I have no doubt you love the holidays as much as I do. The home gatherings, the laughter, sharing joyful moments with family and friends, the delicious food. Holiday meals are the best. It is a special time when family members rise to the occasion with their best recipes. However, appetizing dishes take time, effort and a lot of cleaning afterwards.
It is very likely that the idea of cleaning a kitchen oven during a holiday season after many holiday meals prompted someone at GE to come up with the first self-cleaning feature for an oven in 1963. Undoubtedly, kitchen ovens get through a lot of work beyond the holiday season, daily family meals, baking cakes and cookies for the kids to take to school, and much more.
Nowadays, many modern ovens include a self-cleaning oven feature that works by reaching high temperatures between 800 to 1,000 F°. When the oven reaches a temperature over 932 F°, the leftover food gets reduced to ashes. This process can take several hours, and the oven door shuts automatically for safety.
Most self-cleaning ovens provide more efficient cooking as they are better insulated to be able to reach high temperatures during the self-cleaning process. Below are the necessary steps to set your oven on the self-cleaning mode.
Step 1.- Empty the oven out. First, take everything out of the oven, pots, pans, racks, cookie sheets, aluminum foil or anything else inside the oven. The oven self-cleaning process does not need any additional use of oven cleaning products. However, you may need strong chemicals to wash the oven racks.
Step 2. - Lock her down After removing everything from the oven, use the automatic door locking system recommended when performing the self-cleaning oven feature. Although it is a manual locking system for the oven door, you should choose the automatic one that uses a motor and switches. This safety feature prevents accidents like burns that can cause serious injuries.
Step 3.- Press the button. Once your oven is empty, and you set the oven door to lock automatically, it is time to start the oven self-cleaning by pressing the indicated button. Remember that this procedure can take up to four hours, and it is recommended that someone is at home during this time. Because of the high temperature, your oven needs to dissolve any grease, food and other residues inside the oven; some can produce smoke setting in motion smoke detectors. While the oven self-cleaning feature is running, It is suggested to open some windows and run the exhaust fan to reduce the smoke and possible smells in the air.
Step 4 - Be patient. It takes time for the self-cleaning oven feature to be completed; therefore, you should try to plan accordingly. After the oven door automatically locks, this will stay locked while temperatures rise to complete the cleaning task. After the oven self-cleaning is performed, starts the last cooling phase, and reaches a safe temperature, the oven door will automatically unlock.
Step 5. - Wipe it down. After the self-cleaning oven cycle has reached a cooler temperature, you should still wait a couple of hours until you begin to wipe it down. Using a cloth or a sponge, soak in some soapy water, clean the ash remains. Pay more attention to seals and door edges. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to clean these areas.
Why People Use the Self Cleaning Oven Feature?
Oven cleaning is not a fun task. Many will go for the self-cleaning oven option that can cut your kitchen cleaning time in half. The oven self-cleaning solution seems ideal, especially if you are busy. However, it can cause more harm than good. Below we will explore some of the risks you may experience with the oven self-cleaning feature.
Why Should You Not Use the Self Cleaning Oven Feature?
Even if the oven self-cleaning option looks handy, there are various hazards associated with it, and some of them can cause severe dangers to the health of your loved ones and yourself. Some of the reasons you should not use the self-cleaning oven option are:
1 Oven Fumes As the oven temperature for self-cleaning rises very high, the oven starts burning food particles, releasing toxic fumes and foul odours that can harm indoor air quality, putting your family and you at risk.
2 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning You probably know that carbon monoxide is an odourless, poisonous, tasteless, and invisible gas that is very toxic for humans. Experts claim that carbon monoxide can arise from the self-cleaning oven cycle as high temperatures heat the baked-in food particles present in the oven. This invisible gas goes up in the air causing harm to anyone around. Therefore, it is essential to keep your windows open during the self-cleaning oven cycle, as well as get a carbon monoxide detector. It can also help get an air purifier to eliminate toxins from your home air.
3 Children and Pets Safety Your children and pets can be at a higher risk of burn injuries when your oven is in the self-cleaning cycle as the oven door gets extremely hot because of the high temperatures needed for cleaning. It is essential not to leave kids and pets unattended while the self-cleaning oven cycle happens. In addition, your cats, birds, dogs or any other beloved domestic animal may be at risk from the poisonous fumes. Polytetrafluoroethylene toxicosis is toxic fumes created during the oven self-cleaning process and are very dangerous to animals, especially birds.
4 Asthma and Respiratory Issues The Teflon coating inside your oven can endure high oven temperatures. Despite that, the exceptionally high temperatures required for the oven self-cleaning feature causes Teflon fumes to be released into the air. These dangerous fumes can cause people to experience coughing, trouble breathing, sweats, chills and more flu-like symptoms. If you or anyone at your home suffers from respiratory issues or asthma, they can be seriously affected by these fumes. Also, be aware that it takes a very long time after you have performed the self-cleaning cycle for the poison fumes to dissipate.
5 Fire Hazards Even if you remove everything inside the oven before starting the self-cleaning oven feature, it is possible that some oil splatters and grease from food are still present. When the inside of the oven temperature reaches 750 to 815°F°, self-combustion is possible. If you see your oven catching fire, don’t try to open the oven door, this will let oxygen in, fueling the flames. It is better to call for emergency help in this case.
6. Damage to Major Parts
The extremely high temperature of the oven self-cleaning feature can compromise various parts of your oven, such as:
Locking Mechanism, allows the oven door to lock and unlock automatically. It often happens that it will get stuck in the lock position, requiring a repair call.
Thermostat/Thermal fuses are positioned in oven walls or the top part, and they can get damaged due to the high temperature during the self-cleaning oven cycle. It can cause wrong temperature readings or make the whole oven stop.
Electronic boards/Touch panels are the brain of your oven and are placed on top of it. They can get ruined because of the high temperatures. This problem will make your oven turn on and off at will, send errors code or stop your oven from adequately working.
Wires and contact terminals are the ones that feed electricity to your oven parts. They have heating resistance insulation, which can be damaged when exposed to extremely high temperatures. It usually takes several visits to find the exact location of the issue.
Miscellaneous interior components. Your oven components like bulbs, thermal sensors, glass housings, and even the enamel can get damaged because of the self-cleaning oven feature. Their failure may come not immediately but in time.