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When food starts to taste differently after cooking and it gets to the point where the self cleaning function of the oven doesn't remove ANY of the burnt on food, you know the oven needs something dramatic to get it clean. Unfortunately this was the state of our oven when moving into our new home. I bought Mr Muscle Oven Cleaner (the stuff that states 'No Scrubbing Required') but after 6 attempts in one night (I didn't want to use anything too abrasive to get through the layers of food) and inhaling some pretty toxic fumes, there was very little difference made. I ended up asking my mum for some advice and this is what she gave me.
Oven Mate is spectacular.
The 500ml bottle is very easy to use - it does have a safety cap but as per instructions, if you do have kids around to keep it well out of their reach as I can imagine this would do some pretty serious damage. It comes with a brush (pretty much a pastry brush) with nylon bristles and a pair of gloves although I just ended up wearing marigolds.
The oven cleaner itself is a gel which is like a thick bleach without the smell. It's not watery but at the same time incredibly easy to paint the surface of the oven. I had a large area of burnt on food so I made sure to test it first to make sure I wasn't going to ruin the oven surface and that it wasn't going to react with the Mr Muscle cleaner previously used (there was a 3 day break between them though). It also does state it shouldn't be used on self cleaning ovens but I was getting desperate!
After my first attempt of spreading the gel I found that it only took a few minutes for it to start working. The brush started staining dark brown but I left it for about 30 minutes as I knew it would take a few attempts to get anywhere close to being clean. Wiping the gel away with a damp cloth I could easily tell that it was doing a better job than Mr Muscle had in 6 attempts. The cloth was covered in brown goo. The brush and cloth were very easily rinsed under cold water for the next attempt. The second attempt I ended up leaving on for about an hour and again I could see it was making a huge difference. I was still left with a lot of baked on food/grease/oil but I was far more confident that I wasn't going to ruin the oven when I did choose to leave it on overnight. I think this was where the Mr Muscle failed as it could only be left on for a max of 30 minutes. So for the third time in one night, the gel was painted on and left for about 12 hours.
Wiping the goo away the next morning I was surprised at just how little was left of the burnt food. It did still need at least one more attempt but it was doing an incredible job of getting through all those layers of food. This was then left on for about 3 hours and wiped away easily. Thankfully the sides of the oven were only splashed with dirt so didn't take as much effort.
At long last the oven was clean! (Well the main oven anyway!)
Although you do still have to be very careful using the gel as it could cause serious burns, it was far less likely to cause injury compared to the Mr Muscle aerosol. I wasn't as worried about it splashing my clothing and there was absolutely no scent to it at all which meant when it did come time to use the oven I wasn't worried about food then having a citrusy taste. After those 6 previous attempts with Mr Muscle my throat was hurting from the fumes whereas Oven Mate caused no reaction. Also with my oven taking 400ml of water to self clean (which basically meant most of the burnt on food was pooled in the centre) the gel didn't run and gather in the centre so I could still easily clean the areas around it whereas Mr Muscle oven cleaner foams and then almost turns into liquid so would run to the middle.
From the instructions it seemed that the wire racks could be a little hit or miss as it can react with chrome so again I had to test the racks before cleaning fully. This wasn't as easy to do with the brush as you don't tend to get such an even application without some of it dripping. Thankfully they were not as badly caked on with burnt food so even when left on for a short time cleaned up incredibly well. Unfortunately with the design of them it's not as easy to get into all the corners when wiping with the cloth so did have to be rinsed in the sink.
As you can probably tell, the oven was pretty disgusting and I knew I would be cleaning it far more often than had obviously previously been done so there wouldn't be any chance of it getting to that state again to need to use the gel multiple times. I knew though that if I did need a little extra help than just water I wouldn't be going back to Mr Muscle. Oven Mate is priced at £7.99 which is more expensive than Mr Muscle but if your oven is as bad as mine was, it's very possible you'd use far less of the gel than the aerosol.
Mums really do know best!
I think I had lived in my flat for approx 6 months without giving a second thought to how clean the oven was...then one day I went to put a pizza in, actually seen the grime and felt quite ill!
The next day I went straight to lakeland and purchased Oven Mate as it was marketed as a best seller and promised great results. Priced at £7.99 I did think it was quite expensive but that was probably the price I would have to pay to cut through the grease and grime in the oven!
Excited about my new purchase (I'm quite sad and love a good cleaning project) I got home and got stuck in straight away. In the box I found a bottle of oven cleaning gel (500ml), a pair of protective gloves and a little brush.
