Friday, January 19, 2018

I spent the day with my head in the oven


See the oven? See the angry person trying to clean the oven? That would be me. 

I purchased this Whirlpool electric range a year ago. 
The salesperson at Lowe's said it had the latest oven-cleaning technology – "AquaLift" –
a low-heat, odor-free alternative to traditional self-cleaning options. Sounded good to me.

I used the fancy-schmancy technology for the first time yesterday.
Since I rarely use the oven, it hadn't gotten dirty...until I roasted a chicken 
and it spattered all over the place. 

 Anyway, I followed the manufacturer's directions:
pour two cups of water in the bottom of the oven, hit the clean button, wait 40 minutes,
sponge out the water, and presto, the oven would be clean.
But if it's not, says the manual, just run the AquaLift cycle again. And again. And maybe again.
Then it says, in ominous bold type:
IMPORTANT: Do not use oven cleaners. The use of chemicals, including
commercial oven cleaners or metal scouring pads, may cause permanent damage
to the porcelain surface of the oven interior.

After three cleaning cycles and lots and lots of scrubbing in-between,
I hereby call bullshit on AquaLift.

I googled around to see what others were saying about it,
and lo and behold, a class action lawsuit was filed against Whirlpool
and its subsidiaries (Maytag, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air) in 2016
for false advertising and a bunch of other stuff. "Purchasers of AquaLift-equipped ovens
say the feature had little or no effect, and that they ended up
having to scrub their ovens clean by hand," according to the lawsuit.

 I took some comfort in knowing at least it's not just me. 

I've yet to figure out how I'm going to the get the oven clean,
given the ominous warning about the use of chemicals and oven cleaners.
Do any of you have AquaLift in your oven? Has it worked for you?







39 comments:

  1. I bought a oven like yours in 2014 and TOTALLY agree with you ... BS! I rarely use the oven too, but the worse part for me is the glass door ... ugh! No solutions. 🙁🙁🙁

    ReplyDelete
  2. What is this oven cleaning of which you speak?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been laughing about this comment all day.

      Delete
  3. I don't have aqualift, I have a mini oven and am soo happy about it. cleaning marvel: hot water with sodium bicarbonate and patience

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whew! Glad you're not having a Sylvia Plath moment. We've had our range for 10 years now...guess it's time to think about cleaning the oven. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh and cleaning tool: old toothbrushes

    ReplyDelete
  6. this oven would be fine for my use because I have not used my oven since 2006... i use a toaster/broil/convection that sits on the counter and when it gets dirty i buy another one. that is my solution LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's a perfect solution (and one I use with my toaster ovens).

      Delete
  7. Thanks for telling us. I won't be buying that model.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Grrr. My old fashioned hint. Heat up the oven to 425.put two cups of water on a hearproof container like a measuring bowl. Turn off one and put eTer in. C.ose door and wait 20 minutes. The do your best. Some of the grease will have softened and be easier to get out. Not a perfect solution though. Aunt Jean

    ReplyDelete
  9. We have an older BOSCH oven that will overheat and can fry the electronics during the cleaning cycle, so the repair guy just recommended a good wipeout while it was still mildly warm (not enough to burn you).

    I have used a damp/mildly soapy rag to wipe it out.

    If I use some 409 on the grungier spots, I always wipeout with warm water afterwards ... same for cleaning the glass.

    I use a glass scraper (has a single edge razor blade) to get the gummy stuff off the glass (easier when warm, not hot). Then a good scrub with some 409, then wipe up behind it with a damp rag.

    Its never as clean as it was when new, but it looks 'good enough' when I finish.
    Just takes a few minutes now and then.

    I do need to run the racks thru the dishwasher (I use the express cycle). They don't fit in the sink too well and I hate cleaning my bathtub later. Dishwasher is beside the oven so its handy.


    M in NC

    ReplyDelete
  10. What about using vinegar instead of water in the Aqualift cycle? I put a bowl with some vinegar in the microwave and heat it for several minutes to get vinegar steam when I need to give it a deep clean. Vinegar won't damage porcelain. It will smell like you're making pickles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure I want the house to smell like pickles, but I've heard of the same trick using lemon juice. Maybe I'll try that. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. vinegar makes wonders against any deposit in many places: against calcareous sediment in coffee mmachine, in sink pipes, in kettles. and hot vinegar is best. just open the windows. you wont obtain the same result with lemon juice

      Delete
  11. Carson: googled the aqualift topic and found this interesting item:

    https://consumerist.com/2013/02/20/sears-saves-the-day-when-self-cleaning-oven-fails-and-whirlpool-shrugs/

    Read the lower part of the article with a comment from Jenny

    --> her quote:
    The only thing that does work? Baking artisan bread. All that preheating the oven to 500 degrees 15-30 minutes before baking the bread did wonders for my stove. Perhaps not so oddly enough, this is (generally speaking) what the non-breakthrough “technology” stoves do during their self-clean cycle.

    M in NC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had planned to get into some routine artisan bread baking and now I'm totally motivated. Thanks!

