How to Clean Your Commercial Oven

Your oven is a workhorse, operating around the clock to put perfectly cooked food on customers’ plates. 

With all that works comes grease, grime and other debris that – if left unchecked – can cause major headaches including:

  • Flavour changes
  • Smoke
  • Unpleasant odours
  • Fire hazards
  • Badly cooked food
  • Downtime 

To avoid these problems, you need to clean your commercial oven properly. We teach you how.

The following tips can be applied to most commercial ovens. However, keep reading to learn individual cleaning requirements for different types of ovens.

1. Create a daily cleaning schedule

We get it, cleaning your oven at the end of a busy day is the last thing you or your staff will probably want to do. But see it like this – daily cleaning will save you a lot of time and anguish down the road. And it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking.

Concentrate on cleaning the hob and interior – these are the areas that cause the most problems if dirt and grime is left to build up. And clean in the evening so you can leave the oven doors open to dry overnight. 

2. Disconnect electrical power

Before you clean your commercial oven, remember to switch it off at the power source! Especially if you’re using water. And if you decide to clean early, make sure the oven and its hob has cooled off before you get to work. 

3. Curb crumbs

Just think about how quickly crumbs accumulate after a few midnight snacks in bed! Your oven is continuously being fed food that will no doubt leave crumbs, especially if you’re cooking things like pies, pastries and breaded produce. 

If you forget to clear away crumbs, they could cause a fire or smoke hazard the next day. Particularly if you’ve left crumbs to amass over a few days. Clear away food debris from the interior of your commercial oven after every shift. 

4. Remove racks

Your oven might not have racks but if it does … food will accumulate there. No worries! Just remove the racks so you can clean them separately. The best way to clean them is to dunk them in hot soapy water and wipe them down with a clean cloth. For stubborn stains, you could try using a stainless steel scouring pad, but be gentle to avoid leaving marks. 

5. Clean the walls and doors

Grease and grime will stick to your oven’s walls and doors over time. Left unchecked and it can cause a major fire hazard. To keep your commercial kitchen safe and hygienic, take the oven racks out (if you have them) and use warm water and a damp towel to clean your oven’s walls and doors. 

You might need to use an industrial-grade cleaner for tough stains. If you do, use it at night so the smell is gone by the morning. Also, pay careful attention to the areas with fans that promote airflow to boost your oven’s efficiency.

6. Create a monthly deep cleaning schedule

Daily cleaning will ensure your oven has its basic needs met. But over time, there will be areas of your oven that need some extra TLC. For this, you’ll need to create a monthly deep cleaning schedule. 

Hiring a professional cleaning service to deep clean your oven is smart. Especially when you’re busy, it can be difficult for your staff to maintain the level of deep cleaning needed.

A professional cleaning service will be able to tackle hard-to-clean places, such as the grease trap and exhaust fan. This will help to keep your oven in optimal condition, ensuring it’s 100% efficient while increasing its longevity. 

Cleaning tips for specific ovens 

Not all ovens are the same, as we talked about recently in our article: The Definitive Guide to Commercial Ovens

Below are some cleaning tips for a variety of ovens which should cover your needs. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for cleaning and maintenance best practices. For example, the manual might tell you which soaps are okay to use.

1. Convection ovens

Give special attention to cleaning the intake fan as food particles can get stuck there. This should be removed and cleaned every week. Also, check for loose hinges and low oil levels regularly.

2. Conveyor ovens

Remove different parts of your conveyor oven, such as crumb trays, draft diverters and the conveyor belt for individual cleaning. 

3. High speed ovens

Since food tends to splatter more in high speed ovens, you’ll need to clean messes as soon as they occur to avoid grime build-up. Make sure the oven has cooled down before cleaning! 

4. Combinations ovens

Remove the fan and clean it daily. And like standard ovens, take care of spills and food debris as soon as possible. You’ll also need to empty the steamer and delime it every week. 

5. Cook and hold ovens

Clean the fan blades daily as well as the heat transfer shelves to allow for maximum efficiency. You can use a scouring pad for harsh stains but never use steel wool. If you use a cleaning agent, remove all traces afterward with warm water. 

6. Steam oven 

Clean as you would a standard oven. But you’ll also need to clean the water drawer with a descaling agent. Your manual will show you how. Your steam oven might also have a water drawer cleaning function on the menu to help. 

Get the best out of your commercial oven 

Use these cleaning tips and enjoy the benefits of a fully operational and highly efficient commercial oven. Your catering business will thank you for it! Looking for more information on kitchen appliances? We’re more than happy to help. Call us on 0113 833 1234 or email us at info@northerncatering.co.uk.