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26 January 2011

The stove - problems & solutions

The stove is hot, often humid, and also contains food on a regular basis – in other words, this is germ heaven.

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The stove - why it could be a problem 

Some people still recall old coal stoves, or cooking ranges that were in their grandmothers' homes. While these evoke a cerain nostalgia, aren't you glad you don't have to go and chop wood before you can fry an egg?

Keeping a modern stove clean should be, well, as easy as pie, by comparison.

So why is the stove a problem area in the kitchen? It is hot, often humid, and also contains food on a regular basis – in other words, this is germ heaven.

There are also frequently food spillages or spattering, which means if the stove is not cleaned for a few weeks after being in regular use, the entire inside of it will be covered with a thick sticky layer of grime. Germs that can thrive inside a dirty stove include Salmonella, Listeria and Campylobacter jejuni.

How to keep the stove clean

If the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach (and not through his chest, as Roseanne Barr said), the stove is indeed an important part of the household equipment. Keeping this clean, is not as diffixcult as it sounds.

The stovetop should be cleaned daily, using a household detergent. Spillages should be cleaned immediately, before they can harden and cause you difficulty.

Some oven cleaners contain aerosol propellants and chemicals that can burn eyes and skin and might even damage lungs. So check that the one you buy does not contain these things

So how do you keep your oven clean if you don't want to use commercial oven cleaners? Place aluminium on the bottom of the oven in order to catch any foodspills. Oven spills can be removed by sprinkling a mixture of equal parts of bicarbonate of soda and salt onto the spill and remove it with steel wool or a hard sponge. This must be done while the oven is still warm.

A clean oven is essential if you want to run a hygienic kitchen. The inside of the oven should be checked every week and cleaned often, depending on how often it is used.

Handy hint:
If the spill has hardened, place a quarter cup of ammonia in the oven overnight. By morning the spill should have softened and can easily be removed with a damp cloth.  

The sponge

 
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