In these busy days, people like to make things easier – even in cleaning. No wonder why most of the craze we see around comes with automatic feature. This includes cooking appliances such as an oven.
An oven has a self-cleaning feature in which it has the ability to clean itself automatically without your two bare hands. It sounds pretty good but there are also self-cleaning oven dangers. You probably hear other people say you should never use the self-cleaning function and that’s scary.
Whether the risks are just a myth or it’s a matter of fact, breaking the confusing information is worth considering.
What is a Self-Cleaning Oven?
A self-cleaning oven is one of the highest tech features of modern ovens in which it burns off spills and splatters of food. The process is done in an extremely high temperature (932 F° or 500 C°) that takes several hours to complete. No need to lock the door as it automatically does so until the cleaning session is finished. The automatic door locking is believed to be a safety measure though others claim inefficient.
How it Works
When self-cleaning oven feature is turned on, all food leftovers will be burnt to ash. Most oven brands have sidewall coatings basically made from heat and acid resistant porcelain enamel capable of protecting the device from a possible explosion.
Empty Out the Oven
Remove everything inside the oven before starting anything else. Get away the racks, pots, and pans including cookie sheets and aluminum foil. Do not use any chemical oven cleaners on the inside surfaces, use them when cleaning the racks in the sink instead.
Let the Locking Door System Activate
There is a manual locking mechanism you can use but it is better to opt for the automatic system as it fastens with an electric motor and switches. This is great to prevent burns, accidents and other self-cleaning oven dangers.
Press the Button
Before you start the process, make sure there is someone in your home who can attend it. Getting leftover food particles burnt can produce smoke that your smoke detector may discover. Be reminded that it would take three to four hours to fully complete the cleaning cycle at a temperature that is much higher than what is needed for cooking.
The system keeps the oven door closed and locked until the temperature reaches around 572 F° or 300° C. It will eventually unlock when the cleaning is done and the oven itself cools down.
Wipe Down Ash Residue
You may wait a few more hours or minutes to completely cool down the internal surfaces before wiping down the ashes. Make sure to clean thoroughly the seals and door edge as this area requires more thorough hand cleaning.
Harmful Effects of Self-Cleaning Feature
Before pressing the self-cleaning feature of your oven, think about potential hazards you, your family and your pets might be getting.
Carbon Monoxide Buildup
Study shows that the self-cleaning function on your oven can create a dangerous chemical known as carbon monoxide. This element is pretty hard to detect and is toxic to humans and pets. Oven commonly has leftover foods such as small bits of baked cake which will create a reaction when it starts to heat up and burn. Carbon monoxide can be produced during the cleaning cycle.
Carbon monoxide buildup is no good. You can avoid its production when you clean your oven without heating up the left bits of food. The best way to do this is to consider cleaning the oven by hand. Use a wire scrubber and soap to safely remove them. Or, remove the charred food first before self-cleaning the oven. You can also use carbon monoxide detectors so you can monitor how good or bad is the emission.
Self-cleaning oven dangers include asthma and respiratory disease which can be triggered as the oven produce dangerous fumes such as Teflon fumes. This kind of fume can lead to trouble breathing, sweating, coughing and provide flu-like symptoms. This produces pungent smells that can cause lung irritation, headaches, and dry eyes.
Anyone in your home who has this kind of illness should not be presented in the kitchen during the cleaning cycle. You can also open the doors and windows with exhaust fan everywhere to easily dispel the fumes.
Fuse or Control Panel Blowing
While most self-cleaning oven comes with heating elements typically placed beneath the bottom and over the ceiling, it is not strong enough to stand up against extreme temperatures. If they do, they come at a higher cost. Fuses may blow out and the control panels may burn due to the extreme heat caused by self-cleaning feature. Sometimes, it can cause fire badly.
Manufacturers are well aware of what happens when there is extreme heat but many users still complain about the drawbacks. When the self-cleaning feature damaged the oven, a repair can be more expensive and time-consuming. Ensure there is enough air circulating around when there are high levels of heat produced during the cleaning process. Clean the oven with soap and water if you would like to save more.
Glass Doors Cracking/Exploding
While oven glass doors are laminated like those used in cars, chances are it will break into granular chunks if it is exposed to too much heat the most time. Remember that an oven’s temperature when you set the device in a self-cleaning feature can exceed 900 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hotter than the Venus planet! Imagine how hot a self-cleaning oven can get.
If you insist to use the self-cleaning sessions, don’t make it more often. The heating element has to work very hard to reach the high temperature needed for self-cleaning causing the other parts and features to burn out. It is easy to say that the glass doors of an oven also have its weak point. If you really feel to clean the glass, don’t scrape it to avoid scratches.
Self-cleaning oven dangers are possible. Prevent this by hand cleaning the appliance instead.