Homemade Oven Cleaner Test

This is a tale of two outcomes. Two very different outcomes.

How it happened: My oven was very dirty. So dirty that when I tried to bake pizzas, the stench of burning material filled my house. I reluctantly decided it was time to clean the oven. To my dismay, the can of oven cleaner I was sure I had under the sink was not there. So, I went where I always go when faced with a lack of the "real thing" - to Google!

In my search for alternatives to oven cleaner, I found this video. It was put out by a cleaning service in Detroit, and since it only had three ingredients, I decided to give it a try, because that oven was messed up.

I pulled out the products, which I fortunately had on hand:

Baking Soda, Vinegar and Dish Washing Liquid

I mixed the Baking Soda and Vinegar together very carefully. The video didn't give specific measurements, but it looked like about 2 cups of baking soda and maybe 3/4 cup of vinegar. I used an old plastic bowl and a small plastic scraper. It was pretty fun to mix together, especially after adding the Dawn (good old blue Dawn dishwashing liquid):

Plastic bowl, funnel, scraper, and squueze bottle

 Then I poured it into a squeezy bottle:

Squeeze bottle with home-made oven cleaner in it

I poured it all over the floor of the oven, which had the big burned up pile of chocolate cake batter. I shut the oven door and let it sit while I was working, so several hours.Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the oven floor before I did it.

After I got off work, I went in and wiped down the oven floor, after using a big spatula to scrape together all the bits of hard stuff.


Clean oven floor

So, of course I was totally chuffed and decided to mix up another batch and try it on the door and walls of the oven. 

I squeezed the stuff all over, which is much easier with the squeezie bottle, so thank you video person for that tip, and wiped it around the walls of the oven:

I left it on for an hour and checked. No change. I checked again after 3 hours. Still no change. I shut the oven door and went to bed.

12 hours or so after I first applied, I started wiping up the mixture. What a sad disappointment! It was leaving marks on the rag, but still, so much gross gunk: 

After being pretty puzzled and thinking about it for a while, I figured that the heat from the pilot light is probably what made the difference. I went back to the video and read the comments (DUH), and found that people who had turned on the oven to heat it up a little had great success.

So - I will probably try this method again, except heat up the oven. Or, I may get the good old Easy-Off and do it the quick way.


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