Sadly, I don't have a self-cleaning oven, but the hard work won't kill me. Being a person who likes to do as little as possible, and not having any oven-cleaner spray, I went with the ammonia.

I pulled out a large, deep bake pan and filled half way with ammonia. It was at that point I about keeled over and realized I didn't have any windows or doors open. I quickly pushed, with minor amount of mess, the pan into the oven and closed the door. Then I ran to the doors and windows to open them.

We could still smell the ammonia pretty bad, so we covered the little pipe vent, which comes up to the top of the stove, with plastic wrap. Though, you would be able to use an oven mitt if you wanted to.

After about 4 hours of it sitting in there, we took it out and I started cleaning. I would say that 70% of the gunk came off with a wet cloth. The rest was elbow grease, soap and water. I got the oven cleaned up in about 30 minutes after taking out the ammonia. I'm sure it wouldn't take that long if you left the ammonia in over night.

I only used the dish rag to cover my face for the first few minutes, as the ammonia smell dissipated quickly.


  1. Jerry // Friday, September 17, 2010 1:45:00 PM  

    That sounds kind of toxic. I'm glad you took some precautions but there is a safer and easier way. You can spray your oven with water and put baking soda on all the areas with gunk. It will lead to almost no fumes and it is much safer for you. It's also very cheap. We can all use something like that's insurance for our health and the environment.

  2. Hammy // Saturday, September 18, 2010 5:27:00 PM  

    Where's the best place to buy elbow grease?

  3. Dawn // Saturday, September 18, 2010 5:30:00 PM  

    I have heard that you can have in come in the form of children, but that takes time to mature after bought. Best just to use the little bit stored away in ourselves. :)

  4. Hammy // Saturday, September 18, 2010 5:50:00 PM  

    Confused the heck out of me when I was a child and my mum referred to using elbow grease. At least it's cheap.

  5. Jill // Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:25:00 AM  

    I too avoid the chemicals whenever possible (which is "always" as long as you change your standards) and prefer the baking soda. I have used citrus cleaner too. At least it's natural and doesn't have that ammonia stink. I mix the citra-solve concentrate into a pretty strong solution, wet the whole oven interior down with it and let it puddle a bit in the bottom. After about a half an hour every thing comes off with a bit of scrubbing with a plastic scrubby or bamboo brush.

  6. Anonymous // Sunday, October 31, 2010 2:23:00 AM  

    This article was extremely interesting.