Despite its sturdier build and overall solidity, an AGA needs just as much attention and care as a conventional electric or gas oven. While some homeowners use them throughout the year for cooking, the AGA’s ability to heat a home means that it really comes into its own. So if yours has been inactive or only partially used these last six or seven months, now might be the time to get it in tip top condition once again.
Inside, most AGA ovens are constructed out of cast-iron. As such, they’re pretty tough – particularly when compared with many modern materials. However, newer models do tend to have enamel exteriors, which are easier to damage. If these surfaces are getting a little grubby, make sure that you don’t use bleaches or any other potentially harmful cleaning products. Treat it with care, or you could risk ruining the finish.
As with any oven, you should look to carry out regular cleaning and maintenance to avoid any potentially problematic build ups further down the line. The more care an attention you pay over the course of a year, including wiping up any spillages and giving the inside a bit of a scrub every now and then, the less you’ll need to worry about later.
As mentioned, don’t be afraid to really give the inside a good scraping, even using a wire brush if necessary. The AGA will be tough enough to take it, plus it allows you to get most of the accumulated dirt off without having to use potentially harmful chemicals.
If your AGA hasn’t been cleaned for a number of months or maybe even years, then it can be quite a tough job to get it back into shape. Again, you have to be extremely careful with how you actually go about it as there are some cleaners that can do more harm than good. Fortunately, as the individual doors can easily be detached, you should be able to get right into the belly of the oven and scrub away to your heart’s content. The location of the door and the extra care required around glass windows found on many modern electric ovens are immediately eliminated, making your task that little bit easier.
Of course there are new AGAs and then there are models that have been heating the same home and providing meals to families for decades. If you have a contemporary oven, then you would be advised to consult the manufacturer’s manual before charging in and scouring every surface. Once it has been damaged or chipped off, enamel is extremely difficult to repair and replace. For those older cookers, it’s reasonably safe to assume that most already have scrapes and a little discolouration, although this is not an excuse to neglect them further.
If your AGA needs to be cleaned before the cold winter months fully kick in, but you don’t have the time or confidence to do so yourself, look to choose a specialist cleaning service. We help hundreds of customers who find themselves in this very situation every year. A little expert help, even if it is only once a year, really can go a long way.
British Summer time is upon us, and for the domesticated people of this world, that means one thing…it’s time for a spring clean. Sure, you’ll no doubt ensure the whole house gets a good tidy and thorough clean; that means the living room, dining room, all the bedrooms, but most importantly, the kitchen.
If you think about it, the kitchen gets the most use out of all the rooms in your home. Not only that, but it gets quite messy in there too. Now if you consider that the kitchen needs to be a place that is regularly cleaned, for health and hygiene reasons, then when it comes to spring cleaning, there’s no better time to make sure you give it a through clean. It’s not just the cupboards, floors, walls and appliances, but also the most important appliance of them all, your oven.
Whatever type of oven you have, the spring poses the best time to don your marigolds and give your oven a good clean. This also means that if you own an AGA oven, you shouldn’t neglect its cleaning needs either.
Now, one of the best times to clean an AGA is during the spring & summer because it’s a time when you can switch it off, let it cool, and give it a good clean before switching it back on over the autumn and winter period. It’s near impossible to thoroughly clean your AGA during this period; you wouldn’t get a very thorough job done – mainly because it’s so frequently used and relied upon as a source of heat for your home. Therefore, the spring and summer poses the best possible time to get this done.
So how should you go about cleaning your AGA?
Well, due to its effective but unusual design, many owners actually choose to get their AGA ovens professionally cleaned. Many oven cleaning companies notice that the summer months are particularly busy when it comes to AGA’s and so you should consider choosing this time to get yours cleaned too.
It’s important that if you do decide to clean your oven yourself, or you choose a professional oven cleaning company that they use only approved AGA cleaning products. Due to its enamel surface, the AGA oven needs a cleaning product that doesn’t corrode or cause excessive damage to its surface, which is usually what happens with strong acid based solvents.
AGA cleaning products need to receive approval of the Vitreous Enamel Association (VEA) if they are to be used on their surfaces. So be sure to use these or ensure that your oven cleaning service uses them too. If you do carry out the work yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines because once the enamel has been damaged, it’s far from easy to get this put right.
On the other hand, if you do decide to use an oven cleaning service, ensure they’re accredited and check what cleaning products they use. At Ovenu, we specialise in AGA cleaning services, and all of our cleaning products are approved by the VEA.
