The burning sensation and smell
January 21, 2007 8:51 PM   Subscribe

I turned on the Auto Clean on my oven and now my house stinks.

I only have one window that opens and it's pretty cold outside. I opened it though and sprayed with oust. My eyes are sort of burning and the smell won't go away. What should I do?

Oh, and the Auto Clean is off now.
posted by octomato to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
does your kitchen and/or bathroom have an exhaust fan?
posted by Dave Faris at 9:03 PM on January 21, 2007

yes.. my bathroom does.
posted by octomato at 9:07 PM on January 21, 2007

This happens when I clean my oven also. I always leave after turning to self-clean. Smart? Maybe not, but the fumes are noxious.

My advice would be to open the window as much as you can tolerate. Turn on fans if you have them. Leave for a while if you are able.
posted by LoriFLA at 9:24 PM on January 21, 2007

Open all your windows and turn on lots of fans. To get rid of the bad smell (or, I should say, to replace it with a less-bad one), boil some lemons and/or cinnamon sticks and/or cloves in some water on the stove.

Just don't let the water boil off and the lemons burn, like I did last week when this exact same thing happened to me.
posted by rossination at 9:29 PM on January 21, 2007

Did you spray any chemicals in your oven before setting it to auto clean? They recommend against that.
posted by philomathoholic at 10:02 PM on January 21, 2007

Electric self-cleaning ovens burn out the interior crud by heating up to well over ignition temperature of fats (around 800 degrees F), so if you have a ton of grease in the bottom of the oven, they'll smoke something fierce. You can usually see the oven chimmney in the center of the right rear burner on most self-cleaning ovens, and putting a large heavy aluminum pot over that, filled with ice water, will sometimes give the smoke that a very dirty oven creates a place to condense, reducing the smells. Since that chimney will emit a column of hot air throughout the 4+ hour self-clean cycle, you'll need to add ice about every hour to your pot, to keep it cold, at least for the first couple of hours. Of course, if the outside of the pot becomes discolored by smoke particles, you'll have to scrub it clean, but that's a better alternative than stinking up your home. You should also run the fan in the vent hood over the stove (assuming you have a vent hood, which is a pretty standard anti-fire measure in most apartments and homes, even if it is not vented to the outside) as the grease trap filter mesh can provide a place for additional condensation of smoke particles. Some vent hoods have replaceable filters with activated charcoal beads, that are pretty effective in suppressing odors, and trapping cooking smells and smoke. If your hood has a such a filter, replace it after you run it during an oven cleaning cycle, so that you toss the smells when your oven is clean.

But really, you should pre-clean a very dirty oven, with a soapy sponge. You shouldn't start a self-clean cycle in an oven with standing grease on the bottom of the oven, or any carbonized spills larger than a pea. Just wipe them out when you remove the oven racks, before you start the cleaning cycle, and it will only take a couple of minutes, and save a lot of smoke.

If you do, for some reason, use any kind of chemical oven cleaner in a self-cleaning oven, you have to be super vigilant about rinsing it completely before using the oven for baking, or certianly, before you run a self-clean cycle. Self-clean ovens "seal" much tighter than older ovens which didn't self-clean, and even small residues of the lye and other caustic chemicals in commercial oven cleaning products will make some awful smelling fumes during the next self-clean cycle. Typically, you need to "rinse" chemical oven cleaners at least 3 or 4 times, and be sure no remaining residue is visible even as streaks, avoid this problem.

If you do a lot of broiling/baking, and don't, for some reason, have a vent hood over your stove, you might want to get a HEPA filter, to run when cooking and self-cleaning the oven, as cooking smoke can be full of some of the same carcinogenic substances that make cigarettes such a health hazard.
posted by paulsc at 1:01 AM on January 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

« Older Sci-fi short story with microscopic humans   |   Recommendations for cheap fun (desktop publishing... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.