Last week I popped on my dungarees, snapped on some rubber gloves, and got to know our heavy duty cleaning kit.
I am a happy soul when cleaning, that and when I am drawing or gardening. Standing back and seeing what you have achieved whilst slurping a hot cuppa or a beer is one of life's simple pleasures!
No beer for me in the workshop! Just a steep 'enamel cleaning' learning curve, under the skilled and watchful eye of engineer Matt!
The Contents of our kit include...
- Scraper with 5 interchangeable blades
- Steel wool ball
- Specialist cleaning paste
- Microfibre polishing cloth
- Sponge scourer
Extra bits you’ll need…
- Vacuum cleaner with nozzle & dustpan and brush
- Safety goggles
- Rubber gloves
- Soft wiping up cloth
I had a dismantled hob on which to practice, a nice grubby and hardworking one. It looks 'fogged', which is when the glaze on the enamel has corroded. But under all that grime is a shiny top, bar a few scratches and scuffs from wear and tear.
First I had to learn how to insert a blade into our nifty little scraper...Here's how! Then, wearing gloves and groovy protective goggles (no photo evidence here!) I began to scrape, towards the hot spot and low to the enamel. Look at that grease and shiny area behind!
Once I worked my way around the hob, I stripped the lids. Our heavy duty cleaning kit comes as part of our DIY Mini Refurb kit. I treated this as though I was undertaking a Refurb, giving the lids a spruce up too!
On stripping the lids I was able to work methodically around the hinges,not the easiest of jobs, but worth taking time over.
Top Tip!I found that hoovering with a nozzle as I scraped helped me see where I had been, also best to hoover up all those pesky insulation fibres too! I used the scraper to remove old glue residue and grease that had creeped into every nook in the hinge! You can of course remove your lids to improve access.
Note - we are working on a guide on removing lids, but with over 14 hinge types on Aga range cookers alone, there is by no means one definitive way. Emailus with a photo of your hinge if you want to do this and need help!
Now for the magic paste, and it is magic! I worked quickly to coat the hob. Now, admittedly I was probably a bit liberal with the paste and used too much on the hinge area. LESS IS MORE. You can see it working immediately, but you leave it for 2 hrs. After this time a little paste does a lot of work.
As you can see here, I had to use a dilute of washing up liquid and water to spray into joints that I had pasted, to release the gunk. Which left me and the hob in a wet mess! If you do find areas of paste hard to get to, then you can do this, however water needs to be kept to a minimum! There was much hilarity in the workshop as I was covered in bubbles. This is why you wear glasses and gloves!
Hinges aside, removing the paste was easy! What a joy to see the enamel relieved of it's crusty coat of cooking grease! Using circular actions and a damp (not wet) sponge, you dilute the paste and rinse as you go.
In the image, you can see how the paste has even penetrated a scratch on the surface, grabbing the dirt from within.
I deployed the scourer that comes with the kit to assist in lifting the stubborn muck from around the hot plate ring. Using a scruffy soft cloth, I removed any remaining paste.
Happily, I then buffed to a shine with the microfibre cloth that comes with the kit,.... As you can see no amount of cleaning (even if you cover yourself in bubbles!) will remove fogging or scratches. Chips can be repaired - heres how! But a lovely new coat of enamel is the only way to make new!
I am rather proud of my hinges though!
After.. Look at that shine! These hinges had been neglected, and their rejuvenation here is testament to how resilient these lovely machines are! Top Tip! I used a soft thick cloth and a thin blunt old tool (something like a blunt bradawl) to push into the small pin & bolt holes. No grease was going to hide from me...!
Next I get to clean the chrome lids! Whoop!