Cleaning Guides

How to Deal with Oven Cleaner Fumes

Oven cleaning is a necessary but tedious task. It involves scrubbing, wiping, mumbling curses under your nose and trying to get rid of that last bit of oven cleaner residue all the way at the back. And when it comes to detergents and cleaning products, they often carry a stigma that they are extremely toxic and do more harm than good. Is that really true?

So, if you:

  • Are thinking of cleaning your oven using store-bought products;
  • Want to know how to deal with oven cleaner fumes and prevent poisoning;
  • Are wondering how to remove oven cleaner residue,

Then keep reading! This article will answer your questions.

What are oven cleaning products made of?

Most commercially sold oven cleaners contain chemicals that help break down and clean grease and dirt build-ups inside your stove. They often have a health hazard warning and it clearly says on the label that you should handle them carefully. So what do such cleaning products actually contain?

  • Lye – The active ingredient in almost all oven cleaners. It’s often called a base, or caustic alkali. When concentrated, it’s highly corrosive to organic materials (such as us, humans and any organic matter). However, it’s highly successful at dissolving stubborn buildups and grease deposits. If you don’t want it to damage your skin, you should never handle it with bare hands! Always wear protective gloves and rinse well with warm water afterwards.
  • Caustic soda – Just like lye, it’s a caustic base which has the power to dissolve grease, oil and fats. It’s often used in oven cleaners, drain openers and industrial cleaning products. It should be handled with caution and you should always wear protective gear.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate – This is a surfactant often found in all types of cleaning products. You’ll see it listed in the ingredients of toothpaste, shampoos, soaps and bubble baths. It’s what causes the product to bubble and foam.
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Are oven cleaner fumes dangerous?

Just like any product containing chemicals, oven cleaners should be handled with caution. Fumes may be toxic, but they are mostly caustic. In order for them to cause damage, they have to be in direct contact with your skin. Once you wipe the detergent with warm water and a sponge, it’s gone along with any harmful effect it may have.

Completely rinse off the oven cleaner from every corner and part of your stove. This way you’ll avoid any potential food poisoning or fumes when you turn on the oven.

How to remove oven cleaner residue

If you think that there’s oven cleaner residue left on your stove, you can easily remove it. All you have to do is:

  1. Use a wet cloth or a sponge and wipe as much of the oven cleaner residue as possible.
  2. Mix 3 parts warm water with 2 parts vinegar.
  3. Soak the cloth or sponge in the mixture and wipe the inside of the oven thoroughly. Once should do the trick, but you can repeat it if you want.

How to remove a dried-up oven cleaning product

Sometimes when you decide to clean the oven and you spray the detergent, you might leave it on too long and it dries up. In this case, it can be hard to remove the oven cleaner residue with water only so it’s better to “re-activate” it.

  1. Apply a new layer of oven cleaner over the dried-up spot. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Use a wet sponge to scrub the oven cleaner residue. Rinse the sponge and repeat the scrubbing until all of the detergent is removed.
  3. Soak the sponge in a dish with equal parts water and vinegar and wipe the spot where the oven cleaner residue was.
  4. Finish by wiping with a wet dishcloth and drying with paper towels.

What happens if you don’t get all the oven cleaner out?

Leaving oven cleaner residue in your oven can have some negative consequences. First of all, the remaining cleaning products can cause an unpleasant smell when the oven is heated. It can be particularly noticeable when you cook food, as it can absorb the fumes, and they will change its taste and smell.

In addition to the unpleasant odours, the oven cleaner residue can also cause smoke when the oven is heated, and some products contain chemicals that can release potentially toxic fumes. If the oven cleaner isn’t completely removed, the heat can cause the chemical to react to the metal of your oven, resulting in a splotchy, uneven surface.

This can be difficult to remove and can result in permanent damage to your oven. Therefore, it’s crucial to thoroughly rinse and wipe down the oven after using any cleaning product and make sure the residue is cleaned up.

Oven cleaner poisoning symptoms and how to prevent it

Oven cleaner poisoning is actually pretty common but fatal cases are a rarity. It occurs due to lack of attention, not using gloves and mask when cleaning or simply by a mistake.
The symptoms include:

  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Burning feeling on the skin and rashes
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the throat and tongue

What to do in case of oven cleaner poisoning?

  • If the product comes in contact with your skin or eyes, wipe thoroughly with warm water. If the irritation doesn’t go away, immediately call your local emergency centre.
  • Provide health care professionals with information about the product that caused the irritation and any other symptoms that may occur.
  • Follow their instructions.
  • Don’t induce vomiting unless instructed by the health care professionals.
  • Go to your nearest ER room if you don’t feel any signs of improving your condition.

How to prevent oven cleaner poisoning

  • It’s important to follow the directions written on the product’s label to the letter. Even if you’ve used it countless times, never avoid safety measures.
  • Always read the label and follow the instructions.
  • Wear protective gloves and a mask.
  • Keep cleaning products out of children and pets’ reach.

Need help cleaning your oven?

Oven cleaning can be tough and time-consuming work, but Fantastic Services have got you covered. The experienced professionals we work with use only the best tools and detergents (included in the cost of oven cleaning), to get your oven sparkling in almost no time at all.

Plus, you can immediately use your oven as soon as the experts finish the job. So, save yourself time and hassle and rely on professional oven cleaning delivered to you by highly trained specialists.

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  • Oven cleaning products often contain lye, caustic soda and sodium laureth sulfate.
  • You can use warm water and vinegar to remove oven cleaner residue.
  • If the oven cleaner comes in contact with your skin or eyes, wipe it off immediately with warm water.
  • Always wear protective gear when handling harsh chemicals.
  • Follow the instructions on the product label exactly to avoid any issues.


Do leave a comment below if you have experience on the topic or you need more answers.

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