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How to clean your oven

We offer some tips for cleaning all oven types. Do you have any hints or tricks to add to this list?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For stainless steel exteriors, clean small sections at a time to prevent streaking. There are a few ways to clean stainless steel: you can try hot water and a microfibre cloth; vinegar and a paper towel; methylated spirits and a paper towel; or a citrus-based, all-purpose cleaner and microfibre cloth.
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Soaking the runners and wire racks in an oxy solution works far better than detergent in my experience.

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Do you mean both together? If so there will be a quick reaction with froth and bubble leaving neither vinegar or bicarb. Does it still work then?

Has this mix been tested? What were the results?

If this is “chemical free” what do you call vinegar and bicarb?

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I have found soaking the removable parts in hot water infused with bicarb works better than dishwashing or washing detergent, or even a mix of bicarb plus vinegar.

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Something to be aware of is avoid touching any exposed elements with anything which is damp and don’t spray them if you use a spray within the oven.

Some elements can absorb water and next when using the oven, it may cause the oven’s circuit breaker on your fuse board to trigger, switching the oven off. The only way to rectify the problem is to somehow remove any water (by heating up the oven if there is another element which can be used instead of the ‘damp’ one - some reports say using a hair dyer for 30 or more minutes on the element may dry it out as well) or to replace the element.

The other tip is wipe out after every use as this prevents build up of baked on grime which is then hard to remove at a later date.

Another is put racks in the dishwasher if they fit, and wash them on the hottest cycle.

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It’s all in the ‘wrist action’ - technique apparently.

Shannon also has her own website and books on how to clean or restore many different surfaces.

Not sure where the supply of pantyhose she often recommends as cleaners comes from.

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I find that a good long soak of the oven shelves and side racks in warm water and Washing Soda works wonders, even for the most baked on stains.

Classified as a chemical, washing soda is a natural mineral and a very effective cleaner, non-toxic, but caustic if it comes in contact with bare skin.

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A chemical :heavy_check_mark: But what does that mean, does it matter?
Natural mineral :question: It does occur naturally but what you buy on Oz is probably synthetic. Does this matter?
Effective cleaner :heavy_check_mark: Yes for this purpose. It leaves a residue that needs washing off.
Non-toxic :question: Depending on amount
Caustic :heavy_check_mark: Somewhat, don’t swallow or get in your eyes or leave on your skin for long.
Cheap :heavy_check_mark:
Readily available :heavy_check_mark:

Why am I being so picky? Because we all use labels when describing products (green, natural, chemical, etc) that are often pushed by advertising but are too vague to mean very much, or worse mean different things in different contexts.

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This is what the package says:
Washing Soda
Household cleaner, detergent booster,
and water softener.
Environmental friendly.
All natural, no phosphate or dyes.
Australian owned.

As we would know it’s Sodium Carbonate,
commonly known as Soda ash.
It’s one of the oldest known compounds.

Whatever the ads say, it is an amazing cleaning aid!

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I make a paste of white vinegar and bi carb of soda to clean the oven . Moisten a cloth with white vinegar and apply bi carb of soda to the cloth and it cleans any grease and backed on food very efficiently .

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You’re right about taking care with terminology, I’ve removed the ‘chemical free’ descriptor. Apologies for the error.

Some commercial oven cleaners consist of stronger cleaning solutions, the bi-carb and vinegar tip might be appealing to some as a less harsh alternative. The appropriate cleaner will probably also depend on frequency and usage, but we haven’t realised a lab test on this yet.

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I did this last time. Lay old towels in the spa bath, lay oven racks and side support racks on top of towels (to protect bath). Sprinkled two full cups of baking soda over the racks and then poured over enough boiling water to submerge. Water fizzes and you can see an immediate reaction as grease lifts. Left for 24 hours and next day all racks just wiped clean. It works!!

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I have used both to clean my exhaust filter… works well .Use hot water, cheap dish washing liquid and vinegar to soak… works.

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A magic solution to the problem of dirty glass doors on pyrolytic clean ovens. Thanks to the Miele rep visiting our local Harvey Norman.
Just rub the inside of the glass completely over with a damp piece of soap leaving the soap residue all over the glass. Pyrolitic clean as normal, then just give an easy wipe and the glass will be sparkling.

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I learned to wipe the window on my SMEG pyrolytic with a sponge after use and dry it with a paper towel. Has always wiped off with no drama :slight_smile:

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Hi Brendan, I have NO idea where this nonsense originated. It seems to be routinely promoted by a range of lifestyle “gurus” and wacko cranks with a thing about “chemicals” - a preoccupation that says more about our education system than anything else.
First, vinegar and sodium bicrabonate are BOTH chemicals. In fact, EVERYTHING is chemicals!! Me, you, carrots, and mountain streams.
Secondly, when you mix vinegar and bicarbonate together they react (chemically!) to neutralise each other - that is, you mix them, you lose them. They’re gone! They cannot somehow magically reinforce each other if they have just eliminated each other in a chemical reaction. This is the sort of drooling nonsense promoted by domestic science “experts”.
Thirdly, vinegar (acetic acid) does not “cut” into grease! It cannot. It is quite simply unable to affect grease at all. Alkalies attack grease (turning it to soap…that’s exactly how soap is made). Acids have NO effect on grease - except for maybe some forms of acid that you probably do not mess around with - and which, even then, would dissolve your oven before making a substantial impact on the grease.
In summary, anyone who spends their hard-earned buying vinegar and bicarbonate is wasting their money and unnecessarily polluting our environment with man-made “chemicals”…just sayin’!!

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Hi Ozcelt, I have had great success with vinegar and bi carb soda over many many years. I have regularly cleaned blocked drains and only a few weeks ago cleaned an oven door that was so ‘encrusted’ you couldn’t see through it. I sprinkled the glass with copious amounts of bi carb then sprinkled vinegar on the bi carb, left for a few minutes and started to rub clean with a chux cloth. By the time I had finished the glass oven door was totally clean. Perhaps the grit in the bi carb gives more purchase in the cleaning procedure? I particularly like using these products because I figure if they can be used in food stuffs they can’t be too bad.
I would NEVER use the commercial oven cleaners where the fumes just about kill you!

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That is correct, but bicarb or baking soda (NaHC03) is alkaline and will have cleaning effect, particularly on oils and fats. The slight abrasiveness of bicarb powder will also assist with scouring off harder to remove food particles.

When the vinegar is added to the bicarb, it will dissolve the bicarb making it more reactive (better at cleaning) before it fully undergoes the full chemical reaction into sodium acetate (a salt), water and carbon dioxide (bubbles given off through the reaction).

If one premixes vinegar and bicarb, it will not have much cleaning effect (possibly similar to water). If one places bicarb on a surface to clean, adds the vinegar and cleans while it is fizzing, some of the bicarb will be in solution making it a cleaning agent. Once it stops fizzing, the cleaning party is over.

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