I Was Finally Able to Clean My Greasy Oven Door—and Here’s My Secret Ingredient
You may remember that time when I wrote about cleaning my (very dirty) oven. Everything came out looking pretty good—except my oven door. Despite vigorous scrubbing with baking soda and Bon Ami, the spatters wouldn’t budge (it was a rental oven, and it likely had never been cleaned before). It was frustrating and a pain that we couldn’t see through the glass into the oven.
It took me six months to revisit the problem (I know!), but I finally got the glass on my oven door looking clean and clear.
So how did I do it?
When I originally asked for advice on how to deal with the embedded grease on my oven door, one reader suggested I try out the oven and grill cleaner from Norwex, a cleaning company that sells its products through a network of consultants. She was so convinced it would work on my oven door when nothing else would that she even sent me a sample, along with a mesh pot scrubber. (Thanks, reader!)
Norwex’s oven cleaner is advertised as an all-natural, non-toxic cleaner that cleans without the caustic fumes and chemicals present in most commercial oven cleaners. (See here for the ingredients list.) The “enzymes” present in the formulation apparently go to work in the presence of heat; the directions specify to first heat your oven to 100 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit, then turn off the oven, spray the cleaner, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. After that you might need a little scrubbing, but you should be able to just wipe and—voila—all done!
I can’t say that’s exactly how it worked for us, but it did end up working. Here’s what we did.
How I Cleaned the Oven with the Norwex Oven & Grill Cleaner
I heated the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (I thought hotter would be better—I was wrong) for 10 minutes, turned it off, opened the oven, sprayed the cleaner on the door, closed the door, and let it sit for 10 minutes. (I’m happy to report there was very little odor; there was a mild smell from the heat and the cleaner, but nothing overwhelming or dizzying.)
When I opened the door again, most of the cleaner had dripped off or dried, and when my husband started scrubbing (I was six months pregnant, so he did the manual labor part), nothing happened. So, failure, right?
Not so. While you want the oven to be warm, I think it was too warm in this case, and dried all the solution. (Advice: Stick to the recommend temps!) So, we sprayed down the door again and started scrubbing with a fresh coating of the cleaner and the mesh pot scrubber, and then the grease started coming off.
And scrub we did. This was no wipe-down-and-all-clean project, as Norwex advertises. My husband had to scrub the door vigorously for at least 15 minutes. Was this due more to the particular caked-on nastiness of our rental oven door, and not necessarily false advertising? Quite possibly. But it worked eventually, something that cannot be said for the vigorous scrubbing with baking soda and Bon Ami that I tried earlier.
The mesh pot scrubber itself was very helpful; however, its small size and tiny knob made it pretty uncomfortable to use. Your hand wraps around the little knob in the center, and this makes it cramp up when you’re scrubbing for long periods of time. I imagine the small size is perfect for pots and pans, but not ideal for bigger projects like this. (I mentioned this to the reader, and she told me Norwex has a product called Spirinetts, which is similar to the pot scrubber but without a handle, which might make it more comfortable to use in this case.)
After 20 minutes, when we wiped down the oven door with a damp cloth, we saw this.
A totally clear and clean window! (Take a look at the before photo again — quite an improvement!)
So, I have to say that I’m a believer in this product. For a non-toxic cleaner, I was really impressed that it worked as well as it did. (My husband’s sore muscles may say otherwise, but even he admits it was worth all the scrubbing.)
Have you ever tried Norwex? Do you have any other favorite cleaners that have worked for your greasy oven door?
This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The Only Way I Was Able to Clean My Greasy Oven Door