AGA Cookers, with their durable and tactile enamelled and stainless steel finish are very easy to keep clean and the self-cleaning nature of the cast-iron ovens make keeping on top of it a doddle. There will always be a few splatters to wipe up - it is in daily use of course - but it's never a big task if you follow the basics.
Always follow the principle of wiping up spills before they become baked on.
Use a damp cotton dishcloth or e-cloth to wipe up any spills. Don't splash excess water when cleaning the AGA, especially around the controls, grilles in the 'shrouds' or any working components.
Occasionally sweep out (or use your vacuum cleaner’s hose) the base of the ovens to remove the carbonised dust (when the oven is cool enough).
It is always best to clean the cooker when it is cold, or turned right down. Just before a service is ideal as the AGA should be off in readiness.
If the cooker is hot do not use a cloth or cleaning pad / sponge made of synthetic (plastic) material - it’ll melt in contact with the hotplate or inside the oven, and be aware to keep redampening the cloth with cold water so it doesn’t scald or burn.
Do not use any abrasive or chemical products on the enamelled or polished surfaces.
(Top plate, front plate, 'shrouds' covering the workings across the back of the top plate, and enamelled parts of the lids.)
Vitreous enamel is essentially coloured glass that’s been fired on to the cast-iron components. It’s very attractive, tactile and durable and easy to keep clean – just wipe any splashes off with a damp e-cloth.
Don’t use any aggressive or chemical cleaners; it’s fine to use a mild detergent solution [i.e. your clean washing up water] but don’t use anything stronger and ideally wipe or buff clean with a dry or damp cloth afterwards.
Never immerse any enamelled parts in water.
If grease or splashes start to build up (or if you’ve inherited an AGA that’s not been looked after quite as scrupulously as you’d hope):
First, scrape off the thickest build-up with the AGA Scraper (a sharp blade in an easy-to-use handle).
Next, use the AGA Enamel Cleaner with an E-Cloth to remove the remainder.
Finally buff with a dry or damp (with water only) E-Cloth.
If you need an ‘in-between’ cleaner (after the scraper and before the AGA Enamel Cleaner) you can, use a soap-filled (Brillo) pad. Be extremely careful and don’t use much pressure as it is possible to damage the enamel with this method..
Outermost Part (enamelled)
Fully enamelled lids and the enamelled lid ‘bands’ are cleaned in the same way as the enamelled top and front plates. The spring handles can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner and old toothbrush (or piece of cloth to ‘floss’ between the spring coils).
Chrome (on older AGAs) or shiny stainless steel (since about 1995) lid domes: be careful; they’re easy to scratch. Use a damp E-Cloth, and if you need something a little more aggressive then use the AGA Chrome and Steel Cleaner.
Lid liners (the inside bit)
First – start by not having to clean them at all – use the excellent Bake-o-Glide lid splash shields to protect the insides of the lid from stray splatters when cooking on the hotplates.
If you forget to use the splash shield, or if you don’t yet have one, then follow these instructions:
Aluminium lid liners:
Best done cold.
Use a soap-filled (Brillo) pad – these are steel so will lightly scratch the aluminium surface of the lid liner. However – if you work in a circular motion any light scratches ‘go with the grain’ of the pressing of the lid liner and we think clean lids with light marks look a lot better than lids splattered with fat and grease.
Note: nearly all AGAs have aluminium lid liners. There are one or two exceptions: some Economy 7 electric and solid fuel models that have ‘metallised’ liners above the hotplate (left-hand side) only. You can recognise these by their ‘sandpaper’ type rough finish. These should be left alone; don’t attempt to clean them at all; they self-clean using the heat from the hotplate when the lid is closed. (They won’t look brand-new, and never extremely dirty but you’ll notice that any splashes slowly disappear.)
The ‘expansion rings’ on traditional AGAs (the loose cast-iron rings around the hot plates) lift out.
This can reveal more grease build-up that you’ll need to clean out.
(Sometimes the rings are no longer loose; they become trapped in by the build-up.)
Once you've levered out the ring(s) (carefully - use an old table knife or screwdriver) you can (again, very carefully) use a flat bladed screwdriver (or similar) to scrape out the build-up and clean (follow the enamel cleaning instructions above) the channel that the rings sit in.
Take great care to not hurt yourself (keep all fingers behind the blade at all times) or to damage the AGA – one slip and you could leave a horrible scratch on the top-plate!
The cast-iron expansion rings themselves are best cleaned with the wire brush.
Loose shrouds and Flue Nozzle filler
These can be lifted off and can be cleaned in the same way. Make sure you put back any parts you lift off.
Any shrouds across the back of an AGA that are held in place by screws can be cleaned in-situ. Ensure the AGA is turned off first and make sure you don’t splash any water in to the ‘workings’ they’re covering. Use a vacuum cleaner nozzle held next to a small soft brush to first loosen and then suck up any fluff and dust from the grilles.
