When cleaning the back wall in the oven, manual action is required in older and simple appliances. Modern models have self-cleaning systems that take advantage of physical laws and special materials. But even when proceeding manually with home remedies, physics helps reduce the amount of wiping.
Manual cleaning methods
The combination of grease and heat is responsible for the staining of a back wall in the oven. When cleaning, the baked-on marks can be beaten to some extent with their “own weapons”:
The relatively aggressive chemical grease solvents are sprayed on according to the manufacturer’s instructions and wiped off with a rag after a reaction time. The products are expensive and harmful to the environment.
On a baking sheet or a heat-resistant container, eight to ten spoonfuls (100 milliliters) of lemon juice diluted with the same amount of water are placed in the cold oven. The oven is turned on to about 120 degrees and heated. When the juice has evaporated, the oven is opened. As soon as the internal heat permits the insertion of a mist-dampened cloth, the internal walls and heating elements are wiped down.
Sodium carbonate/washing soda
Sodium carbonate is mixed with water to form an optically saturated milky cleaning liquid. Using a spray bottle, the solution is sprayed generously into the cold oven interior. After a two-hour exposure time, rinse with clear water and pick up dissolved clumps of dirt with a cloth.
Oven manufacturers offer self-cleaning systems in their appliances under various names. All of them work on one of the following three physical procedures:
Strictly speaking, catalysis is more about dirt prevention than cleaning. Special ceramic surfaces inside the oven bind grease splatter, which causes the grease to oxidize during the subsequent heating cycle (200 degrees Celsius). This produces non-toxic carbon dioxide and water.
In pyrolysis, the fat is “carbonized away” at a high temperature (500 degrees Celsius). In addition to fats, protein and starch residues also dissolve. The interior must be equipped with pyrolysis-resistant materials. The process, which can take up to several hours, consumes a lot of electricity.
During hydrolysis, the dirt is “steamed” with water vapor. The process dissolves incrustations and has limited grease-dissolving effects. The cleaning effect can be increased by adding special cleaning agents.