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Sep 5, 2005 01:20 AM

How to clean an oven with no self-cleaning feature?

  • h

To make a long story short, I'm going through a break-up, I'm selling the house, and I'm moving into an apartment that has an oven with no self-cleaning feature.

All my adult life I've had self-cleaning ovens, so I have no idea how to clean ovens. Growing up, I remember my mother complaining every time she had to clean the oven; she would gag at the toxic fumes of the goo she sprayed on the oven walls. Would I have to clean the oven after each time I make something splattery (e.g., a roast) in order to avoid having to scrape off hardened grease?

Any tips on how to make this chore even a little less unpleasant would be really appreciated - good products, time-saving strategies, etc. Thank you for your help.

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  1. i'll be interested in the responses to this; would love to find something less toxic to clean my oven.

    till then, i've found that it really is easier to clean the oven after particularly messy cooking (like roasts that splatter). it's not particularly taxing. i just spray on a bit of kitchen cleaner and sponge off, as part of my washing up after dinner. i haven't had to do a massive cleaning for ages.

    1. Helen, my grandmother never "cleaned" an oven in her life. She likened it to washing the wheels on her car. Instead, from time to time she would place a pan of ammonia in the oven, as it cooled, after cooking something particularly splattery. She tried to time this after everyone had left the kitchen. Next morning, she'd merely wipe the sides and the spots came off easily.

      Today, there is "Scentless Ammonia" which would make this job much more pleasant because the fumes were awful and drove us out of the house.

      I used this system with great success in my early years when I was living in apartments with "Clean It Yourself" ovens. If your apt has a bathtub, soaking the soiled oven racks overnight in there eliminates much scrubbing, especially if you add some ammonia to the water.
      NB: add the ammonia to the water, not the other way around. See note on fumes!