How to clean an oven
June 27, 2009 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Corningware broke inside hot oven. Oil/grease caked on everywhere. No self-cleaning mechanism. No oven hood. No idea what to do. Help!

I can't even pre heat the oven now without filling the apartment with smoke. I'm looking for your best tips, tricks, strategies, products etc. for cleaning out my oven by hand. Thanks!
posted by AceRock to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Get a can of oven cleaner. Spray it on the oven and let it sit for a few hours according to the directions on the can. You'll then be able to wipe all the mess out of the oven. Make sure you have LOTS of paper towels and wear rubber gloves.
posted by orange swan at 9:34 AM on June 27, 2009

and lots of ventilation
posted by Think_Long at 9:39 AM on June 27, 2009

Oven cleaner is noxious, toxic stuff. And that's why you need some. Do have adequate ventilation, of course, and let it sit for as long as you can. Wipe it out, and attack whatever's still encrusted w/ a (diluted) mix of vinegar & baking soda. Then, if you're me, you'll have the bright idea that you can burn the rest out by cranking the oven up all the way. Then your oven will catch on fire. So, uh, don't be me. Keep scrubbing.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:20 AM on June 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

If you live somewhere hot/humid, I would wait until evening to do it, that way you can get less muggy air circulating through the windows. Oven cleaner is really, really noxious. The last time I was around it, I almost threw up from the fumes.
posted by ishotjr at 10:52 AM on June 27, 2009

If you have an electric kettle, fill it and put it in the closed oven. Pots filled with boiling water will also work. Once the gunk is softened, scrape it with a thin spatula. Save the gunk, make a roux with tomato paste and flour. Slowly add broth. YUM! (kidding)
posted by Pennyblack at 11:13 AM on June 27, 2009

This Ehow article recommends 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 hot water for heavy grease stains. This article recommends pouring baking soda on the caked-on gunk, then vinegar on top, the idea being that the reaction completely separates the gunk from the oven surface. (Both are from a simple google search, so you've probably already seen them?) Seems hard to believe, though, that natural solutions could be so effective.

This review of Easy-Off Fume Free oven cleaner was positive, includes a before and after picture, and confirms that it was fume-free. It might be a pleasant alternative to regular oven cleaner if you don't have great ventilation.
posted by olaguera at 1:51 PM on June 27, 2009

Wear rubber gloves if you use the chemicals! I did not and I seriously regretted it for a few weeks.
posted by I love You at 3:26 PM on June 27, 2009

I bake several hand-tossed pizzas in our electric oven at 550 every month or so and cheese (i.e. oil) problems are normal. We've learned long ago to put aluminum foil at the bottom of the oven for this very reason, and don't use oven cleaners in our household due to concerns about toxicity. The first time we had an oil (cheese) spill on bare metal, we just left the oven on at 550 for an hour, opened the windows, and let the oven smoke itself out down to carbon residue. Then we scraped what was left with a dull knife. No lasting problems since we put down alumnimum foil.
posted by crapmatic at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2009

(before doing the smoke trick, definitely take a spatula and remove what you can get first!)
posted by crapmatic at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2009

I use the easy-off fume free oven cleaner too. I can confirm that it worked on an oven that was in an absolutely TERRIBLE state - years of gross, caked on, blackened gunk. I sprayed it generously in a cold oven and let it sit for an hour or two. I used a sponge and a bucket of hot water to scrape all the gross bits into. You'll probably have to change the water a couple times if it's as bad as you say, but it gets the job done. The oven looked brand new at the end! You could have bowled me right over. It works very well and it isn't noxious at all. Get yourself some kitchen gloves and go to town!
posted by theantikitty at 10:24 PM on June 27, 2009

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