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Aug 21, 2012 07:18 AM

How to Remove Aluminum from Bottom of Oven

I lined the bottom of my oven with aluminum foil with the intention of catching drips etc.. to make clean-up easier. I found out afterwards that this is something that should not be done since the aluminum will "melt" and fuse on to the surface of the bottom of the oven. AND this is what happened. Does anyone know an effective, safe way of removing the aluminum without also ruining the surface of the oven?

I can't replace the bottom surface and I have already called the manufacturers of the range and aluminum foil and no one can provide an answer. Apparantly, this is a known issue.

Thanks for reading.

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  1. Is it interfering with the use of the oven? If not you could just leave it.

    1. Lining the bottom of an oven with aluminum foil or a foil liner is quite common and acceptable provided that the electric heating element is ABOVE the oven bottom, not below and that the liner is between the element and the bottom. This of course is not possible with a gas oven.

      With that said, you could try scraping the foil off with a putty knife, but as paulj stated, if it is not interfering with the operation of the oven, leave it. Unsightly, but better than scratching up the porcelain finish of the oven. The oven bottom should be removable and you could order another and be back to pristine in a matter of a few days. Probably not what you wanted to hear. If you are thinking of ordering a new bottom pan, you might get a friend to try heating the stuck on aluminum with a portable propane torch to soften the aluminum and maybe it can be scraped off with little to no damage to the underlying oven bottom thus saving you some money. And if it doesn't work you can go ahead with buying a new bottom. Or just leave everything as is.

      1. I have lined the bottom of my oven with heavy-duty foil for years, and never had this problem. How weird.

        8 Replies
        1. re: FitMom4Life

          Some modern electric ovens (including mine) have various heating elements which come on depending on the oven function selected. One of these is located directly under the enameled oven floor and my user manual is very clear that nothing should be placed on the oven floor when using a setting which turns this element on, otherwise damage may result. However, it does not warn specifically against using a foil floor liner. My guess is that this is the misfortune suffered by Entore, to which I doubt there's a simple solution.

          Ovens with side elements are fine with liners.

          1. re: FitMom4Life

            Hello to all. I have a brand new stove! Used Maney three or four times, we were doing a large dinner and wanted to protect the stove bottom. In doing soothe foil has melted to the bottom. I took it out can cleaned about 80% of it off but the part that is melted, is like it was painted onto the blue porceline. I will try an oven cleaner but do not think that will, work as it is literally painted on. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
            Thank you

            1. re: Afd326

              My wife did this to our oven. Grrrrr... I recently ran it through the self cleaning cycle and then just scraped away anything left behind with a brush.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                Did this work? I just burned foil on my new oven and I am sick

              2. re: Afd326

                This same thing happened to me. My roommate had a family dinner and her dad used foil. Did the treatment work with Sodium Hydroxide? I don't want to ruin oven

                1. re: alpenglows

                  Be very careful with sodium hydroxide. It can blind you really fast if it gets in your eyes. Wear gloves and eye protection

                2. re: Afd326

                  Is your oven and LG? I have the same blue oven. I just have a very small spot of tin foil stuck.
                  What I am pissed about is the grocery stores in Arizona stopped selling the oven pan liners. I like having a rimmed disposable pan liner. They do not stick. I found a ton of them on line, but they are a stupid size. Like 18 x 15 1/2. Who's oven is that size? I need 18 x 24.
                  Anyway was hoping for an answer on here, for getting the foil off

              3. Most lye (Sodium Hydroxide) based oven cleaners will dissolve the Aluminum foil. This can be a fairly violent reaction depending upon the temperature and concentration of the lye, so be sure to wear your PPE.

                7 Replies
                1. re: NVJims

                  Really? An alkali will dissolve aluminum? That doesn't sound likely to me - although I admit I've never tried it. I'd think you'd need an acid (or perhaps vinegar) and I wouldn't even think of recommending one without knowing more about the composition of the affected area.

                  1. re: kagemusha49

                    2 Al (s) + 2 NaOH (aq) + 2 H2O = 2 NaAlO2 (aq) + 3 H2 (g).

                    BTW this reaction gives off a lot of hydrogen gas--ventilation and PPE required.

                    1. re: NVJims

                      Yeah aluminum can swing and act nonmetallic in some reactions - what is that sodium aluminate. Didn't realise it would react that easily.

