Category Archives: Cleaning


Making Rational Oven Cleaning Easier

Rational oven cleaningOften, we are promised something which will make our lives easier, only for us to be disappointed by the reality.

Which is why we are not going to overhype the changes that will make life easier for school catering staff in 50 Gloucestershire schools this summer; and could be suitable for your kitchen and Rational oven cleaning.

The Potential Oven Cleaning Issue

Rational ovens are well-built and designed for busy catering establishments. As needs increase through busier service or an older machine is replaced; so another Rational model is deployed with the latest technology and optimised features. That optimisation goes all the way down to the choice of cleaning tablet for the oven. And that is where the potential issue lies when the wrong tablet is used for the wrong machine. This may cause it to fault.

Rational Red Cleaning Tablets (56.00.210) supplied in a round drum, are used for SE, SG, SH, and SI ovens. While Active Green Cleaning Tablets (56.01.535) in the rectangular tub, are for use in i Combi Pro (SJ) and i Combi Classic ovens (MJ).

The good news is that if you have the new SJ and MJ modules and older Self Cooking Center models White Efficiency (SH) and (SI), their software can be updated to take the new Active Green Cleaning Tablets. This removes the chance of using the wrong tablets in the new ovens. It also makes ordering and stocking the right tablets so much easier.

Please note the Care Tablets (56.00.562) are still used in SG, SH, SI, SJ, MI, and MJ ovens whether you use Red Cleaning Tablets or Active Green Tablets.

Update Now or Later?

As a proactive partner, AC Services engineers will offer to update the software on any kitchens they visit where there are a number of different oven models. After all we’d far rather prevent an issue occurring so that our clients have peace of mind; than to have to respond to an emergency.

Alternatively, like with the schools, we’re happy to go out specially to update software to make everyone’s cleaning regime easier.


Published Date: 28th June 2022
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Cleaning, News, Rational
Tags: , ,



Time for Rational Cleaning

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happy

So you may have noticed how quickly this year has gone. Last week we were sweltering in the last rays of the summer; this week we’re starting to think ahead to winter. 31st October is gearing up to be an interesting date for many, and not just because it is national let’s-dress-up-in-silly-costumes day.

It’s impossible to make any predictions about the outcome of the Brexit deadline but as a precaution, it’s worth stocking up on various items. And from AC Services Southern’s point of view, it’s an ideal time to look at Rational cleaning products.

Fact: Christmas is galloping apace and will be upon us before we realise.

Fact: we have a politically uncertain time ahead of us with no idea about the impact on imports of foreign products or indeed, on the value of the pound.

Fact: your cleaning products may not be running low now, but there will soon be a traditional late rush on supplies so avoid the queues.

Act now to stay happy later

Now is the time to take advantage of our online store for Rational cleaning products. It takes no time at all to enter an order and wait for the despatch of the goods. So let’s look at what you could get in the on-line Rational oven cleaning range

  • Rational Oven Cleaner Tab (x100): highly concentrated tablets specially developed. A new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • Tablets for Rational Oven Care (x150) with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up. They give reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
  • Rational Rinse Tablets (x50) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
  • Rational’s Grill Cleaner (10 litres) for use with a hand spray gun.
  • Rational Rinse Aid (10 litres).

There’s more: when was the last time your Rational oven was serviced? It’s probably longer than you think so pick up the phone and book a service now, not in December when we’re both rushed off our feet. Prevention is always better than cure.

To order your Rational cleaning products simply go to our online shop. To book a service call AC Services Southern on 01454 322222 for more advice and a time that suits.


Published Date: 3rd September 2019
Category: Blog, Cleaning, Cleaning Products, News
Tags: , , ,



Christmas Catastrophe or Planned Perfection

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyThe countdown is on. We’ve had Halloween and Armistice Day, not to mention a mid-term election in America plus a spate of excellent TV dramas, so now thoughts turn to the Christmas season.

