Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Oven Cleaning Day!!!!

Today I conquered the monumental task of cleaning my oven.  I have not cleaned it since it bought 1 year and 11 months ago. Cleaning my oven has not been high on my priority list, because I am really the only one who sees all the grossness. However, my Dear Sweet Friend has "borrowed" my oven several times lately (her oven was on the fritz and the repair man had not come yet). Having someone else seeing my filthy oven (even though she loves me despite my failings) shamed me into tackling the project! It's not like it should be a huge is a self cleaning oven (my previous oven was not self cleaning, so I am a newbie here)..........right. This is going to be a full disclosure post, so here is what it looked like before:

Once I started prepping the oven for it's cleaning ( I even dug out the owner's manual and followed the instructions to the letter) it sort of snowballed! I pulled the oven out of it's little cubby (Caution: more embarrassing photos to follow):

It appears that there was a dust bunny convention going on under the stove, and why is there a q tip under the stove(maybe I don't want to know the answer to that question)? Nothing a good sweeping and scrubbing couldn't fix! 
I forgot I left this this piece of wallpaper up for posterity!

Have I mentioned that whoever built this house had horrible taste!!!!!!!  Who wallpapers a kitchen (and dining area) with feather wallpaper?  As I was giving the stove a good vaccumming and scrubbing (the dust bunnies had decided to take up residence around the storage drawer, as well) I discovered some treasures:

Two quarters and the schematic for the stove (I'm sure this will come in handy when it time to start repairing the stove). While the oven was doing it's self cleaning thing. I pulled off  knobs and let them soak in some soapy water for awhile.

The instructions were adamant that you could not leave the racks in the oven during  the cleaning cycle. I placed them in the bathtub filled with hot soapy water (that I had added dish soap and ammonia to). I let them soak for a couple of hours. It worked like a charm. All the baked on gunk wiped off easily (Woo Hoo)!

After a quick wipe down once the cleaning cycle was finished; the oven it now a beautiful sight to behold!

My project did take a good chunk of the day to complete, but now that  I'm done I think it was time well spent. It bright and shiny clean! All ready for a holiday baking marathon! Oh, and did I mention I love my self cleaning oven? Whoever invented them is a genius......pure GENIUS!


  1. Frugal Down Under,
    It is amazing how liberating a clean oven is! Every time I pass the stove I open the oven door to admire how clean it is!

  2. We tried the self-clean option on our beautiful KitchenAid range exactly once; it fried the solid-state controls to where we couldn't open the door any more! Thankfully it was still under warranty at the time so we only had to pay around $200 for the repair (labor costs) versus over $700 (cost for new circuit board).

    Anyway, I now clean my oven manually. GRRR. I learned when we lived in navy housing that ammonia is your friend when it comes to oven cleaning! The last repair person told us that instant Tang powder also is a fantastic oven cleaner. Just make it into a paste, and coat the dirty parts - the citric acid eats all the grease. I'm going to give it a try one of these days.

    In the meantime, I envy your clean oven!

  3. Laura,
    I hate it when appliances don't work the way you want them to!!! Thanks for the tip about the Tang. It would have made cleaning the oven door much easier!

  4. I have never seen such shockingly ugly wallpaper! It is a crime that it was ever created, let alone chosen for someone's kitchen! Where would it have possibly looked attractive?!

    Good for you for cleaning your oven. Mine is definitely due for a good scrubbing. The last time I did it, I laid a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom to protect my new, clean oven just like I used to with my old stove. Unfortunately I had forgotten that my new stove had a hidden coil under the metal bottom, so the next time I turned the oven on the aluminum cooked to the bottom of my oven! It was awful and took hours to scrape off and weeks before the smell was gone! :)

  5. How much ammonia did you add to the water?

  6. Anonymous,
    I filled the bath tub up with 4-5 inches of hot water and added about 2 cups of ammonia. I also squirted in 2 tablespoons of dish soap,too.

  7. Sigh... my oven is about as old as yours... and now I am reminded that I should clean it before the holidays. I am impressed that you even pull yours out and clean under it. I am not that ambitious, I am afraid. :)

  8. I love my self-cleaning oven, too. Here's an embarrassing story, though. When we moved into this house, I was baking and decorating cakes so I needed it to be right on. But I was having trouble with it so I immediately called out a guy to calibrate it. Cost me $50 to find out that the last owners had switched the knobs by mistake so no wonder it wasn't heating correctly! Duh!!!

  9. Really? You didn’t clean your oven for almost 2 years? I can’t imagine how dirty it is! Since I use our oven frequently, I make it a point to clean it after using it and keep it looking as if it’s still brand new. I hope you’ll make it a habit to keep your oven clean.

  10. Cleansing the glass window on an oven doorway is a little bit a lot more hard since people need to have to be watchful that the cleaning option does not leak in amongst the two glass panels. If baking soda will get in amongst the glass, it can go away unpleasant white colored streaks.

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  11. It's funny really - you spend your whole life buying chemical cleaners because that's just "what you do" and then you read posts like this and everything changes... the simple things can be so good sometimes!

    Just wanted to say thanks - I've been doing my best to be far more frugal recently. The birth of my 2nd wasn't half as scary as the first... I feel like I can be a good housewife as well as mamma - fingers crossed! One of the things I used to do was use professional oven cleaners. I can't say a bad word about them to be honest, at my various houses over the years I've had them in every few months. I'd been using oven cleaner birmingham and oven cleaning sheffield and I'm not ashamed to recommend them, however I am ashamed to say that it's only been recently that I even knew what the word frugal meant! So thanks again for posts like this to help me on my way to being a better stay at home mamma :) x

  12. Ooh just the cleaning advice I've been looking for, thank you :D I've come from a long time back at uni in sheffield studying my PHD. In my shared house we'd chip together and use oven cleaner sheffield which are great, but now I'm back in Birmingham! Can anyone suggest anywhere? I will put the frugal and green cleaning tips to practice as soon as I have the time :D

  13. Oh my, what a result! with results like that you could do oven cleaning for a living! The ammonia worked a treat on your racks too. Well done, Tightwad Mom :)

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  15. Thanks for sharing in detail. Your blog is an inspiration! Apart of really useful tips, it's just really ! This post will be effectively Just about everything looks good displayed.
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