To clean your stove or range, tackle the ‘insides’ first and then do the ‘outsides’ after. With that in mind, let’s start with, maybe, the toughest part – the oven!

How Often Should I Clean the Oven?

Ah, cleaning the oven – another horrible job! It’s so nasty; some of the less house-proud of us never clean it at all! Obviously, that’s not a good idea but how often should you do it?

stove-rangeIt depends on how much you use it! Like all cleaning, try to keep on top of the situation. As soon as you see splatters of food building, try to wipe them off as soon as the appliance cools down. As a keen baker, I use the oven a lot, so I usually give it a cursory wipe-over every week and then a proper clean once a month or so if there has been a lot of spillage. Cleaning Your Oven the ECO-Friendly Way

Most of the specialist oven-cleaning products you get from grocery stores contain powerful chemicals, such as potassium hydroxide, that are not only harmful to the environment but people, too. I have tried many of these “wonder” products over the years, but not only are they very noxious to use, they never seem to work properly. Fortunately, there is one “wonder” product you can use that’s safe, super-cheap, odorless and can even be taken as a nifty indigestion remedy – it’s called baking soda! Baking soda (or Sodium Bicarbonate to give it its proper name) is, like white-vinegar, one of those miracle cooking products that have many cleaning applications, so let’s find out how this can be used with our oven.

Simply pour a pint of boiling water into a jug with two tablespoons of the soda. Leave it to cool and then decant the solution into an empty spray bottle. Now, spray inside the oven and wipe over the misted walls with a cloth. When the appliance has dried, wipe the insides again with a fresh cloth. Any cooked-on grease stains will lift off right away!

How to Clean a REALLY Dirty Oven

If the inside of your oven looks like it was sprayed painted with a combination of black tar and asphalt, then don’t despair, baking soda is still up to the job – you just need A LOT more of it! Here’s what to do.

Buy a big bag of Sodium Bicarbonate and mix a bowlful with enough water to form a thin paste. Using a cloth, spread the paste evenly over the inside of the door and walls of the oven. Leave the paste for at least 30 minutes to allow it to soften any baked-on patches of grease. Then, grab a plastic wallpaper scraper (a metal one may damage the paintwork) and scrape away the gunk now formed. Lastly, wipe off any residue with a damp rag and rinse the scraper under the tap. Your oven should be sparkling despite not using a single toxic chemical. Baking soda really is amazing stuff!

How Do I Manually Clean a Self-Cleaning Oven?

While self-cleaning ovens do a great job of burning away many of the greasy deposits formed from baking, they do not clear away any of the debris left behind. Therefore, additional cleaning done by you on this type of oven will make the appliance look almost as good as new. This will also have the added benefit of helping to eliminate many of the nasty odors left over from burnt food deposits.

When embarking on this, do not use chemical cleaners as they can damage the components. Instead, use a paste of baking soda and water or a solution of water and wine-vinegar. Apply these evenly with a rag, wipe away with a damp cloth, and then go over the insides again with a dry cloth to remove any liquid.

How to Clean Oven Racks and Broiler-Pans

There are two ways of cleaning your oven racks and broiler pans – the “hard work but quick” method or the “slow but lazy” method. First is the “hard work” method. Place the racks and pans in your sink and spray liberally with commercial oven-cleaner or the baking soda solution outlined earlier. Two tablespoons of soda to one pint of boiled water should do, and then scrub away with a silver scourer or scraper to rub the grease away.

If you put in the effort, this is a relatively quick way of cleaning your oven accessories, but bear in mind, it can also be messy. I hate mess (and hard work) so my preferred method is…

The “lazy” way. Take a bucket or a tray, fill it with a mixture of warm water and a biological detergent (This is a laundry detergent which contains an enzyme for fighting protein stains mainly. Brands containing it in the U.S. include Wisk, Era, and Biz.) and then simply soak the racks and pans in the solution overnight. Rinse off the soap the next day and they should be gleaming and completely grease-free.

We’ve now finally made the insides of your stove lovely and clean, so it’s time to start on the outsides by tackling those tricky little critters – the electric stove plates.

How to Clean Electric Stove Plates

Dishwashing fluid is great for cleaning stove plates. Firstly, lift the stove plates (or burner plates, to use the correct term) out of your range. Obviously, hobs vary in design, but most coil and plate burners simply pull upward so their connectors just slide out of their sockets.

Next, wipe out any loose ‘crud’ from them with a damp cloth over an open garbage can.

Now, plug-up the sink, fill it about halfway with hot water and a tablespoon of dishwashing fluid and then soak the burner plates in the solution for about 15 – 20 minutes. This helps to loosen any caked-on food and debris.

Once soaked, scrub away at the coils or back face of the plates with a wire pad, while dunking them periodically in the water. This aids rinsing. When most of the grease has gone, empty the sink and then wipe the plates over with a dishcloth under a running tap.

Finally, wipe them over again with a clean dishcloth and then blot with sheets of kitchen towel until bone dry. This stops unsightly stains and spots appearing on the plates.

Your burners should now be good ‘n’ clean and ready for replacing back in the stove for you to mess up all over again!