We don’t recommend removing any shrouds that are held on by screws but if you do then be extremely careful: isolate all electrics first and take note of how things came apart – you’ll need to remember this for when you put it back together! Some parts have electrical earthing cables fixed to them, it’s critical that these go back exactly as they were.
The oven doors can be lifted off making them easier to clean. Make sure they’re cool enough to touch first (or use suitable protective equipment) and lay them on a soft cloth / towel on the worktop.
Don’t immerse in water.
Remember that if you take the uppermost doors off an AGA which is still on, the heat will rise from the oven and heat the handrail making it dangerous to touch.
Outer (Enamelled) Part)
Clean as you would the enamelled top and front plates.
Aluminium Door Liners
(Most models except newer AGA 7 Series Cookers)
The best way to clean them is like the lid liners using a soap-filled steel-wool pad. (Which may slightly scratch the aluminium liner but it will remove the splatters.)
You can lift the door on to a soft towel on the worktop to make it easier to work on but take note that there are some small plastic washers on the door pegs – these need to go back as you found them. Don’t immerse the door in water.
Stainless-Steel Door Liners
(AGA 7 Series)
These are removable and can then be washed-up. Use a Spontex or similar ‘green scrubber’ with washing up water or dab some AGA Stainless Steel Cleaner on the pad and scrub. A Brillo pad is the ultimate and could be slightly abrasive so take care if you use one of these.
(The bit between the front-plate and the cast-iron part of the oven).
Up to 1995 (ish) they were aluminium – clean as aluminium lid and door liners. After 1995 (ish) they are usually stainless steel (more shiny) – clean as stainless-steel door liners. Don’t use too much pressure – some can be dislodged if you do.
These are largely self-cleaning – splashes of fat or grease carbonise on the hot oven surface and end up as dust on the oven floor. Best brushed out with your wire brush (which can be used to loosen any burnt splatters too). If the oven’s cool enough you can also use a vacuum nozzle to remove the dust.
The self-cleaning effect is faster in the roasting oven (it’s hotter, and it’s the heat that does the self-cleaning) however the simmering and baking ovens don’t get as dirty since you’re not doing the type of cooking that creates these splashes in them anyway.
Wire brush for cleaning cast-iron ovens.
These are lower temperature ovens so don’t get too dirty. If you spill anything just wipe up with a damp dishcloth.
These are cast-iron and generally any splatters will burn to a crisp and can then be brushed off with a wire brush (be careful not to scratch the enamel top plate with the wire brush). Don’t worry about any discolouration – this is normal and will slowly rub off as your pans slide around.
Boil-Over or Spill
If you have a big ‘boil-over’ (it’s inevitable!) don’t worry – mop up as much as you can using a natural fibre cloth (not a synthetic one – these are plastic and will melt when it touches the hot hotplate surface, cotton will singe but should survive). Any spillage that goes between the hot plate and expansion ring (the loose ring fitted round the outside of the hotplates on traditional AGAs) will be absorbed by the insulation then will re-evaporate out. Unless you’re pouring liquid in there it won’t cause any damage. If it’s milk then any smells won’t last that long.
AGA 3 Series Hotplate Surrounds
These can be (carefully) lifted out to make them easier to clean (and to give access to the enamelled area beneath them). We recommend using a damp e-cloth or dishcloth, don’t immerse in water and do not put them in the dishwasher.
These are toughened glass. Initially wipe up spills with a damp e-cloth or dishcloth. Stubborn spills can be removed using a combination of the hob scraper, then AGA General Hob Cleaner.
Lid and door ropeseals.
These can’t be cleaned but can be replaced if they get dirty (newer AGAs have black ones which don’t show the dirt). Normally it’s best done at a service by our engineer but you can also buy a replacement lid or door ropeseal and the high-temperature adhesive you need to glue it in if you’re confident to do it yourself.
The AGA Vitreous Enamel is very durable and easy to look after in normal use.
Light scuffs can be rubbed away using the AGA Enamel Rubber, but this won't remove scratches or chips.
What is Vitreous Enamel?
Vitreous Enamel is effectively a coloured glass coating fired on to the cast-iron at very high temperature so look after it with this in mind.
If you scratch the enamel you can't really repair it successfully, and if you chip it the best you can do is use touch-up paint to regain the colour.
The touch-up paint doesn't fill the missing part; it just puts the colour back to help disguise it.
Filler is available but we don't think it looks great [you can always see the repair] and it can drop out after a year or two.
We can order you a small stick of touch-up paint from AGA, other than black we're unlikely to have it in stock as it has a 'best used by' date.
AGAs installed up to around 1984 had small quantities of asbestos in some ropeseals. This includes some lid and door ropeseals. We’ve been assured by AGA and our health and safety advisors that since the fibres aren’t disturbed in normal use (in fact the splashes of fat and grease seal in the fibres and make them safer) and there’s little or no significant health risk. If you change these seals though the correct precautions and working practises must be followed when removing the old ones (and the new / replacement ones do not contain asbestos).