What Safety Steps Do You Need to Take When Cleaning an Oven

By on 3rd October 2012 (updated: 10th March 2020) in Latest News


At the end of last month you may have heard the tragic story of a young child who was badly injured having ingested a quantity of oven cleaner. The manufacturer recalled all products to assess the safety of the cap, but the incident caused widespread concern for parents everywhere. Unfortunately, accidents can always happen, particularly where young inquisitive minds are involved; however, to help you avoid any serious incidents, here are some quick guidelines for cleaning an oven safely, even with kids around.


Keep Cleaning Agents Out of Reach and Out of Sight

While we may all recognise the difference between an appetising drink and a potentially harmful chemical, the distinction isn’t always clear to children. This is why many parenting groups suggest that you keep any such items in either a locked or difficult to reach cupboard. After all, if a child doesn’t know where it is or know that access is impossible, they aren’t likely to be tempted. It’s also important that you don’t leave any such products out while in use.


Be Careful When Cleaning

The oven cleaning process can take hours, during which time the door will often need to be left open with the chemicals potentially exposed. In this situation it is best to keep children and pets out of the room entirely. Supermarket-bought products can be more corrosive and harmful, particularly those that use caustic soda, as such they are more likely to cause damage when coming into contact with skin.


Again, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to the use of any injury caused by oven cleaning agents. You should look to make the appliance and product as inaccessible as possible, before, during and after the process. If you should get any of the chemicals on your skin or that of your children, be sure to wash it off instantly and leave it under a running tap. If irritation or pain continues, then you may need to seek medical advice.


Check the Product Details

If doing oven cleaning yourself, rather than using a professional service, you should look at the label and scour the warnings and ingredients. As mentioned above, caustic soda is a chemical that has been phased out to a certain extent, but still appears in a number of off-the-shelf products. This is particularly harmful and can even damage the oven, so would be advisable to avoid these cleaners where possible. This is why Ovenu only use products that are tested to be effective and safe for enamel surfaces.


Be Careful

The most important piece of advice is to be careful. It’s easy to be blasé about cleaning an oven and treat it like any other job around the house. However, you should always keep in mind that chemicals can be dangerous, causing injuries and, as with the tragic story mentioned at the outset, can even prove fatal if ingested. So don’t take any chances, keep any cleaning agents out of sight when not in use and even ensure that the kitchen is kept out of bounds during the process.





Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.