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Super Duper Magic Cleaning Solution

I have a stovetop Cuisinart convection oven, which I am pleased with. I have an ancient kitchen oven, so I use it for practically everything, including greasy stuff that splatters, like broiling chickens. My bad, I didn't clean the ceiling of the oven for a while...and now it has a layer of thick baked on grease/gunk. I'm embarrassed to admit this in public, but it's true.

I tried cleaning it with a sponge but it really doesn't work. I tried a paste of baking soda and water, but that doesn't work either, although perhaps I should try that again with a bit more elbow grease. In any case, does anyone know of a good cleaning solution, or item, for something like this, which will cut the layer of grease/gunk? I think it's a combination of protein and fat that makes it hard to remove. Thanks.

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  1. I usually don't like to recommend things I haven't used or tried. But an oven cleaner spray would be the next logical step.

    1 Reply
    1. re: unprofessional_chef

      +1. Yes, the logic and nature choice. Ammonia also works in many situation.

      Baking soda is good, but it is also a first solution for many. It is safe, inexpensive, readily available and mild, but it is not strong -- which is why it is safe.

    2. A saucer of straight ammonia left in for 12-24 hours with the door shut is helpful in softening that baked on layer, and direct applications of the same work well, too. I handed my roomie a straight edge razor for him to get his oven clean, it saved on endless amounts of paper towels.

      Heating up the oven for a bit will intensify the results, just don't asphyxiate yourself!

      6 Replies
      1. re: KSlink

        That is an interesting suggestion. I wonder what about the ammonia fumes softens grease.

        1. re: gothamette

          Beats me, I just know that it's a great grease cutter. I always add a good glug or two in the dishpan and the grease just dissolves away--plus no water spots on glasses EVER.....:)

          1. re: KSlink

            The toxicity does worry me. Even ammonia fumes are toxic.

        2. re: KSlink

          I vote for ammonia too. I put it in spray bottle and clean gross surfaces with that and a rag. It is a terrific grease cutter.

          1. re: KSlink

            The toxicity of the ammonia fumes bothers me. Do you let it dissipate for 24 hours? (Sorry for the repeat message. I can't delete the first reply which mentions toxicity.)

            1. re: gothamette

              I've never had a problem with them, but if they get a little strong I open a window or turn on the fan.....

          2. Try a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. I use it to clean my stove top. Ultimately though, your best weapon is elbow grease. It just takes time for things like these.

            As for the oven cleaner, I've only used it once on an oven and the whole chemically thing really makes me uneasy. I prefer to go as naturally as I can for my cleaning products.

            5 Replies
            1. re: coheesive

              <Try a mixture of baking soda and vinegar>

              I have used both and I have used them consecutively (one after another). The reason is that some stains are more easily removed with baking soda, while some are easier removed by vinegar. I won't mix the two together because they neutralize each others.

              <the whole chemically thing really makes me uneasy>

              It is, but let's not forget that baking soda is a chemical too. Oven cleaner is just stronger, which also means more dangerous. :)

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Well sure...everything's a chemical - but some are more dangerous to humans than others.

                1. re: gothamette

                  Exactly my point. Many synthetic chemicals are dangerous, while many are relatively safe. Many natural substances are dangersous, and many are safe. A product is safe because it is safe, not because it is natural.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  "neutralize each other." According to this website, no. They work together:

                  "What actually happens is this: the acetic acid (that's what makes vinegar sour) reacts with sodium bicarbonate (a compound that's in baking soda) to form carbonic acid. It's really a double replacement reaction. Carbonic acid is unstable, and it immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water (it's a decomposition reaction). The bubbles you see from the reaction come from the carbon dioxide escaping the solution that is left. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so, it flows almost like water when it overflows the container. It is a gas that you exhale (though in small amounts), because it is a product of the reactions that keep your body going."

                  http://library.thinkquest.org/3347/vi...

                  1. re: gothamette

                    Your website actually states that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) adding to acetic acid (vinegar) is, in fact, neutralizing each others by forming water and carbon dioxide -- neither of which is as strong as sodium bicarbonate nor acetic acid. I won't call that working together. Unless working together means neutralization and reducing strength.

                    " When combined, baking soda and vinegar neutralize each other in a safe bubbly, hissing kind of way."

                    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/baki...

                    "In the case of vinegar and baking soda, the acetic acid and sodium hydrogen carbonate combine to form water, carbon dioxide (which is responsible for all the bubbles), and sodium acetate."

                    "Try as I might though, I couldn’t find any reliable information about sodium acetate being useful as a cleaning agent."

                    "So the next time you decide to tackle those tough stains, remember that when it comes to vinegar and baking soda, separate is typically better. "

                    http://everydayeinstein.quickanddirty...

              2. Put a little dish soap on a wet rag and nuke for a minute. Leave door closed for awhile. Should come right off

                1 Reply
                1. re: lovetalkinfood

                  "Nuke" meaning? This is a convection oven, not a microwave. I usually associate the word "nuke" with microwaves.

                2. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/nont...

                  Try this. Be sure to leave it overnight. I only use this method now it is so easy and effective.