Cleaning tips for all types of ovens
- Soak metal runners and shelves in warm water with either a dishwasher detergent or washing powder.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the ash after a pyrolytic clean, then wipe the walls of the oven with warm, soapy water.
- Clean your oven regularly – it won't take as much effort as it would if you were to leave mess baking on for a while.
- If you're using an oven cleaner, spray all the surfaces and leave the roof till last – if you spray the roof first it's likely to drip onto your arms.
- If you want to do away with the chemicals used in an oven cleaner, use bi-carb soda and vinegar. The bi-carb removes stains while the vinegar cuts through grease.
- When you're cleaning the stainless-steel exterior, clean small sections at a time to prevent streaking. There are different ways to clean stainless steel. Try:
- hot water and a microfibre cloth
- vinegar and a paper towel
- methylated spirits and a paper towel
- citrus-based all-purpose cleaner and a microfibre cloth.
If you don't clean and maintain your oven regularly you'll need a lot of time and elbow grease, or a specially formulated oven cleaner.
Like other household chemical products, oven cleaners are dangerous – if you get them on your skin or in your eyes it can cause severe irritation, deep burns or even blindness. They need to be handled with care.
- Have the kitchen well ventilated when using an oven cleaner to avoid breathing in any fumes.
- Follow the instructions – if it says to wear a face mask or safety glasses then do it!
- Wear a long-sleeve top and gloves to prevent your skin coming into contact with the cleaner.
How do self-cleaning ovens work?
The two main options at your disposal in this category are pyrolytic and catalytic.
An oven that cleans itself – what a dream! The big plus for pyrolytic ovens is that the cleaning process is chemical-free and does a great, thorough job on your oven, particularly in hard-to-reach places.
They're generally more expensive, but if you bake a lot and tend to have lots of meat juice and fat splattering around, who wouldn't consider buying an oven that can clean itself afterwards?
How it works:
- The oven heats up to about 500°C – converting food residues into ash, which you wipe away.
- The oven door automatically locks and is only released when the temperature falls to a safe level.
- The outside of the oven gets hotter than usual – so it's a good idea to keep kids out of the kitchen.
Unfortunately not all the hard work is done for you:
- Before using the pyrolytic function generally all runners, shelves and other accessories need to be removed and cleaned separately – which can be fiddly and might still take some elbow grease.
- It's worth cleaning off any big pieces of dirt beforehand, and giving the internal side of the glass door a wipe.
This one works by absorbing fat splatters. It's important that there's good coverage of disposable liners over the oven – both sides, back and roof is ideal.
To put the liners to action:
- You need to regularly heat the oven to 250°C for an hour to burn off any splatters.
- Once the oven is cool, wipe them with a damp cloth.
These liners should last a long time, but you might eventually need to replace them at an additional cost.
If you're looking for an oven that has a pyrolytic function or self-cleaning liners, you'll find these as a criteria in our freestanding oven reviews and our wall oven reviews.
Ovens with a steam cleaning function use steam to soften the grease and grime, making cleaning the oven easier.
Each of the steam ovens we tested offer this function.
- Fill the baking tray with water
- During the cleaning cycle it will loosen baked-on food and grease
- Once it's finished wipe the oven clean with a soapy cloth
Removing stubborn grease marks even after the steam-cleaning cycle can be difficult and may still require an oven cleaning product or mixture for a thorough clean.