Oven Clean Video Review

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Dec 20

Here is my review of Oven Clean’s oven cleaning system as seen on their video on their website.

The differences between our system and theirs, as seen in this video,  are  the following (you may need to view it full screen to see the points I am raising here):

1. In the video the Oven Clean franchisee is cleaning a Creda Continental standard double oven. The final shot of the “finished” oven shows that the enamel parts of the oven, and door have been cleaned but the self cleaning sides haven’t been removed to clean them and they are brown and on the back black with burnt on carbon; also the fan at the back hasn’t been touched either. When I started my oven cleaning business this would have been the way that I would have cleaned this oven and I would have told the client that sorry we don’t clean the self cleaning sides or the fan at the back.  But after a visit, a few years ago now,  to a house where the oven had been recently been cleaned by the local (Bristol) Ovenu franchisee I noticed that the oven and its self cleaning sides were perfectly clean – though for some reason he had missed the glass on the inside of the door. This oven was a Creda just like in the video. Really to ensure that we were getting the same standards of our competitors, in this case Ovenu, I started taking the self cleaning panels off on Creda ovens and putting them in our dip tank in the van. They came out perfectly. I also started cleaning the fan and the area around the back of the fan. Really the worry I had that this would add more time onto the job was incorrect as it didn’t. I am happier now as our results now are pristine GLEAMING ovens rather than half a job oven cleaning.  See my Range Master cooker cleaning post to see what a CLEAN self cleaning panels should look like!

The only problem with taking the sides off the Creda is getting them back on, you have to do some jiggling to get the holes lined up. But the way to do it is to put the aluminum corner plate back on over the TOP of the side self cleaning panel as by doing this this way you can get the holes lined up – I’ll do a video on this in the New Year so you get the idea. I don’t as a rule take off the self cleaning panel off the ceiling of the oven as really they are VERY difficult to get back on. If the sides aren’t that dirty I just take off the back panel – which means undoing four screws- and the fan and dipping them both. I clean the sides with a micro fibre cloth and degreaser.

2. I noticed that he didn’t remove the door of the grill compartment whilst cleaning it. I’d say it is unadvisable to do this as if the oven is older the hinges may have wear on them and just some slight added pressure from leaning on them will cause them to “go” which means you’ll have to fork out for a replacement.

3. When he opens up the back of the van and goes to pull out the oven cleaning dip tank unit it is obvious that it hasn’t been designed very well (well to me with my Technology Design Degree) as there is no handle to put it out. And when he does pull it out it shows how precariously balanced the tray is as he has to move it back into position to get it lined back up. Also when he does the solution is obviously boiling. Does this mean that the gas is lit and has been burning merrily away in the back of the van? Well yes of course it does – though I have heard that franchises stay with the burner to ‘watch’ the hot water, which they have brought out of the house, whilst it heats up until it gets to the correct temperature). When the racks have been taken out it doesn’t show him throwing the solution away. Really he’s got to pick up the hot tray with the solution in and pour it into one of his buckets and then throw it away.  I know the solution is washing up liquid (that’s why he needs to rub the grill pan rack to get it clean after taking it out of the soulition ) but really some safety googles, with all the hot soapy water splashing around, would have made me happier. Really all these things both individually and together really throw up some big heath and safety issues.  For us with five employees at once in a period in the last twelve months we have had to address all our Health and Safety Procedures.

Really all this carrying around of hot water from the house to the tank and then watching it heat up and then throwing it away must add tons of time onto an Oven Clean’s franchisees day! Really when I am in ‘oven cleaning mode’ and I am in a rush to get things done this system would just slow me down so I am glad we use the system we do.

As we use a chasis fitted tank that has been pre heated, is insulated, and stays hot all day we don’t have live flames at jobs, we don’t carry gas bottles around, we don’t have to handle hot trays of water, we use proper safety equipment and procedures. We don’t waste time going backwards and forwards with water buckets, which means we can clean four ovens easily in a normal 0900 to 1700 working day.

4. The final finish of the oven looked smeared. Really to get this right you need a dry cloth such as microfibre cloth and you apply pressure and rub over the glass – a perfect result. I am surprised that they let the woman giving the testimonial be filmed in front of a smeared oven – but we all can make mistakes when putting videos together – watch out for my franchise opportunity video I’ll try and not make them!

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  • Adrian

    Wow! Quite a review.
    I have just looked at your “before and after” photos on you site and would comment as follows:
    Oven 1 – Those control knobs do come off you know. Looks like your cleaner missed that part of the clean. As do the push timer control pins. Pop them off, clean, then pop them back into place. Easy. There is an awful lot of white residue around the bottom of the oven opening and around the edges of the door glass. Sloppy…..
    Hob – Good work!
    Oven 2 – Won’t be too critical but seal should always have join at the bottom – all professionals know that! Residue around door glass again. Dust in vent area to the right hand side of oven – a quick brush can remove this. Attention to detail, lads! Talking of which, before you replace those oven door hex-screws (you did take the door apart, didn’t you??), you can brush that nasty residue away from the bolt heads. Looks better.

