Belling Blog


Oven Maintenance Checklist: Is Your Oven In Good Nick? 

Posted: September 03, 2018

Like a well-worn carpet or battered family car, ovens can be subject to all sorts of abuse over the years which is why it’s a good idea to give it a once over every now and again, just to ensure that it’s working to its best ability.

Take a look at this quick checklist to see if your oven is in good working order, or if it’s in need of a bit of TLC:

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Check your oven seal is still in tact

 
The rubber seal that lines your oven door keeps the heat contained and maximises your machine’s efficiency. There are a few clues that your oven seal might be in poor shape: you might find that your oven is struggling to heat up or, (a bit more obvious) the knobs on your oven could be melting as the heat escapes the top of your oven! If you find either of these issues then it’s a good idea to get your oven seal replaced.
 

Give your oven a good clean

 
Although we’re always peering into our ovens to look at our food we rarely pay attention to the oven itself. Over time all sorts of detritus can build up on the sides and bottom of your oven, you’ll most likely notice when the dirt has reached crisis point when smoke begins issuing from it whilst it’s pre-heating. You could hire someone to do the job, or you could save some money and buy a good strong oven cleaner to give your whole oven (including the racks and trays) a good soak yourself.
 

Pull it out and clear the decks

 
Have you ever accidentally flipped a bit of food into the space behind your oven? Ever lost a plastic chopping board or utensil down there too? It can be easy to forget about these things whilst you’re in the midst of cooking, so don’t be too surprised to find a whole world of lost treasures behind your oven when you pull it out. Always be careful when doing this – if you’re unsure about how to do this then it’s best to hire a professional to help. Once you’ve done so you can properly clean this area and rescue any long lost friends whilst you’re at it.
 

Calibrate your oven temperature

 
Over time the thermostat in your oven can become impaired which can prove to be quite troublesome especially when you’re trying to pull off a big roast dinner, or get down and dirty with a complex bake. Use an ovenproof thermometer to check the actual temperature of your oven, if it’s struggling to hit the mark then it’s possible you could have a problem with your element or seal. But if it’s shooting way over the set temperature you can almost guarantee that your thermostat is busted.
 

Replace your cooker hood filters

 
You might stick your cooker hood extractor fan on each time you cook, but have you ever taken any time to assess if it’s doing a good job? It’s recommended that you replace the filter  in your cooker hood at least once every few months, if you use your oven more than once a day then it’s likely that you’ll need to make this change more frequently. You’ll be able to tell that your filter needs replacing if cooking smells are hanging around after you cook, or you can simply unscrew the cover and take a look for yourself!

Cleaning Your Oven on a Budget: Is It Possible? 

Posted: June 26, 2018

In order for your oven to remain on top of its game and for your food to continue tasting fantastic it’s important that you keep it clean.

As much as it might be easy to ignore the deteriorating state of your oven, if you choose to do so you'll only be risking the lifespan of your appliance and the quality of your food.

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Getting your oven professionally cleaned can often cost a small fortune and many shop-bought solutions can come up short in effectiveness. So is there an affordable, simple and effective way to keep your oven clean and fresh?

We’ve consulted our Mums for the niftiest of home-style oven cleaning solutions and sneaky short-cuts to see if it’s possible to get your oven cleaned on a budget. Whilst we were pleasantly surprised with many of the results, we often found that it helped to have a decent stock of scrubbing and scraping tools to aid them. Our Range Cooker Care Pack is an affordable package that supplies you with all you need to give your oven the complete clean that it needs.

Many of these recipes involve mixing household ingredients together and although they should all be safe to handle it’s always a good idea to exercise caution and wear a good pair of marigolds when cleaning with anything slightly acidic.

Vinegar Wash


Vinegar can do so much more than add some zing to your chips! For those uninitiated in GCSE level Chemistry, vinegar is an acidic liquid that has some potent cleaning abilities if used in the right way. Many online cleaning gurus advocate dropping some vinegar into water to use as a cleaning spray, but this won’t make for an effective cleaner if diluted in this way.

For maximum impact its best to use at least a 50:50 ratio of water to vinegar. Mix together 300ml of this wash in an oven safe bowl, then pop it into an oven pre-heated at 180 degrees Celsius. The mixture should evaporate into steam which should help break down any grease inside your oven.

Cost: £1-2 for the vinegar.

Is it worth my time? Although vinegar is a fantastic degreaser, it won’t remove tough stains. Use the Grill Gremlin from our Range Cooker Care Pack to take the hard work out of removing any stubborn burnt-on detritus.

Vinegar & Baking Soda Paste


This is one of the most talked about home-style solutions on the internet although its effectiveness has been called into question by more scientifically minded individuals. The concept is straight forward enough: take two kitchen staples, Vinegar and baking soda, then mix together with water to create a thick white paste.

Grab a clean paint brush then cover the walls of your oven with this mixture. Leave it for a few minutes and then return with a sponge and scrubber to remove the excess (you might need a splash of water to clean it off completely).

