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If you own an oven with a self-cleaning function, you may be thinking that the need to clean it manually is no longer existent. However, before you decide to dance around in joy, you need to consider what many experts on the matter have to say.
As it turns out, always relying on the self-cleaning function is not ideal. Despite the best efforts of oven manufacturers, self-cleaning still remains somewhat risky in many ways. You’d be surprised how many of the oven problems that technicians receive calls about are related to self-cleaning.
Before you can understand what the dangers of the process are, you need to understand what the process is. Most of the modern ovens have this feature, which essentially allows the appliance to turn the accumulated debris inside to ash. This cycle, which takes several hours to complete and involves very high temperature, for which reason the oven locks itself until the process finishes. There is no denying the fact that ovens with this function have better housing insulation, to endure the high temperature.
The process of oven self-cleaning involves several steps:
- Empty out the oven – remove the interior items from the inside: racks, cookie sheets, etc.
- Lock the oven – locking the oven door usually happens automatically when you start the self-cleaning process, but you will do well to check, just to be sure.
- Start the cleaning – press the button to get the oven to start heating up.
- Wipe down after cooling off – once the process is complete, there will be ashes inside the oven for you to wipe and remove.
Now that you know what self-cleaning ovens do and what you can expect from the process, it is time to familiarise yourself with the dangers of it. Following are some of the risks associated with running the self-cleaning function of your oven:
It deals damage to the oven parts
Even though they are durable, ovens are still prone to damage from the high temperature the appliance reaches when self-cleaning. It can affect the locking mechanism, which can get stuck in a locked position. The thermal fuses often pop out due to the high heat. Touch panels are another vulnerable part, which can be affected by the intense heat.
Carbon monoxide, odours and smoke
All of these things are grouped here, though they honestly deserve a point on their own each. If you don’t take the time to clear out big pieces of food from the interior, you may feel some bad odours or even see smoke. Some spills and foods can create smoke so severe as to set off fire alarms. Undoubtedly, the worst part is that carbon monoxide is released in the process as well. This gas is poisonous and can be lethal to small animals and pets in the room. Make sure to ventilate your room properly when using the self-cleaning function and better yet install a carbon monoxide detector just to be safe.
There is a certain fire hazard associated with self-cleaning. The burning of oils and grease inside the oven is done at over 500 degrees Celsius. It is best to remain vigilant when using the function.
It goes without saying that pets and small children are at considerable risk during oven self-cleaning. It is a good idea to keep them out of the room for the remainder of the self-clean process, to guarantee their safety. Make sure you’re aware of all the risks self-cleaning ovens hide by reading our article on the topic.
There is little doubt that self-cleaning ovens are useful, but you need to remember the risks associated with this. Manual cleaning and contacting an oven cleaning service remain the safest options.