Experts reveal how to extend your range oven's lifespan – and share tips for keeping yours clean

Discover the care a range oven needs so it keeps delivering year after year

A black range cooker in a blue and white kitchen
(Image credit: Future / AMELIA THORPE LIMITED)

Get savvy about the ways to make a range oven last longer and you can help yourself avoid the cost and disruption of repairs – or even replacement – and get the longest possible life from this kitchen workhorse.

A range does daily duty, and is subject to heat, spills, spatters, and heavy cookware that can all compromise its surfaces and functionality. Neglect the tasks that keep it working well and rather than being a reliable part of your kitchen ideas, it could have you putting in a service call or needing a new model sooner than expected.

So how can you keep a range oven lasting for longer – and remaining looking its best, too? We asked the experts to reveal what’s necessary, and this is what they advise.

Ways to make a range oven last

wooden kitchen with large marble range cooker hood and fluted marble island

(Image credit: Urbanology Designs / Photography Matti Gresham)

A range oven needs a little care if it’s to last the way it should and prove reliable. The maintenance needn’t be onerous, but it does have to be done. The question of how often to clean the oven will depend on use, but cleaning an oven is a must-do kitchen task, and there are other essential jobs.

What’s crucial when carrying out any maintenance is to follow the oven manufacturer’s guide on which cleaning supplies can be used on the particular model to keep surfaces and components free from harm. 

In general, though, Ron Shimek, President of Mr. Appliance, a Neighborly company, advises: ‘Use nonabrasive cleaning products like soapy water, white vinegar, or baking soda paste to clean the appliance. Do not use harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubbers.’

Follow this expert guide to make your appliance last:

Be kind to the cooktop

The cooktop is made for the job it does, but it still pays to be careful with the pans and the other cookware you use on it because of what they’re made from and, in some cases, their weight. Put items carefully in place on the cooktop without banging or clattering, and your range oven will last longer. 

Wipe down surfaces

Make it a rule to care for a range oven after food preparation. ‘Wipe down the surfaces after each use,’ says Ron Shimek.

Clean up spills

If there’s been a spill, don’t ignore it. ‘Homeowners should make sure to clean any spills immediately,’ says Ron Shimek. This way, you’ll save yourself a whole lot of work, as neglected spills are harder to remove. What’s more, depending on the spill, they could even cause damage to the cooktop if neglected. Do wait until the cooktop has cooled before dealing with them. 

Care for burners

White kitchen, brick floor, rug

(Image credit: Madeline Harper Photography)

Look after burners on a gas cooktop to avoid issues with lighting. ‘Burners need regular cleaning to clear residue left from cooking that would otherwise clog the burner valves,’ explains Melissa Haber, senior vice president of EuroChef USA.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean burners. If you haven’t kept them, consult them on its site.

Tackle grates

Spills, spatters, and pans that boil over affect grates, too. ‘I recommend handwashing the cast-iron grates with plain soap and water,’ says Melissa Haber. ‘Placing cast-iron parts in the dishwasher or using abrasive materials and harsh cleaning chemicals will damage the material.’

Clean the control panel

Don’t forget the control panel of a range oven if you want your appliance to have the longest possible lifespan. 

Typically, manufacturers advise wiping it with a mild dish soap solution on a clean cloth. They might suggest a mild glass cleaner sprayed onto a cloth as an alternative. Be mindful never to spray the control panel directly and to never use anything abrasive on its surface. Always check your own manufacturer’s guide, however. 

Clean the oven cavity

A range oven in a yellow rustic kitchen where food is being prepared

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

Are you the owner of a self-cleaning range oven? ‘The self-cleaning cycle can be relied upon for routine oven cleaning,’ says Ron Shimek. His word of caution? ‘Make sure you follow the instructions in the owner’s manual and wait until after the holidays to clean the oven.’

Melissa Haber suggests cleaning it another way, too. ‘The oven cavity must be properly maintained,’ she says. 'Self-clean cycles are wonderful but should be used in moderation since excessive exposure to ultra-high temperatures needed to run a self-clean cycle harms the oven cavity. Instead, a quick wipe down with a wet towel after cooking will suffice.’

But she also suggests what she calls a ‘manual self-clean cycle’: 

  • Place a pan of shallow water with lemon juice or white vinegar in the oven cavity.
  • Turn the oven temperature up to the highest setting.
  • Let the oven run for an hour
  • Let cool and wipe down with a dishtowel.

‘This ‘manual’ self-clean method is safer and more energy-efficient,’ she says.

Clean oven racks a few times a year, too. 

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How long should a range oven last?

Typically, a range oven lasts around 13 to 15 years. Gas range ovens tend to have the longer lifespan and electric appliances a slightly shorter one in comparison. An influence on how long a range oven lasts is whether you keep up with cleaning and maintenance, so it pays to care for the appliance if you want to get the best value for your spend.

Kitchen cleaning isn‘t the easiest of chores since the activities that take place there mean spills and grease are among what needs to be dealt with. It should include the range oven along with appliances such as the dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave to help them reach their maximum lifespan. Be sure, too, to invest in a high-quality range oven and other appliances for a design that lasts.

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.