Cost: £2-4 plus paint brush.

Is it worth my time? The paste fizzes and bubbles like a shop bought product, however the effects are a little underwhelming. That chemical reaction is the reason why it doesn’t work that well. Once the two elements have finished reacting with each other what’s left is pretty much salt and water, so you might end up scrubbing for longer than you want!

Lemon Juice Steam Clean


More than just a great addition to your G’n’T, the trusty lemon can come in handy for cleaning as well. Pour half a cup of cold water into an oven tray along with a decent squeeze of lemon. Turn your oven to 180 degrees and then pop the tray in on the bottom shelf for half an hour.

The lemon juice mix will evaporate filling your oven with a lovely citrus steam that will eradicate any unpleasant odours. Once the time is up carefully remove the tray and leave the oven to cool. When the oven has cooled you can go in with some soapy water to mop up any debris that has become loosened.

Cost: A lemon is all you should need to buy!

Is it worth my time? This method is much more effective at removing odours from your oven than it is at shifting grime or dirt. A dedicated oven-cleaning product would be a better choice, like the one featured in our Oven bundle that will help you cover all the bases.


Save the Planet (and Some Money) with these Eco-Friendly Kitchen Hacks 

Posted: April 25, 2018

How buying cooker elements, oven knobs and biodegradable washing up liquid could help save the world...

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There’s never been a better time to invest in products and processes that help reduce your impact on the environment. Thanks to a number of eye-opening videos and articles, the British public has been making an assertive effort to reduce the negative impact they have on the environment. Whether you’re eschewing singe-use plastic bags or simply choosing to repair your fridge, rather than replace it; every environmentally friendly decision that you make is a valuable step on our way to making the world a better place. The kitchen is the most wasteful room of the house, in terms of both energy and money. Take a few of these tips on board and you could find yourself saving both of them:

Install a foot pedal for your sink

You’d be surprised what a difference installing a foot pedal to the kitchen basin makes to your water consumption. Foot-based taps give the user more control over the flow of water, so instead of simply opening up a tap and letting it run you can use an efficient quantity of water. It’s estimated that homeowners could reduce their water consumption by as much as 30% by installing one of these handy devices.

Build your kitchen using sustainable materials

If your worktops or cupboards are in need of replacement then you should favour low-impact materials over traditional plastic surfaces. Just remember that whilst pulling down your existing kitchen and replacing the materials with eco-friendly alternatives might seem like a good idea, it’s always best to wait until you really need to do this, otherwise, you’ll be needlessly wasting your current materials.

Buy eco-friendly teabags

You might have thought that your regular cup of tea was pretty innocent in this whole environment debate, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. It’s been found that the majority of tea brands in the UK use polypropylene to help their teabags hold their shape, this microfibre is one of many plastics that can easily find its way into the sea and even the air. Thankfully, many of these major brands have announced that they’re moving away from the use of plastics in favour of a greener teabag – keep your eye out for them later this year!

Replace your chemicals with natural alternatives

Have you considered the environmental impact of your washing up liquid? A number of products have stepped up to give the discerning home owner a more natural alternative to the usual suspects from the supermarket. Amongst these are some planet-friendly products that have been around for a while, including Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner—a vegan, non-GMO, plant-based product that can be used for mopping the floor, doing the laundry and even washing your hair!

Repair your appliances, rather than replacing them

In 2014 the UN undertook a study to assess the amount of electronic waste that was currently being produced, they discovered that the countries with the best track record for environmental legislation were often the most wasteful when it came to getting rid of their broken white goods, appliances and electronics. Britain were the fifth highest contributors to e-waste, with an estimated 23.5kg per person being dumped in that year alone. You can avoid being a part of the waste problem by resisting the urge to frequently upgrade your electronics and opt to repair them instead. Our wide range of parts and spares could extend the life of your Belling appliance by years, saving you a tidy sum of money and giving the planet a break in the process.

Explore our range of spares here and give your appliance a new lease of life!


Where To Buy British 

Posted: September 25, 2017

As our customers will know, we’re passionate about bringing manufacturing back to the heart of Britain, and, wherever possible, our Belling appliances are still produced from our factory near Liverpool 100 years on.

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But where can you reliably find other items made in Britain, and be sure that their production is genuinely taking place within our shores? With many ‘classic’ British brands now actually being produced overseas, it’s not as easy as it should be!

We’ve found a great website though which is packed with useful information about those genuinely ‘British’ brands, and superb examples of UK craft and manufacturing. It’s at: www.makeitbritish.co.uk 

Every product referenced on the website has assured provenance - authentic, skilled and crafted using the finest materials - right here in the UK. You’ll find a comprehensive directory of large and small suppliers; from well-known brands to tiny artisan suppliers, all offering a wonderful diversity of products, gifts and services for you to enjoy.

And by buying British-made goods, you’re helping to keep fast-fading skills alive in our country, and support home-grown talent. In an age of economic strife, that aim is more compelling than ever.