Monday, February 4, 2008

The Adventures Never Cease

Today I spent an hour cleaning our toaster oven. No, I'm not kidding. We got this toaster oven about 4 years ago as a Christmas present from some friends who were tired of making toast in our crappy toaster oven. We don't have a microwave so we probably use our toaster oven more than most people. It gets pretty dirty.

I was thinking that perhaps it was time to buy a replacement. Yikes! Buy a new appliance for our home? What kind of crazy talk is that? There are probably too many choices out there and besides I'd have to go to a store. I can't handle that kind of consumer behavior just for a toaster oven. No, all it needs is a good cleaning I told myself.

I'm sure you're familiar with that baked on, caked on, stuck on crap that is impossible to remove. It's sort of golden brown, but in a bad way, not in a yummy baked good kind of way. Kitchen cleaning products are forever proclaiming their ability to remove this goo with ease. Well let me tell you how I chose to fight my baked on grease adversary.
  1. Dump out the charcoaled bits of who knows what in the bottom
  2. Remove the toast rack and soak in sink
  3. Scrub glass window with sponge - this is ineffective, give up
  4. Find grapefruit essential oil - it's probably the same idea as Citra-Solv and that stuff dissolves anything
  5. Get out old toothbrush and scrub with that for a while. Grapefruit oil loosens grease just okay, but the smell is refreshing. Decide not to waste any more essential oil on this.
  6. Switch from toothbrush to straight edged razor blade that I usually use for slicing tops of bread dough before baking. This tool is awesome for scraping baked-on, caked-on anything off of glass. I spend about 15 minutes doing this task. It is strangely satisfying and I feel weirdly OCD about getting every last streak of gunk off the glass. I accidentally scratch the glass in my cleaning zeal. Oops.
  7. The mini-baking pan and the rack are both also in need of cleaning. I bring out the big gun. Ammonia! I forgot we had any. Ammonia is exciting. Especially straight. Wow! Stinging, watering eyes, can't breathe. I hold my breath while scrubbing.
  8. The mini pan is not getting clean. I boil some water and pour it into the dish pan along with some more ammonia and add some dish soap for good measure. Wonder if dish soap and ammonia is dangerous to combine like ammonia and Comet.
  9. Go back to using the razor blade on the outside of the glass for a few more minutes.
  10. Wipe toaster oven dry. Even wipe the greasy dust bunnies off the electrical cord.
  11. Spend about 10 minutes scrubbing the mini baking pan. I get off what I can and call it quits. My hands feel raw.
  12. Wonder if Chip will notice how clean the toaster oven is.

Today also involved a conversation with the vet's office about cat fur balls and how much Laxatone is too much. Apparently there is no such thing as too much molasses flavored petroleum jelly. Oh the joy.


  1. Jen, I love the way this is written. Just like having a conversation with you. Made me laugh. Congratulations on your clean toaster oven. I'll consider your experience the next time I contemplate cleaning mine. Which will likely be, never.

  2. Man, the toaster does look awesome.

    The only thing left on it are faint smudges of something that looks a little...what is that...oh, that's little smudges of elbow grease! But, hey, I guess when she used that much of it, you've gotta expect a little elbow grease to be left behind.

    That toaster is a testament to her titanic tenacity!


  3. Check out this product for cleaning the toughest toaster oven:

  4. Sweet! The not-so-old toaster lives again. You'll have to send us some pictures. ;-)

    Gonna refinish the kitchen chairs next?

    -jb & spin

  5. No Way, JB...we're counting on you and Spinelli to drag some Philly style kicked-to-the-curb chairs up to Vermont someday. The ones you pulled out of the Watertown, MA trash are still perfect just the way they are. Perfectly crappy. Character, man. It's all about character and having a story. ;-)