When does the party season start for you? And when does it finish? New Year’s Day? What’s on all the menus? Turkey? Goose? Beef? Vegan platters? These are all pressing decisions! And let’s not forget the most important one – is your Rational oven Christmas-ready?

For those in catering, the oven is the most important gift over the festive season. If it breaks down, no amount of batteries or prayers will put it right. And few will be willing to sacrifice their own Christmas spirit to rush over to fix it.

There you have it, best case scenario – Christmas dinner ruined. Worst case scenario – frustrated and angry diners, potential court cases and an establishment with a very bad reputation. For restaurants and eateries who are planning to serve sumptuous banquets on and before the day, this could be catastrophic.

There is a solution: get your oven serviced now. Don’t wait for December, call AC Services (Southern) and avoid any last minute rush. We can guarantee that up until Christmas Eve, our engineers will be working flat out to cope with the inevitable panicked last minute rush!

Moreover, why not consider setting up a regular contract so that you can have peace of mind that your oven is looked after all year round? We have a number of options that suit both budget and business.

Value for money

What will you get for your money? Typically engineers will sort any of those annoying little faults that can compromise performance, if left unchecked. We keep our vans fully stocked so we can deliver a fix on the first visit in more than 95% of call-outs whilst we are with you.

Servicing comprises:

  • function testing and commissioning of elements
  • checking the operational mode of water, gas and electrical connections
  • testing electrical components, gas specific parts and steam generation.

You don’t even have to fret about forgetting the date of your scheduled Rational oven service. Every customer who gets their oven serviced will be issued with a reminder the month before it is due next year. So there’s no reason for you to conveniently forget!

Order Now

Finally, make sure that you have plenty of oven cleaning materials in stock. Rational Self-Cooking-Centers have automatic cleaning programmes built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.

Be prepared and make sure your Rational oven is in working order for Christmas service. Call us now and we can calmly talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222. Then you’ll have peace of mind that the Christmas season will go ahead as planned.


Published Date: 13th November 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Cleaning, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, Service plan
Tags: , , ,



Save Money by Servicing and On-line Shopping

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyClients often ask AC Services Southern why we recommend a full annual service on their Rational appliances. Surely regular cleaning and standard maintenance practices are enough to maintain the performance of the ovens?

The truth is that however much and however meticulously you clean your oven, like your own car, there is still the need for a regular Rational service to optimise or replace the parts which wear.

So for the diligent as well as those absent-minded oven owners out there, we have a solution. We have been using a new system since April. We now log when ovens are serviced and sending a timely reminder when the next service is due.

Service Essentials

At AC Services we like to give back to our loyal customers so read on to see how you can SAVE £10 on online orders. We are the Rational Service Partner for South West England and South Wales. Our team of engineers only repair and maintain Rational ovens and Frima Vario Cooking Centres. That places us in the very safe position of knowing exactly what we are looking for and what we are doing.

Our engineers have over 40 years’ experience between them and as we only work on two pieces of equipment, all the engineers have a van full of Rational original parts. What this means is that in the majority of cases (more than 95%), our engineers will have any parts that may be required so we will be able to quote you the price and fit them there and then, if given the go ahead.

So what happens in a service and how long does it take? Ideally, our engineers will spend at least 1½ hours and often two hours fully checking the appliance. Why so long? Check out the key points on our service checklist.

  • Installation,
  • Door function tests
  • Interior cabinet tests
  • Control panel function check
  • Exhaust/vent hood function test/commissioning
  • Electrical safety test
  • Water-drain function test
  • Steam generator electrical components
  • Gas specific parts
  • Gas analysis
  • Software update 

Cost Efficiency

The second question is cost. Is it cost effective in the long term?

The cost of a full Rational service carried out by one of our fully qualified Rational Engineers starts from £165 plus VAT (depending on age and size of the oven) plus the cost of any parts required, which are discussed and costed before fitting. Any extra hours are charged at £44 plus VAT, in increments of 15 minutes.

