While Pyrolytic ovens can clean themselves by burning grime right into to dust, ovens without this technology will still require a bit of cleaner and elbow grease. Thankfully, if you know what you're doing, cleaning an oven is relatively easy, non-toxic and painless.
There are many commercial oven cleaning products available, but some of them use some fairly powerful and toxic chemicals that release harmful fumes. Others simply use bicarbonate of soda (i.e. baking soda) as their active ingredient - and there's no reason you can't just use that without the elaborate packaging.
How to clean your oven
That black stuff caked firmly onto the inside of your oven is carbon. To get rid of it, it's a good idea to loosen it up a bit first. Here's how to do that:
Mix approximately three tablespoons of baking soda in a water filled spray bottle (use plenty).
- When the oven's cold, spray the top, back and sides with this mixture and leave it to sit. Wet baking soda breaks up carbon.
- Leave the damp oven for several hours. Come back to it and spray it again. Do this a few times - if possible, spray it and leave it overnight. The longer the baking soda is able to act, the easier it will be to clean your oven.
- The next day, give it a final spray and then scrape off the carbon. If you've given it long enough, the oven should be far easier to clean.
If you're still having trouble because your oven's absolutely filthy, start the process again. Cleaning your oven regularly will help to ensure that it stays clean, and that you don't need to put in quite as much effort when you do have to clean it.
- Different ovens may have different linings and care routines. Before you start cleaning, check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific do’s or don’ts. The last thing you want is to void your warranty because you've ignored specific cleaning instructions.