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Why You Should Stop Using the Self-Cleaning Oven Feature

Try this 2-Ingredient DIY Oven Cleaner Instead

September 27, 2019

Self-cleaning ovens sound awesome, right? I’m all for something that is going to clean for me! But trust me, this one isn’t worth the risk.

Self-cleaning ovens are coated in a Teflon-like coating. This may be ok at normal baking temperatures, but when using the self-cleaning feature, the oven heats up to around 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases toxic Teflon fumes. These can cause symptoms ranging from flu-like symptoms, coughing, and sore throat, to breathing difficulties.

You may have heard to put pets out, especially birds, when using the self-cleaning oven feature, but some organizations, such as Northern Texas Poison Control recommends people should leave the house when using the self-cleaning feature, too.

If you do use this feature, be sure to leave, and open windows to vent the fumes.

Are Oven Cleaners Safe

Store-bought oven cleaners aren’t a much better option. They contain ingredients that are linked to respiratory problems, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and can also damage the lungs, such as glycol ethers and ethanolamines. And spray oven cleaners typically use butane as a propellant, which is toxic to the nervous system.

If you do use one a store-bought oven cleaner, be sure to follow the directions for safety precautions, such as using gloves.

DIY Oven Cleaners

One of the easiest (and safest) oven cleaners is one that you DIY with just baking soda and vinegar! Simply sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda down, and then spray with vinegar until it foams, then wipe clean. It may take a couple times, but it does a great job without the health effects tied to some oven cleaners.