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topic 32537

Remove oven cleaner damage from aluminum


A discussion started in 2004 but continuing through 2019

2004

Q. I am inquiring as to how to remove oven cleaner after it has come into contact with an aluminum surface. The surface to which I am referring is polished billet aluminum. Some of the oven cleaner landed in some hard to reach places. How can it be removed?

Todd Tucker
hobbyist - Florence, South Carolina


2004

A. Oven cleaner is water soluble and will wash off, Todd. Just use a water hose.

However, that may not really be your question. Oven cleaner dissolves aluminum, and should not be used on aluminum except in very special cases. You may be asking how you can restore the damage that has been done. If you can't reach the area to do mechanical polishing on it, you probably can't fix the etched surface.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



December 11, 2012

Q. Hello. I cleaned my oven this evening with Easy Off and shut the door, as instructed but when I opened it up to clean it, discovered that the aluminium edges of my oven door have gone white and discoloured. (I only realised afterwards that it's aluminium and not stainless steel!) Oops! Is there anything I can do to clean it and bring some of the shine back?

Thanks in advance!

Louise LaRosa
- King's Lynn, Norfolk,England


December 11, 2012

A. Hi Louise. You can't fix it chemically, but you may be able to polish it. Try a metal polish like Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish [paid link to product info at Amazon], preferably applied with a buffing pad mounted on a battery operated drill, rather than by hand. (Make sure the oven cleaner is well washed off first). Good luck.

Aluminum trim inside an oven, with this predictable result, is typical of today's appliance designs. Engineers: You know better! Have the integrity to Just Say No when asked to participate in shameless designs.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



August 25, 2019

Q. How to paint (food-safe, oven safe) aluminum toaster oven drip tray damaged by oven cleaner.

Sheila Gonzalez
- La Porte, Texas, USA


September 2019

A. Hi Sheila. If it's a drip tray I don't understand why it needs to be 'food-safe'. Paint is a bad idea, and having a ceramic coating applied will be prohibitively expensive. Why not just use it as is? Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



October 4, 2019

Q. Stupidly my kid was too helpful and used oven cleaner in our mini oven. The inside now looks horrible. Is it safe to still use the oven or has it been ruined now the aluminium has been ruined?

Haizel Feild
- Auckland, New Zealand


October 2019

A. Hi Haizel. Oven cleaner can completely dissolve aluminum, so a dangerous pinhole is not impossible; although I don't know much about microwaves I would not use it myself.
You didn't note your kid's age, so we should mention that the label probably says "keep out of the reach of children"; I'm reasonably sure oven cleaner in the eye can blind a person.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

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