How Clean Is Your Oven? (Infographic)

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…)

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.

A self cleaning oven is exactly that, an oven that cleans itself. It supposedly ‘cleans’ your oven, without you having to do anything except switch on the self clean button. The way it ‘cleans’ is by using an incredibly high temperature (approximately 1200 degrees Celsius) to burn off the leftovers stuck inside of the oven. This turns into dust which can then be swept away once the oven has finished ‘cleaning’ itself.

All sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well self cleaning ovens have proven to be quite popular over the last couple of years, and there’s a good reason for this. We live busy lives, some of us don’t have the time to spend cleaning for hours and the thought of buying an oven that cleans itself is understandably appealing. But before you get ahead of yourself, there’s something you need to know about ‘self cleaning’ ovens.

It’s not that the process of burning left over’s into dust and sweeping them away doesn’t work, it does. However here at Ovenu we argue this doesn’t constitute as cleaning your oven, which needs a thorough clean all over, for you and your family’s health and safety.

In addition, for self cleaning ovens to be completely effective, they must be cleaned once a week. This means having your oven heat up to approximately 1200 degrees Celsius once a week for around 3 – 4 hours at a time. Can you imagine how much electricity will be used in this process? So not only are self cleaning ovens time consuming, they’re also very expensive, and at the end of it, you don’t have a thoroughly clean oven.

Whether you have a self cleaning oven or an ordinary oven, its best to make sure your oven is thoroughly cleaned. As we’ve said, self cleaning ovens are great at burning off existing food, but this isn’t a thorough clean and you need to make sure you clean all areas of the oven. So that’s the shelves, the door, the handles, even the hood and behind the fan cover.

The problem here is that if you have a self cleaning oven, and want to give it a better clean, you shouldn’t really just do it yourself or trust any cowboy oven cleaners. You need to make sure the right chemicals are used on self cleaning ovens, otherwise you’ll cause more harm than good.

So what do we mean by the right chemicals? Well most well known oven cleaners contain what’s known as caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). This particular chemical can be very hazardous, it can damage the seals, the trim, the chrome, the surfaces, as well as the heating elements. Doing the job yourself or choosing an unknown oven cleaning company may cost you a lot more in the long run.

This is where Ovenu are here to help, when looking to give your self-cleaning oven a thorough clean, be sure to choose a reputable company, with professional and highly experienced technicians who only use products that are completely free of sodium hydroxide.

As with many modern innovations, the self cleaning oven is designed to make a regular task that little bit easier. No doubt you will be all too aware that your oven often acts as a magnet for dirt and grime. This residue is built up over many months and dozens of cooked meals, often creating an unsightly appearance and stubbornly resisting any meet attempts of removal. However, the self cleaning oven is supposed to bring an end to all this.

Essentially, they work by not allowing the dirt to build up, with many using extremely high temperatures to simply reduce it to ash – therefore making it easier to clean away. Most also have a surface on which the residue simply can’t stick, funnelling it away elsewhere to be dealt with more easily.

All of this sounds perfect. Your cleaning duties in the kitchen are reduced and you never need to worry about your oven again. Except this isn’t entirely true.

A self cleaning oven will certainly have nowhere near the same level of build up as you might expect in a conventional model, but this doesn’t mean that it is going to be entirely spotless. Spills, splatters and grime can still slowly tarnish the surface of your cooker. In fact it’s almost unavoidable, unless of course you are will to carry out a comprehensive clean every time you use it.

So the simple answer to the question posed in the title is that yes, you should certainly still continue to clean a self cleaning oven. It might sound a little ridiculous, maybe even a touch unnecessary, but unfortunately it is essential.

The self cleaning design can only do so much itself. At some stage you will have to manually intervene, particularly if you want to bring your oven back up to a showroom appearance. Fortunately this should be nowhere near as frequently or vigorous an activity as you might otherwise expect; but nonetheless, it will need to be done.

If you look at your oven as the centrepiece of a kitchen, then it’s almost unthinkable that you would allow it to deteriorate into a state in which it was clogged with grease. You need to take good care of it and keep it looking presentable, if not entirely impeccable. You can do this yourself, or you could choose to take advantage of a professional oven valeting service; the choice really is yours.

The important thing to remember though is regardless of whether your oven is supposed to be ‘self cleaning’ or not, is that you still need to properly maintain your appliances. This means giving your cooker a good clean at regular intervals and removing any stubborn stains and built up residue.