How to Clean Burnt Sugar from an Oven

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Shira asked: How can I remove burnt sugar from the bottom of my oven?

Burnt sugar is notoriously difficult to remove from any surface, and the inside of your oven is no exception. Fortunately, this method does a lot of the work for you. Here’s how to loosen the blackened mess and remove it from your oven walls.

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Burnt Sugar:

  1. Make sure the oven is off and cool before you begin.
  2. BEFORE you open the ammonia, put on rubber gloves and wear eye protection. Pour ammonia in the glass dish until it’s half full, then carefully place on the oven rack. Close the door before removing your protective gear.
  3. Let the dish of ammonia sit in the oven overnight. Do NOT turn the oven on. The fumes will work to release the sugar, as well as any other oil, grease, or food messes residing inside.
  4. Before you open the oven again, put the gloves and eye protection back on.
  5. Open the door, remove the dish and dispose of the ammonia properly. Again, do not remove your eye protection until the ammonia has been disposed of.
  6. Still wearing the oven gloves, use the plastic ice scraper to scrape away larger chunks of sugar (and any other debris) from the bottom of the oven. The plastic is unlikely to scratch or damage the oven. You may want to remove the metal grates so you’ll have more room to work.
  7. Wipe up as much of the loose gunk as possible with paper towels. Keep a trash can nearby – this part can be messy!
  8. Once you’ve removed most of the mess, use the scouring pad to work on any remaining mess.  Wipe periodically with paper towels to check your progress.
  9. When you are no longer seeing improvement, spray the oven with oven cleaner.
  10. Allow the designated time to pass before wiping clean again.
  11. While wearing your protective gloves, wipe away all of the oven cleaner with a soft cloth or paper towels.
  12. Wipe the oven out with a soft cloth moistened with water.
  13. When finished, the oven should look like new.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Ammonia fumes are extremely strong, so work with fans or ventilation. Don’t breathe directly over the dish of ammonia, and be sure to dispose of the ammonia properly before you begin the work of cleaning the oven. Do not allow ammonia to come in contact with eyes, mouth or skin.
  • If you have young children in the house, tape the oven shut while the ammonia is inside. If you use clear packing tape, the kids are unlikely to notice it, but it will help keep them safe from exposure to ammonia. DO NOT allow children near ammonia.
  • Read and follow ammonia label directions for proper use, storage and disposal of the product.

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