Thread Number: 84853  /  Tag: Small Appliances
how to clean baked on black gunk?
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Post# 1093204   10/14/2020 at 21:25 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

I have recently scrounged a Philips Air Fryer XXL. It is not very old, still more or less a current model and a fancy one, too.

It has no faults but was really filthy when I picked it up. I have pulled it to bits, cleaned it and checked it, it works fine and is a good gadget. I will keep it. I suspect it was thrown out because of smoke when cooking - the area around the fan was full of vile brown goo.

The area around the fan and heating element have responded to elbow grease and the selection of chemicals I threw at it. They are now clean.

This model has a basket made of sheet metal sides, covered in some nonstick stuff. The base of the basket is separate, made of stainless steel mesh. That was almost blocked with black residue but is now clean. Being stainless, I could get stuck into it with scourers and sharp implements, without damaging it.

The nonstick basket is different. It is still covered with really hard baked black stuff. Some of it has flaked off but most is stuck hard to the nonstick surface.

I'm usually good at this sort of thing but I'm stumped.

So far I have tried BBQ cleaner from Aldi - useless.

Some sort of spray on kitchen degreaser - useless.

Simple Green - little to no effect.

Wet with cloudy ammonia and leave in a plastic bag overnight - removed the easy stuff.

Citro-Clean orange oil based spray - removed the softer brown stuff but little to no effect on the hard black stuff. It is usually magic - I love the stuff.

Baking soda paste - probably the most effective. It seemed to soften some of the muck but I have done 2 or 3 applications, each left overnight. The remaining residue won't shift.

I later tried a spray on oven cleaner, the kind of product I usually try to avoid. I had imagined it would dissolve the black layer and I'd wipe it off next day... no such luck. It had no effect at all, after 2 applications, each left overnight.


I have had a little luck using a bamboo chopstick to scrape at the residue - some of it flakes off but it is slow work and I don't want to damage the nonstick any more than i have already.


any suggestions?


If you could mention generic types of product you suggest, or specific ingredients, rather than brand names, would be helpful as we probably have different product brands in Australia.


my final option is to replace the basket, link below. but I'd rather clean this one if I can.


Post# 1093207 , Reply# 1   10/14/2020 at 22:02 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

If you have a restaurant supply place near you, they should have a carbonized grease remover, such as Carbon-Off.

Post# 1093209 , Reply# 2   10/14/2020 at 22:14 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

Thanks, sounds like what I want.

I used to be a professional cook but kept my stuff clean and never had to resort to such products...

Post# 1094334 , Reply# 3   10/24/2020 at 10:54 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
Ammonia and Mr Clean Magic Eraser pad?

Soak in very hot sudsy water with as much ammonia as you dare, but not enough to create uncomfortable fumes, then use a Mr Clean Magic Eraser pad.

Thatís what Iíd do....

(And set it outside to soak, or cover the sink with a big towel while soaking, if you have any pets, especially birds.)

And with Thanksgiving coming up, might as well mention that thatís my method for getting my stainless steel roaster brand new, gleaming clean. 30 minutes is usually long enough to soak. And now I usually no longer need to use Bon Ami scouring powder. Just enough hot sudsy water to cover, and it doesnít take much ammonia, just a glug.

(OMG one time I poured straight ammonia all over the shower in my elderly folksí house to remove stubborn soap scum. Clearly they hadnít cleaned it in years after they got too old. What a mistake! And I knew better. I had to run out of the room, and in intervals as long as I could hold my breath, throw open windows and use a fan to exhaust the fumes, and rinse the excess away with buckets of hot water. It got the shower clean though, when nothing else would! If they would have had a water softener, no soap scum would have ever built up after they got too old to clean. For those who insist that soap does not rinse off in hard water, the shower that never needs to be cleaned again except for drying it out with a towel after showering to prevent mold and mildew disproves that belief. Even if I didnít like soft water, Iíd still have a water softener if for no reason other than to save myself the weekly chore of cleaning the shower with that nasty bathroom spray foam cleaner.)

Post# 1094337 , Reply# 4   10/24/2020 at 11:03 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
I meant

For those who insist that soap does not rinse off in softened water, the shower disproves that belief.

To each his own, though. Most of my friends truly detest softened water, so whatever floats your boat.

Post# 1094353 , Reply# 5   10/24/2020 at 13:01 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Maybe place it in a pot of boiling water with dish soap in it, for a few minutes, then let sit?

That's what I use to clean my (regular) electric deep fryer frypot and basket.

Post# 1094358 , Reply# 6   10/24/2020 at 13:33 by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Easy-Off oven claner in the blue can

joeekaitis's profile picture


The fume-free version safe for self-cleaning ovens.  Similar to Dawn Power Dissolver but aerosol.  Worth a try.

Post# 1094424 , Reply# 7   10/24/2020 at 22:15 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

I've tried ammonia soaking overnight. That's an old family favourite. It did nothing.

Easy-Off fume free oven cleaner did absolutely nothing. Might as well have been water. Tried 2 overnight applications.

This stuff is really rock hard. Nothing seems to soften it.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

If I can't track down some carbon removing stuff, I will probably just replace the basket.

I have already spent enough on cleaning potions that didn't work to have bought a basket any way...

Post# 1094427 , Reply# 8   10/24/2020 at 22:21 by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Hi Chris

Selleys make a gel oven cleaner that Iíve always found to be effective.

The Gel generally only seems to be available at IGA, whereas the spray is available at Bunnings, but I havenít tried it.

See how you go



Post# 1094430 , Reply# 9   10/24/2020 at 22:50 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

Hi Nathan

does the Selleys gel work on REALLY hard black stuff?

I have seen it mentioned online and was tempted but a jar is about $10 and a new basket is about $36...

The stuff I am trying to get off is seriously hardened. All the other products I have tried have removed anything easier. This is the toughest of tough stuff. I was having some luck chipping at the edges of the black residue with a bamboo chopstick, but what is left is wearing away the chopstick...

Post# 1094448 , Reply# 10   10/25/2020 at 05:55 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
De-carboniser is what's needed

ozzie908's profile picture
If you know anyone in catering or who has a grill cleaning service they will get it clean.

Its a very strong alkaline substance that works best at a temp of 45c, I had one at the restaurant it was like a large tank with a basket you put anything that needed cleaning in left overnight and in the morning rinse in cold water and its all like new...!

There is a chemical you can buy that does a similar thing but is not so efficient.


Post# 1094510 , Reply# 11   10/25/2020 at 18:33 by Stevet (West Melbourne, FL)        
Self cleaning oven may do the trick

If you have a self cleaning oven, you may want to give that a try. Use the shortest cleaning time and see if the crud gets burned off. I have an aunt who did that to all her carbon encrusted frying pans and they all came out like nearly new. Just be prepared for some more smoke than you may usually get when the cycle is going through its paces.

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