A breakdown or repair callout costs £121 plus VAT inclusive of the callout and one hour’s labour, with further labour charged at £44 per hour in increments of 15 minutes. For those who feel this is too much of a layout, just add up the costs of loss of business, of reputation, of loyal customers and of the profit margin should you be unable to use your oven to provide food for customers.

Customer Discounts

Finally, we love offering our customers discounts. So save £10 per shop on our range of Rational Cleaning, Rinse and Care Tablets for the relevant ovens and Rational Grill Cleaner using the code JUL10 in our on-line store before 12th August 2017.


Published Date: 25th July 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning, News, Service plan
Tags: , , ,



Get Ready for Christmas Service

Rational oven cleaning and pre- Christmas serviceAs I write, we have 83 days 4 hours 48 minutes and 33 seconds until Santa comes down the chimney. That’s 1996 hours in total, which doesn’t sound like a lot of time when you consider what you have to do before Christmas. Check for yourself on the Christmas Countdown Clock to see how the hours are whittling away…

For caterers, the countdown to the festive season has already begun. Restaurants are already displaying their Christmas menus, and advent calendars and chocolate treats have replaced suntan lotion and mosquito repellent on the shelves of the supermarkets.

So there is no better the time to book a service for your Rational oven in time for Christmas! Here are AC Services (Southern), we are more than happy to help and we offer a range of packages to suit any budget.

Over the festive period, the last thing you want is for your oven to play up or pack in. Regular cleaning is simply not enough to ensure perfect performance time and time again. For instance, even the smallest amount of grease or food residue can accumulate and unless it is cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis, this can cause long-term problems, so why put your Christmas service at risk.

Annual Service & Maintenance Contracts

There simply is no substitute for regular maintenance. Being on a low budget is no excuse as the initial outlay easily beats the costs incurred when an oven fails suddenly. The easiest way to prevent a breakdown of either yourself or your appliance is to invest in an Annual Maintenance Contract.

Preventative maintenance visits can highlight potential problems, which can be rectified before they cause a breakdown. This is in addition to our 24-hour response and in most instances, first time fix. We can offer two preventative maintenance visits per year working to a comprehensive schedule.

Rational Oven Maintenance Plans

As well as booking for an early service before Christmas, why not consider one of our preventative maintenance plans:

Gold Maintenance Plan

  • Designed for Rational ovens under 10 years old
  • A comprehensive and increased level of parts and labour cover
  • 24 hour response time; breakdown calls attended 7 days per week
  • Replace most parts that fail under the maintenance period up to the value of £1,000 per visit (genuine and original Rational parts used and some exclusions do apply)
  • Two preventative maintenance visits per year at six monthly intervals.

Silver Maintenance Plan

  • Designed to cover labour costs for those customers, who have a limited budget,
  • 24 hour response time
  • Breakdown calls attended 7 days per week
  • Two preventative maintenance visits per year at six monthly intervals
  • First time fix policy
  • Work to an agreed budget on spare parts, when required

Platinum Maintenance Plan

  • Available for our customers, who require an individual plan to meet their Rational oven servicing needs
  • Individually tailored to meet the specific maintenance needs of rational oven owners

If you own a Rational oven in South, South West England and South Wales, we are the local cost effective provider of all your Rational oven service needs. Talk to one of the team on 01454 322222. Whether that’s for a Christmas service or to discuss a year round maintenance plan to save money and worry.


Published Date: 4th October 2016
Category: Blog, Cleaning, News, Rational, Service plan
Tags: , ,



Online Sales with AC Services

Rational oven online sales and serviceFebruary is now upon us and here at AC Services, we appreciate the benefits of value for money. So this month, we are holding a couple of sales.

Times are always tight, but if you are a Rational oven owner, you know that cutting corners for financial reasons is a recipe for disaster and AC Services are here to help.

Online Sales

The first offer is online purchases where using the voucher code rationalonline will get you £10 plus VAT off your purchases. Bear in mind that there are a number of events coming up in the following weeks, including Valentine’s Day and the start of the Six Nations rugby, so take full advantage of this offer until the end of February 2016 and stock up with essential supplies. We can supply items throughout the UK, but this offer is limited only to online sales.

AC Services (Southern) provides a full range of Rational cleaning products. It depends on the type of your Rational oven to determine the correct Rational cleaning products to use. Remember, if you have more than one oven, then you may need different cleaning product combinations.

The online sales offer applies to the following Rational cleaning tabs, rinse tabs, liquid cleaner and spray guns:

  • Cleaner Tabs: highly concentrated tablets specially developed with a new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • Care Tabs: with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up, giving reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
  • Rinse Aid Tabs: (SE Models) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
  • We also provide liquid Grill Cleaner and liquid Rinse Aid (for CPC units) as well as other items such as a hand spray gun for manual cleaning of CM units.

Sale on Servicing

The second fabulous offer is £20 plus VAT off the normal service price. With a normal service starting at £195 plus VAT, this deal is not to be disregarded.

It is valid for all Rational oven service calls completed by 31st March as long as the Rational oven is within the counties and postcodes covered by ACS. These are Avon, Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.

All you have to do is phone the office on 01454 322 222 to confirm costs and times and quote ‘Ready for Spring‘.

Your Sale Choice

Since we introduced the online sales section to our website, the response has been fantastic, with the online store providing ease and simplicity for the ordering process.

You can also find hints and tips to keep your Rational oven in perfect condition, but should you have any worries, simply take advantage of the £20 discount on servicing and gear up for the rest of this quarter with the knowledge that your oven at least won’t let you down!

If you’re in any doubt please telephone us now on 01454 322222.


Published Date: 2nd February 2016
Category: Blog, Cleaning, Cleaning Products, News, Online Sales, Service plan
Tags: , ,



4 Rational Oven Cleaning Tips

Rational oven cleaningThe secret to the successful and sustained performance of any oven is regular cleaning and maintenance.

However, it’s not enough just to run a damp cloth over your appliance and expect it to perform to the same standards time after time.

Here at AC Services (Southern) we advise Rational oven owners about the best ways to keep their ovens pristine. Rational oven cleaning is not rocket science but it is excellent common sense. So here are our top 4 Rational oven cleaning tips.

First Tip

What happens if you don’t clean your unit on a daily basis? Simply put, grease and food residue, even the smallest amount, will accumulate and in time there is a risk of them catching fire.

For optimal hygiene purposes, ensure that you clean your unit every day. Use a non-abrasive cleaning agent with a soft cloth to clean the cooking cabinet seal. This will enable a longer service life. For the internal and external glass windows and the outer panel of the unit, again use a soft damp cloth.

To prevent corrosion, use vegetable or grease to the inside of the cooking cabinet, preferably every two weeks or so.

Second Tip

Look after the air filter. It may not be something that immediately springs to mind, but neglecting this piece of equipment again can cause nasty incidents. Luckily, the Rational has an in-built warning system when the air filter is soiled.

Remember, the unit cannot be operated without the air filter so when you take it out, make sure you put it back. And the most efficient way of cleaning the air filter is in the dishwasher.

Third Tip

What do you do with the drip tray? The drip tray collects the fat from roasting and grilling. It’s obvious that it needs to be emptied regularly, but ideally it needs to be cleaned on a daily basis. Again, the build up of grease and fat can have potentially serious implications as a fire risk.

Fourth Rational Oven Cleaning Tip

If you are not using the appliance, for example overnight or when going on holidays, leave the unit door ajar.

AC Services (Southern) provides a full range of cleaning tablets and fluids that are Genuine Rational Authorised Products, but basic daily house-keeping in cleaning the appliance and maintaining the stainless steel elements are the key to a prolonged and performance-enhanced life. Talk to one of the team on 01454 322222 or visit the AC Services (Southern) website for more information on the Gold, Silver and Platinum Maintenance Plans that we offer.

