Electric or natural gas? Conventional, self-cleaning, or continuous-clean? Different kinds of convection ovens require varying cleaning and safety approaches. First, you’ll need to determine what kind of range you have and what energy source heats the oven.
Oven, continuous-cleaning: Rough, porous interior surfaces distinguish these ranges from their conventional or self-cleaning cousins, which typically have interiors finished in enameled steel or stainless steel. The interiors of continuous-clean ovens still require some hand cleaning now and then to keep them functioning well.
Oven, conventional: A basic electric or gas range that must be cleaned manually.
Oven, self-cleaning: Self-cleaning ranges have a high-heat cycle that incinerates baked-on grease and spills to an ash that can be swept out and wiped clean once all has cooled.
Use the following link to view instructions for cleaning a microwave oven.
Following are some tips applicable to many convection ranges:
- Extinguish the gas oven’s pilot light, if you have one, before cleaning conventional or self-cleaning ovens by hand. Some gas models are pilotless, using energy-saving igniters or spark systems to light the gas. The harsh chemicals used in oven cleaning aren’t normally flammable by themselves, but it’s best to keep them away from flame and unnecessary heat. Remember to re-light the pilot (if your oven has one) when done cleaning.
- Don’t try to clean the door gasket on any oven with anything, not even water. Doing so can degrade the seal. Damage the seal, and the oven will leak excessive amounts of heat – and airborne grease! However, it’s a good idea to clean the metal edges outside the gasket before cleaning the inside of the oven – that is, before heat has a chance to bake on the grime. Use a white nylon scrubbing pad and general-purpose household cleaner or a baking-soda paste to break up greasy deposits, while being careful to avoid contact with the front edge of the door seal. Try using an old toothbrush if the metal surface between the gasket and edges is too narrow for a regular scrubbing pad. Clean steel door surfaces that mate with the gasket in the same way, but be sure these surfaces are rinsed and dried completely before closing the door.
- Remove oven racks before starting to clean the oven’s interior. Lightly spattered racks can be cleaned in the sink with a white nylon scrubber and a solution of hot water, hand dishwashing liquid, and a small amount of ammonia.
Caution: Ammonia will darken aluminum or nickel-plated racks permanently, so test racks and parts in an inconspicuous area for a few minutes before using any ammonia.
- Place badly soiled racks in a heavy-duty plastic trash bag with a half-cup (120 ml) of ammonia added, tie the top of the bag, and leave it outside the house for several hours or overnight. You may also spread out newspapers and brush oven cleaner on the racks, wrap them in the newsprint, and then tie the bags closed. Leave them outside for a few hours. Wear protective gear – long sleeves, rubber gloves, and eye protection – while performing this cleaning task.
Warning: Ammonia is a strong irritant that can cause serious injury to the eyes and respiratory system. While working with ammonia, always wear a mask as well as skin and eye protection, and ensure adequate ventilation. A large portable fan directed at the work site will provide plenty of fresh air.
Warning: Use either ammonia OR oven cleaner – NOT both at the same time! Chemicals in different cleaning products should never be mixed together. Put the bags in a safe place, away from small children or pets. In the morning, untie the bags outdoors, and stand back to let them air out for a couple of minutes. Put on protective gloves and eyewear, and rinse the racks using a garden hose.
- Use ammonia to clean the glass window in the oven door. Clean the window before starting to work on the interior. Allow the ammonia to stand on the glass surface for several minutes. Remove any food or grease remaining on the glass after this time with a single-edged razor blade housed in a handle, scraping in one direction only to avoid scratching the glass. Rinse well until all ammonia odor is gone, and then dry well.
Don Aslett, The Cleaning Encyclopedia: Your A to Z Illustrated Guide to Cleaning Like the Pros.