Thursday, October 4, 2012

Toxin Free Oven Cleaners Part 2: Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

Here’s my first bit of research on oven cleaners and their little toxic cleaning chemicals friends. While researching, I discovered to my delight that a great resource for taking apart any cleaning product (chemically) is our own government. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has already done lots of homework with their household Products Database
So I created a little comparison chart of a few oven cleaners. Looks like most of the data they had is from around 2001, but it probably hasn’t changed much.
Oven Cleaner Chemical Chart

Two toxic chemicals are very common across the 11 variations of oven cleaners examined (marked in red). So I picked one of them to research, called Sodium Hydroxide.

Also known as lye, lower grades of this chemical are commonly found in both oven cleaners and drain cleaners, and can cause chemical burns if it contacts your skin. Lye can be fatal if swallowed. I could go on, but isn’t that enough to avoid using it in your oven? I mean, people cook FOOD in there! I know, lye is also used in food preparations, but that’s food grade lye and I believe the lye is processed out of the food or is chemically altered into something else by natural processes. Before you end up eating it...
Ingesting lye is serious. Fortunately, I wasn’t planning on eating any, but using it as an oven cleaner is dangerous enough all by itself. Reading the symptoms from actual cases reported by poison control centers and other data is downright depressing. Let’s just sEasy Off Oven Cleaner - Lye Freeay best not to get any lye on your skin, mucous membranes or your eyes. In short, any exposure to lye is a bad idea.

Ok, so what happens if I miss wiping some oven cleaner out of the oven after cleaning it? Dangerous fumes. Contact with body. Probably hospital trip in either case.  Yep, time to green your home with something toxin-free! Still open to suggestions, although I’m sure I’ll find an adequate substitute soon.

So far the only oven cleaners without lye are Easy-Off Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner, Microwave Oven Magic (old product) and Zep Oven and Grill Cleaner. Not that I’m recommending using any of them.  Let’s see if any of the above toxic cleaning chemicals survive my next project, the chemical Monoethanolamine (MEA). Part 3 coming up! 


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  2. Most of the people don't especially like to use these types of element methods of fresh their particular apparatus. Numerous the oven cleansing agents discharge dangerous toxins through the procedure for cleanup. These types of toxins can certainly cause harm to men and women.
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  3. Been looking for something like this. As a landlord of a few properties I've always used two fantastic cleaning companies, oven cleaner kent and oven cleaner birmingham, but at home I fancied trying something myself and seeing how it went. Thanks for the advice!

  4. hey everyone I wanted to share some tips I have. I personally use a handful of professional cleaners because I have MS, but I find I can keep things tidier for longer and need to call them in less if I always make sure that I try to keep everything wiped down as soon as any mess is made. It's not always easy but makes it worthwhile in the long run. If anyone has a disability like me I'd give the pros a try. If you check before hand you can see if they use harsh chemicals or not which is a clincher for me. The ones I use are oven cleaning sheffield and oven cleaning birmingham but I found them with Google places results so give it a go and good luck.

  5. Clean Your Home Green with Safe, Natural, Non-Toxic for phosphate free versions and avoid the use of oven cleaners with lye.Cleaning services Gold Coast provides Ammonia-based cleaning products that are also frequently used in commercial settings,sodium silicate, sodium carbonate and oven cleaners.