                      1. re: kagemusha49

                        It not only reacts easily, it is a violent exothermic reaction totally dissolving the aluminum. Do not heat the oven while you are using this method, and, oh yes, it will remove the grease in the process. Just be sure to wear your PPE.

                      2. re: NVJims

                        Wow NVjims, are you a chemistry prof.? I did read that sodium hydroxide would work, but I am hesitant to try it (too unsure about the gas that would be given off). I also heard that sodium bicarbonate solution heated up to 150C would slowly "etch" away the aluminum. Do you or anyone else know about this reaction? And if yes, then how can I heat the sodium bicarbonate solution to 150C and have this solution in direct contact with the affected area for a period of time (this is supposed to be a very slow reaction), and is this a safe reaction?

                        For anyone that is reading this, aluminum will melt onto the surface of the bottom of some ovens where the heating elements are "hidden" underneath the surface. When the oven is used above certain temperature, the bottom surface gets above the melting point of aluminum, the aluminum melts. I should have been more careful in reading through the user's manual. :) BTW, nothing should be placed directly on the bottom surface of these types of ovens while in use.

                        1. re: NVJims

                          Re: your suggestion to remove aluminum foil from an oven: Can you tell me what I should ask for at Lowes or Home Depot? Or will I have to order these from a chemical supply co & can you recommend one on line?-

                          1. re: Kimistry

                            I haven't been checking this thread... Ask for Lye or Sodium Hydroxide. Oven cleaners or drain cleaners that have Sodium Hydroxide as the first listed chemical will work. They will have the skull and crossbones symbol and will carry the same PPE warning that I have been saying.

                    2. I use aluminum foil as an oven liner, both regular and heavy duty foil, and disposable foil pans designed (made large and flat) for oven liners and have not had any sticking problems. I am doing this in both electric and gas ovens.

                      I am guessing that "food" got between the oven and foil and cooked/polymerized/burnt and this is acting as an adhesive.

                      I was thinking about something mechanical: scraping off the foil......oven is probably enamel over steel, what type of brush or 3M sponge product would remove the foil without scratching the enamel......Then I read NVJims suggestion, and I agree with him.

                      I would first research (read the manual) regarding cleaning the oven, e.g. some ovens have a self cleaning cycle, others require cleanser and elbow grease. If your oven can use oven cleanser, try that. A putty knife might come in handy.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Alan408

                        Your explanation sounds a lot more plausible than the aluminum melting. Some type of protein has basically become a glue and fused the aluminum to the oven. An alkali like sodium hydroxide could dissolve the organic material binding the aluminum to the oven. Won't dissolve the alumium but if the organic stuff gets softened up enough it all might peel off.

                        1. re: kagemusha49

                          NO, as stated above, the new nicer ovens have the bottom heating element UNDER the oven floor. Laying aluminum trays directly on the bottom, ABOVE the element puts it in a very hot situation and the aluminum melts. Really. My neighbor just did this to her brand new oven and we're trying to get it off and trying the auto clean cycle now.

                          1. re: dih706

                            Let me know if thebauto clean works I don't believe it will but, Good Luck

                            1. re: dih706

                              Did anything work? I tried the auto clean feature but it was filling my house with smoke and fumes even with every door/window open so I had to stop it. And then the door remained locked until it was too cool to scrape off.

                              1. re: Mnmom

                                Sounds like your oven needed cleaning

                                1. re: Mnmom

                                  Thank god mine did not stick too much.
                                  But I agree with you....., I hate using the self cleaning feature on an oven, because it does exactly what you said. Fills the house with fumes etc.

                                  1. re: Partyinmymouth

                                    If you use the self-cleaning feature with more frequency it will smoke less. You are letting your oven get too dirty before cleaning it.

                                2. re: dih706

                                  I had my oven only an hour... no food used in the oven. Lined with new aluminum foil. It melted to the surface! Just sick about the heating element in the bottom panel. nothing I have done will get it off. costs appx $100 to replace. Anyone have any other bright ideas?

                                  1. re: dih706

                                    I just did this to my brand new oven. I am sick. I had no idea. It is a mess.

                                    1. re: corigee

                                      Sorry to hear that. I think if you read thru some of the posts, you may get some ideas how to remove it.
                                      Drives me crazy the grocery stores in AZ no longer sell the tin oven pan liners. I am now wrapping my trays with tin foil.
                                      I did buy a reusable and washable non stick flex able sheet from Cookina barbecue. But it's not big enough. Can also be used on a BBQ. Google it or I ordered it from Home Depot or Lowes.