No matter how careful you are with your oven, the chances are that eventually, you’ll end up with a mess. And even if you are exceptionally mindful of your cooking and cleaning practices, ovens, like all other appliances, get dirtier with time. Dust and dirt accumulate, minuscule bits and pieces of your previous dishes get burnt off and stick to the insides of the walls, drops of oils and grease escape your cooking trays, and so, your oven needs frequent cleaning sessions. “But that’s obvious!” – You might say.
And you’d be right. There’s already a wealth of information concerning oven cleaning out there – best practices, niche approaches, DIY tips and tricks, and more. There is, however, a particular part of the oven cleaning process that is often overlooked – the mistakes that can be made. And while most of these mistakes won’t result in a kitchen fire or damage to your appliances, it’s still good to keep them in mind.
Here are the five mistakes that you want to avoid when it comes to oven cleaning:
- You’re not cleaning your oven often enough
- You’re not picking the right time to clean your oven
- You’re not leveraging the built-up options fully
- You’re not doing enough to prevent dirt build-ups
- You’re not using the right oven cleaning solutions
Frequent Oven Cleaning is Crucial!
Not cleaning your oven often enough can lead to numerous problems – you’re giving the grime and dirt more time to build up, you’re not enjoying your meals as much, you’re shortening the overall lifespan of your oven, you’re putting your kitchen at risk of oven fires and more.
Here’s the main thing about cleaning – the more often you do it, the less time and effort it takes, plain and simple. If you were to clean your oven at least once a week, or better yet – give it a quick wipe-up after each cooking session, you would drastically shorten your overall cleaning times.
Furthermore, once you start cooking something in a dirty oven, all of the dust, grime and grease will alter the taste and aroma of your dish. You’re essentially adding small bits of last week’s lunch to tonight’s dinner. Yuck!
By not taking good care of your oven, you’re also drastically shortening its lifespan and putting yourself at risk of kitchen fires. All of the things, stuck to the inside walls get heated up and if there’s even the slightest spark, the end up causing a big problem.
Oven cleaning timing is key.
Most oven cleaning techniques take some time and usually require you to keep the oven on for longer. During that time, you obviously can’t cook anything, and you want any children, pets, and even grown-up friends and relatives as far away from your kitchen as possible. Therefore, the ideal time to clean your oven falls somewhere between finishing up dinner on a Friday evening and the relaxing Sunday afternoon.
Let self-cleaning ovens do their thing!
While the self-cleaning functions aren’t powerful enough to replace a full-fledged oven cleaning session, they can most certainly lighten the load for you. And if you’re the proud owner of a modern self-cleaning oven, you’d do well to give it the time necessary to do its thing. However, precautions need to be taken.
The self-cleaning process involves your oven heating up to extreme temperatures to burn away as much of the dirt and leftovers inside as possible. This means that you want your cooking schedule cleaned up and your children and pets out of the kitchen. If possible, you’d also want to open up any windows to promote better airflow and ventilation inside your kitchen. Some models can also emit small bits of chemicals during this process, generating smoke and ash in the process. If you haven’t used a self-cleaning oven before, you will do well to read up on the instructions for your specific model.
Prevention works wonders for your oven
We’re nowhere near as perfect as we’d like to be and we’re all bound to make a mistake now and then. This fully applies to all areas of life – from work, through professional and personal relationships, all the way to the kitchen. Here’s a couple of things that could help you minimise mistakes in your kitchen:
- Use cooking sheets
- Keep a close eye on timers
- React to spills immediately
Stay on the green side
While some might swear by their favourite commercial cleaning products, we’d urge you to try and use the natural alternatives whenever possible. If you take good care of your oven and clean it frequently, you shouldn’t need to resort to any store-bought solutions. Not only are things like vinegar, baking soda and lemons much safer to use, but they’re also many times cheaper than most of the popular oven cleaners on the market.