How to Clean an Oven Without Endangering Your Life:
Why do I choose option #3?
First of all, those chemical sprays are some of the most toxic household cleaners in existence. Check out this government warning regarding oven cleaners, and see if you don’t agree. The words “usually fatal if swallowed” are enough to send me running in the opposite direction while screaming my head off. So, commercial chemical sprays are a no-go.
What about using the self-cleaning feature? Many people assume that the self-cleaning feature – since it presumably does not involve chemicals – is a safe choice. Not so fast. Self-cleaning ovens work by heating the oven up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit (Yes, I said 900 degrees!), reducing the residue on the walls of the oven to ash that can be wiped or dusted away. The problem is that the walls of many self-cleaning ovens are coated with Teflon or a Teflon-like product that releases toxic fumes when it’s heated to such a high temperature, not to mention that the smoke from burning grease is enough to induce an asthma attack.
I used the self-cleaning feature on an oven just one time, a long time ago, early in my homemaking days. The oven was INCREDIBLY hot. The smoke detector was going crazy. And the oven door was locked shut. When it finally completed this cycle, it took a long time for the lock to release. I was not able to use the oven for an entire day using this method.
Furthermore, the instructions that come with self-cleaning ovens recommend that you open windows and doors and utilize fans and vents whenever you are operating the self-cleaning feature. That’s enough for me, but if you need more convincing, how about their suggestion that you re-locate birds and small pets while the oven is cleaning itself? Apparently, birds can die from the fumes given off by a self-cleaning oven.
Some people even suggest that the self-cleaning feature is harmful to the oven itself (the above-referenced article mentions that repairs to the oven are often required after people run the self-cleaning cycle), which is not hard to believe, considering how hard we are asking the oven to work for several hours at a time.
So what’s a girl to do? Thankfully, there are ways to safely and effectively clean your oven without endangering your life. In fact, you have several options.
Now that we’ve covered what NOT do, click next to find out what TO do in order to clean an oven without endangering your life.
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