Cleaning an oven can be a dirty, unpleasant job — and very difficult to perfect. While removing debris and carbonised food is relatively easy, restoring the average oven to its showroom look is almost impossible after just a few uses. And cleaning the glass in the oven door seems to be a job many householders struggle with.
Have you ever cleaned your oven, only to be left disappointed by the brown, greasy gunk that just won’t budge from the glass? This is a combination of grease, smoke, food and carbon — and it can affect the whole look of your oven. But don’t worry. With the right approach, cleaning oven glass is probably easier than you thought.
Cleaning the glass in your oven should be the last part of the process. Begin by allowing your oven to cool. If you spray your cleaning solution onto hot surfaces, you could create a nasty vapour that is particularly unpleasant when inhaled. Ideally, give yourself two hours to complete the clean — first thing in the morning is best.
Remove the debris
The easiest way to remove big chunks of burnt food and crumbs from your oven is by hand. So put on a pair of rubber gloves, and start gathering. Once you’ve collected the larger pieces, use a scraping tool to dislodge burnt-on accumulations — including those on the glass.
Clean the oven
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. Decide on the cleaning agents you wish to use, and make sure you have the necessary tools, such as scourers, steel wool and microfibre cloths. Once you’ve cleaned the inside of the oven, it’s time to clean the glass.
Spray the glass
Spray your chosen cleaning spray onto the glass surface. Exactly which agent you use is up to you (we’ll discuss this a little later on). However, be careful about where you spray. Try to avoid seals, hinges and cavities — keep the spray on the glass.
The chances are you’ll need to leave the agent on the glass for a while. After the prescribed amount of time, wipe away the spray with a clean sponge. You should see a very thick, brown liquid coming off the glass as you wipe.
Tackle accumulations individually
If you notice thick accumulations of brown gunk, you’ll need to tackle each one on its own. Start by scraping as much of it away as possible with steel wool, a scraper or an old toothbrush. To stop dirty water from messing up the glass you’ve already cleaned, make sure you always have paper towels handy.
Sadly, there aren’t any alternatives to elbow grease at this stage. Once all the nastiness has been removed, it’s up to you to polish the glass clean with microfibre cloths. If you’re struggling to leave the glass looking crystal clear, spray a little white vinegar onto your cloth, and polish with that.
Cleaning agents for cleaning oven glass
The commercial oven cleaners available today are very unpleasant and highly caustic. While necessary to clean huge commercial kitchen ovens, they aren’t usually necessary in domestic kitchens. After all, your kitchen probably doesn’t have the powerful extraction units you find on commercial premises.
In most cases, you’ll be able to dissolve and remove that nasty “brown stuff” from your oven glass with a paste of white vinegar, water and baking soda. Just leave it on there for 30 minutes, and wipe away with a microfibre cloth. Alternatively, a handheld steam cleaner can deliver a superheated jet of steam, killing bacteria and cutting through even the thickest accumulations of grease and food.
If you can perfect the art of cleaning oven glass, you should be able to restore your old oven to its showroom best.