Guide to Cleaning a Commercial Oven


Commercial appliances like ovens and grills should be part of your regular cleaning in a restaurant kitchen. This is one of the most used appliances in a commercial kitchen that can get dirty quickly so keeping them clean through regular and deep cleaning is essential to maintaining health and safety and the longevity of the oven.

According to the Office of National Statistics appliances like ovens are the most common cause of house fires with 1 in 5 houses catching fire every year. This is a result of the grease and grime on oven racks that isn’t regularly cleaned causing the build up to combust under high temperatures.

Dirty ovens can also affect the quality of the food cooked within, making the food you produce taste bad. This is a result of the grime and food debris leftover inside of the oven, creating carbon monoxide-based fumes that can be absorbed into the food being cooked.

Regularly cleaning your kitchen oven can also contribute to prolonging the life of this piece of kitchen equipment. Doing this prevents damage to the heating elements.

What Items Are Required for Cleaning a Commercial Oven?

Before we discuss the steps it takes to clean a commercial oven, let’s examine the cleaning equipment and tools required in this cleaning.

To clean an oven safely and effectively you will need the following tools/ equipment:

  •       Gloves – to protect you from harsh chemicals like degreasers, which can be either acidic or alkaline.
  •       Wipes – are used to clear out the oven’s interior and clean the oven shelving. You can also use warm water and soap to clean any grease that may be caked on.
  •       Sponges – should be used on any areas where the grease is not coming out with the wipe. It’s important to avoid sponges with a scouring pad as this will scratch your cooking equipment.
  •       Chemicals – like oven degreasers and detergent should be used when oven cleaning. This is what helps to break down food particles and grime from the inside of your oven and from the stainless steel oven racks.


Steps for Deep Cleaning Your Commercial Oven

Here are some steps you can use for cleaning your commercial oven:

  1. Your first step in cleaning an oven should be to turn off your oven by disconnecting the power and any gas lines and let it cool down. This is to protect against potential burns.
  2. Remove oven racks, trays and any other removable components. Removing any pieces from inside the oven will allow you to clean the oven’s interior more thoroughly.
  3. Next you will want to soak in soapy water, wash and use a degreaser in a separate tub to clean the oven racks, trays and any other removable pieces. It’s important to avoid sponges with scouring pads, steel wool and wire brushes at this step as they will scratch stainless steel.
  4. After you’ve removed the trays and oven racks, you will want to remove any crumbs from the bottom of the oven. Doing this will help with the cleaning process.
  5. After you have removed all the crumbs and food debris, you can begin cleaning the inside of the oven. You will want to wipe down the sidewalls and the oven door using an oven cleaner and wiper. In extreme cases where the grime isn’t being removed by the oven cleaner, you may have to use a heavy-duty degreaser that will breakdown the built-up grease.
  6. Once your oven and the interior components are dry, reinstall the racks and turn on the oven to ensure the oven is working as normal.

Things To Remember When Cleaning a Commercial Oven

While cleaning an oven has steps that you should follow, there are a few things that you should avoid or keep in mind that will help with the overall maintenance of your oven.

  •       There are different ways to clean different kinds of ovens. A pizza oven, microwave oven, combi oven and a convection oven are just 4 different ovens that are often used in restaurants.
  •       Keeping your oven clean will allow you to notice if there are any problems with your oven like issues with airflow and heating. If there are any issues you may be able to return your oven for a new one if it’s within its warranty.
  •       Many newer ovens have a self-cleaning feature where the oven is heated to a high temperature, turning any grease into a powdering ash that can be simply wiped away. Self-cleaning ovens can help the amount of scrubbing that goes into traditional oven cleaning but can take 2-4 hours to complete the cleaning process.
  •       You can use the same techniques and commercial cleaners on other appliance in the commercial range of your restaurant kitchen like a deep fryer, burners, stove top, a griddle and even a gas stove and achieve the same results.
  •       There are many diy oven cleaners, mostly used with baking soda which is actually alkaline like most degreasers, explaining why this method works to breakdown and remove grease from an oven.
  •       It’s important to remember to review the oven manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and wear protective equipment like gloves, masks and shoe protectors if needed.
  •       Review the cleaning chemical safety instructions to ensure you and your staff understand the hazards and correct way to apply the chemicals.

Choosing the Right Oven Cleaning Products

When choosing the right oven cleaning chemicals that you will use to clean your commercial oven, it’s important you choose the right range of products to prevent an ineffective cleaning outcome, especially in a foodservice environment where health and safety are necessary to any restaurant.

Commercial Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaners and degreasers appear in many different forms and are most likely made of alkaline chemicals. Alkaline chemicals have a pH level ranging from 7 to 14 making them effective as a corrosive which is best used in cleaning organic stains like greases, wax, oil build-up and dirt. This is because they need to be able to readily remove grease and fat from ovens, hot plates, grills, deep fryers and range hoods.

Kwikmaster Professional’s Heavy Duty Oven and Grill Cleaner is composed of 4 chemicals. The first and second chemicals to appear in the ingredients list is sodium hydroxide and potassium

hydroxide which are both corrosive agents that are great at breaking down grease. Triethanolamine is added as an emulsifier used to help mix two chemicals together. The final ingredient used in this cleaning chemical is C8/C10 alkyl polyglycoside which increases the formation of foam in the product. 

Daily Cleaning Tips

To maintain your oven cleanliness, wipe down the door, handle and remove any crumbs from the base of the oven, once the oven has cooled down and won’t be used for the remainder of the day. Ensure any trays are cleaned before the next day and put back in the oven. 

When spills and boil-overs occur, manage them immediately to ensure the performance of your oven throughout the day and make the end-of day clean-up easier to manage. 

Schedule monthly deep cleans to maintain the performance of your commercial oven. Deep cleans can prolong the life of the oven and prevent bigger problems from occurring like fires, smoke and burnt crumbs impacting the flavour of food cooked in your oven. 

Always make sure your oven has completely cooled down before starting any cleaning to prevent burns and accidents from occuring. 

Cleaning your commercial oven can be time consuming and hard work but is essential to maintaining the health and safety standards of your restaurant. 

Authored by: Despina Moshopoulos

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