My oven was pretty bad, even though it's self cleaning. I just didn't take the time to turn it on, and I LOVE the homemade recipes on this site, so I thought I'd try this. This got the first layer of junk off, but didn't seem to work like I though it should, so I then used another recipe of 5 T baking soda, 3 drops of liquid dish soap and 4 T of vinegar, made a paste, and this worked so well, my oven looks near new. It definitely took some elbow greast and several coatings of paste, but the oven, racks, and grills on top of the stove look shiny and near new. I'll use this as more of an upkeep solution.
This just works about as well as water. My method works a lot better, is cheaper, and requires less labor. What I do is this: the night before I want to clean the oven, I take a glass or disposable aluminum pie pan, half fill it with ammonia, and place it in the center of the oven. Then I close the door and leave it to sit overnight. The fumes from the ammonia cause the dirt and baked-on gunk to loosen up, and even though it smells terrible, it sure beats scrubbing! I make sure to place a sign on the oven door and above the stove to remind myself not to light them until the oven has been cleaned. An exploding house would not be good! You can also use this method to clean your BBQ grill--place the racks in a plastic trash bag with a little ammonia, close tightly and leave it on a flat surface until you are ready to clean.
I came across this when I was trying to find a less potent way to clean my oven, however, it really didn't work that great for me. It was so runny that it was hard to let it soak at all on my oven. I think I may give it another shot adding more of the other ingredients besides water because I'd really like it to work, but as is, it just didn't do the job that well for me.
I would love to try this except.. I can not find borax anywhere!!
Good cleaner...didn't know my oven was THAT dirty. I let it sit 30 minutes and sprayed it again and let sit 15 minutes more. Even made the racks shiny.