After a quick read over the instructions, I got to work. The brush is a great tool as you first need to apply the gel to all the surfaces inside the oven and leave it to soak in (the length it should be left is dependant on how dirty your oven is). The brush is used as an applicator and I found this very useful as it ensured you applied a thick layer of the cleaning gel evenly. The gel itself is thick and it can be quite harsh on your skin so I would definitely recommend wearing the gloves.
After I had painted the gel onto the inside of my oven, I left it to soak for a couple of hours. Whilst there is a distinct smell to the gel, I didn't find this overpowering when I left the gel to soak in which is a definite bonus. I then approached the oven with a bowl of hot water and a cloth ready to be dazzled by my sparkly oven...and I wasn't disappointed!
I needed a significant amount of warm water to wash off the gel as it is quite thick. I found that when I wiped away the gel the grime was wiped away with it...no elbow grease required (fantastic!). This is quite a messy job as you do end up with a lot of dirty thick gel to wash off but it is completely worth it.
Once I had cleaned off the gel my oven looked gorgeous. I did notice a couple of days later that there were a few patches of powdery white residue where I hadn't completely cleaned off the gel but these were easily wiped away. I also have approx 4 more applications left in the bottle so this is good value for money!
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with this product and would definitely recommend to anyone who wanted to give their oven a good clean! The only thing I would like with it is someone to clean the oven too :)
In my bid to keep my new kitchen spangaly and clean. I popped into Lakeland, I totally love this shop and am a little bit addicted to it. I think it is because it makes me feel like a domestic goddess if I shop there, although I always come out with stuff they made me think I couldn't live without. Anyway, back to my new oven. I wanted to buy a decent oven cleaner that would be easy to use and more importantly work . Here is how I got on....
The oven mate comes in a box with everything you need to get your oven sparkly. You get the solution, some latex disposable gloves and a little stubby brush. There are also easy to follow instructions.
Using it - The most important thing is to wear the gloves provided, it really is strong stuff and I got a little bit on my hand and it started stinging straight away, I do have sensitive skin but even so !!
The lid is child safety capped so you need to squeeze and turn, I found this really tricky so it would be very hard for people with arthritis or limited strength in their hands. Although it is a good safety feature as it is highly corrosive.
The oven cleaner is in the form of a clear gel, the top of the bottle is a thin nozzle so this stops you from going heavy handed and wasting it.
You use the little brush to 'paint' on the gel. You can use it on all the trays, shelves, sides and bottom of the oven. You can also use it on glass doors and metal hob rings etc. The only thing you need to be careful about it touching is the rubber seal around the door, if it touches this it can corrode it quite quickly.
The gel goes on clear and the idea is that when it turns brown, it is ready to be wiped off. As my oven was fairly new on it's first application it only took about fifteen minutes. The instructions say anything between three minutes to three hours, it depends on how much cleaning it has to do.
I bought it to my mums to do her oven. Her oven hadn't been cleaned for about 5-6 months and the silver shelves were brown. I didn't really expect the oven mate to totally clean them, but by golly it did. It took about an hour and a half and then I wiped it off, it was like magic. A few bits needed a little scrub but in general it just came up sparkling, we were both really shocked.
It can be quite a messy job, Lakeland do sell a special tray for the trays and shelves to go in whilst being cleaned but I don't really have anywhere to store it, so I clean mine in the bath.
It is quite expensive for an oven cleaner at £8.49 but there is enough in the bottle for approx 3 applications and it really is amazingly good and leaves you with very little scrubbing, if any. So actually I think it is pretty good value especially considering the amount I have spent over the years on oven cleaners that just do not work.
I would recommend this to anyone with an oven, you won't believe how good it is.
You can buy this little beauty in Lakeland shops or online. There is a £4.95 postage charge for online orders under £50.
A job I absolutely hate but which obviously has to be done is cleaning the oven. I have over the years tried all kinds of products with a greater or lesser level of success and have started using this one.
An oven, grill pan and barbecue cleaner, this promises to remove the most stubborn baked on grease oil and fat from most cooking surfaces. It promises me that I won't have to scrub and will not leave any of those awful oven cleaning smells.
PRODUCT AND PACKAGING
The product comes in a 500ml blue bottle with a red child safety top. All of the warnings instructions and information are clearly shown on the plastic bottle. It also comes with a brush ready to spread the product all over those dirty surfaces.
