Resist the urge!

We posted about this article a couple years ago but felt it bears repeating.

It’s that time of year again! Grandma is hard at work preparing for the big Thanksgiving feast. Everyone is excited to once again enjoy a delicious home cooked meal at Grandma’s house. They have been anxiously waiting for this all year long. As part of the preparation, Grandma decides to self-clean the oven to make sure the entire house is clean from top to bottom for her twenty guests that will be arriving for dinner tomorrow. But, “Oh, No!” Grandma’s oven breaks! The control panel is dead! Because so many others do the same thing, no parts are available! All of the local repair companies are over booked and closed for the holiday! Thanksgiving dinner is now ruined…

Of course it only seems logical that you want to self-clean your oven before the Thanksgiving feast, but please consider our advice and do not self-clean just before the big day!

Around the holidays every year, we always receive many panicked calls about ovens suddenly breaking. It is always for the same reason; ovens failing after they have been self-cleaned. The self-cleaning cycle can be fatal for your oven.


Why does this happen?
When you self-clean your oven, it endures a lot more abuse than usual. The temperature can increase way outside its normal use of 350 degrees all the way up to 1,000 degrees. It’s like drag racing your car before driving it across country. This elevated temperature can cause a fuse or electronics to break which will not be an easy or inexpensive fix.

Canary in the coal mine : Pet bird during self-cleaning

One of our customers recently informed us of a more severe danger to self-cleaning your oven, toxicity to birds.  Amy Hopkins, president of the Parrot Club, writes,

“Anything nonstick kills birds when heated.  Non-stick surfaces have perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), two chemicals known for their toxic effects on birds when heated.  The higher the temperature, the more deadly.  Self-cleaning ovens heat to very high temperature.  Any birds in the room or even further away in the house will most likely die if exposed to it.  All birds are affected.  Birds need to be totally removed from the house before a self-cleaning oven is used.  Even better is to not use it at all.  There are other far less toxic ways to clean an oven without risking the health of birds, not to mention that heating these chemicals is probably not completely safe for us either.”

Click on the following Parrot Club document, article, or Environmental Working Group article to read more about non-stick chemical toxicity to birds.

Our expert advice is to leave the grime inside your oven until after the holidays are over. We recommend that you do not use the self-clean function on your oven. Roll up your sleeves and break out the Easy-Off oven cleaner or white vinegar and baking soda. This will get the job done just as well without the risk of your oven breaking, and without risking any member of your household.



One response to “Resist the urge!

  1. One more thing to know. Self-cleaning oven cycles should NEVER be used in a house with birds. Fastest way to kill them.

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