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MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR OVENS

MAINTAINING YOUR OVEN AND RANGE: ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS

It's easy to take your oven for granted until something goes wrong. When that happens, your mealtime routine (and maybe even your entire household routine) will be disrupted. Even worse, you may be left with a significant repair bill or even need to buy an entirely new appliance.

Fortunately, maintaining your oven and range is a great way to prolong its lifespan—and it doesn't require any technical expertise. In fact, it's mostly a case of keeping it clean and not allowing any build-ups or spillages to get worse over time. Here's how.

4 EASY WAYS TO MAINTAIN YOUR OVEN

1. ESTABLISH A CLEANING ROUTINE

It's the same as most other chores: if you leave it too long, the job only gets harder. Instead, make an effort to clean your oven and range on a regular basis. That includes cleaning the oven interior and cleaning the glass door.

You should also avoid leaving grease for too long and immediately address any food spillages or debris once the oven has cooled. After all, grease is one of the most common causes of oven smoke.

GLASS COOKTOP CARE

Keeping your range looking new is easy with proper cleaning. Watch this video to learn more about selecting the best cleaners, proper maintenance practices, and identifying the right cookware to use.

2. REMOVE ACCESSORIES TO CLEAN THEM

It's easier to clean the various components of your range or oven after you take them apart. But you won't need your screwdriver: we're simply talking about cleaning the oven racks, burner grates, baking trays, and any other item that's likely to end up covered in food residue.

For smaller items like burner grates, spray them generously with oven cleaner and seal them in a zip-top plastic bag overnight. The next day, wash them with soapy water before giving them a thorough rinse.

3. MAKE YOUR OWN OVEN-CLEANING SOLUTION

You may find that chemical oven cleaners have an overpowering smell and—more importantly—are not recommended by your oven's user manual, depending on the model. In that case, you may want to try concocting your own cleaning solution.

The simple combination of baking soda, white vinegar, and water is a time-tested household cleaning supply. It's natural, gentle, and unlike some chemical cleaners it won't leave behind a powdery residue that generates smoke when you use your oven again. Just remember not to spray directly on any raised knobs on your range, which could cause electrical issues. You should be able to remove the knobs and wash them separately.

4. PREVENT SPILLS AS THEY HAPPEN

Use high-sided baking and broiling pans to reduce the amount of grease, oil, and other debris that spray onto your oven's interior. You can also use spare baking trays or non-stick oven mats to catch drips or debris falling from higher shelves. Just make sure these trays or mats aren't so large that they impede the flow of air inside the oven.

To reduce the amount of food residue on the heating elements, leave at least three inches clearance for both the baking element (at the bottom) and the broiling element (at the top). The same applies to the burners in gas ovens.

HOW TO PERFORM A SELF-CLEAN CYCLE

Your oven may have a self-cleaning mode, which uses very high temperatures to burn off food debris. Once it's finished, simply let the oven cool then wipe out any bits of charcoaled food left behind.

MANUAL CLEAN OVENS

Manual Clean ovens do not have self-clean or steam clean features. Therefore, you will need to clean them by hand. Regularly wiping down the oven with mild soap and water (especially after cooking meat) will prolong the time between major cleanings.

For light food spills, soap, water, and a scouring pad should be all you need. Tougher spills might require a commercial oven cleaner made for use in a standard clean oven. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label. The job of cleaning a standard clean oven can be made easier by using household ammonia. Place 1/2 cup in a shallow glass or pottery container in a cold oven overnight. The ammonia fumes will help loosen the burned-on grease and food. Caution: Do not turn oven on while ammonia is inside.

If regular cleaning and maintenance hasn't addressed your oven problem, visit our oven and range troubleshooting page.

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