I had to replace the electronic ignition on my gas oven today and when the repairman came out and saw that my oven was 12 years old, he was astounded that I hadn’t had someone out before now.
“People with ovens this old have usually replaced the ignition maybe 2 or 3 times.” He explained. “It’s the corrosive cleaners that eat away at the parts.”
It was confession time …. maybe I don’t really clean my oven quite as often as I should … okay … not very often at all …. it just takes a bit of time to psyche myself into doing it …. there are so many better things to do than clean the oven …. like plant a few more things in the garden and forget about what’s going on inside! But when I do finally get around to cleaning the oven, I do use green cleaning products.
“If your oven’s going well, keep it because you won’t get one like it now.” The repairman added. “Most of my jobs are warrantee repairs, ovens just don’t last these days. They’re not made like they used to be.”
What a sad reminder of our “throw away” society that is fixed on consumerism. It was good to glean a few ideas from him on how to “keep my oven” and his big tip was that gentle green cleaning is a must.
So we swapped tips and techniques on cleaning the oven.
He suggested getting a razor blade from the hardware store that is designed for stripping off paint, to scrape off any baked-on bits from the glass window. I use vinegar to remove any residues and to finish off the glass.
I use a paste made up of bicarb soda and water and smear it over the walls, leave it on to dry and do it’s thing, then clean it off with a scourer (my scourer is an old plastic net that oranges are sold in, then rolled into a ball). Sometimes I’ll spray vinegar over the dried paste and watch it fizz for extra strength.
He suggested taking the racks out and wrapping them up in foil. Then fill the laundry tub with really hot water and a couple of tablespoons of washing soda, plunge the racks into the water and leave them to soak. The washing soda and foil combination causes a chemical reaction which helps dissolve grease (and lift tarnish from silver if you want to polish your silverware at the same time). The higher the temperature the better the effect. Just use a strong brush to finish them off and rinse with clean water.
The repair cost me around $200. Over a 12 year period, that’s not too bad. Hopefully it will keep me going for another 12 years!
The repairman leaves me feeling like I am a winner. I have saved substantial costs on unnecessary cleaning products over the years, I have avoiding a number of costly repairs and perhaps even saved myself the cost of a new oven. I’m a happy little green cleaner!
I’ll even include this little story in my next green cleaning workshop to show everyone that it really does work.
This is really good information. Thank you so much.
Thanks for the great blog – hoping you get many more years from your oven !
I find soaking the shelves in hot soapy water (dishwashing liquid) then scrubbing them with a metal scourer gets them nice and clean, though it is a bit hard too do this to the inside of the oven. Might have to give your way a go. Thanks 🙂