The kitchen is the heart of the home — especially during the fall and winter holidays! While many families will be spending the season at distance this year due to the COVID pandemic, it’s still important to make sure that your kitchen is ready for all of the fun and festive feasts to come.
In particular, you’ll want to spend a little time getting your oven ready for the hours of work you’re sure to spend roasting turkeys and baking pies in the weeks ahead. An unclean oven can run less efficiently, and may even become a fire hazard. What’s more, years of built-up stains and damage can actually affect the flavor of your food!
Looking to safely and thoroughly clean your oven? Here are some important steps to take:
Beware Self-Cleaning Mode — Especially Before the Holidays
Many newer model ovens offer a “self-cleaning” setting, which promises to deal with caked on dirt and grime through extreme heat. While these settings may work, they’re not alway all they’re cracked up to be, and may not get the job done as well as a little bit of elbow grease. At the same time, such extreme heat and fumes can make your kitchen uncomfortable for hours on end — and may take a serious toll on your oven, to boot! As the home experts at The Kitchn have put it:
“The super-high temperatures required to burn everything into oblivion can sometimes have the unintended consequence of burning out the heating elements and control panel, too, particularly if you have an older oven… There’s never a good time for your oven to break down, but there is definitely the worst possible time for it to happen, and that’s right before you’re scheduled to cook a dozen dishes on one of the biggest food holidays of the year.”
Choose Your Cleaning Method
There are a few different methods you can use to clean the interior of your oven. Generally speaking, the two most popular solutions are a commercial store-bought oven cleanser, or a DIY regimen of water, baking soda, and vinegar. For the DIY approach, mix baking soda and water together to form a paste, and reserve vinegar in a spray bottle to apply later.
Remove the racks and anything else that may be taking up space in your oven (such as pizza stone or a hanging thermometer) before you get started. Safety first! Always wear protective rubber gloves and safe eyewear. Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen, and try to open windows to ventilate the space as much as possible.
You can begin by applying the cleaning solution around the walls of the oven. Try to avoid the electric heating elements or the areas where gas comes through. Let the solution sit and soak in to start eating away at built-on dirt and grime.
After letting the cleaning solution rest for several hours, follow up with a damp cloth. You can spray water or vinegar to assist with extra sticky areas, or use the abrasive side of a sponge to help dislodge the grime. You may need to repeat this step a couple of times for a deep clean.
Be gentle with your oven windows. While you can apply the same oven cleanser or baking soda mixture you’re using on the rest of the unit, follow up with a soft rag or cloth. Don’t use abrasive tools on glass, as these surfaces can get scuffed and marred easily.
Remove and Clean Oven Racks Separately
Remove your oven racks before cleaning the interior of the oven, and clean them separately. Soak them in a tub filled with your water and dish soap, detergent, or baking soda. Let them sit for a few hours, then apply a stiff brush to get rid of any caked-on grime. Rinse the racks and polish them dry by hand with a cloth before reinserting them into your oven.
Give Your Stovetop a Thorough Wipedown
Get ready for the season of boiling, simmering, and sauteing by cleaning your stovetop. For most cooktops, your favorite light cleaning solution — such as dishwashing liquid, vinegar and water, or a multi-surface cleanser like Bon Ami — should do the trick. Spritz the stovetop with the cleansing solution, then wipe down with a clean, dry cloth, such as a microfiber towel. Don’t be afraid to use a little elbow grease for those tougher spots! For especially stuck-on stains, you may need to work in stages.
If your stove grates are detachable, you can remove them and wash them thoroughly with dish soap and water. Gently clean oven knobs by spraying your preferred cleaning solution onto a cloth, then wiping them down gently.
Clean the Floor and Walls Around Your Oven
Don’t forget to clean the areas around your oven, as well. Wipe down the backsplash with a clean cloth and your favorite cleaning solution such as dish soap and water, vinegar and water, or even your preferred glass cleanser.
Remember that lots of dust, grime, and nasty bits can accumulate beneath and around your oven. To get to these “out of sight, out of mind” areas, gently walk your oven away from the wall, taking care not to dislodge any power or gas lines. Use a brush or another long-handled tool and a water-based cleaning agent to get rid of the dirt and grime that has built up on the floor beneath your oven. Meanwhile, you can use a sprayable cleanser and cloth to wipe old food or grime from the sides of the appliance.
Getting Ready for a Busy Winter at Home? Sweeping Dimensions Is Here to Help
Getting your kitchen ready for an unusual winter? Here are a few more of our go-to guides and articles to bookmark:
- Stuck at Home? 10 Tiny Steps That Can Make Your Kitchen Feel Like New
- How to Clean Before a Big Thanksgiving Gathering
- 5 Cool Scents for Fall and Winter
- 7 Ways to Clean for a Cozy, Comfortable Fall
- 10 Key Spots to Clean After The Holidays
Curious about what you can do to keep your appliances sparkling clean and ready to use, all year round? Looking for ways to keep your household safe and sanitary as we head for winter? Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service is here to help!
At SDCS, we always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful. With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products, perfect for your kitchen, bathroom, or any other area in your home that needs specialized care.
We’re so confident that you’ll love our service that we offer the Sweeping Dimensions guarantee! If our cleaning services should ever fail to meet your expectations, you can call us within 24 hours of your cleaning and we will send out a supervised crew to correct anything that needs attention.
Ready to make sure your winter feast goes off without a hitch? We are here for you! Contact us today for your free service estimate!