Thread Number: 81261  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Life without a P7
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Post# 1052790   11/30/2019 at 17:16 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Ok, guys,

Im definitely going to need some advice about cleaning and caring for a non self cleaning oven. I was seduced by the turquoise Frigidaire Custom Imperial and decided I could live without a self cleaning oven. Last night, I ran a cleaning cycle on the P7 in Tuscaloosa house. When I opened the door to a sparkling clean oven this morning, I realized the full implications of my decision.

So, please help. I need to learn the best way to take care of my new beauty.


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Post# 1052800 , Reply# 1   11/30/2019 at 18:57 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I prefer Manuel Clean Ovens.

Easy Off, wear gloves, and a green Scotch Brite Pad.

The best way to keep your oven clean and not go through the hell most people hate about cleaning a oven is... Don't let it get very soiled. Wipe up and spot clean spalls and when you see it starting to get dirty, clean it.

I believe your bottom oven is "Pull and Clean". I had one of those and it was the best Baking Oven and Range I ever had.

Post# 1052804 , Reply# 2   11/30/2019 at 19:45 by sfh074 ( )        
Do not ....

get Easy Off on the heating elements! Cover them with tinfoil so you don't get any on them by accident. Learned that the hard way years ago.

Post# 1052814 , Reply# 3   11/30/2019 at 22:27 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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I too prefer an manual clean oven. If you keep up on the spills like Eddie said in reply #1 its not so hard to keep an oven clean. When I use Easy Off for a major cleaning I wrap the elements with old newspaper, cheaper than using aluminum foil and just as effective. After I wipe off the Easy Off I just pull off the newspaper and throw it away.

The main reason I dont like self cleaning ovens is the smoke that they expel during the cleaning process. Plus, I had the electronic controls on a Maytag slide in flat top electric range get fried from using the self cleaning feature and the cost to repair it was going to be over $300.00. Ill never have either a self cleaning oven or an electronic controlled oven again.


Post# 1052816 , Reply# 4   11/30/2019 at 23:45 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Manual clean ovens are not that bad. I lived with them for about 45 years before I bought a house with a P*7. Easy Off is no big deal. Just make sure you wipe it all off before heating the oven. I lived in one rental house in the 90's where someone did something horrible to the oven; I figure they used something strong on it and the fired it up. As I recall there are some oven cleaners that advise just that, and I've used such, but whatever they used ate away at the porcelain coating. Maybe they were idiots and used drain cleaner or a strong acid. Probably a strong acid.


Anyway, you could always keep the P*7 in storage if you think you want to go back to it. I use mine only rarely... having a stainless propane fired BBQ/rotisserie on the covered patio means most of the cooking that spatters goes out there. And since I went low carb I don't bake much any more. But I must admit the P*7 does great on self-cleaning.



Post# 1052822 , Reply# 5   12/1/2019 at 06:13 by retro-man (nashua,nh - boston,ma)        

Easy Off no scent. Spray it on in the evening in a cold oven. Close the door and the next morning wife off with paper towels and then just a wipe over with some dish detergent and water. No smell no mess. Works great.


Post# 1052833 , Reply# 6   12/1/2019 at 07:26 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Hide a self cleaning oven elsewhere in the house....

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I know this will not be a popular answer, but if it were me and I had the space, I'd have a newer self cleaning convection oven elsewhere in the house like a utility room or something.  You could use that one for the dirty bakes and save the oven in the kitchen for the things that don't dirty the oven much.


Some may think I'm kidding but I'm not.  I would hate to live without convection and I don't think I could live without self cleaning.  I would rather have a boil implant than clean an oven.  Do you have any kind of room off the kitchen where you could build in an oven or a place for a stove with a Self Cleaning oven?  We can always use an extra couple of burners especially around the holidays.  With this approach you can kill two birds with one stone.  You can retain the integrity of this beautiful kitchen you're putting together but also have the convenience of a modern oven.

Post# 1052834 , Reply# 7   12/1/2019 at 10:05 by Kate1 (PNW)        

I hate the self clean cycle on ovens, Im not even convinced the fumes produced during it are safe (a friends pet bird was killed by the fumes from a self clean cycle and there is some research that says they may be more toxic to humans than we thought). Easy Off works great, definitely protect the element with something, wear gloves, and ventilate the kitchen while youre doing it. Its a quick and easy job. The best thing you can do though is to put a baking sheet under everything you bake to prevent the oven from getting super dirty to begin with.

Post# 1052838 , Reply# 8   12/1/2019 at 10:40 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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There's misinformation out-in-the-wild about self-cleaning ovens.

