How to clean a very dirty oven

How to clean a very dirty oven

If your baking is starting to smell less like ‘cosy weekends’ and more like burnt toast, it’s time to pull your gloves up and get cleaning. Cleaning your oven – especially when it’s very dirty – might not be the most appealing task, but it is one of the most satisfying when it’s done properly. And ‘properly’ doesn’t have to mean it takes all weekend either; there is an easy way to clean an oven, we promise!

From advice on what you’ll need for cleaning your oven to how to clean oven racks, with these oven cleaning tips, all that’s required is a bit of teamwork.

How to clean an oven: what you'll need

First thing’s first: gather your tools.

What you’ll need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Washing-up liquid
  • A kitchen brush or several sponges
  • Oven cleaner (or make your own with bicarbonate of soda and water)
  • Bicarbonate of soda (optional)
  • Plenty paper towels
  1. Prepare for cleaning your oven
    Firstly, check if your oven has a self-cleaning programme. If it does, follow the instructions in your manufacturer’s guidelines and skip to Step 4 of this article for the final polish.

    If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning programme, make cleaning your oven just as much of a breeze by getting ahead of the game the night before, or at least four hours before cleaning.

    Place the oven racks and baking trays into a sink full of hot water and washing-up liquid and leave them to soak. Next, spray the inside of the oven liberally with an oven cleaner, not forgetting the inside of the door. Make sure you read the instructions on the back of the packet. The best way to clean an oven is to now leave the oven cleaner to do its work. If you try to scrub the oven walls before the cleaner has dissolved the dirt, you’ll double your scrubbing time.
  2. How to clean oven racks
    Because the hard work has been done by soaking the racks, all that’s left is to slide away the grime and scrub any burnt-on areas with a scourer. Don’t forget to don a pair of rubber gloves!
  3. How to clean an oven's door and walls
    Now it’s time for the first wipe of the oven. The dirt should come away easily if the oven cleaner has been left to soak in for plenty of time.

    Tip

    Help make your sponges last longer and avoid transferring grease to other areas by using kitchen paper towels to wipe away the first layer of oven grease. Plenty Original and Plenty The Extra Big One are ideal because the sheets will stay strong enough for scrubbing, even when it gets wet.

  4. Oven cleaning tips for wiping down the oven door
    Now you’re half way there, use a damp paper towel to wipe away the remaining dirt and oven cleaner. If the dirt is difficult to remove, add more oven cleaner and leave to soak for longer. Repeat the process.
  5. Wipe down the oven a final time
    Polish and dry the oven with some strong Plenty kitchen paper. At this point, the surfaces should be clean and you should be able to see through your oven door without squinting through a filter of grease. Hooray!
  6. Return the racks to the oven
    You know how to clean the oven racks and trays effectively, so now they should be sparkling. Give the racks a final polish and dry with a cloth, and return them to the oven.

And there you have it: there is an easy way to clean an oven, after all. The best way to clean an oven is to let the soaking do the hard work, while you put your feet up. And our favourite part? Having done such a thorough job, you won’t need to worry about cleaning your oven again for at least another month or so.

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