Oven Cleaning for Schools

Cooking class

 

Here at Ovenu, we don’t just focus on domestic ovens in your kitchen at home, if you’ve got a fleet of ovens in a school, say in a food-tech class, or you run your own B&B, we’re here to help.

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Kitchen sink being cleaned with rubber gloves

If you saw our first blog post on how to give your kitchen a deep clean and a detox for the beginning of the year, we bet your kitchen is now gleaming. If you want it to remain clean and tidy, this is one New Year’s resolution you’ll need to stay on top of.

We talk you through how to keep on top of your cleaning with top tips and life hacks to make keeping your kitchen clean as easy and pain-free as can be.

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Dirty kitchen after lunch

It’s a new year and you want to go on a big detox. We don’t blame you – we over-indulged in a mince pie or five over Christmas too – but have you stopped to think about how your home may need a bit of a detox as well? Particularly the kitchen, the room that gets overused and under-loved during the busy festive period.

Here at Ovenu, we think it’s really important to do a deep New Year clean so that everything is reset and ready to go for the year ahead.

We’ve put together a guide to help you give your kitchen the cleaning detox it deserves.

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BBQ Cooking
Let’s face it; we all love a good summer BBQ, except for when it comes to that dreaded clean at the end. The last thing you want to be doing after an afternoon of slaving over a hot grill is to spend hours scrubbing away at burnt-on fat and charcoal debris.

That’s why here at Ovenu, we thought we’d produce this nifty guide, covering some top tips and tricks to help you tackle a dirty grill.
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Food Standards Agency Logo

Did you know that every year there is a week dedicated to raising awareness of Food Safety? This year, the national event takes place between 16-22 June.

The aim, according to the Food Standards Agency, is to help protect consumers against food poisoning.

For 2014, there is a particular focus on alerting you of a bug called ‘campylobacter’ – this may sound like a made up word, but it translates to ‘twisted bacteria’ and is the most common type of food poisoning in the whole of the UK. It is mostly linked to raw poultry, with over 50% of raw chicken containing the microbes (Food Safety News).

The message is simple – never wash your chicken, and always cook it fully!

To help you avoid any form of food poisoning, we’ve put together some of the most interesting (and occasionally shocking) statistics and facts linked to safety in the kitchen, as well as some top tips on how to avoid becoming ill. (more…)

Think about how often you use your oven, compared to how often it’s cleaned. Over time continued use of an oven will cause grease and grime to build up and if this build up gets too much, it may cause performance issues or serious safety concerns. Here at Ovenu we wanted to highlight just how dirty your oven can get, so we put together the informative infographic below to remind you that it’s vital your cooking appliance receives a regular and thorough clean. (more…)

Cleaning an OvenFinding the resources with which to clean your oven can often be a real pain. Store bought commercial cleaners often contain harmful chemicals, and constantly running the cycle on self-cleaning ovens can often lead to disaster – so what are the alternatives?

If you’re looking to give your oven a thorough cleaning, the materials you need may be closer to home than you think. (more…)

Whenever you share a house, whether with friends or strangers, there are always going to arguments. These will mainly revolve around unpaid bills, noise and, worst of all, cleaning. With a number of people using the same space, some of whom may not be the tidiest, cleanliness can prove to be a constant battle.

 

So if you’re a student heading off to university or a young professional sharing with others for the first time, what can you do to avoid those arguments and keep your kitchen spotless?

 

Well, it might well prove to be a losing battle, particularly if you are all in different routines and have your own habits. This is why it’s so important that you lay down some basic rules and create a rota for everybody to follow. As long as these are fair and balanced, you shouldn’t have any problems – or at least that’s how the theory goes. So what kind of rules might you impose, particularly with regards to the use of the oven?

 

Wipe up any mess

Whether you’re cooking on the hob or using the oven itself, you want to make sure that any spillages are dealt with as and when they occur. If they are allowed to remain there, untouched by all and sundry, then there’s a good chance that a small mess can become baked on and almost impossible to shift. So any entente cordiale that you draw up should certainly include a reference to cleaning as you go along.

 

Using the right cleaners

If you want to avoid damaging any enamel surfaces, then it’s important that you don’t end up using cleaning agents that could actually do more harm than good. Certain acids, particularly caustic acid, can be particularly harmful to both the user and the appliance. So always try to find bleaches and products that can be used safely without any potential side-effects.

 

Scheduling a Complete Oven Clean

Even if you manage to mop up most messes, there will still come a point at which you have to clean the oven completely. If you’re renting a property, the landlord may well stipulate that this is done immediately before you move out as part of your contractual agreement. Therefore you will have to decide amongst you who is going to buy the cleaning agents and who is going to roll up their sleeves and do the deed.

