An obvious choice for families across the UK thanks to the huge amount of space and flexibility, it is no wonder range cookers are heavily on the increase.
But with the size comes a little more upkeep. Ensuring you stay on top of the cleaning could also mean your new range cooker lasts longer, as it is less likely to break down if it is cleaner.
A range cooker comes in several different parts, so here is how to keep yours looking like new and ready for years of service.
Always ensure your cooker and hob are completely cool before cleaning to reduce injury
How you do this will depend on the type of range cooker you have. The most common options nowadays are gas and induction.
These have multiple components, and you will need to take care of each part separately and also in different ways.
Remove the cast iron supports and soak these in hot, soapy water to remove any grease and spills. They need to be washed by hand to ensure no coating wears away or they don’t discolour. You can use a scourer on any tough marks, but ensure they are fully dried before replacing so they don’t rust or become damaged.
The burner caps (the small plates which the flames edge around) can be removed and cleaned in the same manner, again ensuring they are dry before replacing.
The actual burners are often the most tricky part. You can’t really use hot water and soap on these as it will over-saturate the burner and possibly result in them failing to light in future. Instead, use a dedicated hob cleaner and follow instructions before wiping clean and allowing to air dry before replacing all parts. Something in a spray bottle may be easiest as you can control the amount of product you use.
If you need to unclog a burner, a small pin or paper clip should do the trick but be careful not to damage any parts. The actual hob itself is usually made from one piece of material, making it simple to wipe around the surface using a dedicated cleaner.
These are much easier, as they are one flat surface. But don’t go reaching for the abrasive scourers; this would scratch the surface and possible cause the induction hob to stop working.
Because of their design, they only turn on when an appropriate pan is in place, and they usually turn off if something spills which allows you to get rid of the mess ASAP, so they shouldn’t need too much cleaning. Warm soapy water should do the trick, and a clean cloth to buff them shiny afterwards.
The good news is, most modern ovens and cookers feature self-cleaning liners. These often use heat to dissolve any mess or spills, and then once the oven cools, the mess is easy to wipe or brush away with a dry cloth.
To use this feature, simply follow the instructions in your guidebook. Generally, you need to heat the unit to the maximum temperature for a set amount of time and then allow it to cool. Avoid using water or soap to clean these liners as it can cause the liner to wear away.
If yours does not have this feature or is an older model, remove the shelves and soak them in water, using a scourer to get them shiny. Always follow instructions in your user manual on how best to clean the oven walls if this is needed, but generally, a dedicated oven cleaner should work if left to soak then wiped away.
It can be a faff getting around all of the dials and controls, but you must never use scourers or anything abrasive as this can damage the unit or scrape away important information such as temperature markers. You may wish to use cotton buds or a small clean toothbrush to get into the more difficult spots.
- Clean little and often. This will make the job much easier and avoid grime building up too much, reducing the need for harsh chemicals
- Always patch-test the cleaning products you’re going to use first. Most should get the all-clear, but ensure there is no discolouration or damage caused before going all-in
- Think of your safety, too. Wear gloves and protective clothing when cleaning with any product. Also cover surrounding surfaces to avoid splashes and damage