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7 Oven Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Cleaning the oven isn’t an everyday household task like washing dishes, sweeping your floors, or wiping countertops, as it can be time consuming and a bit tedious. Still, keeping this kitchen appliance disinfected is essential to your family’s overall health and safety.  

Your oven is probably one of the most used appliances in your home, cooking your family’s weekday dinners or whipping up a fabulous feast for guests. Regardless of the frequency of use, your oven deserves a deep cleaning at least once a month for longevity and to maintain proper daily operation.  

There are several oven cleaning tips that have made the rounds for decades. Some you may have heard from your family matriarch/patriarch or from a close friend, but not all of the tips you hear will be sufficient for your oven. Fortunately, your cleaning experts at Merry Maids® want to help you avoid oven cleaning mistakes that could damage your appliance beyond repair. 

Mistake #1: Cleaning the Oven with Harsh Chemicals 

There are so many harsh chemicals on the market that claim your oven will be spick and span once you’re finished cleaning it. This may be true, but at what cost? When cleaning your oven, we never recommend cleaning with bleach, ammonia, or a mixture of the two (this can create very dangerous, life-threatening fumes).  

Steer clear of chemical cleaners and try more holistic products and natural cleaners you can find in your own kitchen for a fraction of the price (i.e., free). Baking soda, lemon juice, and water—to name a few—work great at removing stuck-on stains without deadly fumes taking over.  

Mistake #2: Not Using the Self-Cleaning Cycle at All 

Many high-end ovens have a self-cleaning feature. “What’s that?” You ask? Your oven’s self-cleaning cycle is a way to burn off caked on food and hard stains using the oven’s natural heating element. Some homeowners don’t realize this option will help save time cleaning and keep ovens clean for cooking meats and foods that carry bacteria. 

Mistake #3: Relying Too Heavily on the Self-Cleaning Option 

Yes, we know the previous mistake was not using the self-cleaning cycle and now we’re telling you not to use it too often. One of the most important things you need to know about the self-cleaning option is that it relies on how often you use your oven. Food and grease buildup can impede efficient and effective oven operation, so cleaning is a must, and the self-cleaning option can help you save time. However, if you’re using this feature after every spill, it could negatively affect the thermal fuse and damage the internal heating element.  

Mistake #4: Not Cleaning Behind the Oven 

Spills and messes while cooking are inevitable, which is why it’s important to deep clean your oven occasionally. And, yes, that also means cleaning behind it. Believe us; as cleaning experts, we know there’s probably a treasure trove of dirt, dust, and old food hanging out behind your oven. This task doesn’t have to occur weekly or even monthly. Once a year is sufficient enough for behind-the-oven cleaning.  

Mistake #5: Not Soaking & Cleaning the Racks 

Your oven is a major kitchen appliance that comes with removal racks. There are so many convenient and time saving ways to clean the oven itself, but are you giving the racks the attention they deserve? It seems counterintuitive to deep clean your oven and neglect the racks that also experience food buildup. In fact, food residue can break down the protective coating on your racks, leading to exposed rust that could start a fire.  

Word to the wise: When you give your oven a deep clean, soak your oven racks to make cleaning them easier.  

Mistake #6: Assuming All Ovens Can Be Cleaned the Same Way 

Just because your grandparents or parents used Borax to clean their ovens, doesn’t mean you have to follow in their footsteps. (That being said, we love Borax!) The point is, all ovens aren’t made equally and shouldn’t be maintained the same. Figure out what works best for your particular oven. Start by reading the instruction manual for proper cleaning methods to avoid irreparable damage.  

Mistake #7: Using Aluminum Foil Inside the Oven 

Have you been to a friend’s home, helping them out in the kitchen, only to discover aluminum foil lining the bottom of their oven? You probably thought, “That probably helps catch spills and other food residue and makes cleaning a snap!” While the convenience aspect is correct, aluminum foil can do more harm than good. 

Because aluminum foil has a reflective surface, it reflects and blocks heat (ever pulled out lukewarm aluminum foil from a scorching oven?), resulting in overcooked or undercooked food and melted foil that permanently damages your oven.  

Keeping your oven regularly cleaned is always the best option. However, you don’t always have a free moment and that’s understandable. Copper grill mats are a great alternative to lining your oven instead of using foil because they’re non-toxic, safe, and will save you time deep cleaning your oven. 

For More Home Cleaning Tips, Trust the Experts 

House cleaning isn’t always in your schedule, but it’s certainly in ours. Merry Maids® has various cleaning services, including kitchen appliance cleaning that keep your home running efficiently. You rely on our professionals to deliver a clean you can see and feel—guaranteed. 

Discover more about our solutions by calling (888) 490-4227 or requesting a free estimate online today.