There’s something about Spring that makes us all feel like cleaning – or maybe we’ve just been conditioned to think that Spring cleaning is the bees knees! Maybe it’s the extra light that hints of warmer days to come and gets us excited about how good our life could be if we only had a thoroughly cleaned house!
Handy hint – you don’t have to spring clean in Spring! Any time you get the inclination, the urge or the need, you can give any part of your house the thorough clean that it really should get at least every 12 months.
In this instance, we’re focussing on the kitchen. Specifically the built in appliances of your kitchen, namely your oven and cooktop. While you probably (hopefully) wipe over any food spills that occur in these high traffic, well used areas of your kitchen, grease and grime can build up over time and will need some more thorough attention occasionally.
Regularly cleaning and maintaining your oven and cooktop will save some serious elbow grease down the track. So here’s the best way to give these appliances a good and thorough clean and keep them in tip top working condition.
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How To Clean Your Oven
If you haven’t kept on top of your regular oven cleaning, cleaning your oven can be a big and unpleasant job. If you’ve let your oven get in a bad way you’re probably going to need a specially formulated oven cleaner. Being made of chemicals, these products need to be handled with care.
You don’t want to get a harsh oven cleaner on your skin or in your eyes or they can cause burns and blindness. Follow the safety directions on any product that you use. Most will urge you to have the kitchen well ventilated, wear gloves and protective clothing and maybe even safety glasses.
Commercial oven cleaners are relatively inexpensive and easy enough to use if you follow the safety precautions. Some suggest spraying on a warm oven while other products recommend a cold oven – it’s best to follow the directions of the product you choose closely to get the best results.
Checking the reviews on marketplaces such as Amazon will help to give you an idea of how effective other people have found them to be. Here are a few worth considering:
If you’re worried about using harsh chemicals in your kitchen, I can personally recommend Koh.
I’ve found it to be very effective at cleaning my oven when used with one of their diamond sponges. It’s worth noting though that, since getting a new oven a year or so ago, I have cleaned and maintained it quite regularly. Koh works really well for this but, if your oven is really in a bad way, you might need something stronger – or a heck of a lot of scrubbing!
If your oven has a “Steam Cleaning” function, you can also use this to help soften the grease and grime before wiping it away. To do this, fill the baking tray with water and activate the steam cleaning function on your oven. Once it’s finished, you’ll just have to wipe it over with a soapy cloth.
I’ve not used an oven like this before but, from what I’ve read about it, the steam-cleaning cycle works well for loosening baked on food and grease but, if you’ve got stubborn grease marks, you might still need to use an oven cleaning product to get a thorough clean.
Tips For Cleaning Your Oven
- Clean your oven regularly – leaving spills to bake on will make them much harder to clean later.
- When using an oven cleaner, spray the roof last so that the cleaner doesn’t drip onto your arms when you spray the rest of the oven.
- Soak metal oven racks in warm water with either dishwasher detergent or washing powder – the laundry trough or the bathtub is a good place to do this as your kitchen sink will be too small.
- You can try cleaning with bicarb soda and vinegar if you’d rather not use a chemical oven cleaner.
How To Clean Your Cooktop
Just like your oven, your cooktop requires regular cleaning too. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, trouble and frustration if you wipe down your cooktop after every use. But, if you’ve let it go, or it’s just time for a more thorough spring cleaning of your cooktop, here’s how to do it.
Different cooktops call for different methods so we’ve broken it down into two groups: cleaning ceramic and induction cooktops, and cleaning gas cooktops.
Cleaning Ceramic And Induction Cooktops
These cooktops look so good – all nice and neat and flat! But, they do need special care and maintenance.
To keep these cooktops looking good it’s important to act fast – wipe up spills when they happen. Spilled food can bake in and get crusty. This is especially true of sugary foods which can pit the surface if not wiped away immediately.
Also any plastic or foil that has come into contact with the hot surface will leave a mess that should be immediately wiped away. On the flip side, spills of water or oils/fat can wait until the cooktop has cooled down before cleaning them up.
It’s important when thorough, spring cleaning, to clean any knobs or controls for your cooktop too. Knobs should be relatively easy to remove so you can clean around and underneath them. Of course, if you have push button or touch controls, it’s even easier as you can just wipe over them with a damp cloth.
If you’ve missed wiping a spill or two along the way and are now left with a crusty mess on your cooktop, you can use a scraper tool to remove any baked on mess and then use a ceramic glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to give the overall surface a good, streak-free clean.
There are some commercially made cleaning products designed specifically for cleaning your induction cooktop. Some even come with scraper tools and brushes included. Here are a couple worth considering:
Cleaning Gas Cooktops
Cleaning gas cooktops can be harder than cleaning induction cooktops as there are a few more “moving parts” and places for dirt to hide, rather than just a nice flat surface. A gas cooktop will usually have a ceramic surface or a stainless steel surface.
Enamel is probably easier to clean as stainless steel can smudge and scratch, mind you, you can get cleaners formulated specially for stainless steel so these will normally help to stop any smudging or streaking.
Like the induction cooktops, you’ll want to clean the control knobs. Again, these should be relatively easy to remove so that you can give them a thorough clean as well as the area surrounding them.
Gas cooktops also have cast iron trivets to hold your pots and pans over the flames. You’ll want to remove these and give them a good soak – if your kitchen sink is too small, consider the laundry trough or the bathtub.
Once the trivets are soaking you can clean the surface and work around the burners – a small brush like a toothbrush can be helpful for this. Once all wiped clean and streak-free you can return the now clean trivets back into place and enjoy your nice clean stovetop!
If you’ve got a stainless steel cooktop and would like a bit of help getting it clean, this product is worth a try: