Cleaning the Oven Before or After a Move
You have probably received a lot of moving advice, but there is one topic that no one seems to ever touch on: cleaning the oven. If you are moving out of a rental, you will need to clean your oven to ensure you get your deposit back. If you are moving out of a house you sold, it is common courtesy to do this for the new owners. As for your new home, you will want to clean it even if it looks clean. If you happen to be moving into a place that was left a mess then it is highly likely that your oven is going to be a project in itself. Cleaning the oven is not a chore you will necessarily enjoy, but you will appreciate actually having an oven that is cleaned and sanitized.
It is helpful to actually know what type of oven you are dealing with before you start. This will ensure that you know the best way to tackle the cleaning process.
Continuous cleaning ovens are coated with a special chemical mixture that burns off food as you cook at high temperatures. You never want to use abrasive cleaning supplies on these items because you can compromise the finish and the self-continuous cleaning action.
Unfortunately, just because an oven says it cleans continuously does not mean you won’t have a mess to clean. A spill can become a long-term fixture, if not cleaned promptly. So, if you are moving into a home with one of these ovens and it is dirty inside there is no telling how long that spill has been there.
A spray on/wipe off cleaner can be applied to a cool oven. Use a nylon net pad or nylon bristle brush to work the cleaner into the pores. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Use the nylon pad or brush to loosen the softened soil and rinse thoroughly with a clean, wet sponge. Be careful to not allow water to flow into the burner assembly. This is especially important if you have a gas oven. When all the water is blotted turn the oven on 475 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours, and remaining soil should be oxidized.
This variety has a smooth, shiny surface. When there is a spill it can be washed away with a hot, wet cloth once the oven cools. Of course, spills do not always get cleaned so promptly. Fortunately, this type of oven is pretty easy to clean and can take whatever you happen to throw at it. Grab your favorite cleaner and a non-scratch scrubber and put a little elbow grease to work. Always rinse away cleaning products with a solution of either baking soda and water or white distilled vinegar and water.
You will know if you have one of these ovens because it will likely have a locking lever on the handle that says it is for self-cleaning purposes. There may also be a self-cleaning option on the timer.
Self-cleaning ovens use a high heat cleaning cycle. It may even smoke a little, and when it is done there will be powdery ash in the bottom that needs to be wiped away. If you prefer to not use the self-cleaning function, just use a non-scratching scrubber with a solution of water and dish soap. Follow up with the vinegar and water rinse.
Make a Paste
The smartest moving advice you will get is to not work too hard! If you are exhausting yourself, trying to clean your oven, you are working too hard. If there is really serious buildup, make a thick paste of baking soda with a tiny bit of vinegar. Apply the paste, and allow it to sit a couple hours. It should soften the soil enough that a soft brush will scrub it away.