It’s not always clear which parts of your house your housekeeper will clean when you first hire them. The best practice is to have them come to your home before your first cleaning job. Walk them through different parts of the house, and tell them what you would like cleaned. They’ll tell you if they normally clean that part of the house or if they charge extra to clean it. You’ll also be able to tell them things you don’t want cleaned. For example, if you have fragile items that you can’t replace, it might be best to just clean them yourself. Along the way, they’ll tell you if they clean ovens. Typically, housekeepers clean the outsides of ovens but they don’t clean the inside. Cleaning the inside is a pretty difficult task. If they do clean it, or if they clean it for a fee, you can save some money by doing a pre-clean yourself.
How to Pre-Clean Your Oven
Cleaning your oven can make it much easier for your housecleaner when he or she arrives. In some cases, house cleaners actually won’t clean an oven that’s too dirty. So, a good pre-clean might be essential. The easiest way to accomplish this is to run the self-cleaning cycle on your oven. When you read about self-cleaning ovens, some will swear by them and others will suggest that you should never use the cycle. If you follow the instructions on your oven, it will likely work out fine.
Take out the racks and any type of oven liner. Also, take any pots or pans off the range on top of the oven. Don’t use any type of chemical oven cleaner before the cleaning cycle, and make sure that any pets or children are out of the area. When you turn on the cycle, it will heat up the oven to an excess of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The process can take between an hour and six hours. As it burns off anything stuck on the oven, it will likely create smoke. So you’ll need to stick around to open windows, direct fans, and otherwise ventilate the area. After the process is finished, you’ll likely have ashes on the bottom of the oven. You’ll need to wait an hour or more for the oven to cool down. Sweep the ashes into a dustpan, and the oven is ready to be cleaned by the house cleaner.
Cleaning It Yourself
If you don’t have a self-cleaning cycle or if it worries you, you can also use a pan of water. Put a pan of water on the center rack of the oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to run for at least an hour. That will create steam inside the oven to loosen grease and grime. After that, allow the oven to cool. Scrub it with a damp brush and allow it to dry.
Lastly, you can use a commercial oven cleaner. If you use an oven cleaner, you’ll need to follow the instructions on the cleaner. Use a face mask and gloves because they can be very caustic. Typically, you will heat the oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and then turn it off. Spray the oven cleaner, allow it to sit, and then wipe it clean.