  • Hi Adrian,
    Thanks for your kind comments I have obviously touched a nerve! My comments on the OvenClean process are to do with their tank. As it takes so long to use, and is such a phaff, they tend to miss bits to save time, or they will be working from 0800 to 1800 to fit the jobs in, and present this as a job well done when in fact it isn’t. If people pay though they are normally happy with the finished job. Most people wouldn’t notice that the fan hadn’t been cleaned or the self cleaning bits not cleaned.
    I cleaned the oven that you have made the comments about. I notice that although you are keen to make comment on my work you didn’t try to defend the unpractical design, safety or operation, of OvenClean’s oven cleaning dip tank which also looks like it, from the video, might have a tendency to fall apart in operation. Or you didn’t comment on the the long walk to the house and back with a bucket of water. Nor did you address the reasons why OvenClean don’t take the fan out and clean it or clean off the burnt on carbon on self cleaning sides. I’d guess is that they don’t bother with, this like I used to when I started nearly seven years ago. Really an ‘oven clean’ should mean all these things.
    Re your comments on my testimonial photos on my site. I cleaned this oven on the 29th September 2005 so quite a few years ago now and at the time it was lucky that I had my camera to take the photos as it was one of the dirtiest ovens I’d have ever seen. The job took me in total around four and half hours (normally this job would have taken me 2 and half hours so that is how dirty it is) and really we got the photos up on the site when my site was put together, Feb 2006, and haven’t been replaced since. Whatever process I used on that oven has certainly been fine tuned and made better to the extent that I do feel that the photos aren’t a true representation of our normal work now in 2011 but people still love them. OvenClean’s video was put on their site at the beginning of December 2010 and obviously shows their current mode of operation and standards.
    My pictures were taken in good conditions with great light. They have been very popular on oven cleaning sites and for some reason people think they can use them even though I have copyright on them. Infact OvenClean presented them as their own on their Facebook pages until I challenged them in August last year (infringement notice served through Facebook and pictures removed).
    Oven 1 – Yes we normally take control knobs off, and I do know that those little bits do pop out. I can only guess that I took the photo before I did this or I was so exhausted that I decided to wrap it up and take the phtoos. Yes you are right about the residue I have always known that it was there in full view on the photos but still the photos have been popular. These days all residue would be removed and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This lady didn’t complain about this job; she was over the moon. She gets her oven cleaned every three years as I cleaned this oven again in January 2009 – I got stuck in the snow outside her house – again the oven, hob, extractor, was in the same a very badly soiled state.
    Oven 2- If you look at the ‘before photo’ the seal was that way up at the start. You are right the join is usually at the bottom but maybe sometimes they aren’t on some ovens- I’ll check. Yes hex nuts are now left clean and again this may have been missed because I was exhausted at the end of the clean.
    Obviously my comments on the OvenClean video are from what I have seen of their processes on that video and they may have not intended to present this process in such a way.

  • Adrian

    Thanks for the reply!
    You haven’t touched a nerve, honest! I do not represent Ovenclean nor any other oven cleaning franchise but have had experience in the business. I have no knowledge of the current Ovenclean method of operation so would prefer not to comment but am sure it works for them…!
    No, my remarks were just a tongue-in-cheek riposte to your comments on another operators methods. I believe that one should promote ones own business rather than critise others, that’s all..!
    All the best….

  • Not an Ovenu franchisee then? 🙂 They seem to be chatting about this post on their franchisee forum as this post has had ten separate visits today from it. Thanks for your comments which were appreciated and allowed me to get some things straight. You’re right about the Ovenclean system it must work or they wouldn’t be using it would they?!! But for me it does seem like it wasn’t thought through.
    The current Ovenclean heating gear looks like a step back from the oven cleaning dip tank they used to use (before the company as part of Myhome went into administration in 2008). The old system, I think I’m right in saying, was more secure in that it was fixed to the chasis like ours is. That tank used a gas burner but looked very much the plastic tank I currently use but was made of metal. It had a lid that could be fixed down and secured tight; so for me a better arrangement.

  • Simon

    Persuing this blog today as looking at various franchise possibilities. I clean my own oven at home and never clean the self-cleaning side panels. This is beacuse the manufacturer states that using cleaning agents on these panels will damage their chemical properties. That is, the process that takes place when putting the oven into cleaning mode. Turning the oven up to 200 Deg C for 2 hours causes a chemical reaction to take place on the self-cleaning panels. I think I prefer to follow the correct method even though the panels may not look as clean.

  • Hi Simon, we don’t destroy ovens we clean them and have an excellent reputation with a very large customer base so we wouldn’t do anything that would effect the operational integrity of the cookers or ovens. We have perfected all our operations to clean all types of ovens, cookers, AGAs, in the safest and most efficient way possible both for our operators, franchisees and customers. If on the odd chance there is some sort of problem we will sort it out straight away. The operation for self cleaning ovens you describe is fine in the print of the manual but most people don’t read the manual and don’t use self cleaning ovens cookers in the best way to keep them clean and so there can be a very thick build up of both grease and burnt on carbon on these makes ovens. For me, as a vegetarian, anything cooked in an oven of this state would be unacceptable to eat. And after I have described to customers that the grease in the oven, especially on the ceiling of the oven, will be dripping down on to their food whilst it is cooking, they tend to agree with me and ask for it to be cleaned off.