The product itself is a sort of thick gel which when brushed onto the surfaces looks as though it could almost be clear but then once it starts attacking the dirt it does very quickly go brown.
HOW DO I USE IT?
This has to be good. It promises me no more scrubbing so I want it to work.
Firstly, make sure that the oven is not hot
Shake the bottle and spread the product evenly with the brush provided. It suggests that the product should be spread to the thickness of the dirt to be removed, and then it should be left to work for anything between 3 minutes and 3 hours. I know when it's worked its magic because the product goes brown and I find that this is usually a lot less than 3 hours. Once it has gone brown, then just wipe it off with a cloth.
This is corrosive, so there are plenty of cautions, most of which are common sense.
* Wear protective clothing and don't get it on skin
* Keep away from children
* Dispose of the container safely
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Costing around £6 for 500ml this is readily available from online stores.
It hasn't made the task of oven cleaning any more pleasant but it does work. I usually leave it on for about an hour, and the dirt really does lift. When wiped with a cloth, there is lots and lots of brown gunk on the cloth, so the claim that it just needs to be wiped away isn't true- lots of cloths are needed.
The first time I used the product I found that I had to leave it working for longer, but now with fairly regular use, I can do a quick clean and the worst of the dirt comes off quite easily but still a lot of cloths required.
I tend to clean the oven when it's fairly warm outside so that I can leave the windows and door open, but the claim that there is no acrid smell seems to be true. Any smell there is is quite minimal and certainly doesn't leave me feeling as though I have been working with some really noxious substance.
An oven cleaner which works and which I would recommend.
Thanks for reading.
In an effort not to write review after review in exactly the same boring format, I decided to make this a live test. In other words, I'll be writing about my experience of this product as I use it! So if you're interested, check back in the course of the day to see how things are progressing. I should point out that my star rating is provisional, and may change.
I love messing about in the kitchen, and I cook a proper homemade meal from scratch most days. The result is that my oven often resembles a pigstye that has undergone some kind of arson attack. By January, after weeks of fatty Christmas cooking, it reaches a crisis point when even I can't ignore how disgusting it looks, and I have to don the Marigolds and start scrubbing.
In the past, I've found few oven cleaners up to the job. Some don't do any more than tickle the caked-on grime. Others reek when you use them, and pong even worse when you turn the cooker on for the first time afterwards. So in despair, I have turned to Lakeland to see if they can help.
**The Lakeland Answer**
Ovenmate is not a cheap product. It costs £7.99 for a bottle (though admittedly a large one - it will do at least two or three cleans of even the largest oven). It comes in a cardboard wrapper with a plastic paintbrush.
First things first: I change into my grungy pair of tracky bottoms and an old t-shirt. I look like Waynetta Slob, but I know this job is going to be filthy. Plus, the packet warns that Ovenmate will stain fabric. Then it's time for the Marigolds, because this product also has 'highly corrosive' warnings all over it!
On opening the packet, I'm pleased to see that this has a childlock for safety, and a non-spill spout so that when I inevitably knock it over, it won't go everywhere.
Squeezing it out the bottle, the substance inside has the texture and consistency of hair gel. It's completely clear and there's no scent at all from it, which bodes well.
Application is really easy - I just take the brush and paint away. The gel is thick enough to stick to the roof of the oven without falling off. It's really easy to apply - you just dab it on with the brush, and you can apply a thicker layer where grease has really built up. I manage to knock over the bottle not once but twice in the process - thank God for that nondrip spout!
**11.30am: The Wait**
It took me to covered my double oven. Now it's time to get back to writing while I wait for the gel to work its magic. This takes anything between 3 minutes (a very light clean) and 3 hours (for grease as deep as your ankles). I'm leaving it for the maximum length of time.
I have to admit I'm a bit sceptical about how well this will do the job. It didn't fizz, explode, smoke or show any other dramatic chemical sign of working when I put it on. I do wonder whether it'll manage to tackle the caked on mincemeat on the bottom!
**2.30pm: The Big Clean**
As the gel works, it gradually turns brown, with the result that you're wiping off a residue that bears more than a passing resemblance to lumpy gravy. It really clings to the surface, meaning you need to rinse the cloth over and over, and wipe like a mad person, to get rid of it all. If, like me, you have a built in oven at around torso height, cleaning the oven roof and back gets a bit difficult. However, moans aside, it did only take me about 30 minutes to wipe it all out, which isn't bad really.
