Our Town

Self-clean oven means clean it yourself

Columnist Anne O
Columnist Anne O'Brien, a Hope resident.
— image credit: X. Y. Zeng

Could someone please explain to me the advantages of having a “self-clean” oven? I have one, and it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Here’s why.

All the acid stains that may be on the oven bottom have to be removed by hand, or else they will burn into the enamel when the oven reaches high temperatures, and all the other bits of fruit juice or sugar from pies have to be removed by hand, because they might do the same.

Reaching to the back to clear the bits may involve taking off the door, which then has to be replaced before it can be locked and the clean cycle turned on.

When the clean cycle is complete, it takes forever for the oven to cool down to touch temperature.

Then, again, you have to take off the door in order to clean the glass and fully complete the cleaning of the interior by sweeping out the remaining ash. Then you take out the drawer to remove the bits that have fallen into it during the sweeping procedure, and this may provoke the invention of several new expletives, mostly associated with the fires of hell.

The whole exercise takes “clean time,” two, three or four hours, depending on your choice, plus all the advance prep time spent cleaning by hand, and the mopping-up operation.

In “the old days,” when one cleaned the oven with Easy Off or a similar product, all one needed to do was put newspaper on the floor in front of the oven, remove the door, spray, scrub off, and then replace the door. And it didn’t take two hours plus prep time.

So, again, I beg to ask, what advantages am I failing to see in the possession of a self-clean oven? Before wasting the electricity on heating it, I clean it myself, and I clean it again afterwards. Is that what “self-clean” means? Clean it yourself? Enlighten me, please.

– Got an opinion of something on the lighter side of life? Contact O’Brien at style.etc@gmail.com or email us your story at news@hopestandard.com.

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