When the season means more time in the kitchen, the last thing you need is for your stove or oven to quit on you. Semi-regular maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring they will work when you need them most.
Keep a Schedule
Your stovetop gets dirty, you clean it—that’s just a normal part of cooking. When it comes to your oven, though, out of sight could end up out of mind. Make sure to clean your oven at least two to three times a year; more often if you use it frequently.
Be Aware of Electrical Hazards
You may be tempted to remove and scrub behind the knobs on your stove but think twice before you do. There are electrodes behind them that can be damaged by harsh chemicals, heavy scrubbing, or excess water, causing short outs and possibly even electrocuting you.
The same goes for electric ranges with open heating coils, as well as the inner workings of your oven. Always follow this rule of thumb: Be careful cleaning around attachments!
Oven Cleaning Conundrums
Is it self-cleaning? What does that even mean? Here’s the short version: A self-cleaning oven has a cycle that will superheat the oven over a period of time to incinerate any food particles inside. If you choose to use this function, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s suggested procedure. After it is complete and fully cooled, wipe down the inside to remove any remaining residue.
There are some who recommend against using a self-cleaning feature, stating that it can cause excess wear and tear on the inner workings. If you choose to clean a self-cleaning oven manually, make sure you use a cleaner designed specifically for self-cleaning ovens, as the wrong cleaner can cause more harm than good.
It’s also a good idea to either unplug your oven prior to cleaning manually inside. This is to eliminate any risk of electrocution, particularly if you’re using excess water.
If you are replacing a gas stove, experts recommend replacing the gas line as well. This is because the movement of disconnecting and reconnecting parts can cause damage to older lines and may put you at risk of leaks. Labor fees vary by contractor, so be sure to ask about the possibility ahead of time.
In the end, a little elbow-grease will go a long way toward increasing the lifetime of your range. Keep it up, and have a happy holiday!