 

If you can’t reach an agreement, or if you just decide that nobody should have to do this job alone, you may want to consider bringing in professional cleaning contractors. We are often called by students and tenants, particularly when tenancy agreements are coming to an end, asking to get their oven back into shape. After all, it’s not a lot of fun cooking with an oven that is full of smoke, inefficient and emits an unpleasant odour that spreads through the home. Equally, nobody wants to lose any money on their deposit.

Can Cleaning Products Damage Ovens?

 

At Ovenu we take care to choose cleaning products that are both effective and safe, ensuring that each solution is fully tested so that it won’t damage the appliance or those who use it. However, this attention to detail is by no means universal, with a number of over the counter products still containing chemicals that may be harmful.

 

So what should you look for?

As you may have noticed, our products all come with a VEA symbol. This is provided by the Vitreous Enamel Association and indicates that they are safe to use on all enamel surfaces. Therefore, if you don’t wish to damage your oven, it is vital that you check any cleaning product you use – whether from a supermarket or a professional service – is accredited and holds a VEA badge.

 

Caustic soda is an ingredient that still appears in a number of solutions, but should generally be avoided. Due to the corrosive nature of the sodium hydroxide/sodium potash, it can easily damage your glass window and other surfaces within the oven if it is not applied or removed correctly. Again, this is another reason why we make sure that all products are genuinely caustic free, rather than making false claims to that effect.

 

How do they damage ovens?

Whenever you use chemicals, there will often be some form of reaction. Whilst this can obviously make it easy to get rid of grease and grime, if it is too strong it may be just as effective at removing the surface of whatever it is that you’re attempting to clean. So whilst you may think that the enamel is resilient enough to withstand any kind of product, you might be in for a bit of surprise if you happen to choose something that is corrosive – as mentioned above.

 

This can also lead to damage in other areas of the oven, requiring extensive and expensive repairs if it is particularly severe. If you are planning to clean it yourself, some chemicals can also be extremely irritable if they come into contact with your skin. So it’s important that you use gloves and cover your arms to avoid any accidents from happening. If you should get any oven cleaner on your skin or in a worst case scenario, your eyes, it’s important to clean the affected area immediately.

 

The advantages of using Ovenu

As we mentioned earlier, all of the products we use are fully tested and don’t contain chemicals that will do damage to your oven. In a worst case scenario where something goes wrong we are also fully insured, so none of the cost will be passed on to you. We believe that this attention to detail and focus on quality is what sets us apart from all others.

 

So whilst you may be happy doing the oven cleaning yourself, make sure that you check the label carefully for any potentially harmful chemicals and if you have a vitreous enamel surface, make sure the product is carrying a VEA badge. On the other hand, if you’d rather get some professional assistance, we’re always more than happy to help.

Even in this age of austerity, where educational budgets are being slashed, there are still certain jobs that need to be done within schools. The cleaning of ovens is one such example. Leaving appliances to accumulate grease, spillages and other grimy substances can be damaging to both the effectiveness of the cooker and the health of users. So whilst cuts may need to be made to spending, this shouldn’t be to the detriment of hygiene.

In primary and secondary schools throughout the country, millions of students are honing their cookery skills in home economics classes. With the ovens being used once or even twice a day, they can become overloaded with muck in no time at all. Whilst most schools will look to carry out spot cleans to clear surface debris, this won’t always eradicate all of the spillages and largely unseen build-up. Over time this is only likely to worsen, which is why having ovens cleaned professionally can really provide major benefits.

Whist education is clearly top of any school’s agenda, the safety and health of students is a very close second. A dirty oven won’t necessarily be a source of widespread contamination, but as part of a preparation area, it has the potential to contaminate any food. This risk is only going to be heightened as time goes by and the problem is allowed to build.

For instance, imagine how bacteria can form and spread during the warm summer months when ovens will be out of use. This is the perfect environment for them to really thrive, meaning that the appliances could be filthy by the time they return from holidays in the autumn. As such, it is at this time of year that schools really ought to be giving serious thoughts to having all ovens, including those in canteen kitchens and classrooms, cleaned thoroughly and professionally.

All educational establishments need to adhere to hygiene and comply with government legislation relating to health and safety. This is why most employ a team of cleaners to give the classrooms a thorough clean once every evening. However, this won’t always include more specialist areas, such as the ovens. Now this certainly isn’t the fault of the staff, however it is an oversight that needs to be addressed otherwise you could be doing more than simply risking the health of the appliances.

With students away for almost two months, the summer holiday presents the perfect opportunity for schools to carry out refurbishments, redecorating and a thorough clean from top to bottom. If you’re unable to do the ovens at this time as you don’t have the staff available, then this shouldn’t be used as an excuse to ignore it entirely. Cleanliness is next to godliness, so don’t leave appliances unattended and building up with bacteria. Bring in skilled cleaners who can remove all of the grease and grime without any of the hassle.

This will help any school or college to maintain the highest standards in all departments and ensure that it is a safe environment for students to learn.