Oven Cleaning

Okay, almost everyone we visit asks; what’s the best way to clean my oven is?

If you have the time for regular cleaning and maintenance of your oven, it’ll save you a fair amount of elbow grease rather than letting the grease/sugars etc. bake on time after time. The good news! You can use a professional cleaner like Cookerburra oven cleaning. See the enquiry form at the bottom of this page. There are others but most of our customers have reported good outcomes.

However for those who prefer to DIY; the truth is, no one particularly likes the answer, but here it goes:

When you have finished cooking turn the oven down to say 95 degree Celsius and pop about an inch of water in a pan on the bottom tray.  Leave the tray in for about 30 minutes. Remove the tray being careful not to get a face full of steam when you open the door or to spill the hot water.  Then wipe down all the surfaces. The longer you leave the steam in the oven the softer the deposits becomes. You can turn the oven to say 50 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes to make sure it’s dry. Damp ovens cause rust! So make sure you dry it properly when you have finished! Well, that’s the oven friendly version! If you do this regularly at the end of each cook you do the least amount of damage to the oven enamels, screws and other metal surfaces.

All food particles move through stages as the moisture is removed during the cooking process. Eventually they become carbon. On their way to becoming a carbon, grease, sugar etc. become different polymers that are dissolved by different chemicals.  Carbon is the most difficult to remove. Most others can be removed by vinegar and bi-carb soda. But sooner or later you are going to be faced with some nasty carbon deposits.

The list of products for cleaning ovens are many and varied.

Dishwashing detergents break down grease and oils pretty well. So hot soapy water is a good start! Vinegars, Bi Carb, Orange essence, lemon juice, mentholated spirits etc. are all middle range cleaning products. Some in neat form are flammable, so be careful. Eventually you may need to use a more toxic chemical when your food deposits have become fully-fledged carbon. Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide) comes in all manner of solutions, but at its heart it’s a very caustic solution.  And this is where most people cause damage to themselves and the oven surfaces.

If you have to use a caustic product a few things you need to get right! Make sure you have used the alkaline products first (Vinegars, Bi Carb, Orange essence, lemon juice, mentholated spirits etc.). This way you have removed the oils etc. which the caustic is inhibited by to some degree. You must wear gloves, glasses and breathing apparatus. Open your windows; get rid of the kids for the day. Don’t use sprays, or foam. The big problem with these products is that it gets into places you can’t. And if you can’t get to it to neutralise it then rusting and other nasty things can occur!  You want to paint it on strategically onto the carbon spots you want to remove. So get a good torch or light so you can see where you are painting it. Avoid painting the solution on screws, nuts, mounting holes etc. Caustic will eventually eat your enamel, chrome and other protective surfaces if left in the oven too long. There is no right time. The more grease the longer it will take. The thicker the carbon the longer it will take. Don’t rely on the instructions. Paint a bit on give it half the time they recommend and scrub it off. Don’t use abrasive pads or abrasive pastes like Jiff or Gumption (these products scratch and make groves for deposits to fasten too. By applying the caustic for a shorter time you can monitor the results to avoid damaging the oven surfaces and parts. Caustic etches glass and enamel. The small pits you can see under a microscope give purchase to future carbon deposits. You want to avoid leaving any harsh chemicals on the glass/enamel any longer than it takes to remove it. As soon as the chemical has done its work on the carbon deposit it will start on the enamels and glass. So time is key to not damaging your oven surfaces.

Okay, you’ve removed your stains with the caustic product. Now use a hot soapy water to neutralise any residue. This is important to save any rusting or further surface damage by any left-over active ingredient. Once you are confident you have neutralised the chemicals you can use a Windex type product to give that sparkly finish.

This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive cleaning instruction. You should study your user guide and make sure you understand the chemicals instructions that you intend to use. Some are flammable and some don’t interact well together. Study the handling procedure, as we take no responsibility for any damage or consequence for any use of this cleaning information. Use at your own discretion.

If you google the forums you will find lots of people posting things like this:

Easy Off Destroyed my smart oven

1 out of 5, reviewed on May 04, 2015

I tried this on my nearly new smart oven this morning. I thought I would clean it to make it look all new. I read the instructions, sprayed and after half and hour I went to wipe the oven clean. To my horror, I opened the door and knew immediately that something was wrong. The product had eaten into all the metal and destroyed it. There was nothing else to do except put my little oven in the bin. I could have cried. It destroyed my oven and I am completely gutted. No I will have to spend another $300 to buy another one. Should have just used soapy water. DON’T USE THIS

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