In the meantime, when you’re doing your Rational oven cleaning, have a look for the serial number of your unit to find out when it was made; as if it is the oldest in the UK and Ireland still in operation then you could win a new Rational oven and a trip to Landsberg in Germany as part of Rational UK’s 25 year celebrations.


Published Date: 19th January 2016
Category: Blog, Cleaning, Cleaning Products, News, Service plan
Tags: , ,



1 Week Sale of Rational Cleaning Products

One week winter sale of Rational cleaning productsWho likes a sale? There are five weeks to Christmas, less when you read this, and seasonal shopping on the high street and online has begun in earnest. So we at AC Services (Southern) have decided to hold a Rational cleaning products winter sale from our on-line shop.

We can’t promise you a reduction on the latest computer game or gadget, but you can take advantage of our seasonal goodwill and stock up on cleaning essentials for your Rational oven. Admit it, you’re excited.

This is a ONE week sale ONLY. We are holding the sale to encourage people to stock up before the festive season, because from past experience, this is the time when you suddenly realise that you are without cleaning liquid or tablets. And tomorrow, you are catering for a roomful of people all expecting their turkey roasted, their roasties crisp and their pudding hot. Too late for hindsight!

Rational Cleaning Products on Offer

AC Services (Southern) provides a full range of Rational cleaning products to clients in order to protect their investment, ie, their Rational ovens. As with all things we hold dear, a Rational cooker is a lifetime commitment and long-term care can and does prolong its efficiency.

You will need different Rational cleaning products depending on your oven type and if you have more than one oven, then you need different cleaning product combinations.

From cleaning tabs to rinse tabs, liquid cleaner to spray gun, we provide all products to make sure that your appliance is perfect. We do not provide the cleaning staff however, that’s your job but with a good and rigid maintenance regime, it makes life a lot easier!

Rational Oven Cleaning Products

Rational Selfcooking Center Units (SCC) can use the following products to help keep the oven clean due to their specific formulation for optimum effectiveness.

  • • Cleaner Tabs: highly concentrated tablets specially developed with a new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • • Care Tabs: (SG and SH Models) with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up, giving reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
  • • Rinse Aid Tabs: (SE Models) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
  • • We also provide liquid Grill Cleaner and liquid Rinse Aid (for CPC units) as well as other items such as a hand spray gun for manual cleaning of CM units.

To order your Rational cleaning products, simply go to our on-line shop and use the voucher code xmas15 by December 1st 2015. Remember it’s a lot easier and simpler to pay by debit card on-line and this voucher is only valid through our on-line shop and cannot be redeem through  purchases by phone


Published Date: 24th November 2015
Category: Blog, Cleaning, Cleaning Products, News, Rational
Tags: , ,



Five Easy Steps for Rational Oven Cleaning

Rational oven cleaningIt doesn’t really matter what kind of oven you have, cleaning it is one of life’s most tedious chores.

For caterers and those who use their oven constantly, then it becomes even more pressing.

So is it possible just to run a J-cloth over the hob or is there more to the art of cleaning?

Automatic Help

Here at AC Services, we believe there is a knack to the process. Although Rational Self Cooking Centers 5 Senses have automatic cleaning software built into them, dirt, grease and cooked food can accumulate around hard-to-reach areas of the oven.

Cleanjet and CareControl is an automatic programme and a request for cleaning will appear on the screen, all that is required of the user is to follow the instructions in their on screen manual. These cleaning products use less abrasive materials, which are not only good for the oven, they are also good for the environment as they are less chemically intense.

The Five Tips

According to Helen Hagger, Director of AC Services (Southern), “We advise all of our customers to make sure that their supply of cleaning products is consistent and we offer the following tips for them to make sure that they do their bit in maintaining the cleanliness, and thus the hygiene of their appliances.”

Tip 1. Your unit must be cleaned every day with the relevant Rational Oven Cleaning Products for your make and model oven, to maintain the high quality of stainless steel for hygiene reasons and to avoid operation faults and hence downtime.

