As you get older, most things around the home become less like a chore and more of an act done for pride. At least that’s how it was for me. Not but five years ago, the piling up of dirty dishes was more a challenge than a chore: just how many of my soiled plates, cups, utensils and cookware could I fit into a kitchen sink without causing a real catastrophe? Maybe its laziness, or maybe you just get more aware of what attracts rodents and pests. Either way, these days, it’s hard for me to go a day without cleaning the dishes and, at this point, the sink as well.
Cleaning the oven is, obviously, not as important of a task and doesn’t need to be done as regularly, due largely to the frequency of use; most people have microwaves these days and use it way more often than their stovetop and oven. Nevertheless, areas that deal with food should be as clean as possible at all times, and the benefits of a clean oven means better food and a safer kitchen.
First off, your oven and stovetop should be completely cooled when you start cleaning. Now, despite what I said before, in a perfect world, everyone would wipe down the oven after its cooled down with a good Scotch Brite scouring pad and some dish detergent. But hey, nobody’s perfect: soak the scouring pads in very hot water if the stain has set in to help loosen it up or, to go heavy duty, make a cleaning paste out of baking soda and some water, apply, let it sit for a minute and then scrub off.
Your metal grates can be cleaned in the sink along with those aforementioned dirty dishes; a pool of warm, soapy water and a scouring pad is all that’s needed. The same goes for knobs, which can be easily removed, washed, dried and replaced, as well as oven racks. And when picking a detergent or soap to clean the stovetop with, make sure you don’t use anything with abrasives or harsh chemicals, as this could damage the stovetop; an alternative is a solution made up of equal parts ammonia and warm water.
Oven doors, insides and fronts, can be cleaned easily with glass cleaner, but be sure to not spray the oven directly, as the fluid might get into the mechanism and could eventually cause corroding. Spray a washcloth with the cleaner or soak and wring out the washcloth with soapy water to clean it properly. For the interiors, switch back to (plastic) scouring pads and use a cleaner with mild abrasives or less. If a spill occurs while removing a dish, pour some salt on it and wait for it to cool; it should make it easier to absorb and wipe off. And watch especially for acidic spills, such as tomato-based liquids, as these can cause discoloration if left untreated.
As for the trim, bad spills, such as greasy or acidic spills, should be wiped up promptly with a cloth or paper towel. For metal trims, a good glass or general cleaner cleaned up with a cloth. Any high abrasives will cause damage to the trim. Allowing any stain to set in for too long will, of course, elevate the chances of your oven being damaged, so really, try to make it a weekly/bi-weekly activity and, if you use any general cleaners, check the back to make sure they won’t damage the device. Now, if you excuse me, I have to clean my keyboard.