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…)

Much like Christmas, it’s not uncommon for your kitchen to get a fair bit of usage over the Easter break. It’s a great time to catch up with friends and family, and host get-togethers or evening parties. With this in mind, just think of all the extra cooking you’ve done? In addition, if you have children, it’s highly likely that for a week or two you’ll be cooking up lunches and dinners more regularly than if they were still at school.

Easter cooking

No matter what, Easter is about eating good food (as well as lots of chocolates) but, have you stopped to think about what all that extra cooking will do to your kitchen, especially your oven? Probably not, but you should do, because Easter isn’t just a great time to stock up on good food, it’s a time to give your house a good old spring clean, and the kitchen should be your first port of call.

There’s probably no other room that is as vital to stay clean, tidy and hygienic as your kitchen. It’s imperative that food is prepared, cooked and served in an environment that is sanitary and grime-free. If not, you could seriously be jeopardising the health of yourself and those for whom you are cooking. So where do you start?

Clean the kitchen – specifically the oven

Well, first things first, make sure the floors, walls, surfaces and cupboards are free from grease, dirt and grime. You probably won’t want to use the same cleaning product on your floors as you do your surfaces, but either way, ensure you give them a thorough clean. Then of course you have your appliances that need a good scrubbing. Things like your microwave, as well as white goods will need a cloth running over them. However more importantly, and one thing that tends to get neglected is the oven.

Arguably, this is one appliance that gets the most usage within your kitchen. As a result, just think of all the grease and grime that builds up over the days and weeks throughout Easter. There are the food spillages within or on your oven too. Any regular user of an oven will tell you that when food spillages are left within ovens (even small food particles) it can have disastrous effects, causing a great deal of smoke. Ultimately this will ruin your food, as well as the smell of your kitchen and even throughout the rest of your home.

How are you going to clean your oven?

So, Easter presents a great time to make sure your oven is up-to-scratch, ready to be used to cook food effectively and healthily. The next thing to consider is how you’re going to go about doing this. You can either clean the oven yourself, or get a professional cleaning oven service to do the job for you. Either way, your decision is entirely dependable on your needs and circumstances. However, for parents and individuals who are heading back to work after a nice Easter break, you may not have adequate time to get the job done yourself.

Whether you opt to don the marigolds yourself or employ the services of an oven cleaning company, it’s important the job gets done well, with the right cleaning products too. All too often, people use cleaning products that contain caustic-soda, which can cause a lot of problems both to the functioning or the aesthetics of your oven. So, be sure to look carefully at what products you’re using.

So, now Easter is done and dusted, make sure you get your kitchen and oven back in shape.

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.

The latest innovation in the oven market has been the development of self cleaning ovens. Designed to make the chore of cleaning your oven that little bit easier, they’ve been well received from the buying public. However in addition to misinformation about their effectiveness, there are now stories emerging regarding safety.

Just after Christmas 2011, a home in Meridian, Idaho, USA was the victim of a faulty self cleaning oven which had disastrous consequences. The oven was switched to self cleaning mode, but the action had actually sparked a fire. Consequently, more than $25,000 (£16,000) of damage was caused from the smoke and fire. Thankfully no one was injured, but the fire-fighters at the scene did explain that this kind of situation happens more often than people would care to think.

Self cleaning ovens work by using extremely high temperatures to reduce the grime and spillages contained within the oven to ash. This way, the oven doesn’t allow a build up of dirt, but rather lets you simply clean the ash away, once it has been incinerated. However this is where safety issues can sometimes arise.

Some believe that buying a self cleaning oven will put an end to using the marigolds, scrubbing brushes and cleaning products. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly true. Spillages, grease and grime can build up on the surfaces and contained within the oven itself. Whilst the high temperatures will remove most of the dirt build up, it will never be entirely spotless. The oven can only do so much, and will never be a complete alternative to cleaning the oven yourself, or having oven cleaning professionals to do the job.

Regarding the safety of your oven, the story from Idaho perfectly illustrates the risk of using such a device. Self cleaning ovens do have their benefits, and many people in the UK and around the world will continue to buy them, but there are some safety tips that you should consider if you do decide on purchasing this type of oven.

First of all, regardless of the fact that your oven is self cleaning, you should still ensure that it is kept reasonably clean. Any food spillages or debris can have an adverse effect when your oven is self cleaning and cause excess smoke.

Before switching on your oven to self clean mode, locate where the circuit breaker for the oven is. This maybe a switch above the hobs or located elsewhere in the kitchen. This is useful to know, because when an oven is switched to self cleaning mode, it is then locked within that mode and the only way to stop it is by cutting the power.

Always stay in the house once you’ve switched on the self cleaning mode. This is true of other appliances, but for the sheer fact that a self cleaning oven operates at extremely high temperatures, it heightens the safety precautions you should take.

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 over. 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.