HOW TO CLEAN AN OVEN

This isn’t a job that most of us relish, but it needn’t be hard if performed at regular intervals and the sparkling result can be satisfying.

First, check whether your oven has an auto-clean function (you may save yourself some work). However, even if it does, you’ll still need to clean the oven racks. Remove these, including any vertical hanging racks, and soak them in hot, soapy water in the sink.

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For manual cleaning, start by wiping away any loose debris. Then either spray on the chemical cleaner or try a more eco-friendly version (suitable only for lightly soiled ovens); leave it to work for the prescribed time with the door shut. Always check which cleaners are recommended for your oven make and avoid putting any cleaner on the element.

Alternatively, try the steam-cleaning method. You will need the bottom rack in place for this. Fill a large baking tray or oven-proof dish with water and place on the rack. Turn the oven on at its highest temperature setting. Afer 30 minutes turn the oven off and leave it to cool with the door shut. Then take a damp cloth and wipe down the inside, not forgetting the inside of the door. The steam will have done a good job of loosening grease and grime so this should be easy.

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