Thursday, December 29, 2016

Attacking the gas range: cleaning help needed

I am in a rental, so my tenancy means that I "inherit" former tenant's dirt. I was able to clean the condo before we moved in, in June and I have myself on a daily cleaning schedule as a divide and conquer approach. Then there are projects such as the gas range and oven. The black, cast iron grates were super greasy with a lot of baked on, charred on black gunk. Although I clean the stove top and grates daily with a homemade mixture of Castille soap and water, these grates needed special attention.

1-I placed them in a large, plastic kitchen garbage bag, and poured in amonia, letting it sit for several hours in the bathtub. Naturally, the amonia slowly leaked out. I used an old tooth brush, a knife, a nylon scrubbie and got a lot of tactile grease off, brown gunk. Great but not as I would like. Someone* before me clearly fried a LOT: the cabinets were also greasy, the 10 foot ceiling has grease marks over it, and the fan's metal screens that I cleaned when we moved in gave me a basin of harvest gold grease-clearly they weren't cleaned in some time. BTW-I cleaned the screens again today (6 months later) and while some evidence of greasy dirt came off, it was no where near what I had in June.

2-I tried LA's Amazing orange degreaser, my go to laundry spray. It got even MORE brown grease off. Great, still have a ways to go.

The center grate at least is really good looking now, it's the ones that cover the 2 front burners that are the worst.

Meanwhile, I also attacked the inside oven door that had black and brown bits all over it.

1-I used some Easy off, leftover from my move out at a former rental. Also used a nylon scrubbie, a knife, an old toothbrush to get the bits off. Greasy mess came off, lots of baked on bits-again from a former tenant

2-I used my version of the Dawn-vinegar magic cleaner, scrubbing it in after letting it set a bit. Again, more grease came up. Still lots of bits.

3-I made a baking soda paste and worked it in, using the old toothbrush, and the top near the bristle's plastic head to scrape off the bits. I sprayed it with vinegar after letting it set a bit. Again, more grease came up, more so in the nooks around the glass insert. The baking soda seemed to really help. MUCH better, but wish that ALL of the baked on bits were removed.

Next: the interior of the gas, self cleaning oven. I do not have the instruction book, I found a comparable one on line from GE. Instructions clearly state NOT to use oven cleaner. When we moved in, I noted the tell tale smell and the white reside not completely washed off from the inside of the oven that tells me that someone* had used oven cleaner before.

So, I know that I can use oven cleaner on the nickle racks, and will do so at some point.
 There is a lovely collection of gunk in the left rear of the oven's interior.
 Grundge in the front as well as the center rear of the oven.

The right interior side seems better the left for some reason.

How to proceed with the oven interior? I bought a can of Dollar Tree's "easy off"-a clear knock off of the branded product-both contain Lye.

Thoughts on any of these 3 areas: range top cast iron grates, interior oven glass, the interior oven walls?


meme said...

My big question really is: why do people let their appliances get like that in the first place? My oven door was like that when I moved in - like you - I have done the baking soda route, vinegar, dawn is much better - but it will never really be "clean enough" for me.

Now - on the other hand, I have a counter top toaster/convection oven - whenever it is used - it is cleaned completely - not a spot on it, same with my microwave, toaster, can opener, dishwasher, fridge. I bought all these new and they look like they just came from the showroom. I know things will discolor over time, etc. - but why let them get to such a dirty state when you can prevent it.

Carol Farley said...

The white residue more than likely is from when the oven was cleaned with the self cleaning feature (that is how mine looks when the clean cycle is finished and just needs to be wiped up). I would try to find online the manufacturer's site and then you should be able to find the manual in .pdf form for your particular stove/oven. I hope that this helps as self cleaning ovens are a great time saver.

CTMOM said...

Meme-I don't know why people don't clean. I don't like to, but it's a necessary evil and I pride myself in running a clean, but lived in home. Sanitation in kitchens and bathrooms is essential-those are 2 areas where I am very fastidious, although dust might* collect on a side table. This is a rental, I do know that 2 tenants ago was a nightmare for the LL, they rented to a foreign man, and he had something like 10 people living here-not all on the lease! The CO would be for 6, based on zoning codes and a 3 bedroom unit. Last tenant was a couple who broke up, woman left, guy was remaining, ultimately breaking the lease after living here alone for a while. Men typically aren't known for cleaning. Someone* loved to fry and make a mess! Grease stains up on the 10 foot ceiling, greasy cabinets, and yes, a gross stove that the LL apparently didn't bother to look at. Trust me, I always leave a rental in immaculate, turn key condition. : )

CTMOM said...

Carol Farley-the white residue inside of the oven when we first moved in was up on the sides, top and bottom of the interior of the oven, in a swish pattern like someone gave a wet surface a quick wipe without rinsing, and going back to make sure all of the oven cleaner was removed. Even when I went and used a wet rag on the now dried up swish marks, there was a distinct smell of oven cleaner. Additionally, although I thought I had cleaned it all very well, once we used the oven, it quickly became apparent that yes, there was oven cleaner used, perhaps down into crevises near the ignition lighter as the heat of the oven made oven cleaner fumes for at least 2 runs of the oven for baking. I am positive that the oven was cleaned by someone* using oven cleaner. I have used a self cleaning oven at my parent's home; the reside is a grey ash that doesn't smell of oven cleaner and isn't left in a swish mark, but rather, usually piles up on the bottom floor of the oven. I have found a similar (this is a 10 y.o. range, models have changed) pdf on line and read it through-much like driving a car, the instructions are pretty standard. I am aware of how much energy these self cleaning ovens use, and prefer to clean it by hand if possible. I also immediately clean the oven while still a bit warm, and this really helps to not need to run a self clean cycle or clean the whole oven: preventive maintenance is a time saver for me.

Carole said...

We used to own a nice duplex that we rented out. I remember one unit that looked like the carpet had only been vacuumed once, and that was for the final inspection. Some people must not spend much time at home so they can stand living in squalor. I'm sure you are a landlord's dream.

CTMOM said...

Carole-when I first came to CT and was ready to leave an appartment complex, the super who lived on site said there was no need for an inspection. He noted that as soon as I came home, he'd hear the vacuum running (carpeted stairs to a townhouse style 2 floor appartment that was the primary entrance/exit)daily. I like to keep on top of cleaning before it becomes a real hassle to address, such as treat a carpet stain before it just becomes a mess and the whole carpet needs attention-ditto a stove. While my current lease is up at the end of May, we would like to stay another year; I'll be reaching out to the LL come March to see their intentions. Whether May finds us moving or not, having a deeply cleaned and maintaining said clean condition oven, will be a bonus for me.

Carol Farley said...

Sorry, Carol that the residue wasn't from the self cleaning oven's operation. I was hoping that was the case but unfortunately isn't. I presume that you have given it your best to try and clean it and get rid of the smell from the oven cleaner. Maybe, in time with use it will disappear; at least I hope so. I am with you, keeping up with chores, etc. makes a home clean and tidy which is the only way I could live.