The Importance of Keeping Your Oven Clean
While scrubbing your oven can be an overwhelming task, there are many reasons to keep your oven clean. A clean oven can make baking more efficient because small pieces of burnt food in an oven can absorb the heat, which makes your oven less efficient. Even if you have a self-cleaning oven, it is still necessary to give it a good scrub every now and then. In fact, the self-cleaning feature with these ovens can cause carbon monoxide buildup and even respiratory problems.
How often should you clean your oven?
This depends on how often it is used. Individuals who use their ovens more will need to clean it more often than those who don’t. For those who are avid cooks, it is generally recommended to clean their ovens once every three months. Those who rarely use their ovens can get by cleaning them once or twice per year. There are signs to look out for that can let you know it’s time to give your oven a scrub, which includes crust or residue build-up inside the oven or an oven door that is coated with grease.
If you are still looking for the motivation to get down and dirty to get your oven clean, know that the grease coating and burnt remnants can affect the taste of anything cooked in your oven. Think of that next time you have to cook for guests!
How to Use Oven Cleaner
With any household product, such as oven cleaners or carpet cleaners, it is important to read and follow the instructions carefully. It is never recommended to mix oven cleaner with other products, which include bleach. Follow these steps to use your oven cleaner the right way:
- First, take everything out of the oven, which includes racks, thermometer, oven stone, etc.
- Place paper towels beneath the floor of your oven to absorb any dripping.
- After you put your gloves and safety glasses on, you can spray the oven cleaner throughout the inside of the oven. Be sure to cover the door, top, floor, sides, back, and corners. However, avoid spraying the heating elements if you are cleaning an electric oven. You can lift them and spray underneath. Avoid spraying oven cleaner where the gas comes through if you have a gas oven.
- Most oven cleaning products will need to sit about 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, you can spray your oven racks with a cleaner and put them in a large trash bag. This step should be done outside. Check your cleaning label to see if there are any recommendations for efficiently cleaning your oven racks.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the oven. There may be areas that are sticky. Remaining spots can be cleaned with an abrasive tool. These may include microfiber sponges or wet scouring pumices. It is important to check every corner to make certain the cleaner is completely removed.
- After the inside of the oven has been wiped down, you can remove the racks from the bags and wash them with soap and warm water. You can also use an abrasive tool to remove crusted food on the racks. When the racks are dry, you can place them back in the oven.
How to Keep Your Oven Clean
There is an old saying that emphasizes the importance of having a fence at the top of a cliff rather than an ambulance at the bottom. The same principle applies to most home maintenance. Instead of asking how to remove the stains, your dog is leaving on the carpet, ask how to stop your dog from peeing on the carpet in the first place. Rather than making your oven cleaning an intense pain that you have to do once every blue moon, you can take steps to prevent it from becoming a filthy mess in the first place.
For instance, after you clean your oven, use an easy-clean oven sheet. These are non-stick sheets that come in a variety of sizes. Another option would be to place a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch food. Using roasting bags for meat and vegetables can help you avoid splatters and spills.
It will also help if you remove the tray when you are checking the food as opposed to poking food that is cooking inside the oven. Each time you finish cooking, try putting an oven-safe bowl of water inside the oven, heat the oven to a high temperature for about 20 minutes. This will effectively loosen grease and dirt. When the oven is cool, simply wipe it down to remove dirt and grime. A little effort given more frequently is better than a half-day of labor to clean a massive mess that has been left unattended for a long time.
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