However, the good news: THIS PRODUCT IS AMAZING! My oven is absolutely gleaming. The grease has gone! The grime has vanished! It looks almost brand new. Apart from a few very stubborn areas where a small spattering remains, it has really lifted all of the dirt. And it's not just the body of the oven, either. The steel trays are absolutely glittering now, and the glass oven door is also squeaky clean.
I noticed a definite corrolation between areas where I'd applied more gel and better cleaning power. The hard-to-reach spots at the back and on the roof weren't quite as spankingly fresh as the rest of the oven, but that's my bad for applying unevenly, not the product's fault. In future, I will make sure I coat the whole thing liberally.
A great oven cleaner that really works. I'd buy this again in a heartbeat over cheaper supermarket brands. Even though it's twice the price, it's more than twice as good.
This is the sort of mate to have around the house. Tough but friendly, providing great cleaning power without the need for high pressure hoses and head-to-toe protective clothing.
It works a treat. For £7.95 you get a box containing a 500ml plastic bottle, a nylon brush and a pair of thin plastic gloves. Shake the bottle, pull on the gloves, and use the brush to apply the contents of the bottle to the accumulated gunge in your oven. The stuff that comes out of the bottle is clear and gel-like in consistency. The instructions say to apply it "to the same thickness as the material to be removed" which I've always found a bit of a puzzle. I am far from being an everything-must-always-be-clean householder, but even I have trouble building up anything other than a very thin layer of brown stains in my oven. Anyway, when the oven is cold, paint the gel on the brown stains you want to be rid of, and leave it. Go away and do something else, preferably more life-enhancing. Come back in 30 minutes and you should see that all the gel you have applied has turned brown. Wipe it off, and your oven is back to its original colour. If it isn't, go back to writing your novel, and check again in another 30 minutes, up to 3 hours in total. Personally, I would say if it hasn't worked in an hour, wipe it off and reapply.
Some words of warning. Do use the rubber gloves. I am a bit gung-ho about rubber gloves and cleaning fluids, although I did wear these as they were actually included in the pack. I splashed some of the gel on an exposed part of my wrist, and it left a weal like a burn mark which was painful for a day or two. It was, of course, a burn. This stuff is corrosive and can cause severe burns according to the packet. Being a gel, though, it doesn't splash, so you are only in danger if you are careless and slipshod like me. It contains potassium hydroxide, whatever that is, but it is written in large letters so not something to mess around with. Fortunately there is a child-proof cap. The instructions say that it can be used on every part of the oven, including glass doors, except self cleaning panels and door seals. Not to be used either on aluminium, brass, copper, anodised, teflon-coated or painted materials.
It does, of course, help if you wipe out your oven every time you use it, as soon as youve finished cooking. If you do this, I salute you, and no doubt if youre still reading at this point youre thinking what an idle so-and-so. This product is for the rest of us.
When your oven is sparkling you can turn your attention to the barbecue and clean it up before sticking it at the back of the garage for winter. Then have a go at the bases of pots and pans which always get scorched.
When applying this stuff to grill racks and pans, there is the issue of where to put them while it works its magic. You dont want to run the risk of damaging other surfaces, as this is quite powerful stuff. Lakeland, gadget conscious as ever, has come up with a plastic soaking tray which you can stash your racks and pots in while the chemicals go to work. These cost £9.99 and Lakeland says check your oven rack sizes before ordering.
Over the years I have used a variety of oven cleaners and this beats the lot. It has two specific advantages. The first is it works. The second is that using a brush means you can apply the gel directly to the area you want to clean, which is much more efficient than aerosols and sprays. I have always found the cross pieces of oven and grill racks particularly difficult but this stuff does the trick. There are no fumes, and no after-smell.
It's no use saying "use elbow grease". I've tried that too and it doesn't work for me at all. Sub standard elbows, or something. In any case, elbow grease needs to be applied with a scourer, and modern ovens have such delicate insides that scouring is a no-no. The instructions for my Bosch oven say "clean only with soap and water, do not use scourers or abrasives". Well, I'm sorry, but have they tried using soap and water on fat that has been baked on at 200ºC? A chemical, not physical, solution is required.
Although this stuff is expensive a little goes a long way, and there's no wastage as there can be with liquids, which flow away, or sprays, which cover a wider area than you need. If there isn't a Lakeland shop near you, you can use mail order or their on-line store.
So no need for excuses, no need for Kim and Aggie and no need to keep your oven door closed when your mother-in-law's around!