Cleaning the oven is considered one of the least-appealing chores around the home. Yes, it’s tiresome, laborious and kind of nasty, but a sparkling oven is crucial to ensure your kitchen runs smoothly.
Easily put off yet incredibly rewarding once it’s done, it’s pretty safe to assume that cleaning the oven is one of your least favourite chores right behind scrubbing the toilet and taking out the rubbish bin.
You may not know it, but a clean oven can conserve your home’s energy expenditure and make your roast dinners taste better, says Ivelina Ivanova, cleaning expert at Fantastic Services.
Here, Ivelina shares the seven signs you need to look out for that indicate it’s time for you to whip out the oven cleaner, stat.
1. If smoke is coming from the stove
Smoke in the kitchen is never a good sign, so if your appliances begin to let off that telltale smell, then you know it’s time to take action immediately.
“Built-up food debris and grease can burn and emit smoke, which will not only ruin the taste of food but may expose you to health hazards, too,” she says.
2. If soot is coming from your gas oven
Perhaps the most important sign to look out for. Soot coming from a gas oven could indicate a carbon monoxide leakage, says Ivelina.
“The gas is completely colourless and scentless and can’t be detected with a plain eye if leaking.
“Carbon monoxide is very dangerous; it may even have fatal consequences. If you spot soot on your oven make sure to immediately call a professional to inspect it and clean it.”
Do not try to clean it on your own.
3. If something doesn’t smell right
It may sound obvious, but an unpleasant odour from the oven should definitely tell you it’s time to get scrubbing.
“The residues of food scraps will also generate a smoke that will infuse your food with a strong, bitter taste while cooking.”
And who would want that?
4. If you can’t see inside the oven
We’d hope it never gets to this point, but guys, if you can’t even see your oven racks through the food splatters on the door, “it’s clearly time to clean it”.
“You certainly don’t want all that grease and dirt getting in your food. Yes, the high temperature will kill any bacteria from the debris, but it’s still gross.”
5. If the food doesn’t taste good
“If the oven is dirty, all the grime burning inside while you’re cooking your food will begin to infuse it with a less-than-pleasant flavour,” says Ivelina.
A clean appliance will improve the taste of your food drastically, and a delicious meal will always take precedence over a half-hour spent scrubbing the inside of your oven.
6. If it takes longer to preheat
Don’t dismiss your appliance taking far longer to heat up as old age – the slow burn could, in fact, be down to its simple need for a good scrub.
“An oven that needs a clean may even start to malfunction. If you notice that your appliance is taking a long time to preheat, then this can be a clear sign that you need to clean it.”
See more: How to clean your oven
7. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned it
Can you remember the last time you gave your appliance a good scrub?
Ivelina says we should get to work on the oven every three months, with regular wipe downs as spills occur.
“Cleaning food debris and grease is not a pleasant task for anyone. Of course, you can turn to professionals to save yourself some time and nerves.”