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Help - how to clean my NONself-cleaning oven?

I do quite a lot of baking and I'm ashamed to admit it, but I don't know how to clean an oven! So I've been using this one for two years and it's getting dirtier and dirtier... I need to do something about it before it's irretrievable (if it's not already)... help!

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  1. i've been doing an early early spring cleaning on my place and just discovered the mr. clean magic eraser - heavy duty! this thing is awesome and makes cleaning greasy, grimy yuckiness super easy. even after reading their website, i'm not sure exactly what's in the sponge besides ammonia, so i don't know if you'd really want to clean something that you're gonna be eating out of. but if you've got any range cleaning, get the magic eraser. happy cleaning! :o)

    1. Thanks on the Mr.Clean eraser tip.

      Re: cleaning the oven...a can of old fashion oven cleaner would do the job. You can get it at any supermarket. Try the "non-toxic" stuff. Basically you spray the stuff on the surface and come back in 30 mins to 1 hr. If you're afraid of the chemicals, wash it down with a wet sponge afterwards. Might also try Simply Green in concetrate or orange oil.

      1. Old grandmother trick that works -- with a note of caution, this is smelly so I recommend when you will be out of the kitchen for at least eight hours. Pre-heat oven to about 250 degrees - or do this after baking something and the oven is cooling - put a pan of sudsy ammonia in the warm oven, close the door and leave the room for at least eight hours. Next morning, wipe down the walls etc with some of the ammonia. Rinse with clear water until no smell remains. The pan of sudsy ammonia somehow loosens the burned on gunk and my (old) ovens wiped clean in a breeze.

        I should add that this method has the bonus of being dirt cheap; needs something to make up for the "Phew-y Factor".

        1. I'm afraid I'll have to pass on the ammonia... I'm asthmatic, we have three cats, and an open plan apartment so fuminess is out. I'll look for the Mr Clean eraser tomorrow and see how it goes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kajikit

            Good luck with Mr. Clean. Tuck this away for some time when you have a closed kitchen - it is a great trick.

          2. Old joke: Oven's dirty. Time to move.

            1 Reply
            1. I used to have a gas stove that wasn't self cleaning. I found that if I was vigilant about wiping up any spills immediately that it was amazing how clean I could keep it. Than in the warmer weather I would take the racks outside, place on newspaper and spray with an oven cleaner.

              1. My oven is not self-cleaning, either. The stove in general is a complete piece of crap, but I'm trying to hold off until we re-do the whole kitchen to replace the stove. I just realized that when we do get rid of it, I can give it to the firehouse to set on fire for practice and/or fire safety demonstrations. I plan to ask if I can torch the thing myself! >:-)

                Oh, right -- my *practical* thought on the oven cleaning! :)

                I do like the other suggestions above. I learned this from my MIL. After you get done using whatever ghastly chemicals you have to use to get the gunk off your oven, wipe it down with a *vinegar solution*, then with water (as above). Just one more level of cleaning to ready it for a food-safe environment. HTH.

                1. Another good way to wash out whatever caustic poison you end up using is to get yourself a good, big spray bottle. Fill with water, spray down the sides of the oven. Then all you need to wipe is the floor of the oven. Repeat if necessary.

                  I found my first oven cleaning so traumatic (even the "non-toxic" stuff was awful and it took ages of scrubbing) that I started doing occasional maintenance. Now I clean up after particularly messy roasting sessions. Baking soda on a scrubby sponge does the trick if there isn't too much gunk. I also learned the art of putting foil or a baking tray under things that might drip.

                  1. Before I moved into a house with a self-cleaning oven I used Arm & Hammer Oven Cleaner. It was totally non-toxic and non-caustic. You sprayed it in the oven and brought the temp up to 400 degrees and then turned it off. When it cooled to room temp, all you have to do was wipe the dry residue off with a damp sponge (no gloves needed). It was so easy, I cleaned my oven all the time.

                    1. Put a pan of boiling water in a glass baking pan with thick layer of baking soda in the bottom, Place it in a pre-heated oven (200). Leave it for an hour. Turn off the heat. Let the oven cool with the door closed. Fine to leave it overnight. Wipe up the soft gunk with old rags or a sponge.