Valentine’s Day: Go Out or Stay In? Infographic

Valentine's Day Heart

 

Ah, Valentine’s Day: the time of year when couples publically display their love for each other and bouquets of roses are delivered to the office, inadvertently competing with other bunches of flowers that are also left at reception.

We love our new Valentine’s themed infographic helping us make the decision between heading out or staying in. What are you doing this Valentine’s Day?

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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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Online Survey

The Numbers Are In!

But first, let us start by saying a huge thank you to those who took part in our customer questionnaire, which has been running from December all the way to February this year. (more…)

Dirty Oven

Now we all know that cleaning the oven is perhaps the worst out of all of the household chores. We frantically do our best to clean the specks of dirt that we, and our visitors, can see on an everyday basis, often ignoring important equipment like the microwave or stove. But did you know that there are a number of dangers and risks associated with neglecting a dirty cooker?

Take a look below at some of the problems an unclean oven can cause, whether you’re a homeowner or you run a business. (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…)

Raw Steak on a GrillThe weather during British summer time can be somewhat unpredictable, so it’s handy to know that even when it starts to pour down, you can take the party indoors and use the oven to grill your food.

Whilst cooking indoors might not be quite as attractive as barbecuing your food out in the sun, it’s often a necessity due to weather constraints. It’s also great to have that extra grill available if you’ve got no space left on the BBQ. The oven essentially acts as an indoor gas grill. (more…)

A recent story from the U.S highlights the importance of ensuring that your oven is cleaned regularly and thoroughly when possible. Just after the Easter weekend, three people had to evacuate their home in Arkansas City after their oven caught fire. It is believed the fire started after the family had been baking biscuits, which then caught fire.

Thankfully, none of the family was harmed, but the story does highlight the dangers of using ovens, particularly if they haven’t been serviced or cleaned in a while. Whilst it’s unclear what actually caused the fire to start, it’s all too common for food particles and remnants found within an oven to start the unfortunate chain of events. What starts out as smoke can very easily lead to fire because of the sheer heat that is involved. This can be particularly scary, especially if you have young children for whom you cook for on a regular basis.

This is the message that needs to be sent to all oven users, because a dirty oven could do more than just ruin the taste of your food. An oven that is dirty and filled with grease will also likely to be inefficient, meaning that your food will either take longer to cook, or it simply won’t be cooked well enough; and as a result you could be risking your own health with poorly cooked food.

However, the risk is greater than just to your health, it’s also a risk to your safety as well. That’s because an oven that works twice or even three times as hard to have the same outcome will reach incredibly hot temperatures. Add a dirty smoky oven with food spillages, and it’s a very dangerous environment indeed; one that’s easily susceptible to fires. Of course, if the oven is old anyway, then you run the risk of lose wires and faulty heating elements, further increasing the risk.

This is why it’s essential to ensure that your oven is kept cleaned and serviced on a regular basis. There’s no time frame or frequency for when this should get done, but is recommended that your oven gets cleaned once every couple of months at least. This does depend on the oven you have and your own requirements of course.

Whether you clean the oven yourself or choose the services of a professional cleaning company, it’s entirely up to you and your own circumstances. However, a word of caution needs to be extended. Whether you choose to clean your oven yourself or use a professional oven cleaning company, it’s essential that your oven is only ever cleaned using caustic soda-free cleaning products. This is the chemical that’s contained in most commercial oven cleaning products found on the high street or in the supermarkets, and it’s incredibly corrosive. This means that it can harm and affect all parts of your oven, worryingly the trims and seals as well as the heating element. The effects of which could make your oven completely useless – and their not cheap to replace either.

So, the moral of the story is to regular clean and service your oven. Ask yourself when you last cleaned your oven, if it takes you longer than 5 seconds to answer, then it’s probably a good idea to give it a clean – it could just prevent a nasty fire.

Not only does a hob that’s covered in burnt on spillages look unsightly, but it can be a real pain to clean. If you don’t have the right materials or you’re faced with particularly stubborn stains, you can end up causing more problems than you solve.

