The next soap we ran out of was oven cleaner. This one was a little trickier. I tried three different recipes before I found one that really worked, but the last one I tried was AMAZING! Better than any store bought cleaner I had used before (If only I had taken before and after pictures...although now I don't have to post how dirty I let my oven get... :) )
I don't remember where I found this first recipe because for the life of me I can't find my pin on pinterest for it (I think it might be this one), but it was essentially making a paste with baking soda and water. I was excited to try it, because frankly I pretty much only had baking soda on hand, and anything else would have required a trip to the store. I tried it on my drip pans first. I left it be for about 30 minutes while I cleaned other things around the kitchen. When I came back to it, I tried to scrub the gunk away, but had very little success. Mostly it was just the big stuff that had fallen down and then been absorbed by all the grossness (yes, that is a word. I just made it up. :) ). -Fail #1
My next oven cleaning adventure, after a trip to the store, was this- a paste from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. I scrubbed this in a little and then let it sit and do it's magic. Lots of scrubbing later I was still disappointed with the results. This definitely got more than the baking soda and water alone, but still left a lot of gunk in the drip pans. -*Sigh* Fail #2
At this point the hubby was definitely rooting for me to give in and by the commercial, chemical laden cleaner, but I knew there had to be a way to get the oven clean before commercial cleaners were popular. I decided to put in the effort and use one of the more "complicated" oven cleaner recipes. I used the one from Crunchy Betty. I subbed the dish soap for my homemade liquid soap, but other than that I did everything else the same. I did leave it overnight (and by overnight I mean a couple nights...oops).
Once I got around to scrubbing the now many layers of baking soda out of my oven it was a little daunting. Ovens are very deep and I am short. I started with a warm wet rag. After wiping away a pile of baking soda there was still grime on the oven door. :-/ I grabbed my scrub brush and started trying to scrub. Unfortunately the bristles were a little too long, and therefore weren't stiff enough to do much good. I tried getting the hubby to help me scrub at this point, because my shoulder was getting sore, and it was making me a little lazy. :) The hubby tried scrubbing and after a couple minutes of no success, deemed this cleanser a failure too.
I refused to give up. There was no way I put in that much effort to have this not work. I went back into the kitchen and grabbed the sponge. I swirled a little of the baking soda around on the scrubby side and starting scrubbing. Miraculously the grime started disappearing. I have never had a commercial over cleaner work as well as this one. And because nothing's proven until there's a picture, here are two. :)
Sorry for the glare. There seems to be no good way to take a picture of my entire oven...
This shot's a little easier to see the lack of grime. I will also mention I am really bad about remembering the cookie sheet below things when I bake, so there were a lot of big black spots on the bottom of my oven before cleaning.