Oven cleaning help :-)

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So we have a nice, fancy oven. Worst purchase I ever made :-). Anyway, I go through hell every time it's dirty, cause it says that it's self-cleaning, but it's sooooo not. It has self-cleaning panels, which food doesn't stick to. But there are other parts of it (like the door) that doesn't have the panels, and I don't know how to get those clean.
I don't think I can use the heavy-duty oven cleaners for it, cause it might hurt the panels. And I can't use ammonia, cause I can't find any here. What I've used in the past on the door is a straight razor blade to scrape off the gunk, with decent results, but I still have gunk on there that needs to come off.
Ideas? I gotta get above the elements too, and the floor. Sigh. And ideas so that it doesn't get so gunky (and "cook neater" is not constructive!! :-) )?
Thanks!
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 09:03:52 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@spam.mers (Herself) wrote:

When I had that type of oven, I used regular oven cleaner. It didn't seem to do any harm. I couldn't detect any harm being caused by it.
The oven we have now is the other kind: self-cleaning by using terrific heat. It's a very old stove, very very poor quality, and I'm afraid to use the self-cleaning feature: the whole thing would probably blow up. So I use regular oven cleaner...
Pat
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(Herself)

=Have you any idea what happened to "continuous clean" ovens? I had one in the 70s and loved it. The oven was always clean as a whistle. But, when I shopped for my current range, I couldn't find any continuous clean units. ==>

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snipped-for-privacy@meadows.pair.com wrote in message

What kind of oven is it - gas or electric?
I had an electric oven "blow up" once. It was a regular oven, not a self cleaning one. I used to clean it with regular oven cleaner. One day my wife turned on the oven and the lower calrod started to flare. One spot gave off a bright white light, started spitting sparks and smoke, made a lot of loud "electrical" kind of noises, and shorted out.
Scary as all get out, but no real damage done, except the heating element had to be replaced. I learned later that oven cleaner can damage the calrod and lead to failure. Since I wasn't particularly careful not to get cleaner on the element (I avoided the heating elements but didn't cover them before applying the cleaner) my guess is that the cleaner led to the failure.
I have a self cleaning oven now that like yours, cleans by heating up hot enough to burn the gunk to ash. The whole oven gets warm enough that the cleaning cycle is run only in the winter. I've never heard of an arrangement like that described by the original poster.
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Electric fan-assisted.

I'd never heard of it myself...doing searches comes up with stay-clean liners in the oven. But again, that's just the sides, top and back. It's a Smeg A1 cooker, take a look (you'll have to google, the smeg website doesn't tell you much).
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 20:58:44 -0400, "lpogoda"

Gas.

I've had this happen too, both with stove-top burners and with an electric oven.
The electric oven chose to burn out halfway through cooking a 22-lb Thanksgiving turkey and we had company.... This one, I remember very well.
Of course, all the neighbors were already using their ovens for their own turkeys. I wound up hacking the turkey meat off the bones, simmering it until it was cooked through, and serving it over noodles, in a creamy sauce. It wasn't bad actually, but not what I had intended to serve. :)

I've had one. It works semi-well, I thought. It's just some kind of material that's pretty non-stick, I believe. I think. It's some special kind of material anyway.
Pat
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snipped-for-privacy@spam.mers (Herself) wrote in message

A brand name may help us help you. Do they have a website with cleaning tips?
Cheers,
Ned
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No, I've checked both there and in the manual. It's a Smeg. Really.
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tips?
Is it http://www.smeguk.com/ ?
If this is the company, some really nice looking stuff. But if it isn't functional. . .
I notice some of this company's ovens feature "pyrolitic cleaning" - that sounds like what in the US is usually called self-cleaning, where residue gets burned off by high heat - while others feature "stay clean" panels, which sounds more like what you've described, and some don't say anything on the subject at all.
The site doesn't give any cleaning tips. If the panels are metal it's a little hard to imagine how oven cleaner could damage them - I use oven cleaner on the drip pans that go underneath the burners on my stove and it doesn't seem to hurt them. And those things are _flimsy_, a buck or three apiece. I also use it on metal pans that have really bad burned on stuff or that have started to accumulate a layer of brown film that I guess is baked on grease or fat. Also on oven-proof crockery stuff like Corning pans. The cleaner has never seemed to hurt any of this stuff.
Out of curiosity, where are you that you "can't find" ammonia?
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Yeah, that's the same as smeg.com.

No, I mean, it's functional, works okay. Oven takes forever to preheat sometimes. And it's *loud*. But the stovetop is good.

