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Your oven cannot do without cleaning, like grease, food residue and other spoils end up on the inside and cause a mess. A lot of oven manufacturers probably thought the same when they built the self-cleaning function into their ovens.
The self-cleaning feature involves heating the oven to very high temperature, which essentially turns the accumulated spoils inside to ash. You will still need to do some manual cleaning afterwards. While it does sound terrific to have such a feature on your appliance, you should not use it regularly. It may save you some effort, but there are also some risks associated.
Make sure not to ignore the following:
- It contributes to an increase in carbon monoxide – one of the major drawbacks of using this feature on your oven is that the process creates carbon monoxide. This takes place as the baked-on debris turn to ash when the oven heats up to very high temperature. This gas is very dangerous to humans and animals, but it is hard to detect and sense it. According to experts, no oven can assure zero emissions of carbon monoxide. Sure, if you wipe spills and splatters inside, there will be less debris to burn during the self-clean cycle, but that means you need to clean the oven manually anyway. Experts advise that you ventilate the kitchen, run an exhaust fan or range hood while the oven is self-cleaning.
- Animal wellbeing – the self-cleaning process of your oven is dangerous for pets. That is because it releases fumes (polytetrafluoroethylene), which are hazardous to birds and small animals. Whenever you use the self-cleaning feature, make sure you remove pets from the area, even if you believe the room is well-ventilated.
- Careful if you have respiratory diseases or asthma – if you (or someone in your home) have an upper respiratory disease, you should avoid the kitchen when running the self-cleaning oven even if you open windows and run the exhaust fan, it may not be enough to dispel the dangerous fumes released in the process. This is especially the case if your oven has a Teflon coating. The fumes from it are hazardous and may cause coughing and other flu-like symptoms.
- The oven may blow a fuse – if the oven is a new model, it probably has heating elements on the top and bottom part of the oven. Such concealed elements make the oven easier to clean, but they can potentially be damaged during a self-clean process. It is all because the oven will not be able to dissipate high level of heating and ensure good air circulation in the meantime. Thus, fuses may blow out, and control panels may burn out. That will then cost you a lot to repair, which is an expense you do not want to make.
As you can see, even though convenient, the self-cleaning feature of your oven is not 100% safe. Do keep this in mind and take your time to keep the oven free of food debris. There is also good reason to contact experts for professional oven cleaning from time to time.