Are you giving your oven or range the care it needs to remain in peak operating condition? Now is a great time to start, with these oven maintenance tips from appliance pros. Staying on top of oven maintenance could save you from unnecessary repairs or premature oven replacement.
Eight Important Oven Maintenance Tips
Enhance your unit’s efficiency and extend its potential lifespan with these simple oven and range maintenance tasks:
Replace range burners if necessary.
If the burners are a mess, the appliance’s performance will suffer. Do you see red-hot spots or blemishes on the burner coils? Even a small spot that’s bright red during cooking could be a sign that it may short out. This can greatly damage the burners and the oven. Replace damaged burners immediately to avoid costly repairs.
Avoid getting liquid behind knobs.
Water and cleaning solution shouldn’t meet electricity. When cleaning your oven or range, unplug it or turn off that switch at the circuit breaker first. For best results, avoid squirts of water or cleaner behind oven knobs. The liquid can seep in and cause an electrical short. Instead, use a dry microfiber cloth, or lightly spray a rag with liquid cleaner to remove caked-on debris.
Clean the oven regularly.
In busy households, this oven maintenance tip is often overlooked. However, the gunk and grime from cooking makes your oven less efficient, less accurate, and not as safe. If you spill or splatter food in the oven, wipe it up as soon as the oven cools down. Additionally, a thorough cleaning is recommended two to four times a year.
Here are the steps for proper oven cleaning:
- Unplug the oven or shut off its switch at the circuit breaker.
- Wipe down the exterior of the stove and oven, including the knobs and door gasket.
- Scrub down the inside of the oven with a degreasing agent or soapy water.
- Soak burners and grates in hot, soapy water before scrubbing away the residue.
- Remove hood fan filters and soak them in hot, soapy water or a degreasing agent.
- Rinse and dry everything thoroughly before restoring power to the oven.
Keep in mind, if you don’t have a range hood, the steam and grease in your kitchen will wear down your range faster—not to mention it could mess up your indoor air quality, a topic in which one of our fellow Neighborly brands, Aire Serv, is an expert. Consider the best range hoods to keep your kitchen ventilated.
Additionally, see how cleaning fits into caring for all your appliances.
Use self-cleaning mode sparingly (and correctly).
Always consult the oven manufacturer’s instructions before using the self-cleaning feature. Use the feature only once or twice a year, following our tips for making your self-cleaning oven less smelly. Afterward, wait six hours. Then unplug the oven before wiping down the inside with a solution of white vinegar and water. Allow it to dry thoroughly, with the oven door open, before plugging in the appliance.
Check for leaks in the gas line.
Did you install a new oven without getting a new gas line? It’s a good idea to check for leaks as part of your regular gas oven maintenance. The easiest way to detect a leak is to use an electronic leak detector. If you suspect you may have a leak, close the gas valve to the appliance, open your windows, and contact your gas company right away. Mr. Rooter—Mr. Appliance’s fellow Neighborly brand—is a reliable provider of gas line installation.
- Lubricate blower motor oil cups.
The blower motor is one of the most crucial components of the oven. If your oven’s blower motor has oil cups (like some larger or older units do), you will need to lubricate them with approximately five drops of oil once every six months, or according to the owner’s manual. Avoid over-lubricating, which can cause additional performance problems.
Do not overload or crowd the oven.
Overloading the oven decreases its performance and increases the risk of fire. The heated air inside the oven cannot circulate freely if the racks are crammed full, or if the bottom is lined with aluminum foil. Instead of trying to cook too much at one time, stagger cooking times in the oven, and keep food items warm on the stovetop by covering them with a lid or foil. This is really a best practice for usage, rather than range maintenance.
Inspect gaskets and the door lock.
The oven door gasket (seal) and door lock both work to keep heat inside the oven. With time, both components can become deformed or defective, which allows heat to escape and makes cooking times less predictable. When performing oven maintenance, inspect the gaskets and door lock. If they are not working like they should or they appear to be damaged, replacement is necessary, so your oven does not have to work too hard.