There is only one household chore worse than ironing and that’s cleaning the oven. In the past I have always done this job myself and resisted doing it more than twice a year, no matter the condition of the oven. It’s a very messy and dirty job that usually involves harsh chemicals that have my eyes watering and my throat stinging.
As it is now six months since I moved into this house I knew it was time to clean the oven. I found it absolutely fortuitous that just then I was contacted by Oven Express, a mobile oven cleaning service asking if they could clean my oven. ‘Step this way’, was what immediately rolled off my tongue. And with the appointment booked one week away, I may have taken advantage of my stroke of good fortune by over-working my oven. I cooked all those things that splatter and burn onto every surface including sticky chicken wings, pork belly, spare ribs, roast pork with crackling and potatoes splattering in duck fat.
On the eve of the service I received a text message confirming the next day’s appointment and then on Monday morning I received a phone call from Matt from Oven Express advising he was running ahead of time and could be there in five minutes if that suited. Knowing the state of my oven I was thinking, ‘the sooner the better’.
Matt parked his van in my driveway and in he came with his ‘tools of trade’. He spread towels over the kitchen floor to avoid making a mess (the floor could have done with a once-over as well), which the dogs promptly curled up on and went to sleep.
And then Matt looked at the oven. He went a bit quiet. I asked, ‘On a scale of one to ten, how bad is it?’ ‘A seven’, he said without hesitation, ‘but definitely not the worst I’ve seen’. That was a relief; I would have been mortified if I had to tell you my oven was the dirtiest he had ever seen!
Then Matt started taking apart all the shelving inside the oven and he took off the oven door and from the elbow grease required it was obvious this is something that had not been done for many, many years. He took all the ‘innards’ of the oven and grill out to his van where they were put into a tank of boiling water to simmer away for around an hour. I was totally impressed that it is pretty much just boiling water and elbow grease that is used to clean the oven – this was not going to be a stinging eyes and hacking throat kind of an experience.
Matt came back inside to start on the oven. I apologised that the oven doesn’t have a light. ‘Yes it does’, he said. ‘Does it?’ I asked all surprised because there is no switch to turn on a light so I assumed there wasn’t one. Right at the back of the oven Matt found the light bulb and it was smashed and stuck in the wall of the oven. Matt removed this for me and told me what bulb I needed to buy. I ran up to the hardware and bought a bulb and when I came back Matt did his tricks and hey presto – I have a light! There isn’t a switch because the light comes on automatically whenever you use the oven. Who knew!
Matt sprayed the inside of the oven all over with a product called, ‘Green Stuff’ which is (not surprisingly), green fluid in a bottle. It’s a product that isn’t toxic or caustic and is eco-friendly and actually has a pleasant smell. After the oven and grill had been wiped over, Matt used a razor blade to remove all the remaining grime that was cemented onto the oven’s surface.
Given the size and condition of my oven and grill, it took around an hour for Matt to clean it. Then he went back outside and took the oven shelving out of the tank, gave it a scrub and brought it back into the house, gleaming and sparkling. I was impressed!
Then Matt put the oven all back together again and I have to tell you, I barely recognised it. If I thought it was clean when I moved into the house six months ago I was mistaken – now I had a clean oven!
The cost of this service starts at $120.00. For an oven of my size, Matt said the cost would be more like $160.00. Oven Express also cleans barbecues, range hoods, microwaves and cooktops. Again, the price varies depending on size.
As for me, I couldn’t thank Matt enough. I told him that now my oven is clean, I’m ready to start my Christmas baking and I showed him my bowls of dried fruit soaking in brandy getting ready to turn into Christmas cakes. If you do a lot of Christmas baking and would like to kick-start it with a sparkling oven, now is a great time to phone Oven Express and have your oven cleaned so you’re ready for all the Christmas action. I am now a convert of the dial-up-an-oven-cleaning-service, service. This was so convenient. It didn’t take long, Matt was extremely polite and said how much he loved my girls, he took a lot of care with my appliance and did an impressive job.
I can’t tell you how happy I am with my oven. Being a wall oven, it’s in your eye-line so very visible. It’s so nice to walk into the kitchen and see it gleaming. I’ve been so enthusiastic about it that when the plumber turned up I said to him, ‘Come and have a look at my oven’. Poor chap! I believe, if you use an oven often enough to make it dirty, it means you’re saving money by not ordering takeaway. With all that money you save, you can afford to have Oven Express turn up in your driveway. Oven Express is a Sydney-wide service. Phone 1800 325 773 to make an appointment.
Hotly Spiced was given a complimentary oven cleaning service in exchange for an honest review. If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it.