Knowing how to clean an oven quickly is not just an important part of overall appliance maintenance. As well as keeping your oven working as efficiently as possible, and prolonging its life, it's also more hygienic.
But no one wants to spend hours cleaning an oven. So here are our favourite tips on cleaning your oven quickly, to get the job over with, and allowing you get on with the rest of your life.
How To Clean An Oven Quickly
First, the speed at which you can clean your oven will depend to an extent on what state you've let it get into. If you have a lot of caked-on grease and food, it will obviously take longer than if you regularly wipe away spillages. With that being said, there are some general cleaning principles you can follow:
Start by taking out the oven shelves. You may be able to fit them into your dishwasher, in which case that's the quickest and easiest way to clean them. If they're filthy, you may need to soak them in hot water. Add around 200-300g of soda crystals and soak them for an hour or so. Then scrub away the dirt.
Read More: How To Clean A Microwave With Baking Soda
You can remove food from the oven door using a spatula or hob scraper. Alternatively, some baking soda mixed with water can be applied as a paste. Leave it for 20-30 minutes, then wipe it off with a damp cloth.
But hopefully, you won't need to do a lot of work. Here are four ways you can clean up your oven. We'd recommend keeping the room well ventilated if you're cleaning the oven. And probably doing it when there are no children or pets around.
This is by far the simplest option. Many modern ovens are described as 'self-cleaning'. Using this program on your oven will heat the oven to a very high temperature, essentially burning off any food, and leaving a pile of ash behind, that can be easily wiped away with a cloth. This method can take several hours, so not ideal if you are in a rush, or if you're going to be using the oven to make a meal.
It's also not guaranteed to get all the dirt off. You may still need to use some elbow grease to remove anything that's really baked-on.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking Soda and vinegar is a great way to give your oven a clean, without using any harsh or potentially toxic chemicals. Baking soda is an abrasive, and the water will help to soften dirt.
- Make a paste with baking soda and water. It needs to be thick enough that it won't slide off the oven surfaces.
- Spread the paste over the oven. Avoid any vents or heating elements.
- Leave it for at least 20 minutes. Some suggest you can leave it up to 12 hours (but we're trying to do this quickly!).
- If you want to, spray some vinegar on top of the paste, and leave it again, for at least 20 minutes. The acidic vinegar will react with the alkaline baking soda to create a foam, which can give it a bit of extra potency.
- Use a non-abrasive cloth or pad to scrub the surfaces.
- Finish with a damp cloth to remove any residue.
Water and Lemons
This is a quick method that works if your oven isn't too dirty to begin with. The acid in the lemons will help to loosen any buildup of dirt and grease:
- Fill an ovenproof bowl with water, and add a couple of lemons that are cut in half.
- Put this into the oven, and put the oven on to around 120 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit). Leave it on for an hour or so.
- Allow it to cool down until it's safe for you to touch. While it's still warm, use a damp cloth to wipe the surfaces of the oven.
We'll mention this because chemicals are often designed to be extremely potent. They can also be extremely quick:
- Empty the oven. Wipe out any chunky bits of grime, to remove as much of the loose stuff as you can.
- Put on some gloves (these chemicals can often be irritants if they come into contact with your skin) and apply the cleaner to your oven.
- Check the instructions for the product you are using, but typically, you may need to leave it to do its job for up to an hour.
- Once that time has elapsed, wipe it away with a damp cloth. You may want to do this a few times to make sure the residue has been removed.
If you are going to use a chemical product, make sure the space is well-ventilated, and we'll repeat the importance of wearing gloves.
Read More: How To Clean A Dishwasher With Baking Soda
As you can see, none of these methods will return a biohazard of an oven to its original state in five minutes. But some of these methods will allow you to get good results in under an hour. Which, for an oven, isn't a bad result.
Of course, if you really don't want to do it yourself, there are plenty of professional oven cleaning companies who can do the job for you. But again, you can probably expect them to take a few hours.
How Often Should You Clean The Oven?
Once again, this depends on how dirty your oven gets, which will largely be down to how often it gets used. But a good rule of thumb is probably every three to six months.
Of course, if you regularly wipe down your oven, you can potentially get away with doing a deep clean less frequently.
There are other ways to minimise the mess you make in the oven as well - use roasting bags to catch any spillages. Clean up after you've used it, rather than allowing food to be baked on the next time you use the oven.
Follow all these steps, and you'll have a much cleaner oven than you started with.
For more articles like this, take a look at our How To page.