Oven door handles have more bacteria on them than toilet seats... is it time to clean your oven?

Oven door handles are (much) dirtier than they seem. Clean them – and the rest of your oven – regularly to prevent illness

Cleaning an oven
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An oven door handle can be filthy, and could be harbouring more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat. A study conducted at the University of Arizona found that although appliance handles weren't quite as filthy as kitchen sinks and chopping boards, they are definitely dirty enough that they could potentially make you ill.

The problem with oven door handles in particular, is that it's very easy to forget to wash your hands between handling raw ingredients, such as meat, and opening the oven door. Add oil and grease that get stuck on the oven door and oven glass to that concoction, and you've got the perfect recipe/breeding ground for food poisoning-causing bacteria.   

Of course, you already know the solution: clean the kitchen, paying particular attention to the sink, chopping boards, surfaces, and appliances, including the oven. But here's the catch: the study found that the most contaminated item in the kitchen was actually the kitchen sponge or dishcloth. So you shouldn't actually be using these to clean your oven, or anything else in the kitchen, to prevent cross-contamination. 

How to clean the oven glass and door then? We recommend always using a brand new sponge and microfibre cloth, or, at a push, kitchen towel, and baking soda. Simply add a bit of water to the baking soda to form a paste, and cover the entire surface of the oven door, including the glass and handle. Let this sit for fifteen minutes then wipe away the mixture using warm water. You can take the door apart to clean the inside of the glass (be very careful and follow manufacturer instructions) or wrap a cloth around a spatula or something thin enough to fit in the void.

Feel the need for something stronger than baking soda? Browse the best oven cleaners in our buyer's guide.