1) Selecting the right products
Supermarket and specialist shops are full of a range of chemicals, solutions and sprays that promise a shiny oven that will look as good as new and all without too much scrubbing. However, I am yet to come across a product that lives up to the hype.
The only product that I can genuinely recommend is Astonish Oven and Cookware Cleaning Paste. I am not saying that it is a wonder product but with the right application and a little effort you are able to achieve satisfying results.
I would not be without a galvanised metal scourer and a plentiful supply of microfibre cloths.
2) Protect the area around the oven
It can be a dirty job and you certainly want to avoid messing up the rest of your kitchen in the process. I place down protective, absorbent sheeting on the floor, but lots of newspaper will do a similar job for those attempting to clean their ovens themselves.
Some people will choose to use caustic products and they should take great care to cover all surrounding surfaces as any contact will permanently damage your kitchen cabinets. You should also remember to protect yourself; rubber gloves and an apron are a must.
3) Tackling the glass door
This is the part of the oven that is most on show and as such it can make a crucial difference to the overall appearance of the finished clean oven. My advice here is not to use anything too abrasive. I have often seen scratched doors that have been damaged by someone attacking them with a scourer. Regular cleaning of the internal glass with a mild degreaser and glass cleaner is a much better option than the occasional blitz with strong chemicals.
4) Removing the door
Professional oven cleaners should always remove the door in order to gain better access and enable them to reach every nook and cranny of the oven interior. This is a surprisingly simple procedure. As all ovens vary you should refer to the manufacturer's instructions or search the internet for video tutorials on this.
5) Cleaning the oven interior
Firstly you should remove everything you can from the oven. Racks, shelves, shelf supports and trays will get in your way and will need to be dealt with separately. Most oven interiors are enamel and they can be safely cleaned using a scourer. Apply a strong degreaser, being sure to follow the pack instructions and then use a scourer to scrub clean. Tackle any tough spots with Astonish paste. It is really important not to use a scourer on self cleaning surfaces inside your oven; refer to the instruction booklet for information on how to clean those.
5) Cleaning the racks
This is the most difficult part of the job for the non-professional oven cleaner. I clean them using a specialist stainless steel tank fitted in my van that boils the racks for an hour in a biological solution. This is not a luxury that people doing it themselves at home will have.
I know people who have okay results by soaking them overnight in biological washing powder and hot water and then scouring hard with a brillo pad. There are also products available where you put all the racks in a thick plastic bag and add a caustic solution; again results are mixed. Please be careful when using these products as I have seen countless floors and work surfaces damaged by these.
6) Shining the oven exterior
Soapy water and a microfibre cloth is the place to start with this. Remove any buttons, dials and knobs so that can you can thoroughly clean them. Just soak in washing up liquid and wipe clean if they are very greasy. Clean the rest of the oven front with your cloth and soapy water. Dry with paper towel and finish by using glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to buff to a fantastic shine.
7) Call in the professionals
They will be able to clean your oven to a much higher standard than you can do yourself. You will find that once your oven has received a full professional deep clean it is a lot easier to keep on top of yourself.