The Indignity of It All

It’s an age old question: could there be anything more gross than cleaning behind your stove?

The answer, my friends, is yes.

I have discovered through unfortunate personal experience that, even grosser than cleaning behind your own stove is cleaning behind somebody else’s stove. Trust me on this one: It. Is. Nasty!!!

Marty and I have been ultra busy for the past few days, shuttling furniture and boxes from one place to the next. (I am happy to say that I impressed Marty by being surprisingly competent with lifting boxes and large items. This is infinitely better than disappointing him with my utter lack of strength whatsoever.) In between lifting with our legs, we have also been igniting ye olde tendonitis by scrubbing walls, cupboards, and appliances in both our apartment and our new place.

Sadly, the people before us in the Metchosin house left it in quite a state. By this, I mean it is disgusting. It’s one thing to have to wash fingerprints and scuff marks from walls and floors when moving into a new place (spring cleaning, fresh starts, etc.), but it’s another thing altogether to need to deep clean everything from top to bottom before you feel comfortable touching your bare skin to any household surface. Sick.

I had the misfortune of (trying to) clean the stove and oven yesterday in the new house. I wrinkled my nose in distaste and repulsion when I saw that the little trays beneath the electric elements were all crusted over with burnt food and what looked like bacon fat. I even took a photo of the trays as I soaked them in some boiling water and vinegar, as though capturing the moment digitally would somehow validate my sense of utter injustice. (I am so bourgeois, it kills me.) It took over an hour of sweat and tears to get to the point where I finally felt like it would be possible to cook something on the stove, and that’s when I opened the oven.


Does anybody know of a good, nay great, way to clean a beyond-gross oven without resorting to toxic, chemical-laden ‘self cleaning’ oven sprays? It is seriously revolting in there right now, and there’s no way I will undertake any ‘new home’ baking until I have exorcised whatever demons currently lurk inside. In the meantime (while you suggest away in the comments section!), I’m going to resume my feelings of piousness and self-righteousness. Ladies, make sure you don’t show anybody your ankles, because that would simply be indecent.

PS: We have decided that, whenever we move out of the Metchosin house, we are going to buy some Cheerios and scatter them haphazardly in all of the cupboards. We aim to leave the house in an even cleaner state than we found it in, so some Cheerios and maybe some burn marks in the curtains will give it that classy touch.

4 responses

  1. Oven sprays is the only thing I could suggest. They work and I haven’t heard of anything else that does.
    I know the racks can be soaked in ammonia overnight as well before scrubbing them. Be careful if you use the oven sprays. It is wicked stuff. Gloves, and watch your eyes.
    Hope the landlord is recognizing your contribution to what should be his job.

  2. When we were leaving our place, those Mr Clean Magic Erasers were good for the oven door. It took a lot of scrubbing though (I know have a sore wrist!!!!!!!!) We’re currently looking into some better cleaning solution for our current oven too. They left us some oven cleaner too, but I hate hate HATE that stuff. I’ll let you know if we find a better solution.

    PS – You can buy new trays for your stove burners. I saw them at Canadian Tire yesterday. Recycle the old ones and get new ones if they pain you so. šŸ™‚

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