One info-site I found says the interior of self-cleaners is coated with Teflon. Teflon melts at 620F. Self-clean cycles reach much higher temps than that.

Any odor, fumes, smoke produced is from grease & food residue incinerating.

Post# 1052840 , Reply# 9   12/1/2019 at 10:50 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

In my vintage Frigidaire ovens, I use 18 inch wide heavy duty foil on the floor. I confine broiling to the smaller oven and fold two pieces of the 18 inch wide foil into an L shape to sit on the rack on either side of the broiler pan and extend to the top of the oven. Splatters are confined to the back and door of the oven and are easily cleaned with a dish cloth and detergent as the oven cools. I rarely use the self-cleaning feature in ovens that have it because it is hard on the porcelain.

Post# 1052846 , Reply# 10   12/1/2019 at 12:01 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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I have to agree with self-cleaning or not, it makes good sense to clean up spills and splatters shortly after they happen. This house came with Jennair built-ins. Both ovens were self-cleaning and I used the clean feature once on the top unit. The guy I bought the house from was a 70+ year old health nut and broiled chicken religiously. I think it had something to do with the nude hiking group he belonged to tongue-out.  I guess if you do a lot of broiling, roasting or other oven cooking that splatters, a self-cleaning oven, despite it's drawbacks, can be helpful. If you're back's in the same condition as mine and you don't have a wall oven, pushing a button or two or turning a dial can be a whole lot less painful too.


The Kitchenaid I installed (by myself before old-age set in) to replace the problematic Jennair looks clean doesn't it? Probably because the top oven has been used twice to bake a cake and the bottom one is still a virgin.

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Post# 1052848 , Reply# 11   12/1/2019 at 12:17 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        

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I could be wrong but seems to me if the fumes are bad enough to kill a living anything maybe they need to run the cycle a little more often.  I would err on the side of running it too often vs. not often enough.   Mine does produce a smell but not so much that I have to leave the house.


The way I see it is those before us beat clothes on a rock, washed dishes by hand and cleaned ovens with some of the nastiest smelling stuff around.  I use a washing machine and dishwasher because these are modern conveniences we now have, why wouldn't I have a SC oven for the same reason?


BTW, I have read the disclaimer about birds in the vicinity of a SC oven.  I'm sorry your friends didn't know about it.  I think it was one of the items listed in the user manual.  In the mid 90s I had two Senegal parrots that I would put in a back bedroom when I ran the cycle just to be on the safe side.

Post# 1052849 , Reply# 12   12/1/2019 at 12:57 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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I've had ovens with self-cleaning options before and rarely ever used them due to the smell and length of time. For my vintage GE, I bought some large foil sheets to put under dishes while cooking, which does help keep things off the oven floor. However, there's still some stuff that gets along the side. I typically just use Easy-Off to clean, and as long as I leave it in long enough, it is just a matter of wiping it off, and voila! clean oven. While I'm not a cleaning freak, I love how the chrome lined ovens look when all clean, so that gives me incentive for the task.

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Post# 1052872 , Reply# 13   12/1/2019 at 17:01 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Self-Cleaning Or Not

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A SCO is a great invention, It saves energy, work and money and they usually bake better than NSCOs the fumes put off by the SC cycle are far less dangerous than the chemicals used to actually clean an oven by hand.

Best way to clean a manual clean electric oven, one: keep it clean by using HD aluminum foil on the floor under the bake element.

Two: lye based oven cleaners like Easy-Off.

Note oven cleaner will NOT hurt the sealed heating elements, they are a nickle-steel alloy that oven cleaner would never hurt even if left on them for years or even while the elements are on.

Hi Sarah, be sure that your electrician only uses a 30 amp breaker for this oven and another 30 amp breaker for the TD cook-top anything larger than 30 amps is dangerous to you and the oven.

John L.

Post# 1052895 , Reply# 14   12/1/2019 at 22:40 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Thanks John,

Perhaps a double P7 would have been the best choice, but since I've gone down the Frigidaire rabbit hole, I'm very glad to know the lye based cleaners won't harm the elements--

And thanks for the electrical advice. We are putting the fridges and cooking appliances on separate circuits.

I just purchased an owner's manual for the Frigidaire ovens that appears to have detailed instructions for using the radiant wall roaster. I'm looking forward to receiving it.

And thanks to all of you for the encouragement and advice. I'm committed to the Frigidaire ovens. Beauty like this is hard to resist. I still think it's kind of neat that the first one I saw and fell in love with was in the rectory of a Catholic church. It is currently white, but Father Richard tells me that it was originally turquoise! (picture below for those of you who haven't seen it)

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Post# 1052896 , Reply# 15   12/1/2019 at 22:45 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
No space...