Whenever you clean a surface, particularly one that is enamelled, you have to be sure that any solution that you use to tackle any stains is safe to use. For instance, if you use some strong bleaches they can corrode or discolour the hob and leave it in an even worse state than when you started.

Clean as you go

Mild bleaches, which are often in the form of a cream, are usually suitable for the job. However, as with any form of cleaning, it is often better to do it little and often. Therefore if you’re cooking spaghetti and the water boils over, don’t leave it to dry on and leave a horrible stain.

Perhaps you’ve fried something and fat has covered the surface, make sure it gets wiped off. The same is true of sauces and anything else you prepare on your stove. One of the few inevitabilities of cooking is that it will generate some form of mess. So the more prepared you are to deal with this, the better the results will be.

Follow Safety Guidelines

For more stubborn stains, you may need a cloth or sponge with a slightly more abrasive surface. Whilst most spillages can be whisked off relatively easily, if something has been burnt on, you will probably require some form of bleach to loosen it up a little and then something to scrub it off. Again, you need to be careful that you don’t scratch the surface or mark it in any way. This will defeat the purpose of cleaning in the first place.

When handling bleach, it is important to remember to wear gloves or something else to protect your skin. Whilst most creams are reasonably mild, they can still cause irritation and discomfort. You should also follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure that you carry it out safely.

Call in the Professionals

If your entire oven and hob are in need of a thorough clean, you might even choose to call on a little professional assistance. Ovenu help hundreds of people throughout the UK to get their cooker sparkling again. It’s good value for money and will save you all the mess and difficulties that usually go hand in hand with cleaning.

This kind of service is particularly popular amongst students and other tenants who are coming to the end of their agreement. As most landlords demand a spotless kitchen, with work carried out by professional contractors, it may prove to be essential – particularly if you want to avoid losing some or all of your deposit.

But the best advice for anyone looking to keep their hob looking pristine is to eradicate stains at source. If something gets spilt, make sure it gets wiped off as soon as possible.

Ovenu, the North Norfolk-based Oven Valeting specialist has become an accredited Trusted Trader as part of an initiative by Norfolk County Council.Ovenu Trusted Trader Norfolk

Peter Webb, who has operated the North Norfolk Ovenu franchise since 2010, joined the Norfolk Trusted Trader Accreditation Scheme run by the Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Service in order help promote good practice in the service industry.

The scheme exists to help and protect residents by providing a directory of legitimate and approved traders. It also aims to increase customer confidence, especially for vulnerable and elderly people who want to remain safe and independent in their own homes.

In order to be accepted onto the scheme traders must apply via the trading standards at Norfolk Council. Local residents in Norfolk can also ‘Recommend a Trader’ and put forward a Norfolk business which has proved to be trustworthy and provided good practice.

Ovenu North Norfolk will now be listed in the Trusted Trader directory, where people can access accredited traders business details.

The Ovenu valeting process involves dismantling key components of an oven such as the door, interior panels, fan and shelves and placing them into design-registered equipment, which uses non-caustic products to clean the oven parts.

The whole process takes around three hours and leaves the oven, hob and exterior in immaculate condition. Ovenu is accredited by the British Accreditation Bureau to ISO 9001 and all cleaning products used by Ovenu are environmentally friendly, bio-degradable and conform to the latest government REACH regulations. Ovenu’s Carbon Remover is also approved by the Vitreous Enamel Association.

Peter who also spent 30 years practising in the legal sector before deciding to run his own business knows of the importance of businesses that are willing to abide by the rules of trading standards.

Peter said: “I am pleased to now be part of the Trusted Trader Scheme. It’s important to ensure businesses are screened and local residents know of the legitimate businesses in their area. I know a lot of people are often cautious of who they let in their home and I believe this will be of huge assistance to more vulnerable people.

“Now I am accredited, the trading standards department will monitor my customers to ensure I’m giving the right levels of service.”

For more information on Ovenu, North Norfolk, or to book a professional oven valet call 0800 140 9800 visit their website: www.ovenunorthnorfolk.net/