The self-cleaning feature on your oven may seem incredibly useful because it takes the work out of doing regular maintenance for one of your most-used kitchen appliances.
But unfortunately, using the self-cleaning feature on your oven can be detrimental to your health. And it comes with the added risk of damaging your oven too!
So, before you decide that you’re going to use the feature, you should take a closer look at a few of the risks it poses to your health and your oven.
We’ve put together this article to give you some insights on every distinguishing detail behind the hazardous effects of the self-cleaning feature so you can make the most informed decision regarding whether or not you should run the self-cleaning function.
How Does The Self-Cleaning Feature Work?
First and foremost, not all types of stoves and ovens feature this particular function (as we’ve mentioned in our comparison of the differences between gas, induction and electric stoves).
After a bit of careful preparation, beginning with a quick wipe down of your oven and closing the door, you’re can press the button for the self-cleaning feature to activate.
After the cycle has begun, the oven heats up to extreme temperatures ranging from 572F° (300° C) up to 1292 F° (700° C). Ultimately, the cleaning process works by burning off unwanted food particulate in your oven, turning it into ash, so that you can give it a quick wipe down when it’s finished – and voila, you’ve got a thoroughly cleaned oven!
However, in some cases, this process is done via steam instead. You can learn more about it on the General Electric website, where they took a closer look at the most popular cleaning options for ovens in 2020.
Unsurprisingly, the feature is quite popular in today’s day and age. After all, cleaning your oven the right old-fashioned way requires a lot of time and energy. So it definitely has some points of appeal for someone with a busy schedule.
What Are The Risks Involved With Using This Feature?
As previously mentioned, the self-cleaning feature comes with a handful of potential risks to both your oven and your health. Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?
- The Locking Mechanism: During a self-cleaning cycle, it’s not uncommon for the locking mechanism to get stuck. You typically need to call a professional and budget in a replacement for the lock when it breaks.
- Temperature Reader / Thermostat / Oven Fuses: Your oven regulates and controls its temperatures using a few small sensors and other parts that read and modulate the temperature internally. When your oven reaches extremely high temperatures during a self-cleaning cycle, these parts can wear down or even explode due to the high heat. When these break, your oven has difficulty regulating its temperature, putting your health at risk with undercooked or overcooked food.
- Front panel wiring: Extreme temperatures can actually escape the insulation on the inside of your oven. The front circuit board might be damaged by some of the vented heat and begin to malfunction.
- Back of Oven Wiring and Electronics: The back of your oven is also full of wiring, and although the electrical harness normally comes equipped with thermal insulation, the wiring can wear down and stop working when you use the self-cleaning feature often.
Negative Health Effects
- Carbon Monoxide and Other Fumes: Carbon monoxide is a deadly, scentless gas that can’t be seen by the human eye. During a self-cleaning cycle, without proper ventilation, your house could be filled with carbon monoxide without you knowing. This could effectively put you and your family at risk. In addition to carbon monoxide, your oven may even release harmful smoke or other toxic gases into the air.
- Fire Hazards: Just like the electronics on the back of your oven might be exposed to heat, the wall behind your oven might be at risk as well. Even in safer conditions where the oven’s given plenty of room to ventilate, a fire could potentially start from the inside of your oven thanks to leftover grease particles.
While using the self-cleaning feature might save you some time and effort, it might just be safer to use oven cleaners and scrub it down the old-fashioned way.
In today’s day and age, most oven manufacturers out there take extra measures to make the self-cleaning feature a little bit safer. However, you should still do a little bit of research before using it.
And if your oven broke due to using its self-cleaning feature, you should contact a professional specializing in oven repair to diagnose and remedy the issue. This is something we can help you with – our professional oven repair technicians in Maple Ridge can help you get your oven, stove, or furnace fixed up in a jiffy. Here at Simplyfix Appliance Repair, we are the top-rated appliance services company in Maple Ridge BC and surrounding areas for any and all major home appliance troubles. Give us a call today, or send us an email to get in touch and get your appliance repaired quickly, professionally, and affordably.