Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cleaning the Oven and Broiler

My oven is nasty again, which makes sense. It's been 2.5 years since I last cleaned it. Now it looks like a wasteland. There's a shattered plate from when I reheated some pizza and pumpkin juice charcoal from when I roasted a pumpkin.

And who knows what kinda goo that is on the door.

After wiping the big chunks out of the oven, I found that can of Easy-Off and sprayed the oven interior and door.

Twenty-five minutes later, I wiped the oven out with a damp sponge and it was a million times better. There's still some goop on the oven window, but I didn't sweat it.

When wiping the plate and pumpkin charcoal pieces out of the oven, I could hear it falling down through the openings in the oven floor. No surprise, it landed in the broiler pan. Anticipating this, I had removed the broiler rack from the pan.

Removing the broiler pan, I saw this hot mess. It's been like this for a long time and I always ignored it. I wiped it out with a damp sponge and saw essentially no difference.

I don't use my broiler regularly and it wouldn't break my heart if it was out of commission for a while. This would be a perfect time to try a greener cleaner, a Dawn and vinegar solution. The original site (found through Yonetta's "cleaners" pins) says to do a 1:1 mix but I found that to be a little crazy. That's just way too much Dawn and it results in an out-of-control sudsy mess requiring gallons of water to rinse away. I scaled the Dawn down (maybe 1:4 vinegar) and then diluted the whole thing in water until I achieved something I now use regularly in my shower (sink, toilet, kitchen counters, stove-top), which works amazingly well and causes me to scoff at any other bathroom cleaner and pity anyone who still uses them. Anyway, I squirted that mix on the broiler.

After letting it soak a few minutes and scrubbing the living shit out of it with a scratchy sponge, I wiped the broiler out and was disappointed in the results. This Dawn:vinegar solution works very well on my tub (and hardly any effort is required to get the crud off) but definitely not on the broiler.

Remembering the rust-stain-removal-from-granite-and-stainless trick, I turned to my friend, exceptionally mild abrasive, baking soda. A good sprinkling of that, a splash of water, and 30 tubes of elbow grease later, I decided to call it a night. Maybe there will be some sort of overnight lifting action, sort of like a facial mud mask sucking toxins from pores over time. Maybe.

In the morning, I broke up the soda crust.

Originally intending to brush the chunks out to reveal a shiny, clean broiler, I poured a few glugs of vinegar insurance on it. For a guarantee, after it was done bubbling and foaming, I squirted some elbow grease on it.

At this point, I would've rubbed a rabbit's foot for luck if I had one. Being more practical, I had a cat work the sponge a while with his feet. I went and did something else for two days.

Coming back to it, I realized I was sick of this crap.

A few big glugs of vinegar was added after which scrubbing and rinsing ensued to yield the final product.

Much better than what I started with but probably not as good as what Easy-Off could do in a fraction of the time. When I take this task on next, there will be no dickin' around.