I just moved into a new house (new for me, that is), and we spent the other day cleaning (last tenants didn't take very good care of the place and we wanted to scrub it really well). There's a lot of very strange messes around here, but the one bothering me the most are the stove grates. Every inch of them are covered in about a half inch of crusty burnt on grease. I sprayed them with oven cleaner, bleach, everything. I have no clue what will get them clean. The inside of the oven is the same way, every wall is covered in crust. I REALLY don't want to have to get new grates and I'd like to not have the oven untouchable. I read that I could let them sit in ammonia, but the crust is so bad I don't even know if it would make a difference.
Also as a side note for those who have lived in rented places with the weird corners and such with impenetrable dirt.. HOW DO YOU GET RID OF IT? We also have a lot of the tiles and doorknobs covered in paint from the painters being lazy. Is there any way to get it off? Already tried paint thinner.. to no avail. As well as globs of dried grout on the tiles and smeared everywhere?
I was also thinking about a razor blade for paint. It really does work fast on some surfaces!
And the grates--putting them overnite in a plastic bag that zips also works wonders! (that's probably what's in that thread ecrane3 submitted.)
good luck :)
I found this solution right here in dave's garden several weeks ago and it WORKS! For stove top grates with burned on grease and food, place each grate in a ziploc bag with about 1/4 cup of ammonia or spray some into the bag and let it sit overnight. The next day the dirt will come off without a fight. Most will just sponge off. Some corner areas may need a little pass with some steel wool but not much elbow grease. I had been looking for a way to get my gray enameled grates clean without bruising my knuckles for years! This really works.
Do a search in Dave's garden for "cleaning stove top grates" and the first thread that comes up is the one I'm talking about.
A paste of creme of tartar and vinegar is great for cleaning chrome rims around burners and chrome drip pans (under burners). Thick, burned on crud just comes right off without a struggle.
If things are really bad, here is an idea I read somewhere but haven't tried. For parts that are removable, take them outside and spray them down with oven cleaner. Leave overnight. Read instructions on oven cleaner to be sure you can use it on the types of materials involved.
I've also had success with the ammonia method. The plastic bag sounds great, but if you don't have one large enough, in the past I have put the ammonia and the items to be soaked in the bathtub overnight. Of course, this works best if you have a spare bath. If you have a really large kitchen sink (not stainless steel) you might be able to soak them in there.
This is easy and works for me for burned on grease and crud:
Sprinkle baking soda so it coveres all the mess. Cover that with wet paper towels to keep it moist, leave it overnight. The next morning the white baking soda will be brown with crud that was loosened. Simply take the paper towels and wipe it all down and discard. Repeat as needed for super buildups.
It is even easier the next day if you have some disposable latex or other gloves that you use to wipe stuff down with (available at all drug stores under personal care products); then simply invert the dirty paper towels and crud into a glove as you take it off and toss it in the trash.