Now the autumn is upon us, many people who own AGA’s will be thinking about switching them back on. However if you’ve got an AGA and you’re just about to turn it back on, be sure to get it thoroughly cleaned first. A cold AGA oven is perfect for cleaning, so take advantage now; you’ll end up with a more effective oven and the food will taste so much better.
AGA’s work using the principle of heat storage; a single burner generates the heat which can be controlled by a thermostat. Some people like to keep their AGA’s on all year round, whilst others will turn off the heat to conserve energy consumption. The added bonus of an AGA is that the heat which is generated can actually keep your kitchen nice and toasty, thus avoiding the need for additional heating in the kitchen.
This is another reason why AGA’s are switched off during the summer months as the additional heat is simply not necessary and is actually a waste of money. However when the autumn comes back around, they are usually turned back on – ready to be used and ready to cosy up the kitchen.
Whilst AGA’s can clean themselves internally, because the heat can burn off any spillages or food particles, they do however need to be cleaned thoroughly by a trained professional at least once every nine months or so. This is why during the hotter months, when your AGA is off, this is the perfect time to take advantage and make sure your AGA is back to a showroom standard.
A cold AGA makes it ideal for cleaning, and as mentioned AGA themselves recommend getting trained professionals to do so as they know the correct products to use as well as the areas that need special attention. Only approved cleaning products should be used when cleaning AGAs, and only certain oven cleaning products actually use these approved cleaning products. For example, Ovenu use Vitreous Enamel Association (VEA) approved cleaning products because AGAs need special care when being cleaned.
This is because of the coating on your AGA oven, which is either a vitreous enamel or a porcelain enamel; these have very sensitive demands as they’re literally made up of burned down glass. Therefore using just any old cleaning product from the super market or high street can actually do harm to your oven. These products contain what’s known as caustic soda which is incredibly corrosive. It can damage the seals and trims of your oven compromising its effectiveness; but more so, especially for AGA ovens, the corrosive nature of this product can harm your oven’s aesthetic.
So before you think about stitching your AGA back on this autumn, make sure you get it thoroughly cleaned with a professional oven cleaning service.
Contrary to common belief, AGA ovens are not self cleaning. Many people believe that because they’re on all the time, the heat from inside the oven carbonises any spillages, which means when the AGA oven is switched off, the carbonised dust can be just swept away.
Whilst this is partly true, this doesn’t actually allow for a deep and thorough clean, which will ensure your AGA oven is hygienic and actually performs to its maximum. Just like with self cleaning ovens, there will come a time when, despite its best efforts, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the inside.
Imagine all of the grease and food particles that get stuck at the back of your AGA oven. The various cooking compartments as well as the back of the AGA can accumulate more than you think in the time you’ve had your AGA oven on. Not only that but the hot plates and the enamel coating on the surface of an AGA can also get particularly messy, especially if you haven’t cleaned up immediately after spillages.
This is another common mistake when it comes to AGA ovens. Usually if a spillage on the enamel coating is dealt with immediately this is sometimes sufficient, however we don’t always clean up spillages soon as we make them, we are human after all. So if you’ve had a spillage that wasn’t cleaned up immediately, in all likeliness it would’ve hardened and become quite stubborn to remove with just a standard wet cloth.
So what’s the solution? Well like anything you’ve purchased, to ensure its longevity it’s crucial that you take good care of it, especially if it’s something as expensive as an AGA oven. When your AGA oven is switched off, this is the best time for a thorough clean and service.
You can do this yourself, but it’s very important to consider the cleaning products that you’re going to use. For example, AGA specifies that only recommended cleaning products are used on their ovens, this is because the vitreous enamel surface requires special care when cleaning. The Vitreous Enamel Association (VEA) gives recommendations as to which cleaning products can be used on these surfaces and only certain oven cleaning services use these approved products.
Therefore, whilst you may be able to find tips and advice on cleaning your AGA oven, it’s always best to stick to what they say. Should you clean your AGA, it’s best to only use approved products. The bad news is that you won’t be able to find these cleaning products on the high street. The good news is that you can find oven cleaning services that do use these approved cleaning products, such as Ovenu.
So before you switch your AGA oven back on this Autumn, make sure you give it a thorough clean with approved cleaning products or seek a professional oven valeting service to ensure it is cleaned to the highest possible standards.