carried out fairly and safely:

No Self Cleaning Ovens

Some ovens come with a self-cleaning feature. Whilst this may seem like a brilliant, time-saving application, it can actually be the root of many problems. During the ‘self-cleaning’ process, your oven basically increases the heat to a point where anything that remains inside is burnt to a crisp.

This should make the grime easier wipe out once it has cooled down. Instead, in most cases at least, it causes noxious smells and even plumes of smoke to come bellowing out of the unit, causing serious health and fire safety issues.

So, for this test at least, we will not be using the self-cleaning function.

No Caustic Soda!

Despite its toxicity, many store-brought cleaning products still contain caustic soda. Some suppliers use the chemical name (sodium hydroxide or sodium potash) to try and disguise it, but there should be none of these products in your home.

Caustic soda-based oven cleaners are corrosive and unsuitable for use on glass, liners and many other surfaces. Inhaling the fumes from sodium hydroxide based products can also be seriously detrimental to your health, so it’s worth avoiding these products altogether.

All of the products that we clean with are completely safe and caustic soda-free. Whilst the tools and cleaning fluids that our Ovenu franchisees use are not available for the public to purchase, there are natural oven cleaning ingredients that can easily be found in any supermarket and are less harmful to your health.

DIY Process

We’ve included detailed instructions below, so feel free to join in at home and see the results for yourself.

Image 1What you need:

  • 1 Dirty oven
  • 200g baking soda
  • 500ml vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spatula
  • Dishcloth


Quick Disclaimer:

It’s best to start this process before you go to bed, as the cleaning paste will need to be left for up to 12 hours in order to have the full effect.

Once you’ve got everything you need ready, put on your gloves, and be prepared to get your hands dirty.

Step 1: Remove the oven racks

Start by removing all of the internal accessories to your oven. Any racks, thermometers, or pizza stones need to be removed and placed elsewhere to be cleaned at a later time.

Step 2: Make the paste

Mix half a cup of baking soda with a three of four tablespoons of water. This will create a consistent, spreadable paste, ready to be lathered onto the insides of your oven.

Step 3: Apply the paste

Image 2Please note, this is an incredibly messy job, so it’s well worth laying a towel down first to keep the floor clean.

The mixture needs to be spread on every part of your oven’s interior except the heating elements. Try to keep these free from the paste, as this could cause issues when it comes to cooking at a later date.

Use a spatula to ensure that the internal area (including the oven door) is properly coated, focusing on particularly greasy areas. Don’t worry if the baking soda begins to brown, this is simply a by-product of the dirt being removed.

Once coated, leave the mix to sit overnight, or for at least 12 hours.

Step 4: Cleaning The Racks

In the meantime, you can ensure that the racks are properly cleaned. To do this you’ll need to leave them to soak in the sink (or the bath if you haven’t got a sink big enough), for around four hours.

Dissolve half a cup of dishwasher detergent in the water to help the cleaning process, and then use a non-abrasive scrubbing brush to remove any leftover grime after they’ve soaked.

Step 5: Wipe Down The Oven

When you eventually come back to the main task, use a damp dishcloth to wipe out as much of the dried mixture as possible. You can always use the spatula as a scraper for the particularly tough bits and hard to reach areas.

Step 6: Spray With Vinegar

IMG_20140720_193947The paste should be removed pretty easily, and with it the grime the previously adorned your oven. However, you’ll probably find there are still small portions left stuck to your appliance, even after a good scrubbing.

To help remove these, transfer the white vinegar to the spray bottle and give the interior a spritz or two. The vinegar will react with the bicarbonate of soda and begin to fizz, making it slightly easier to remove.

Step 7: Final Wipe Down

Continue to wipe your oven down until all the foamy residue is removed, then apply slightly more vinegar to the cloth and polish the interior to leave the oven looking clean and shiny.

Once it’s properly cleaned, replace the racks, sit back and admire your handiwork.

Time Taken: Roughly 13 hours


As you can see from the picture on the leftImage 13, the bicarbonate of soda has managed to remove the majority of top-layer grime. That being said, there’s still a noticeable dullness to the oven, and it’s worth noting that the internal components, such as the fan and light bulb, have not been cleaned.

Removing and cleaning these parts is unadvisable unless you’re a trained technician, as this may cause issues if damaged or replaced improperly.

Most of the upper areas, and side walls, were also incredibly hard to reach, meaning that they were not cleaned as well as they could have been.

The Ovenu Way

What You Need:

  • 1 dirty oven
  • The Ovenu contact number: 0800 140 9800
  • 10 minutes of your time to make the call and get a quotation


Step 1:

Image 6, 11You can contact your local Ovenu technician in many different ways – either online, by email, or via freephone at 0800 140 9800.

If you do call us, you’ll instantly be put through to a local branch, where you’ll speak to one of our friendly experts. You can find out more about local technicians in your area by clicking here.

If you contact us via email, or our site’s contact form, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

We currently cover over 90% of the UK, so no matter where you are, you’re bound to find an Ovenu specialist near you.

Once your local technician has heard all the details, he’ll be able to offer you a reasonable quote based on the level of the work, and arrange an ideal time to visit your premises.

Step 2:

Upon arrival our trusted technicians will ensure that your oven isn’t the only thing they leave looking sparkling clean.

They’ll lay down protective sheeting around the oven, and put down a waterproof cover from your door to your appliance in order to keep the rest of the house dry and tidy.

Step 3:

Image 7Before removing any internal or external components, our oven valeting specialists will carry out a thorough pre-clean inspection, to get a better idea of exactly what it is they’re up against.

Step 4:

Components are then removed placed in an Ovenu plastic bag, where they are then stored safely out of the way in one of the process tanks found in the back of Ovenu vehicles.

Created from hygiene-grade materials, these tanks ensure that each and every part of your oven receives the best clean possible. This process will take roughly two hours, which gives our technician plenty of time to work on the rest of your oven.

Step 5:

Image 8Whilst the removable parts are being cleaned in the process tank, the technician can reach the sections of your oven that all too often go unseen and un-cleaned.

As they are hidden behind the rear panelling and lining, there tends to be a build-up of grime and grease around these ‘forgotten areas’, which can present a genuine safety hazard if left untreated.

Step 6:

Image 9They’ll then apply Ovenu’s unique, non-toxic, non-caustic, bio-degradable cleaning gel, which is utterly odourless and completely safe, meaning it won’t harm your skin like other store-brought chemical cleaners.

This is where our team will go to town, using Ovenu branded liquid degreaser and carbon remover to ensure that every section is left pristine. We’ll even clean the windows of your oven door and polish the ovens exterior, leaving an immaculate finish.

Step 7:

Image 10Once finished, we’ll give everything one last wipe down and pack all our equipment up, leaving your kitchen clean, and your oven utterly spotless.
We don’t just valet standard ovens either; we can work with AGAs, range cookers, hobs and oven chimney hoods.

Time Taken: Roughly 2-4 hours


The image speaks for itself, our technician left this oven in ‘like new’ condition!

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As you can clearly see from the picture on the right, the Ovenu clean was far superior, resulting in a near spotless oven. The technician has removed and cleaned each individual component, resulting in a sparkling finished product.

The Results Are In!

We’re proud to announce that the Ovenu technician was the clear winner here, delivering an amazingly clean oven in a fraction of the time it took for us to partially clean one appliance.

So, the next time you’re thinking about cleaning your oven, why not save time and effort and think about phoning Ovenu instead! With trained technicians all over the country, we’ll provide the best possible valeting service for your oven.

Contact your local Ovenu technician today to receive a free quote.

Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.