They're metal, but they have this coating on them that looks almost powdery. It's not shiny, much more matte and slightly textural to the touch.

Ireland. I check every damn shop I'm in...haven't found it yet.
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On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 07:15:10 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@spam.mers (Herself) wrote:

Maybe they're calling it by some different name?
DH says it's called 'ammonia' in England, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is in Ireland.
He says the proper chemical name is 'ammonium hydroxide' - I suppose you could ask for/look for it by that name.
Pat
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 09:03:52 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@spam.mers (Herself) wrote:

Do you still have the owner's manual? If not, go to their web site and email the manufacturer and ask the proper way to clean your particular model. Get your model #/serial off the oven, sometimes stamped a metal plate.
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I do...all it says is that the self-cleaning panels do everything, without having to turn up the heat. No mention of the other parts of the oven.
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 23:02:43 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@spam.mers (Herself) wrote:

I might try oven cleaner, but ONLY on the glass. My oven window became discolored and I removed it from the door, cleaned it, then replaced it. I have a "continous cleaning" oven and the owner's manual says never clean the oven. It does have some dried, baked on, black stuff on the sides but I just leave it be.
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I have a "continous cleaning" oven and the owner's

Wow Phish, I'm seeing you in a new light, I never thought you to be the type that left yucky stuff in your oven!
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On 3 Oct 2003 14:18:36 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cutey.com (Mrs Bonk) wrote:

Just following the manufacturer's written recommendations. Carbon residue on a "continuous cleaning" oven is the nature of the beast. What's left after food burns? Mostly black carbon. I guess it's not much different than a chimney flue. This oven came with the house, and if I should ever replace it it will be a "self cleaning" oven.
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On 3 Oct 2003 14:18:36 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cutey.com (Mrs Bonk) wrote:

The "yuckiness" of thoroughly burned residue that might cling to the inside of a self-cleaning oven isn't anything that'd worry me. The manual for my own, far from new, oven mentions a cleaning temperature of over 900F. The same manual also mentions not using heavy-duty oven-cleaning chemicals. If I were *extremely* picky, I might slap a wet paper towel with some dish soap on a burned spot for a while and see if the spot would dissolve, but for the most part, I can live with whateve survived a sterilization of 900 degrees.
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 09:03:52 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@spam.mers (Herself) wrote:

Can't you take out the panels and then clean with a heavy duty cleaner? I opted not to buy the panels on my fan oven as the bits that are the hardest to clean are not covered. i.e. The roof with the electric element and the fan and as you say, the door but they are an optional extra, so they ought to be removable. My roof is the hardest to clean. Getting between the elements without getting cleaner ON them is impossible and there's no 'elbow room' to be able use a brillo on it. I wrap the cloth around a knife with a bit of Astonish on ( quite good for cleaning and very cheap) and try to run it behind the elements but it IS hard going so I rarely cook anything that will splash up too much near the top of the oven or I try to cook with foil over or use dishes with covers. I have a small easy to clean oven for meat stuff that may need higher temperatures and consequently more splashing. Ammonia I too had a hell of a job finding any. I am in SW England and we have a chemist called 'Just Beauty' and that is the ONLY place I have found it but I only used it once and found it unbearable. STRONG! It was 9% which I'm told is stronger that most. Despite the strength it didn't do much for the oven grease and the house stunk for days after. People stopped me in the street to ask why I'd been crying! Another product that is always being mentioned on the AHC group that I find unobtainable here is Borax.
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Hmmm...I didn't think of that. Simplest, isn't it? :-) The panels came pre-installed, but they seem pretty easy to deal with. There's a panel above the element, so that's the best part of it all. It's easily removeable, I just need to deal with scraping, scraping, the crap off.
The bottom pan I took out, put hot water and a capful of Comfort (since we have some that we never use) in it. Supposedly dryer sheets, put into a pan with burnt on food with water overnight, helps get the stuff off. Worth a shot :-). If it works, two fingers to Ainsley and his Fairy Power wash stuff :-).

I didn't even think of asking my chemist. Hmmm...
I never used Borax, actually. I should probably try it tho.
Hey, what does washing soda do? For some reason, we have some in the house, and I'd love to use it. Would it work in the oven?
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On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 13:52:42 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@spam.mers (Herself) wrote:

I use Comfort. If it works I could, I guess, save the last clothes rinse water to soak my baking pans in.

As long as it doesn't get on any aluminium it's good for cutting through grease. I add a spoonful to my washing, my washing up and sometimes in the bath to soften the water and I use it in a stronger solution for cleaning floors, tiles, worktops.
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