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To clean an oven, fill a glass baking dish with ammonia and place in a cold oven overnight. The next morning, remove ammonia and wipe down sides with wet cloth. The fumes from the ammonia will have cut through the grease and come off with ease.
Source: My husband's Grandmother.
By Debbie from Hampton, Tennessee
I have a self cleaning oven and often use this method when just a few drips great savings on the ammonia and on the cost of energy.
Usually follow with vinegar rinse
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The Stubborn oven cleaner says to take ammonia out and add vinegar and soda. Do you add the vinegar and soda to the ammonia?
No, you are supposed to mix the baking soda and vinegar to make a paste, and wipe the inside of the oven with it. I assume you pour the ammonia down the drain. Or clean something else with it. You would be better off mixing the baking soda with water to make a paste, as water will not neutralize any of it, as the vinegar will. I believe some people also wipe the oven with a cloth or paper towel soaked in vinegar, to neutralize the ammonia &/or baking soda. I don't really think that would be necessary. Just wipe it out with damp paper towels.
How to use ammonia for oven cleaning?
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This recipe is from Natural Cleaning for Your Home by Casey Kellar.
This is cheaper and better for you than bought oven cleaners.
This works great. So easy and no mess or bad odor. Thanks so much. (05/25/2005)
I have a gas stove/oven. I assume you can't use ammonia for this type. Does anyone know of a way to clean this type of oven with a non-toxic cleaner? (07/26/2007)
Heated chemicals aren't a good idea. Some are MUCH more toxic when hot and in gaseous form. I think I'd try it cold instead? God bless you. : ) (07/29/2007)
I am just wondering how this works. The fumes from the ammonia in the oven react with the grease to create "soap" that should just wipe or wash off. This is a chemical reaction. Ammonia is a base. A base plus grease or fat makes soap. However, the second part of this cleaner does not make sense to me.
Baking soda is a milder base; vinegar is an acid. When you mix baking soda and vinegar, you get water plus carbon dioxide plus salt. The carbon dioxide bubbles off; the salt is dissolved and is no different than salt water. You could just as well add water to the ammonia to dilute it. It would have the same effect. I suppose if there is not enough acid to neutralize the two bases you have, you will have a slightly basic solution to clean with, but you would do just as well by using straight ammonia, ammonia in some water, or baking soda dissolved in water. It is chemically the same thing.
By the way, ammonia is very toxic. The smell is terrible and it is a caustic substance, no better for you or the environment than regular oven cleaners. (07/29/2007)
Ammonia releases toxic fumes to humans and is bad for the environment! (02/13/2009)