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How do I clean the oven’s glass door?

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  • #258295
    Mukluk
    Participant

    I haven’t cleaned the oven in some time and the glass door looks terrible.  I normally clean the oven using some ash from the fire, it normally works a treat.  This time when I tried using ash the inside of the oven came up like new but it made little impact on the glass door.  Does anyone have any recommendations as to what I should use to clean the glass door?  I don’t like to use the commercial oven cleaners if I don’t have to?

    #538248
    calliecat
    Participant

    tried a paste of bi carb??? –
    not sure if yo need to warm the oven first or if that is for the oven itself??
    can’t remember, but bi-carb is certainly in there

    #538249
    Mukluk
    Participant

    Thank you I will give it a try!

    #538250
    Sue_J
    Member

    How do you use fire ash to clean the oven?

    #538251
    Mukluk
    Participant

    Sue I use the whiter ash as it is fine, I do not use anything that still has black bits of charcoal or anything that did not burn properly.  There is no lack of ash fireplace ash here s we have a wood stove.  I use a rag or something and put some ash on with a tiny bit of water, then scrub and then wipe it off.  Sometimes you need to give it a few goes but I find it works better than anything I can buy plus it is easy and free.  I have used it on all sorts of difficult to clean things in the bathroom and kitchen and it seems to work well enough for me.  You do need to wipe off the ash after you have finished cleaning though otherwise it looks dirty.

    I am not really certain how it works, the ash is very fine and abrasive so probably scrubs off some of the grease mechanically, ash is rather alkaline (much like many detergents) so with a little water added should also be able to denature the oils chemically, it possibly also absorbs some of the oils.

    #538252
    porgey
    Member

    My oven has an inner sheet of glass that can be removed for cleaning. It just fits in the dishwasher, but it won’t clean properly because I haven’t cleaned the dishwasher!

    #538253
    Mukluk
    Participant

    Apparently my oven also had an inner sheet of glass that is removable.  All the grime that I was unable to remove was on the inside between the two sheets of glass.  I removed the inner sheet an it was easy to clean, thanks porgey!

    #538254
    Pardalote
    Participant

    The grime on oven doors and inside ovens is mostly made up of fat splatters. Fat is mostly triglycerides which are composed of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule. The bond is susceptible to hydrolysis by alkali, converting the fat to free fatty acids and glycerol which are all water soluble. This is what happens when you make soap. The soap is mostly free fatty acids.
    In the case of oven cleaners they mostly contain either sodium hydroxide or strongly alkaline ammonium salts. Sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate are both alkaline (though not strongly alkaline) and will cause the above reaction. Just takes more time and possibly more applications. Ash from a fire contains the minerals from the wood, the most common of which is Potassium and this is converted to Potassium Hydroxide, a very strong alkali. So it will also work well though you might just as well use Sodium Hydroxide. Chemically they are very similar.
    Heating the reaction speeds it up so it is helpfull to apply whatever you use to a warm oven.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    #538255
    Mukluk
    Participant

    Thanks Andrew, very informative!!!  I always knew that fireplace ash cleaned well, now I know why.  I prefer to use ash to Sodium Hydroxide mostly because it is free and I have an endless supply of it.  I also have a bad habit of forgetting to buy things when I am at the shops and I can always get some more ash from the fireplace.

    I wish that this forum was not going to die as I will miss learning things like this from people like you.

    #538256
    Snags
    Member

    Great answer

    #538257
    ballamara
    Keymaster

    Pardalote could you tell me why wood ash also cleans the glass on a fire door as well please? As that is what I use on mine.

    #538258
    Pardalote
    Participant

    Hi,
    Sorry it took so long. I only visit once a week or so.

    I presume you mean you use wood ash as a mixture with water. If not then it would simply be acting as an abrasive.

    Otherwise it is for similar reasons to cleaning ovens.  After all, burning wood is more or less what happens when you cook a roast. It is just one of degree. 🙂

    When wood burns the carbohydrates (cellulose) and lignins go through a complex series of oxidation reactions. If the fire has limited air supply or the flames come into contact with a cool surface such as the glass door, deposits of a complex mixture of compounds commonly called tar build up. A major component in such tars is creosote, but they also contain numerous other phenolic and polyphenolic compounds as well as some unreacted or slightly oxidized, condensed oils from the wood. The unreacted or slightly oxidized oils have the same basic structure as animal fats so will react with the potassium hydroxide in the ash solution in the same way. On the other hand, creosotes and the other phenolic compounds, are mostly chemically acidic and form soluble potassium salts with the potassium hydroxide. Even if not all the residue dissolves, sufficient does to allow it to be removed easily from the glass.

    Note that this tar is quite combustible and running the fire hotter than usual with a good air flow will usually cause the deposit to burn off the glass. (Assuming it can withstand the heat). This tar is also one of the main reasons for chimney fires.

    #538259
    ballamara
    Keymaster

    Thanks Pardalote, that is very interesting. My Parents always used wood ash and water to clean the combustion heater and stove, so naturally because it worked, I do the same. Never knowing  why.

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