      Delete
  12. I have a new LG with similar feature...Easy Clean.....instructions and end result very similar to yours....I called LG and complained.....Was instructed to clean it regularly when even slightly soiled, spray sides of oven (water) prior to cleaning, and put a “small amt. of water in the bottom (<1/2 c.). (ALL water evaporates when ~10 min. cycle is finished). . Results are now much improved.....ðŸĪŠ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would think the manufacturer would include this info. in the manual instead of having to deal with angry consumers. I'll definitely try this. Thanks!

      Delete
  13. I clean the glass door by running a 'one-sided' razor blade, at a low angle, scrapping/pushing the gunk off. I HATE using chemicals, so my oven doesn't get cleaned often. I have read to heat oven (temp?), turn off, place a bowl of ammonia and leave a few hrs. Like I said I don't like chemicals and ammonia falls in this category, so I use a lot of elbow grease to clean.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What about a vinegar and baking soda combo for cleaning? Maybe try a little area first beforehand.

    Hahaha on the illustration!

    ReplyDelete
  15. We got a new gas stove after 15 years and my plan to keep from having to clean it is to put a baking sheet on the bottom rack every time I cook anything that might possible spill, spatter, etc. With cooking chickens I did that AND put a sheet of aluminum foil over the chicken. So far nothing has made any difference in the results of cooking the food - and oven is still immaculate! Not sure what the cleaning rec is for ours but I will now go look just to educate myself.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love it when you draw!

    ReplyDelete
  17. We have the stinky self cleaning kind. Still doesn't completely clean it. But we have reached the point again that the stupid smoke detector goes off when the oven is used for cooking (higher than 350 degrees). Now that our arctic air has moved off will have to think about it (maybe for another month).

    ReplyDelete
  18. My solution: move every 4-5 years. This also works for cleaning the refrigerator.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Carson, is there a way to add my name to the lawsuit? I’ve googled it and can’t find anything, or maybe this is going nowhere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found this site: http://www.aqualiftovenlitigation.com
      and filled out this form: http://www.aqualiftovenlitigation.com/report-your-experience/
      I got an auto-reply email that said,"An attorney from our team will contact you to discuss your individual experience with Whirlpool’s AquaLift self-cleaning technology. Please note that by submitting the form, no attorney-client relationship has been established."

      Who knows whether it will go anywhere, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

      Delete
  20. You're supposed to clean an oven?

    ReplyDelete
  21. If it wre me, I would tell Lowe's to come get the stove and start over....
    It's only a year old and they lied to you....So, you should have something
    new that isn't a lemon...and get the old one picked up and a new stove
    to your liking delivered to you for free...
    That's just me...
    Love from NC

    ReplyDelete
  22. It occurred to me that instead of seeking a monetary penalty, it would be more effective if those that designed these failures should be forced to clean these ovens. That’s right! Make them do the hard work. I bet that would inspire them to make sure the next self cleaning ovens actually worked properly at cleaning themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  23. About 8 weeks ago the control panel on my 7 year old Whirlpool range fried itself and it was about the same price to replace it as repair it. One of the features I liked about the old range was the "steam clean" oven cleaning for a moderately dirty oven so I got the updated version of the same range. NOW you tell me this BS! I just figured "aqua lift" was the 21st century name for the steam clean setting but now I see there's no other option like the lock-down kiln method the old one had (which I never used because the steam clean setting worked so well). Tomorrow I'll will look into joining the class action suit.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I use Comet cleanser and get it pretty clean. Then lots of water to wipe it out residue of Cleaner. Never will be perfectly clean like brand new. BUT AN OVEN IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE CLEAN LIKE BRAND NEW-EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Besides Food tastes better in a used oven.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Found in the spam folder, from Blueberry's Human:
    It occurred to me that instead of seeking a monetary penalty, it would be more effective if those that designed these failures should be forced to clean these ovens. That’s right! Make them do the hard work. I bet that would inspire them to make sure the next self cleaning ovens actually worked properly at cleaning themselves.

    From me: I couldn't agree more!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have never cleaned my oven.......oops, you didn't hear that:)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I've read this cleaning hack in a couple of places. It's worth a try.
    https://lifehacker.com/clean-your-oven-with-an-overnight-pot-of-water-and-ammo-1493972869

    I haven't cleaned mine since I moved in 3+ yrs ago. It's about time but I could just buy a new oven/stove. Yeah, that's it, I need a new one...
    LaurieB

    ReplyDelete
  28. Last time I cleaned my oven, (luckily, my self cleaning oven works)...the glass still looked horrible. I have a homemade grout cleaner that is fantastic that I used on the glass and it was wonderful. The grout cleaner recipe is 7 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup vinegar. I sprayed the window, let it sit a few minutes and wiped. Think I did it a couple times, but was so pleased. I can't tell you how good this works on grout. My tile is the original from the 1970's and was very grubby, bleach wouldn't even take it out.....this was amazing. I also cleaned my racks by putting them in a black trash bag with some ammonia....works like a charm.

    ReplyDelete
  29. No aqua net or whatever it is called....I use straight up chemicals.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Our son sent me a recipe: baking soda, Dawn (just a drop) and something else...I'll have to go find it. I used it on our oven and it DID WORK! Okay...NO DAWN! Here's the link: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-clean-an-oven-cleaning-lessons-from-the-kitchn-201191

    ReplyDelete