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If I had some, I would most definitely be tempted to tuck an extra P7 away some where--especially for the times when my husband cooks bacon or sausage. As it is, I'm trying to figure out where to put a full sized trash can/recycling receptacles. (Yep, I could put them in the 30" space I'm using for the combo washer dryer, except that I cannot live without the combo.)

My Geneva kitchen sink cabinet has a nifty little stainless trash can mounted on the inside of the door, but little is the operative word.


Post# 1053405 , Reply# 16   12/7/2019 at 03:17 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I confess I'm none too fond of the stench that a self-cleaning cycle in the P*7 can produce. And actually I rarely need to run that cycle, because most of my baking of small amounts is in the Oster french door countertop convection oven: pizzas, fish sticks, even TV dinners etc. The Oster has those "self cleaning walls" that don't seem to collect any debris. And it has an internal crumb tray that is very easy to clean in a sink. Roasts and chickens go into the stainless gas BBQ/rotisserie on the covered patio outside. I also use a seasoned cast iron griddle pan for cooking stuff like chicken parts in the covered BBQ. It has raised ribs and gives a result similar to grilling, without the flare-ups from grease.


And Easy-Off, at least the original, is basically lye. Very caustic. Which is why it's important to use rubber gloves when using it. Unless you want to lose a layer of skin.


When I do run the cleaning cycle on the P*7, I do it on a day when I can open all the windows and doors and run the exhaust fan on the nearby cooktop hood.

Post# 1053449 , Reply# 17   12/7/2019 at 15:51 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Another way to clean the oven...

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As shown on some you tube videos, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the inside of the oven. It will take maybe 3 days to have any effect, but it is less obnoxious than the lye of Easy Off.

Post# 1053456 , Reply# 18   12/7/2019 at 17:12 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        

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I have white vinegar in a spray bottle and baking soda in a shaker container.
Spraying the cooked on areas with vinegar and then shaking a covering of baking soda on, then spray again to dampen, and apply a piece of saran wrap. Let it sit for at least a few hours while it soaks in without drying out.

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Post# 1053475 , Reply# 19   12/7/2019 at 19:31 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
A self cleaning oven

Is like a Sensi Temp and Speed Heat unit They have lots of problems as they age, I never had one that worked right
, just like defrosting the fridge I don't mind cleaning the oven

Post# 1054496 , Reply# 20   12/16/2019 at 19:02 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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A self-cleaner is something that I could never see my life without...

I remember the first one in my neighborhood in the electric Tappan across the street, giving me the impression there was a tank or a vessel of oven cleaner the oven sprayed in itself, before realizing and my mom acquiring her own, that the oven super-heated to over-500...


Post# 1054497 , Reply# 21   12/16/2019 at 19:11 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Ill let yall know how it goes :-)

Post# 1054499 , Reply# 22   12/16/2019 at 20:17 by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        
Clean the oven and defrost the fridge

These tasks are so simple it is just amazing

Any sort of Easy-Off works great. I give it a going-over with window cleaner and it looks like new. Anyway these little tasks make life work living.

Post# 1054507 , Reply# 23   12/16/2019 at 21:41 by iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
The oven super-heated to over 500 degrees

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The P-7 system heats to 880 degrees.

Post# 1054508 , Reply# 24   12/16/2019 at 21:48 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Easy off

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Easy off is definitely my friend. In addition to being a marvelous oven cleaner, sodium hydroxide is still the best paint remover around.

I wish they still made brush on Easy Off! Easy Off has a way of adhering to surfaces that a solution of lye and water doesn't. The spray is perfect for cleaning a whole oven, but brush on would be lovely for bubble overs and localized areas.


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Post# 1054528 , Reply# 25   12/17/2019 at 03:27 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Defrosting the Fridge.

It was a sure way of keeping your Frozen Foods fresh and in rotation.

I remember Mom running the freezer down to next to nothing before she defrosted it. I know with my "modern" frost free, I have to scavenge once in awhile to find wayward bags that "jump off the shelf and hide".

Post# 1054533 , Reply# 26   12/17/2019 at 06:31 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I bought my Frigidaire gas range with self-clean ability just so I'd have the broiler burner in the top of the oven...but I have never used the clean cycle.  My mother is the same way.  We used her old 92 Caloric's self-clean cycle maybe twice, three times max and just didn't like it.  I use fume free Easy off in mine and also in my Sharp Convection Microwave with the stainless interior.  Mr. Clean magic eraser works well if it isn't thick and grimy.

