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How to Remove Melted Aluminum Foil from the Oven

How to Remove Melted Aluminum Foil from the Oven

There's all kinds of household messes. There's dirt-on-floor, stain-on-rug, dog-stuff-on-porch and lazy-husband-on-couch. This also includes metal-on-metal in case of ovens. Let's face it, we all make mistakes, all we can do is hope they ain't too costly.
Urvashi Pokharna
May be you were too hungry or in a hurry and forgot to remove the aluminum foil wrapped around your food. Even if you did not know that it can be melted by the heat in the oven, yes, that is what heats your food too, you are stuck in the rut with some melted metal on your expensive electronic. But well, stuff happens. What matters now is to know exactly what you can do to get all the melted metal gunk out of your oven.
Word Of Caution
As you'd be aware, you must not use any abrasive cleaners to clean the surface of the oven as harsh chemicals can corrode it. This is also mentioned in the instruction manual that comes with the oven. But, it is quite a difficult task to remove melted foil from an oven as the damage can be quite severe. Heating causes the aluminum to change into a liquid form and makes it easier for the molten form to bind with the surface coating of the bottom of the oven. I must let you know that the damage done to your oven is pretty much permanent. You might be able to successfully lighten the marks left by the aluminum foil, but you won't be able to completely remove them.
How to Remove Melted Aluminum Foil from the Oven?
  • Well, when you noticed that the aluminum foil had started to melt in the oven, the first thing to be done was to immediately stop the oven and pick out the chunks of aluminum foil that hadn't melted.
  • Then, with a piece of cloth or tissue, try to remove the melted aluminum from the oven. Squeeze some lemon over the affected area and pour a bit of vinegar.
  • Switch your oven again on and heat it at a very high temperature as possible for 20 minutes. This will loosen up the molten particles and give them less time to completely fuse with the bottom of the oven. Cooling helps metals to bind to each other quickly and strongly.
  • Now, wipe off the liquid and scrub with some baking soda and steel wool. Make sure you do this step very gently, to avoid scraping off the enamel coating of the oven.
  • The metals present in the foil must have already been infused with the floor of the oven. Hence, I should caution you against using the self-cleaning method after the foil has already melted on the oven.
  • If you still have foil remnants on the oven, use the 'duct tape' method. Yes, you guessed it right. Start putting strips of duct tape on the affected area and pulling them out, pretty much like body hair waxing.
  • If that didn't work, buy some muriatic acid from a swimming pool supply store. It is hydrogen chloride in an aqueous form and is highly corrosive in nature. Dab some on the affected area and let it stay for a few minutes. Wipe it off and buff using a rubbing compound. There might be some discoloration on the floor of the oven but the melted foil will be mostly gone.
  • If you cannot find pool acid, substitute it with caustic acid (also called lye or sodium hydroxide) and a bit of water. Leave it for a few hours.
When Nothing Works
If none of these tips worked for you, you could just ignore the melted aluminum stain if it does not interfere with the functioning of your oven (sigh!). Even if your oven is in warranty, there are very slim chances that the manufacturer will replace the damaged parts of the oven or re-coat the lining because, as mentioned above, the instruction manual already warns against using metal inside the oven. If the manufacturer does agree to fix the beauty of your oven, it will cost you anywhere between $22 to $40 if ordered online, added to that, its shipping charges.
Do remember, never use any sort of metal inside the oven while heating, especially the electric ones that have a steel coating. Even a non-stick aluminum foil will melt! However, a wall oven may react better to having an aluminum foil while heating. The next time you use the oven, always use a container that is compatible with the oven. Stay away from the aluminum foil and let the food drip on the bottom or use a cookie sheet. It is easier to clean the leftovers with smart oven cleaning tips than to have permanent metal stains on the oven.
Note: Please be very careful while using any of the chemicals mentioned here. Use proper safety measures like safety gloves and glasses to protect yourself from the fumes resulting from the chemical reaction.