What’s Really In Your Cleaning Products?

How much do you really know about your oven cleaning products?

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You won’t be surprised to know that here at Ovenu we put a lot of stock into keeping homes clean and tidy.

But should you use a cleaning product that might have damaging side effects for you and your family?

We’ve explored some of the most common chemicals in oven cleaning products, making it easier for you to decide which products are worth using, and which are just too dangerous!

Look out for these four main chemicals

There are actually many chemicals in cleaning products you should stay away from, but the most important to keep an eye on are:

  • Sodium hydroxide – may be known as caustic soda
  • Sodium hypochlorite
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Ammonia

To get more information about these substances, check below!

Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda)

Uses

As well as oven cleaning products, caustic soda is common in a number of other household products such as drain cleaners, aquarium products and metal polishes

To Your Oven

Caustic soda can damage the interior of your oven, and if heated it becomes extremely hazardous. Imagine ruining your oven by trying to clean it!

To Humans

Inhaling caustic soda can cause irritation in the eyes and the nose, as well as tightness in the chest, a sore throat and a cough. It may also cause headache and confusion! In extreme cases, inhaling this chemical can lead to a build-up of fluid in the lungs over the following 36 hours.

It can also cause severe burning if it comes into contact with skin, and if it comes into contact with your eyes it may cause twitching, inflammation, burning sensations, and sensitivity to light.

Corrosive warning label
Corrosive warning label

Sodium Hypochlorite

Uses

Around 70% of the sodium hypochlorite that is produced is used in household cleaners – it’s also used for some medical treatments, and for disinfecting cleaning water.

To You

A highly toxic chemical with a strong smell of chlorine, inhaling in the short term may cause tightness of the chest, headaches, confusion and eye irritation. Short term contact with eyes may cause sensitivity to light.

In the short-term, sodium hypochlorite does little damage to intact skin, although in the long term you may see swelling, blisters and irritation. So if you ever do get it on your skin, wash it off immediately!

Irritant warning label
Irritant warning label

Potassium Hydroxide (caustic potash)

Uses

As well as oven cleaners, potassium hydroxide may be found in drain cleaners and leather tanning chemicals!

To Your Oven

When heated, this chemical becomes extremely corrosive and hazardous – it’s also reactive to water, so be careful!

To You

If it comes into contact with your skin or eyes you may experience burning, intense pain and even loss of vision.

Inhaling can lead to some serious heart problems, lung irritation and even a coma.  In less severe cases it  causes difficulties breathing, respiratory tract and sinus burning, and coughing.

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Ammonia (hydrogen nitrite)

Uses

Mostly used in the production of fertilisers, and within the industrial sector.

To Your Oven

Both ammonia and ammonia solutions are corrosive and damaging.

To You

As well as having a strong smell of urine – which is just generally unpleasant – long-term exposure to high concentrations of ammonia can be fatal. With minor exposure you may only have a burning sensation in the eyes and throat, but with more you could experience breathing difficulties or coughing.

Toxic warning label
Toxic warning label

How To Stay Safe

Cleaning products often have deliberately misleading ingredients lists. If you can’t see a list of all the ingredients contained, look for the hazard labels on the packaging which will tell you if the product is corrosive.

If you clean your oven yourself, make sure to use a pair of these!
If you clean your oven yourself, make sure to use a pair of these!

Looking after yourself is important enough – but what about your family, friends and pets? Using natural products may be slightly more difficult, but completely avoids the potential health risk of more damaging solutions. If you do ever use caustic products, ensure there are no children anywhere nearby, the room is well ventilated, and that you are not pregnant or ill!

We’re also happy to advise you on the content of your products, if you aren’t sure – if anyone knows about getting an oven cleaned safely, it’s up!

Or take the easier option and hire an Ovenu technician to clean your oven in a thorough and effective way without using ANY dangerous chemicals. You can read more about our biodegradable, eco-friendly products here.