Post# 1054557 , Reply# 27   12/17/2019 at 12:08 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Oven Cleaner on Self Cleaning Ovens

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I thought you weren't supposed to use oven cleaner in self cleaning ovens.  I thought it was supposed to damage the finish.

Post# 1054559 , Reply# 28   12/17/2019 at 12:17 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Self Cleaning Ovens

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Have the same type of finish good Non-SCOs have, the finish will not be damaged using oven cleaner, the only real problem with spray oven cleaners is it gets in all the nooks and crevices and is about impossible to get it all rinsed out so you have the fumes and smell when cooking there after, No Thanks

John L.

Post# 1054566 , Reply# 29   12/17/2019 at 14:05 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
No worry here..

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I'd rather have a boil implant than clean an oven.  No reason to ruin a good manicure over a dirty oven I always say.  :)

Post# 1054581 , Reply# 30   12/17/2019 at 15:49 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Chemical oven cleaners will damage continuous-clean ovens, which have a special porous finish with an oxidation catalyst that absorbs, spreads and dissipates grease/soils at normal baking temperatures.

Self-Cleaning Oven -- Alternative Technologies

Post# 1054588 , Reply# 31   12/17/2019 at 16:45 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Continuos Clean Ovens

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Thank you Glenn.  I guess I had that confused.  Do these continuous clean ovens work that well?

Post# 1054590 , Reply# 32   12/17/2019 at 16:50 by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Hi Ralph, our last oven had removable continuous clean panels on the sides, back and roof. They did a pretty good job at keeping themselves clean, although occaisionally you'd heat the oven the 500F to get rid of any spots.

The rest of the oven you would remove the liners and I used an Gel product that you painted on to clean it.

I've since gone Pyrolytic cleaning and would never go back, the only issue I've had is with the racks getting flaking chrome post clean, so I've started cleaning them by hand to preserve the finish.

Post# 1054592 , Reply# 33   12/17/2019 at 17:08 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Depends on how much of a clean oven the user expects. It's never 100% clean for anyone who uses their oven to much of an extent for roasting and broiling. It likewise takes a while for soils to dissipate after soiling occurs if the oven isn't used very often. There are discolored spots of varying shades that remain until the oxidation process completes. A trick that can help to speed it up is run the oven empty at 350F to 400F for an hour or two ... sort of a low-heat self-clean. I think continuous-clean was discontinued some years ago, except some countertop and toaster ovens may have it.

Post# 1054629 , Reply# 34   12/18/2019 at 00:39 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        

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I don't think they make continuous clean anymore. 


I really didn't work that well.  I tended to get darker with age and just look dingy all the time even though there may not have been any distinct spills.  

Post# 1054641 , Reply# 35   12/18/2019 at 06:50 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Continuos-Cleaning vs High Heat SC ovens

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CCOs actually worked very well on the hard to reach walls, back and ceiling of ovens, they were hopeless on spills on the floor of ovens and of corse did not clean the light bulb, racks or window. The better ones had a removable panel on the floor that you could remove and clean, or in Whirlpools CCOs you were instructed to keep the floor covered with HD aluminum foil.


CCOs fell out of favor because consumers did not know how to use them, AND if you wanted your oven to look bright and shinny like it looked when new it was about impossible. 


You differently DO NOT use lye based oven cleaners in CCOs, it does not rinse off and permanently spoils the appearance.


High Temperature SCOs of corse clean the entire interior [ and better ones now porcelain coated racks ] so they stay nice looking as well, although I have always cleaned the chrome plated racks in the SCC, they just take on a present gray color much like the rest of the ovens interior after a few cleanings.


HT SCOs have the added advantage of using less energy and generally pre-heating faster and baking more evenly.


John L.

Post# 1054644 , Reply# 36   12/18/2019 at 07:24 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Late to the party here, but I've had all three types - manual, continuous-clean, and self-clean.  Currently, both my daily-driver ovens are not self-cleaners ('56 GE in Ogden, '62 Flair in St-Lib) and honestly, it's not that bad to keep them clean.  As has been mentioned here, I do try to not let soils build up and burn on.  I have found that a wipe-down with a cloth moistened with water and ammonia will knock out grease before it builds up.  Racks get a treatment with regular oven cleaner, then a scrub down with a steel-wool pad if needed.  (Side rant - cleaning those oven racks is easy to deal with if you have a deep laundry or utility sink - most homes no longer have these alas...GRRR)


