How Do Self-Cleaning Ovens Clean Themselves?

If you’ve ever wondered exactly how these kitchen appliances work their magic, this article is for you.

pyrolyticAs you may have noticed, ovens get pretty grimy over time. They see a lot of messy foods come and go, and often food waste can get over lapped and crust over on your oven racks. That means when it comes to cleaning your ordinary oven, you’re going to have to get down on your knees with a firm-wired brush and start scrubbing like crazy. You ┬ácan also try to saturate the stains using chemicals that are generally pretty toxic and that you probably don’t want floating around in your oven while you’re baking your next birthday cake.

Back in 1963, General Electric realized the way this issue was trapping oven owners between a rock and hard place and invented the self-cleaning oven. The model, called the P7, introduced something called pyrolitic cleaning.

Pyrolitic cleaning isn’t quite as complicated or foreign as it sounds. Basically the oven just has extra thermodynamic controls that will allow for it to reach high enough temperatures inside to burn whatever food residue is caked on your oven and turn it into ash.

Now there are even self-cleaning ovens that use steam in order to loosen dirt without running up your energy bill and potentially putting your house’s fuse box at risk.

While self-cleaning ovens may not be completely autonomous when it comes to their own sprucing up, they definitely do make the job a lot easier. That said, oven owners will need to remove any drippings or build-up that come off easy before initiating self-cleaning mode if they want to avoid unnecessary smoke and fumes during the self-cleaning process. Even if they’ve opted into the steam-cleaning option, they’re going to have to wipe up whatever residue is inevitably left over when the cleaning cycle has been completed.

steam ovenAs earlier mentioned, your oven saps up a fair amount of electric energy during the self-cleaning cycle. It also is likely to emit a fairly nasty smell, especially if its been a while since the last time it was cleaned. Unfortunately, the fumes emitted can actually be toxic to any household pets, so you might want to open your windows if you initiate your oven’s self-cleaning cycle.

Pyrolitic cleaning ovens are built with a smooth enamel coating all along their interior walls in an effort to make the heat-cleaning process as easy as possible. They have timed cleaning cycles that tend to range from two to four hours and heat between 900 and 1,000 Farenheit. They’re also usually equipped with catalytic converters in the exhaust vent made especially to eliminate potentially harmful emissions created by the self-cleaning cycle process.

Ovens that feature steam cleaning are usually lined with a similar enamel coating that, when activated by steam and low heat, tend to release dirt. When the cycle is over, oven owners only have to wipe the resulting grime away. Steam cleaning usually takes less than an hour, don’t give off fumes, and don’t need to reach high temperatures to complete their jobs.

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