December 29, 2009

Trying to clean an oven? Add more power.

On Mondays, I am charged with the duty of trying to get supper on the table for my family. So, what does a culinary baffoon like me make for his family?  I do leftovers or sandwiches and last night was leftovers.  So I put lasagna into the oven to give it a 20 minute warmup before my wife gets home.

Within a few minutes, I can see smoke rolling out the side of the oven. I'm not worried...it did the same thing just a few days earlier, but I immediately knew that my next duty was to try and clean the beast out.

So, after supper I cruise over the sink, grab a scrub brush and begin the hopeless task of trying to get the black stuff off the coated interior. It obviously wasn't working, so I progress to a hard plastic spatula. Same result. Then I grabbed an everyday butter knife and began doing the scrape.  You are probably picking up at this point that I don't have any of the spray oven cleaner. There's a reason for that.  They don't work for the black stuff.  They work for the greasy gunk, but so does elbow grease.

After the butter knife wasn't cutting it and then realizing I didn't want to spend the next 4 hours cussing at the oven, I came up with something a little unconventional. I grabbed my dewalt "corded" drill and put a metal brush bit in the chuck and started power brushing the black off. To my amazement, it started coming off. So I power brushed for about 10 minutes, wiped it down, and power brushed a little more.

It wasn't a perfect solution, as the little wires sometimes fly off.  I would also caution against this technique if you have a special coating that you're worried about buffing out. 

But, after giving in to my Tim Taylor, "more power" influence...the oven was 90% clean within about 20 minutes.  I was excited it worked. 

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