Pinterest Oven Cleaner, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

For Easter, I went the traditional route and made Ham, scalloped potatoes and asparagus. Seems simple enough, right?

When the potatoes were about halfway cooked, they boiled over. Molten milk and cheese cascaded all over the oven. (Yes, I put cheese on my scalloped potatoes, spare me the lecture about how they’re au gratin if you use cheese.) Given the range of the burned milk-mixture on the bottom of my oven and the sides, I’d have to say it probably exploded before cascading. Either way, the results were the same – smoke, and lots of it!

The smoke detectors went off and had to literally be ripped off the ceiling, because apparently just killing the power to them doesn’t work because those shits have battery-backup. You know what would really be helpful? A button to shut them off in the event that you just (badly) burned dinner and aren’t in fact standing amidst a raging inferno completely oblivious to the smoke billowing around you. Bonus points if the button can be large and colored, because NOBODY can read the raised size 8-point text on a white background while standing 4 feet below the smoke detectors with their heads craned at an unnatural angle. NOBODY.

Once we managed to pull all the smoke detectors off the ceiling and brake off the battery compartments (mental note: buy new smoke detectors), the hellish sound finally stopped. I popped open some windows to air the place out and immediately got on Pinterest to figure out how to remove the burned-on badness from my stove. Before you ask – no, I couldn’t go buy oven cleaner. It was Easter and I live in a blue-law state, meaning NOTHING is open. Nada.

During my Pinterest search, I found this link:

I’ll spare you the work of clicking on it and summarize. Baking soda, vinegar and salt are supposed to work together to clean your oven. Ok, sounds legit. I had all 3 ingredients, which was a necessary part of the process, so I said why not.


I should know by now that Pinterest is basically an online community of housewives and wannabes bullshitting their way through life. It’s like those #NoMakeUp selfies – total lies. Nothing you see on Pinterest is real and any idea you get from Pinterest should be completely discarded. It’s like the “what not to do” of homemaking.

Do you want to know – honestly – what happens when you smear baking soda, vinegar and salt on burned food in your oven?

You wind up with a smelly layer of baking soda, vinegar and salt on top of burned food in your oven. Seriously, this stuff does NOT clean anything. It just makes the mess gritty and worse than before.

Despite the festering pile of terrible in my oven, I managed to not buy oven cleaner again over the next couple of days. I have 3 kids and remembering something as mundane as cleaning the oven just wasn’t high on my priority list. So last night, when I needed to use the oven, I swore silently, killed the power to the smoke detectors, opened the windows and got out the ladder in preparation of ripping them off the ceiling again.

Fortunately, the smoke was minimal. At least the baking soda concoction kept the smoke at bay – even though it didn’t really stop the burning at all. I will say that baking soda, vinegar, salt and burned milk/cheese does have a rather awful smell when heated though.

So, lesson learned. I need to just suck it up and go buy oven cleaner like an adult. The thought of dragging my 3 kids out to Walmart and listening to an endless deluge of “buy me a toy!!” is really unappealing, though. I wonder if I can make casserole in the crock pot instead…


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