Tip 2. The door gasket needs to be wiped over / cleaned at least daily with non-abrasive cleaning agents, more often if the oven is used on constant high temperatures.

Tip 3. The drip tray collector needs to be wiped over / cleaned daily.

Tip 4. Your unit will let you know when the air filter needs cleaning. On table top units the customer can clean this themselves in the dishwasher; on floor units a service agent such as AC Services will need to replace it.

Tip 5. To prevent corrosion apply vegetable oil or grease to the inside of the cooking cabinet at regular intervals (every 2 weeks or so).

For more instructions for all of the above look under maintenance section of your manuals.

Rational Oven Cleaning Products

All Rational Selfcooking Center Units (SCC) can use the following products to help keep the oven clean due to their specific formulation to minimise fuss and maximise effectiveness.

– Cleaner Tabs: these highly concentrated tablets have been specially developed with a new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.

– Care Tabs: (SG and SH Models) these tabs have special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up, giving reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.

– Rinse Aid Tabs: (SE Models) highly effective care product which ensures active protection and will leave your cabinet hygienically clean and sparkling.

AC Services also provides liquid Grill Cleaner and liquid Rinse Aid (for CPC units) as well as other items such as a Hand Spray Gun for Manual Cleaning of CM units.

AC Services (Southern) is one of the country’s top five Rational approved and audited service partners, covering the South of England, the Southwest, and South Wales. Having been a Rational service partner for over 15 years we know how to clean an oven!

To order your Rational oven cleaning products, simply go to our on-line shop  or call us on 01454 322222 for more advice of how to keep on top of your Rational oven cleaning and working fully.


Published Date: 25th March 2015
Category: Blog, Cleaning, Cleaning Products, News, Rational
Tags: , ,



Cleaning the Rational Way

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyCleaning any oven is hard work. Whatever your best intentions, and depending on how often you actually use it rather than keeping it as storage for utensils and preferring to use the microwave instead, you will always be amazed at the amount of dirt, grease and charcoaled leftovers that you find.

Long before the concept of self-cleaning ovens, a friend of a friend lived in a student house where every Sunday morning, one of the housemates got up early and uncomplainingly to clean the oven. The other flatmates genuinely believed that it was a self-cleaning appliance until a reunion twenty-five years later when the truth was revealed by their former, long suffering and orderly housemate.

Kitchen Timing

Student houses are bad enough but imagine life in a catering kitchen when the oven is in constant use and time is not a commodity that most kitchen operatives enjoy. BUT, cleaning an oven constantly can help improve its performance and safeguard against unexpected failure.

In fact, according to Helen Hagger, MD of AC Services (Southern), cleaning is essentially the best form of preventative maintenance. Which is why, the website for AC Services offers a detailed page on online cleaning products, specifically tailored to the requirements of a Rational oven.

Too many customers believe that using an oven 24/7 and not cleaning it is acceptable,” she explains. “Our aim is to ensure that all of the appliances that we install and service are maintained in the best possible condition, which includes regular use of cleaning products. And what is ever better news is that we have reduced the shipping costs for our products so there is no excuse not to order online from us.”

Cleaning Products

AC Services provides a full range of Rational cleaning products targeted at ensuring long-term care as a key to lifetime performance. Depending on your oven type you will need different cleaning products and these include:
• Rational Oven Cleaner Tab (x100)
• Rational Oven Care Tablets (x100)
• Rational Rinse Tablets (x50)
• Rational Grill Cleaner (10 litres) Use with hand spray gun.
• Rational Rinse Aid (10 litres)

For water filtration:
• Brita Purity 1200 QuellST Filter Cartridge
• Brita Purity 600 Quell ST Filter Cartridge

Customers can buy online out of office hours or when they realise that their Rational cleaning products are running low. And now with lower shipping costs, there really is no excuse not to keep your oven clean and fresh and save money.


Published Date: 17th February 2015
Category: Blog, Cleaning, Cleaning Products, News, Online Sales
Tags: , ,