I'm an appliance expert
SOME household chores are worse than others - and cleaning the oven has to be one of those we put off the most.
As a result the grease and grime becomes stubborn and tricky to clean.
Here, Domestic & General appliance expert Ed Knox gives his tips on the best ways to keep your oven sparkling clean for minimum effort, and without always having to rely on harsh chemicals...
Firstly, how often should you actually deep clean the oven? It's not actually required as often as you may think.
Ed says: "Cleaning your oven is an important task which removes grease, stuck-on food and other waste which risks attracting harmful bacteria.
"How often you take on this task really depends on how you use it.
"For example, if you are cooking regular meals, baking in the oven, regularly hosting dinners, then your oven will of course be in greater need of a clean.
"But for most people, every six months on average is enough, and if you use your oven more heavily, every three to four months may be preferable.
"If you decide to do the unthinkable, and avoid cleaning your oven altogether, it can lead to dirt and grime building up and blocking air vents, affecting how well the oven works such as cooking at irregular temperatures."
If left for too long, it can feel like the only option is to invest in heavy-duty chemicals to get the oven sparkling - but that's not the only option.
Ed says: "There are various products out there for cleaning your ovens, so it really depends on the type of cleaning solution that you’re most comfortable with, from chemical cleaners to organic methods.
"If you’re wary of using chemical cleaners, there are also recipes online that recommend a mix of water, baking soda and white vinegar.
"Always remember to lay out newspaper or an old towel to protect the kitchen floor before you start cleaning your oven."
You can also limit the amount of actual mess created when cooking.
Ed says: "Cover food during cooking to stop splashes and spills.
"If you notice food spills, wipe them away before tackling any burnt ones.
"Cover the burnt areas in your preferred cleaning product then leave for a few minutes.
"Make sure to check the instructions on your cleaner if store-bought, for tips on how to apply the cleaner and exactly how long to let it soak.
"Avoid getting any cleaner on the oven's heating element.
"Use a damp rag or microfibre cloth to wipe away the product. You can remove larger pieces of food with a plastic spatula or scraper."
You have options for cleaning the oven door glass, and Ed recommends a baking soda and vinegar mixture.
He says: "Spray the inside of the door with your cleaner then use a damp cloth to wipe away the dirt and grease.
"Make sure to use one that is nonabrasive — to avoid scratching.
"If the door is filthy, coat it with a mix of baking soda and water. Let this paste sit for twenty minutes before removing it with the cloth.
"If you are using a chemical oven cleaner, check the instructions to see if you can use it on the glass as some cleaners are too strong and abrasive, leading all your hard work to cracks or shattering."
To keep the outside of the oven sparkling, Ed says: "Spritz the outside of your oven door with glass cleaner and wipe the glass with a damp, nonabrasive cloth in a circular motion until the grime has disappeared.
"To finish, buffer the glass with a clean, dry cloth.
"To clean the oven knobs, pull them off and let them soak in a bowl of white vinegar or hot, soapy water.
"Rinse them under water then leave them to dry for a few minutes on an old towel.
"While they’re drying, use a sponge to clean the area where the knobs would usually sit.
"If you find that you have residue that just won’t budge, just add a pinch of baking soda to the sponge."
Finally, the best way to keep on top of oven cleaning, is to do little, and often each time you use it.
Ed says: "Clean spills as soon as the oven's cool enough to do so, and don't forget to clean the oven drawer, which can be home to crumbs.
"For cleaning underneath and behind the oven, remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for moving the appliance first."SOME household chores are worse than others - and cleaning the oven has to be one of those we put off the most. Clear out the chemicals Food spillsKeep the oven door clean Baking soda secret Daily routine