What’s your least favourite cleaning task? The toilet has to be up there, but top of the list on a recent survey was cleaning the oven: 40% of people named it as their worst household chore. Cleaning the toilet, if you’re interested, came in second with 18%.
With that in mind, here are a few useful suggestions which you could try when the dreaded time comes, and you can’t put it off any longer.
1/ A clever tip for loosening dirt before you start is to put a heatproof bowl of water in the oven on a high setting for half an hour before you start. The steam will soften things up. Tip: you can sit back while this takes place.
2/ A glass scraper – the kind of thing you would use to get paint off a window – or a wallpaper scraper work well on the floor and door of the oven.
3/ If possible, removing the glass door can make things easier. Soak it in hot water with biological washing powder before scraping.
4/ Old-fashioned soda crystals cut through grease in the oven. Spread a thick layer on the bottom of the oven and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave for a few hours, then vacuum them out (empty the vacuum cleaner immediately after use!) and rinse thoroughly. Soda crystals also work well on heavy stains in grill pans. Dissolve the crystals in hot water and leave to soak before washing as normal.
5/ Shelves can be harder to clean than the oven itself. They probably won’t fit in the sink, but you can soak them overnight in the bath. A minimum of scrubbing required, just as I like it.
6/ You can’t use chemical cleaners on the oven’s heating element, but you can turn the heat up to the highest setting and just let the grease burn off. Open all your windows, though, as there will be some smoke.
7/ After all that hard work, you’ll have earned a sit down. Offer one of my painters a cup of tea and he’ll gladly drop round and join you. He’ll probably tell me he’s there to sell you some redecorating.
All the best