From spectacular Christmas dinners to weeknight family meals, food is the centre of many of our home lives. We all remember the favourite meals we had growing up, and many of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen every day cooking for our family. Whether you’re roasting a turkey or baking a frozen lasagna, having a working kitchen oven is crucial for keeping your home happy and well-fed.
Maintaining your oven is an important part of making sure it lasts as long as possible. You’d be surprised how much even a little cleaning can make a difference. Read on to discover some simple ways to maintain your kitchen oven and extend its life.
Keep It Clean
One of the most important things you can do to keep your kitchen oven in tip-top shape is to keep it clean. Many ovens come with a self-cleaning feature that can make this job a snap. Make sure you follow the guidelines and aim to clean your oven about twice a year.
If your oven isn’t self-cleaning, you can still do it yourself without too much elbow grease. Mix together a cup of baking soda and about six tablespoons of water to create a spreadable paste. Coat the inside of your oven with this, avoiding the heating elements, let it dry overnight, and rinse the paste out with white vinegar.
The vinegar will react with the baking soda and gently foam. You can use this reaction to scrub any lingering problem spots clean. Make sure you wipe your oven out before you use it again, being careful to remove all remaining chunks of baking soda.
Except for the Knobs
While cleaning your oven is important, there is one place where it’s best to leave well enough alone: under the knobs. It can be tempting to pop the knobs off and spritz some cleaner in there. After all, grease, food bits, and all manner of unpleasant grime can collect there.
But remember, when you’re spraying cleaner under your knobs, you’re dousing an electrical system in liquid. It’s better to leave them as-is and avoid the electrocution and potential damage. If you must clean them, use a dry rag or wash the knobs themselves in soapy water, making sure they’re thoroughly dry before you replace them.
If you have an electric stove, not a gas one, you’ll need to take that into account when you’re cleaning. Vinegar doesn’t play any nicer with electronics than water does, and you don’t want to risk electrocution while you’re scrubbing out your oven. Aside from personal harm, if you douse a plugged-in oven with water, you’re going to be calling a repairman.
Make sure you unplug your stove before you start cleaning it by hand. If your plug isn’t accessible, turn off the breaker that controls electric flow to your oven.
Replace the Gas
“Cooking with gas” is an expression for a reason – there are few finer joys in life than cooking on a gas stove. But those gas lines can wear out over time, like anything. Many times, people forget to replace the gas line at the same time they’re replacing the oven.
When you put in a new oven, be sure to replace the gas line as well. Not only will time wear them down, but the jostling caused by an oven removal and installation can break them. It’s not worth having a gas leak in your house over that; instead, do the smart thing and have it replaced.
Check Out the Burners
Cooking on dirty or damaged burners is a recipe for disaster. Burners are subjected to a lot of wear and tear, and they need replacing from time to time.
When it comes time to clean your oven, make sure you check out your burners as well. If one spot on a burner is glowing redder than the others, that’s a good sign it’s about to short out and needs replacing. Likewise, get rid of that burner your Uncle Dan accidentally set the plastic cutting board down on last New Year’s. You’re never going to get all the melted plastic off.
Create a Spill Barrier
Once you get your oven all scrubbed out, you may not want to use it for fear it’ll get grimy again. The most common way this happens is when dishes overflow and spill into the bottom of the oven. They can burn on, making them almost impossible to get scrubbed off again.
Instead of cooking everything in twice as large a dish as you need, create a spill barrier in the bottom of your oven. This can be as simple as a cookie sheet covered in tin foil and placed on the bottom rack. Make sure you don’t block any vents with your spill barrier and replace it when it starts getting grimy.
Clean the Grates
With the rest of your oven in beautiful shape, the last thing you can do to maintain your oven is clean the grates. Much like the bottom of the oven, your stove grates see a lot of grease, spills, and burned-on food. It’s a good idea to give them a good scrub every time you clean your oven.
There are store-bought oven cleaners you can buy to clean your stove grates. Ammonia will also work for this job. Seal the grates in a bag with your cleaner of choice, let it sit overnight, and wash them well with soap and water in the morning.
Learn More About How to Maintain Your Kitchen Oven
Your kitchen oven is probably one of the tools you use most often in your home life. With every meal and important family moment that comes out of it, it’s important to keep your oven in great shape. Cleaning it a couple of times a year is one of the best things you can do to keep your oven running and meals on the table.
If you need help getting your oven working again, reach out to us at Norwest Appliance Service. We offer fast and reliable appliance repairs for Sydney and the surrounding suburbs. Contact us today and let us help get your home back up and running.