I also have to admit that I find the Flair oven is very easy to keep clean - I swear that oven was designed for someone on the not-to-tall side like me.  The swing-up oven door is a boon!  I've used wall ovens before - a 60s GE with a removable door and and 80s Hotpoint with a non-removable one.  The latter was replaced by the GE Wonder Kitchen... LOL 


I got to use a continuous-clean oven first - my folks bought a 1974 Baycrest (Canadian department store rebadged Westinghouse) with one.  I actually read the user book and as John also said, it instructed the owner to wrap the removable drip plate at the bottom of the oven with heavy foil.  I did and that oven stayed looking fine until it was off-loaded in 2006.  Of course after I had moved out of my father's house in 1986, that range saw very little baking and roasting activity... LOL 


First self-cleaner was a mid-70s Bélanger (a Canadian brand which I think at the time was made by Tappan).  When the self-clean cycle was working, I was disappointed with how it did.  Heavy, crusty stuff just baked on harder to the oven walls.  This was replaced by a 1977 Beaumark (Canadian department store rebadged Hotpoint) and I found it much better.  Perhaps this was because the timer on the range was shot, so self-clean ran for as long as you wanted and as long as you forgot about it... LOL    The last self-cleaner I had was a 2001 Whirlpool Gold - I was a little leery of it, as it was the model with the concealed bake element, but it did a decent job of self-cleaning.  This had been the range in our old apartment in Montreal so it didn't see tons of baking and roasting though. 


At the country houses, we had a succession of ranges... When I decided to "go turquoise", both ranges I had were non-self cleaners, but I survived!! 


Just one last cleaning tip, I read in an old 'household hints' book to leave a dish of ammonia in a dirty oven overnight to loosen grease.  It works reasonably well,  I was afraid of the ammonia stinking up the house, but it really didn't!  

Post# 1054645 , Reply# 37   12/18/2019 at 07:31 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Cleans all but the window...

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I have a SCO that for the most part the Self Cleaning function works very well.  I take out the racks because I like them shiny.  The frustrating part is it does not clean the window very well.  Bugs me when I look in the oven I see a shiny clean oven through a window with brown streaks.  What is the best way to clean those without any damage to the rest of the oven?  I have tried a few cleaners and a little has come off.  I tried one day immediately after a cleaning cycle and the door unlocked and even then they wouldn't budge.


Any suggestions? 

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Post# 1054647 , Reply# 38   12/18/2019 at 07:37 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I remember my mother's Sharp convection microwave from around 84-85 had stainless walls and back but continuous clean on the ceiling.  Of course it was a cardinal sin in our house to heat anything without covering it first to prevent splatters.  Same rule applies in m y house but DH tends to ignore it....}-(>

Post# 1054652 , Reply# 39   12/18/2019 at 07:59 by retro-man (nashua,nh - boston,ma)        

I use Easy off no scent to clean the window and door on my sc oven. It has never cleaned those well enough. I also use it on my rotisserie oven and my toaster ovens, makes them look like new. Spray it on leave it over night and cleans right off the next morning with paper towels and just rinse and wipe clean and clear.


Post# 1054681 , Reply# 40   12/18/2019 at 15:51 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        

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Thank you Jon.  I will give that a try.  I wanted to get it clean before it gets too bad then it will be awful to clean.

Post# 1054713 , Reply# 41   12/18/2019 at 21:18 by iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
To quote Erma Bombeck:

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"If God meant us to clean ovens, he would have given us six foot long arms with detachable scrub brushes."

"Well it's self cleaning"
" Cats are self cleaning"

Post# 1054730 , Reply# 42   12/19/2019 at 01:28 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Well, one mention of the time of year to service a lot of ovens to an appliance repair person who was fixing my washer or maybe it was my dryer, years ago, hed gone off on such a limb on the ovens breaking down that worked because of self-cleaning on what was mainly touch-control systems caused me to be unable to get a word in edge-wise of how I use mine much more wisely, in that a standard 3-hour cleaning the default is set for or going down to the 2-hour cleaning and doing mine a bit more frequently makes my oven work a bit more trouble free, and I think even with the lack of scraping a few food particles and/or cleaning up whatever ash afterwards, my oven is cleaned satisfactorily...

As for the smell, I enjoy the scent of the cleaning being done, just hope that its not similar to that of cremating human remains...


Post# 1054852 , Reply# 43   12/19/2019 at 19:21 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Hopeful features

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I did consider ease of cleaning to some degree during my whirlwind romance with the Frigidaire Custom Imperial. French doors on the upper oven and the pull n clean lower oven frees me from the need for 6 arms. I just learned that the single door Custom Imperial had drop-leaf doors to make cleaning easier.


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