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How often should you get your oven cleaned?

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Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. Photo by Richard Brunton.

Does your oven smell? Or has your oven cooked food started to taste, let’s say… interesting? Many homeowners are guilty of not cleaning their oven as often as they should. The time and money invested in cleaning is definitely a factor that deters us, and it can be difficult to know how often exactly you should be cleaning it. Service Force, an appliance repair company say cleaning your oven depends on a variety of factors, these include:

How often do you use your oven?

Depending on how frequently you use your oven on a weekly or monthly basis directly correlates with how often you need to clean it. If you use it daily, then Service Force recommends you clean it every two weeks. Grime and spillovers insulate the oven and reduce the transfer of heat to your food. This makes cooking ultimately more difficult and longer.

The amount of dirt in your oven

No matter how careful you are, there are bound to be times when you will spill food. Once you recognise that your oven has grime building up and is emitting a terrible odour, it’s time to get cleaning. The dirt and grime not only leave a nasty odour in your oven but also affects the taste of your food - especially when baking something like cake or bread. Not only will the carbon fumes alter the taste, they have the potential to contaminate your oven cooked food.

What kind of food you cook in your oven

If you are regularly cooking types of food that are heavy on sauce and grease, the best thing you can do is wipe down the oven after you have eaten and once it has cooled down. This will stop any charred bits of food from gathering and will prevent the smell from lingering. If you are usually using your oven for warming up food or baking, you can clean it every 3 months.

Cleaning your oven around the festive period

With the festive period upon us, there is always a rush for oven cleaning companies. Depending on your personal preference, there are pros and cons of cleaning it before and after Christmas:

Cleaning your oven before Christmas

No one wants to face the embarrassment of a dirty oven and unpleasant taste in front of relatives over Christmas. But over Christmas is when your oven will be put through its paces the most

Due to time constraints and being generally busy, it often means regular oven cleaning is neglected. This is a classic example of a buildup of grime. The grime quickly turns into carbon, which when heated multiple times turn into dangerous plumes. This can really affect the taste of your scrumptious Christmas dinner, which is why many people request an oven cleaning company beforehand.

Cleaning your oven after Christmas

In many cases however, the deep cleaning of an oven before Christmas has actually caused the oven to break down, which is why companies such as Service Force are always busy over this period. The high temperatures that are required to clean can have unintended consequences of burning out the heating elements, particularly with older ovens

If you take a look inside your oven, you will be able to quickly decide whether it is worth the risk of cleaning it before Christmas day. It may just be better to wait until after.

How to stop your oven getting dirty

  • Before cooking something in the oven lay down a sheet of tin foil or an oven sheet at the base. Oven sheets come in all sorts of sizes and mean you won’t have to clean the bottom of the oven.
  • Where possible, roast fish and meat in cooking bags to reduce the amount of fat that can spit out around the inside of the oven.
  • When you want to check how well your food is cooking halfway through, remove the tray as this will also avoid splashing around grease.
  • Once you have finished using the oven, a handy tip is to place a heat resistant bowl of water inside. Heat this bowl on a high temperature for about 15 minutes. This will cause the grime and grease to loosen, so when it’s cool enough you can wipe down the interior with paper towels.

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