The self-cleaning feature is convenient, but it can be the most dangerous process in your kitchen. So, can a self-cleaning oven kill or hurt you?
That depends on your preparedness. You may suffer one or both of these dangers.
What if I told you there are ways to protect yourself from injury and death during the self-cleaning feature?
In this short article, we’ll look at the dangers of using a self-cleaning oven and ways to escape them.
Let’s dive right in!.
What are the Dangers of a Self-Cleaning Oven?
Despite being the most convenient in terms of cleaning, a self-cleaning oven has a handful of drawbacks. And we’re not just talking about severe injuries; a self-cleaning oven can even kill you.
And not just you. A self-cleaning oven poses harmful effects to your family and pets as well.
So you must be careful handling this equipment.
There is no better way to watch out for trouble than to know what type of danger you’re trying to avoid. The following are the common risks of a self-cleaning oven:
- Carbon Monoxide Build-up
The self-cleaning function of your oven can result in a dangerous chemical known as carbon monoxide. This element is both harmful and difficult to detect, and is highly toxic to humans and pets.
The appliance heats and burns all leftovers in there, producing carbon monoxide. Hand cleaning before this process is the surest way to ensure that no dangerous gas forms.
- Respiratory Disease Risk
Production of dangerous fumes like Teflon puts you at risk of respiratory diseases like asthma. This causes problems like breathing, sweating, and coughing.
You can also experience pungent smells that cause lung irritation, headache, and dry eyes.
You shouldn’t allow anyone with these symptoms into your kitchen during the self-cleaning process. You can also open the windows with exhaust fans running to dispel the fumes.
- Fuse or Control Panel Blowing
The heating elements that your self-cleaning oven comes along with isn’t strong enough to stand up against extreme temperatures. These fuses may blow up, and the control panels may burn because of extreme heat during the self-cleaning cycle.
They can even cause fire sometimes.
Repairing the oven after it gets damaged by the self-cleaning feature requires you dig deep into your pockets.
But you can prevent the damage by ensuring enough air is flowing around when there are high levels of heat during the cleaning process.
Clean your oven with soap and water to be even safer.
- Cracking/Exploding of Glass Doors
Laminated glass doors are likely to break into granular chunks under too much heat. An oven temperature when you turn on the self-cleaning feature can go up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
Please avoid doing the self-cleaning sessions regularly. Also, avoid scraping the oven glass door, so that you don’t cause scratches.
How to Use the Self-Cleaning Cycle on an Oven
The working principle of a self-cleaning oven is mainly based on burning. Once you turn it on, it burns all food leftovers into ashes.
This is how to use a self-cleaning oven:
- Empty Out the Oven
Before starting anything, take everything out of the self-cleaning oven. Take away the racks, pots, and pans including cookie sheets and aluminum foil.
Avoid using the chemical oven cleaners on the inside, use them to clean the racks in the sink instead.
- Allow the Locking Door System to Activate
Although you can use the manual locking system, it doesn’t work better than an automatic system, which fastens with an electric motor and switches. An automatic system prevents burns, accidents, and other self-cleaning oven dangers.
- Press the Button
Before initiating the process, confirm that there is someone in your home who can attend it. When leftover food particles are burned, your smoke detector can detect the resulting smoke.
Be sure that you can attend the process for up to four hours because the cleaning cycle may take four hours or so at a temperature beyond what you need for cooking.
- Be Patient
As much as it seems simple, patience is a crucial factor in this process.
The system keeps the oven door closed and locked until the temperature reaches around 572 F or 300° C. It then unlocks when the cleaning is over and the oven itself cools down.
- Wipe Down Ash Residue
Please wait for some hours for the appliance to completely cool down, then wipe down the ashes. Ensure you clean thoroughly the seals and door edge.
How to Avoid Self-Cleaning Oven Dangers
Self-cleaning ovens save you the trouble of having to clean the oven by yourself. But they can put you at risk of injury or death.
These risks range from health problems to injuries and death. So it is necessary to know how to avoid causing problems.
Before turning your self-cleaning oven feature on, here are safety tips to consider:
- Take your pets away.
Remove your pets from the kitchen or house where you’ve kept your self-cleaning oven. Birds can easily die instantly after inhaling the fumes, so remove them completely from the house.
- Ventilate the area well.
Ensure air is flowing around the kitchen area before and during the self-cleaning feature. Turn on the vent fan on an oven range and open windows and doors.
- Remove objects from the vicinity.
Take out all removable objects from your oven and from the top and below of the appliance. This includes food leftovers that may still be in the oven, steel oven racks, thermometers, and cooking stones.
- Follow your specific owner’s manual.
Consult the manual that comes with your oven. Follow all instructions and safety considerations on the manual before using it.
How to Remove Fumes from a Self-Cleaning Oven
You’ll notice an odor coming from your oven during the self-cleaning feature. This happens as a result of fumes from the burning inside the machine.
You can eliminate these fumes by:
- Using Boiling water
Boiled water manages to remove the cleaning fumes within an hour. To achieve this, set your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a pot of water on the lowest rack.
This removes all fumes, leaving your appliance smelling better.
Please use a pot with a lid so that it doesn’t spill water and cause a fire.
Pour boiled water into your pot and place it on the lowest rack in your oven. You should then shut the door and allow it to sit for about an hour.
After an hour, turn off your oven and open the door to allow the steam to escape with the odor. But don’t touch anything yet because everything will still be hot.
- Using Baking Soda
This is your go-to method if you don’t want to scrub your oven.
Put some baking soda on an open tray in your oven to absorb the odor and release it when heated. Replace the baking soda frequently.
You can place an open box of baking soda or charcoal-based odor removal pellets in your oven. Always open all doors and windows during the self-cleaning cycle to provide ventilation.
- Spraying with Vinegar
This is cost-effective and straightforward. You only have to add a few cups of vinegar to a spray bottle and spritz it all over your self-cleaning oven.
It will release the odor and kill any bacteria, leaving your appliance smelling fresh.
- Using an Air Purifier
This method is effective and cost-effective. An air purifier attaches to the oven wall and sucks in air through a filter, then releases purified air for a fresh and clean environment.
If you don’t want to invest in one, add a few vital oils like eucalyptus or lavender onto a cotton ball and place them near your self-cleaning oven when it’s in use. This reduces the smell coming out of your oven during the self-cleaning process.
A self-cleaning oven can hurt or kill you through injuries and health complications from toxic fumes.
You should implement a fume removal process like using an air purifier to keep yourself safe from these dangers.