Whether you see yourself as a wannabe chef or you cook only because you have to, it’s important to make sure your cooker is kept at the top of its game. The key to achieving this is to provide it with a thorough clean, but this doesn’t mean you need to turn to a bucket full of various cleaning products.
In this post, we explain how to clean your cooker for less, by using everyday food items you’re likely to have in your home.
Why Clean Your Oven:
Whether you live alone, with your partner or with your family the chances are the cooker is used on average once a day, whilst the food cooked within it can vary from a quick meal of pizza and chips to cottage pie, roast dinners and fruit crumble.
All of these dishes if cooked well, and in a clean cooker, should taste terrific. If, however, you cannot remember the last time you cleaned your oven, there’s a chance that you could be hindering the taste of the food you’re cooking. What’s more, you’ll also be needlessly burning money by using a cooker which has reduced efficiency.
That said, how often you clean your cooker will depend on how often you use it, how you use it and how messy a cook you are. For example, if you’re using your cooker every day, twice a day, and you’re prone to spilling food then we recommend you thoroughly clean the cooker on at least a fortnightly basis.
If you only use your cooker every couple of days, you’re a clean cook and always cook using baking trays and sealed pots, then you are likely to be able to get away with only cleaning your cooker once a month.
By taking the time to regularly clean your cooker, you can ensure that it continues to work at its peak performance and that it is able to reach the desired cooking temperatures without any issues. Cleaning your cooker can also help prevent the risk of any faults occurring – all of which add up to help save you money in both the short and long term.
How To Clean Your Oven:
Hands up, who when cleaning their cooker turns to the multitude of chemical-based cleaning products available? I’m guilty of it myself, but why wouldn’t you – after all, there are a vast array available which make the process of cleaning the cooker quicker and easier.
One great cooker cleaning product to use is an oven cleaning kit that incorporates a plastic bag for oven shelf soaking – removing the need for fiddly cleaning. The solution provided with such a kit also cuts through grease and grime easily, leaving you with little to do but wipe the oven clean afterward.
Whilst such products are great at cutting through a range of grease, grime, and dirt to leave your cooker looking like new, they can also cause overbearing fumes to fill your kitchen or linger in your cooker, tainting the taste of any food cooked for the next few days.
Instead of using the vast array of cooker cleaning products available, switch to food products you’re likely to already have in your home – with 3 key ones being:
- Lemon Juice
- Bicarbonate of Soda
We’ve previously discussed in “How to Clean Your Home…Using Food” the benefits of using such products to clean your home, and they’re also great for cleaning your cooker too.
Clean Your Cooker with Lemon Juice:
Lemon juice is great for cleaning cookers which are only suffering from minor dirt, and therefore don’t require or call for a harsh chemical cleaner.
Instead, pour 150ml of cold water into the base of your cooker, squeeze in the juice of a lemon and then turn the cooker on, at 150⁰C. Leave the cooker to run for 20 minutes before switching it off. By this time the appliance should be full of lemon-scented steam, and the slight moisture inside your cooker can be used to wipe away any lingering dirt or grease, helping to bring a sparkle back to your cooker.
Vinegar Isn’t Just For Your Chips:
When thinking of vinegar, chances are you’ll imagine salt and vinegar crisps, or chips. But, vinegar is more than an accompaniment for food. It can also be used as a powerful cleaning product to bring your cooker back to an almost new appearance.
In fact, you can use vinegar to clean the cooker in the same way as you would use lemon juice (as mentioned above). And as many of us are more likely to have vinegar sat in the cupboard, rather than a lemon (unless it’s close to Shrove Tuesday) – this may be the best method for you to clean a cooker which isn’t caked in dirt.
For those cookers which are a bit dirtier, or caked in lasagne, vinegar can still be used to provide a natural clean – but it will need to be mixed with bicarbonate of soda to help you achieve a thorough clean.
Bicarbonate of Soda – A Powerful Cooker Cleaner:
Bicarbonate of soda is a great (and cheaper) product for cleaning your cooker, as the granular texture makes scrubbing away burnt-on food and dirt easier, whilst the alkaline qualities of the bicarbonate help it to cut through and dissolve grease.
Cleaning your cooker with bicarbonate of soda can be done in one of 3 ways.
- Scrape away as much burnt food as possible from your cooker, and then sprinkle bicarbonate of soda inside, before pouring vinegar into your cooker too. The vinegar will react with the bicarb and bubble – you should leave this for half an hour or so, before using a damp cloth and warm water to wipe away the residue which has been left. [source: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/house-home/housekeeping/how-to-clean-with-baking-soda]
- Mix half a cup of bicarbonate of soda with a few tablespoons of water, until you’ve created a spreadable paste. Spread the paste around the inside of your oven, including the base, sides, and door – making sure you get into all corners, then leave the paste to rest for 12 hours.Once the time has passed, use a clean, damp dishcloth and wash away the paste. In some areas, you may need to use a plastic scraper to remove any tough parts in hard to reach areas.
- Whilst the oven is still warm, fill a spray bottle three-quarters full with warm water and add two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Shake the mixture together to ensure it mixes well and then spray it around the inside of your oven. Leave the solution to settle for a couple of minutes before wiping clean with a damp cloth – as you do, you’ll see any dirt, grease and burnt-on food disappear.
With these homemade remedies, there’s no reason for you not to tackle the dirt building up in your cooker – helping you to keep it clean, without spending a small fortune on cleaning products. Regularly cleaning your cooker will also help it to run efficiently meaning you’re able to cook up all those culinary delights for your family and friends to enjoy.