For most people, the oven is a crucial part of daily kitchen routines. Whether you’re whipping up a batch of holiday treats or you’re simply getting a head-start on tonight’s dinner, the oven is an incredibly useful home appliance. For this reason, it can be a real headache when your oven stops working. There’s a variety of reasons for an oven breaking, many of which are not easy to diagnose, and most of which are difficult to fix.
The good news? With a little basic upkeep and maintenance, you can prolong the life of your oven significantly and protect yourself from most emergencies in the future. Here are Starfix’s top tips on how to maintain your oven.
1. Regularly clean your oven
Like with any appliance, cleaning your oven is one of the best ways to make sure it stays in good working order. It’s normal for messes to accumulate in our ovens over time. Baking pies might bubble over, or the drippings from your Sunday night roast might overflow. Spills of any kind will normally wind up on the sides or bottom of your oven, gradually getting crispier and harder to remove each time the oven is used. This not only creates a mess of petrified food debris, but also the constant reburning can add a nasty taste to anything else being cooked in the oven post-spill.
We recommend getting in there and cleaning the oven semi-regularly to avoid the hassle of a major mess. The longer you put this chore off, the more difficult it will become. Depending on how often you use your oven, it’s recommended that twice a year is good enough for most households. However, if you’re using your oven all the time, you might want to bump this number up to three or four times annually.
2. Make use of the self-clean feature
You’re probably in agreement when we say that more appliances should have this feature—so why not take advantage of it with your oven? If your oven’s interior has built up a lot of spilled food or grease, you can save yourself a bit of elbow-grease by turning the self-clean on first. Once the cleaning cycle is done (and the oven has cooled down) we recommend getting in there to finish the job with a quick wipe-down, as it may not always entirely clean the oven. One thing to note is that you should never leave the house while leaving the oven to self-clean, as it can be a potential fire hazard.
3. Only clean your oven when it’s unplugged
This one is more of a precaution, but it’s still a good practice to follow. Electric ovens are, of course, electric, meaning they won’t play nice with water and liquid cleaners. You don’t need to cut the power to wipe the stove or clean the glass on the door, but if you’re planning on a deep cleaning to the inside of the oven, we highly recommend playing it safe and disconnecting it first.
4. Take precautions to avoid major baking messes
No one likes the look (or smell) of built up spills, grease, and food debris accumulating in the bottom of an oven. In addition to using the self-clean feature or cleaning it manually every so often, we recommend taking a few simple precautions to mitigate messes and save yourself some time later on. For instance, if you’re baking a pie, consider putting a baking sheet underneath it to catch anything that bubbles over. You’ll have to wash an extra dish, but we guarantee it’ll still be easier than cleaning it out of your oven.
5. Keep an eye on the door gaskets
The rubber seals, or gaskets, around your oven door are one of the most common points of failure for these appliances. It’s normal for the rubber of these gaskets to deteriorate over time with normal use, which can result in compromising the seal on the inside of the oven. This will lead to the unit not containing heat properly, messing with the internal temperature and possibly making cooking more difficult. Give the gaskets a visual inspection every so often, wiping them clean of any spills or debris. Also check for any cracks, holes, or missing rubber pieces, as these are signs the gaskets might need to be replaced.
6. Keep the space below and behind the oven clean and clear
Under the oven is a place that no one really likes to think about. It’s usually the home of forgotten macaroni noodles and countless crumbs. However, regularly pulling the oven away from the wall and giving this space a good clean is a great way to ensure your appliance stays in working order. This is because your oven needs a bit of space for airflow, allowing it to work properly. Over time the oven can shift in place, or air intakes can be blocked by crumbs, dust, and food debris. Not only can this damage your oven, but also it could become a potential fire hazard. Save yourself the risk and clean out this area at the same time you clean the rest of the oven.
As you can see, oven maintenance is much easier to do yourself than oven repair. With just a few simple maintenance tips, you’ll be significantly expanding the lifespan of your oven, and you’ll greatly reduce the odds of needing a repair technician in the near future.
However, if you are experiencing an oven problem of any kind, whether it’s not turning on, not heating properly, or anything else, don’t lose hope. Starfix has years of experience in diagnosing and repairing electric kitchen ovens and ranges, regardless of the problem. If you have more questions about maintaining your oven, or need to get in touch with a qualified repair company straight away, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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