The Problem with ‘Self-Cleaning’ Ovens
It seems like it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, the concept of ‘self-cleaning’ ovens exists and so do the problems.
We at Ovenu have heard the same thing time and time again, so we’ve prepared this article for you to look over for yourself. Please take a couple of minutes to study the facts, we hope you’ll find the information useful.
Manufacturers would have us believe that ovens can clean themselves. To a minor degree this is actually correct, to the main part, however, this ‘self-cleaning oven’ statement is grossly exaggerated. We work closely with many manufacturers of quality cooking appliances and offer this advice directly to you so you can make an informed purchasing decision.
Here’s an interesting question to get the ball rolling:
If there was a material that ‘cleaned itself’ – why don’t they make cars from it?
No more ‘car washes’ or weekends spent with a bucket and sponge. In the UK we can’t even use water to rinse the car – we have to wait until it rains!
Oven interiors are made from metal. They have to be to withstand and absorb heat. This metal is then coated with enamel, a coating that will withstand heat and cold. There are, however, different grades of enamel. Some enamel can stand low temperatures and some can withstand much higher temperatures. For an enamel to withstand up to 500 degrees centigrade, to be ‘self-cleaning’, something has to be added.
This additive is glass, which combines with metal to create a vitreous enamel which is very heat resistant as it is applied to an oven interior at over 1200 degrees Celsius. This material is actually the same as a domestic toilet coating, the only difference being that a toilet enamel is applied to clay rather than metal. So the theory is that vitreous enamel can be heated in an oven to a high temperature and that all the debris attached to the metal will just fall off into a heap. The heap can then be brushed away and the oven will look superb.
To be anywhere near effective, the ‘self-cleaning’ oven cycle has to be applied weekly as the effect is limited at best. Nearly all ‘self-cleaning’ oven manufacturers recommend this time frame. This means running the oven for 3-4 hours at full power, with the door locked, at least once a week. This process will use lots of electricity and render the appliance useless during the process. There’s also the probability that the kitchen will be filled with smoke and that your eyes may feel uncomfortable with the fumes. There’s also some US research that suggests that burning carbonated debris may cause a cancer-related reaction.
For all of this hassle, your oven might not even be clean! The debris may well be burned off the enamel, but what about the other areas that are left: the chrome shelves, the door glasses, behind the fan cover?
All still filthy and a potential fire hazard.
This is where you need a professional oven detailing service. We can safely finish off what the ‘self-cleaning’ oven cycle has started.
‘Self-cleaning’ oven liners are made from a similar coating that was made initially to cover the nose cone of the space shuttle. It is known as ‘pyrolytic’ and will withstand very high temperatures. We at Ovenu acknowledge that some oven interiors are made with this material, the problem is that this material doesn’t even start to work until it reaches 350 degrees Celsius and as most UK and European ovens only reach 275 degrees the simple fact is that these liners just don’t work.
Your ‘self-cleaning’ oven liner simply traps grease and fat behind it. This grease and fat becomes carbon and in due course is difficult to remove. And because you can’t see this debris, you assume you’re oven is clean and safe.
Should you purchase a well-known brand of ‘oven cleaner’ in an aerosol, it may contain caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). Caustic soda will damage chrome (your oven racks), polished surfaces (door glasses), rubber (door seals), heating elements and the outer rim of your oven. You can also say ‘goodbye’ to any decals on the fascia of your oven by using caustic soda based products.
Some ‘professional’ oven cleaning companies will offer to clean your oven for you using products that contain this harmful chemical. They’ll turn up and do what you could do yourself in an hour or so and charge you £35 plus for a ‘wipe round’. They might even turn up wearing jeans and a t-shirt, warm up your oven and slop over some paste that you can buy at your local hardware store, heat up a ‘billy-can’ in your backyard for your children to trip over and call themselves ‘experts’ – what we’d probably call a ‘cowboy’ in the real world!
These people and their products could damage ‘self-cleaning’ oven surfaces, not to mention your family. Worse still, your oven might not even work after your cheque has cleared! So why bother with potentially lethal products that are commercially available to wreck your investment in a quality cooking appliance?
- Our technicians are trained to the highest standards to help you and your oven.
- ‘We clean the unseen’, leaving your oven sparkling and safe to use.
- We only use Ovenu products that are guaranteed to be totally caustic-soda free.
Because we own the Ovenu brand product formulations nobody else can claim to be using Ovenu products. Only Ovenu technicians will be using the real thing, so don’t accept imitations. Unless it says ‘Ovenu’ on the package it isn’t the genuine article and may contain caustic chemicals that will damage your oven.
You probably buy branded products every day because they are to be trusted: Tetley tea, Nescafe coffee, Andrex toilet paper. Ovenu is the same: a tried, tested and trusted brand.
We know how to treat you and your self-cleaning oven or cooker safely. The same applies to your Range, Aga, hobs, hoods and microwaves. So the simple question has to be asked: why risk it? Why risk your health or your trusty oven, just for the sake of a few pounds or dollars?
It’s fair to say that we don’t do cheap, but with Ovenu it’s worth every penny. Let’s face it, as in life generally, you do get what you pay for.
Thank you for taking the time to read all about ‘self-cleaning’ ovens and we look forward to seeing you soon.
You will find the national network of Ovenu listed on our Find A Rep page.