The Possible Dangers Of The Self-Cleaning Oven Feature

Cleaning your oven is probably not the most exciting chore on your to-do list. Many people find cleaning the oven to be a difficult and frustrating task. However, most newer ovens come with a self-cleaning feature, which may seem like your saving grace. According to Fix Appliances, this feature burns off spills and messes inside the oven using extreme heat. This typically takes a few hours. Also, most ovens have a built-in safety measure that locks the door until the oven has cooled after cleaning.

However, while this may seem like the solution to all your oven cleaning problems, there are a number of reasons why you may want to skip the self-cleaning feature. These reasons include possible damage to your oven, smells and smoke, safety concerns, and fire hazards. Knowing the potential dangers of using the self-cleaning oven feature and ways to clean your oven by hand may help keep you and your family safe.

The possible dangers

While the self-cleaning oven feature is convenient, it may not be as safe as you think. According to Fix Appliances, the extreme heat your oven undergoes during cleaning may damage your oven. Often, the locking mechanism malfunctions, which could lock you out of your oven. The thermostat could also be damaged by the heat, which could cause incorrect temperature readings. The electronic boards, touch panels, and internal wiring could also be harmed, which could cause your oven to malfunction or shut down.

Another potential danger has to do with odors and smoke. If you fail to remove large pieces of food before starting the self-cleaning feature, it may cause excessive smoke or bad smells to be released into your home. To combat these problems, open windows and turn on fans while your oven is self-cleaning. The excessive heat could also be dangerous to children or animals. Make sure to keep them away from the hot exterior of the oven because they could get burned. Finally, if there's a grease spill in your oven, there is the possibility that it could catch on fire.

How to clean your oven by hand

If you don't want to deal with these potential dangers, you may choose to clean your oven by hand. This could be done with a commercial solution or a homemade cleaning product. If you're using a commercial cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions. To remove stuck-on food that won't budge, gently scrape with a razor blade.

Home Depot also suggests using a natural cleaner made with baking soda, vinegar, and water. To clean with this solution, first make the baking soda into a paste by adding water. Then apply the paste to the inside of your oven with a clean paintbrush. Next, combine equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto the paste. After letting this foamy solution sit for 12 hours, wipe it off with a damp cloth. To clean your oven racks, spray them with a commercial cleaner and then place them in a trash bag for the length of time designated on the cleaner's label, according to Cooking Light. Then remove, wipe down, and rinse with hot water and soap. If you do decide to use the self-cleaning oven feature, note that your racks will still need to be removed and cleaned by hand.