Cleaning a Self-cleaning oven safely?

stinky-gardenerOctober 11, 2011

Last November bought a new Frigidaire Gallery stainless electric range. I recently cooked a pork loin in the oven without foil or a cover over the pork and the oil that I had coated the meat with splattered all over the inside of the oven! It's so gross, and it really stuck on the inside surfaces. I didn't realize I had used that much oil!

I hesitate to use the self-cleaning feature on this oven, as it warns in the manual, 1) to do this on a cool day-the temp will be extremely hot (eek.) 2) to remove pet birds from the room, as the fumes generated could be fatal to them (double eek!)

I don't have pet birds, but I do have a small, aging cat with health issues. I don't want to cause her harm.

I saw that there is an Easy-Off Fume Free oven cleaner that is supposed to be safe for self-cleaning ovens, but when I read their online FAQ, they said to turn the oven on for 15 minutes at 300 degrees after using the cleaner and before using the oven to bake food. During this process, they caution that small animals, especially small birds, are at risk due to the fumes & smoke, and to remove the creatures from the room until all the smoke had cleared.

Good grief! Is there no truly safe way to clean an oven? Any suggestions?

Btw, my manual says not to use any abrasive pads or cleaners. Am I stuck with a greasy range that's not even a year old yet?

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The self clean feature works well. Turn on your range hood fan and open a window. Yes, it will stink a bit, especially the first time you use it. I still prefer a self-clean cycle to the smelly, dangerous chemical cleaning methods. Cowgirl up and do it!

Put the cat in another room.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:33PM
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Put a half a cup of ammonia in the oven. Close the door and leave it that way overnight. Open the door and air it out (the darned ammonia fumes). Wipe it all down with a damp cloth. It should come clean with very little rubbing or effort.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 11:12PM
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I have a self-cleaning caloric Gas oven, bought in 1987. Yeah,it's old. But I have the same fears as you. I've used the self cleaning feature many times, I hate it because of the smell and heat! Once (my own fault) I left a cotton pot holder on the stove and it caught fire. I've used the Easy Off Fume Free cleaner and wasn't happy. I've got a very grubby oven at this point. I'll try the ammonia tip but I kinda don't think it will help.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 2:47PM
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You might google ammonia as an oven cleaner. Apparently others also recommend it. Be sure to put the ammonia in a glass bowl; in the morning you can reuse it for something else - washing your windows or whatever.

If you've left your oven racks in the oven overnight you should be able to clean those as well.

Use a nylon scrubby and a water/baking soda mix - the slight abrasive will pick up anything that the fumes don't loosen.

Let us know how it works!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 3:08PM
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I would open the windows and use the self cleaning setting. If there are any puddles of hardened grease on the oven floor, I try to scrape the worst of it up with a spatula before starting the cleaning mode. That helps prevent odor from being strong as it cleans since there won't be all that much grease that needs to be incinerated.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Yesterday I successfully cleaned my self-cleaning gas oven. First I bought two bottles of Easy Off Fume Free. During the day, I sprayed one interior wall at a time, closed the door for two hours, and when the two hours was up, I wiped out most of the greasy black gook. I did remove the oven racks. It took all day to do the six walls, but it looked presentable. I was especially pleased that the door was clean. Then around ten at night, I set the self-clean controls to run from midnight to 3 am. I locked the oven door and went to bed. One thing I also did was leave the range hood exhaust fan on for the night. My daughter came home after midnight and smelled fumes so she opened some windows. When I got up at 4 am (yes,I'm an early riser) I shut off the fan and looked inside. Just some gray dust on the walls, which was easily removed with some wet rags. I am so pleased. Yes, it might be "overkill", cleaning by both methods, but it worked for me. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving with my almost-new looking oven!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:16AM
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