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If you're in upstate NY, you can give them to me. 

Otherwise, get a large heavy duty plastic rectangular bucket, big enough to fit all the pans in. Fill the bucket half way with very hot water, add some powdered fryolator cleaner, stir well, put in the pans and make sure they are covered by the water. Leave overnight. 

the next day, rinse them off with a garden hose. Some spots might need a bit of soap and water but they should be much cleaner overall. 
You won't get the discoloration of lye but the cleaning is just as effective.
 

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The cleaners I know come in a white plastic jar, about five pounds each. White granules. I would not refer to them as insanely expensive. The webstaurant site has an eight pound container for twenty dollars. Most other prices I see are by the case, so that may seem expensive at first glance. 

However you will only need about two cups, which would leave most of an eight pound container left over.  So I would stop by a local restaurant or pub to see if they would sell you a little. If you have a restaurant supply house nearby, stop and ask them if you can buy some. 

Brand isn't particularly noteworthy as they all contain approximately the same chemicals. 
 
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