August 24, 2008

The Oven Cleans Itself. Who Knew?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 4:50 pm

I don’t know exactly long we have had the same stove (part of which is an oven – not one of those fancy schmancy wall ovens), but it’s probably at least a dozen years old. During that time it has been cleaned several times, always with lots of elbow grease and perhaps once or twice with a stinky spritz-type oven cleaning product, which really didn’t do much more than create noxious gas.

Today, Mrs. Parkway decreed that we would try out the oven’s self-cleaning function. Being Mr. Doesn’t Pay Attention to Lots of Things Domestic, in the dozen years we owned the stove, I never noticed the button on the front that said quite clearly, “CLEAN.”

Before embarking on this adventure, Mrs. P’way located the book of instructions that came with the stove. They were a little scary. Because of that, she insisted that I be part of this operation so that it would be MY fault if we ended up having to call the Fire Department. Go figure.

The instructions made it clear that a few things had to be pre-wiped clean before one should push the “CLEAN” button. Once that was done, one selects the time for cleaning (three hours are recommended). Here was the scary part. Once the oven reaches “cleaning temperature,” the word “LOCK” appears on the little dashboard on the front of the stove. This means that one cannot open the oven during the cleaning process. I envisioned the stove turning into something like Steven King’s killer car, Christine, and my not being able to stop the killer stove. Later in the instructions (in the Question and Answer portion), one is told how to stop the process should the house become full of acrid smoke. That made me feel a little better about the Christine Thing and the Fire Department Thing.

What happens next is that the oven reaches temperatures that must come close to that of the surface of the sun or perhaps the depths of hell. When the three hours are up, the oven shuts off and the word “LOCK” disappears, letting one know that it is OK to open the oven door without fear of incineration.

I took a deep breath and pushed the “CLEAN” button.

Preparing for the worst (including the possible Fire Department call), we retired to the deck to read, with occasional glances into the kitchen to look for billowing smoke. There was none.

Three hours or so later, the word “LOCK” disappeared and, sure enough, one could open the oven. It worked! The oven was nice and clean. I felt a bit like a Third World guy staring at a clean oven, marveling that it cleaned itself. Hot Damn!

Of course, that got me to thinking what other inventions would be sweet. How about these?

Self-mowing grass

Self-painting walls

Self-washing floors

Self-shoveling snow.

Self-driving cars (peeps are working on this one)

Self-raking leaves

Then there are these:

Self-blowing noses (some kind of a warning beep would be a good idea – then again, maybe that’s what a sneeze is)

Self-zipping flies (I wouldn’t want to try this one until all the bugs were worked out)

Self-scratching itches

Self-brushing teeth

Self-wiping asses.

Don’t ask me how I got from cleaning an oven to self-wiping asses, for I have no idea. I do know that I can’t blame it on the fumes.


  1. Oh wow! I’ve been just waiting for someone to actually try that and blog about it. Hot diggity, I’m going for it, too.

    Oh, and the Roomba and Scooba take care of the floors for you. They have self-cleaning bathrooms in France, I think. I suppose if you hung out in such a loo, it would wipe your ass for you, too!

    Comment by Joan of Argghh! — August 24, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

  2. You arrived at self cleaning ass because you are relieved that you didn’t, indeed, blow up.
    I have had self-cleaning ovens forever. And each and every time I fret that 1)I haven’t wiped up the big chunks well enough 2)the latch will forever be engaged and it will be at 1000 degrees for 12 hours or 3)it will just blow up immediately. Honestly, I watch for 21 minutes (that’s how long ours takes to get to lock and then cycle off and on)to make sure it’s working.

    Um. Great post.

    Comment by Kim — August 24, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

  3. I’ve used the “clean” feature forever. I don’t even bother wiping away big chunks first. “Pre-clean” my ass. What’s the point? True, when the cycle’s done you’ve got these big chunks of grey ashy stuff on the oven floor. But I don’t even wipe those away. “Seasoning,” I call it.

    Comment by dogette — August 24, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  4. The closest thing there is to a self-cleaning ass is the Washlet.

    And those who had wagers on the line as to whether Mr. Debonair would be drawn to the last two lines of this post like flies to a turd…pay up or collect, as the case may be.

    Comment by Elisson — August 24, 2008 @ 7:44 pm

  5. I would guess that suddenly opening the door would be bad for the oven due to the thermal shock, and possibly bad for you, given the heat and noxious fumes. In addition, it would almost certainly be bad for a large variety of “oven safe” cookware. According to wikipedia, it’s about 900 degrees F = 500 degrees C.

    I was making porcelain one day and I became convinced that the kiln wasn’t reaching the desired temperature, 2250 degrees F, because it had a burnt out element. So it was just sitting there. I decided that I could determine that it would be a good idea to open it up and look at the elements.

    It was at 2190 F. It was like looking into the mouth of Hell. A very quick glance. Just a peek. For safety, I was wearing an asbestos glove. It caught fire but I got it off before it burnt my hand.

    The peek was useless. Everything was bright white, like the stuff coming out the bottom of an alien spaceship. It was like what a moth sees just before it meets its ancestors.

    I’ve opened up kilns at lower temperatures, around 900 to 1100 F and they aren’t too bad. If you drop burnable stuff in there, it will disappear in a whiff of smoke and fire.

    Comment by Carl Brannen — August 24, 2008 @ 10:28 pm

  6. Jimbo
    Boy you are lucky you did not have to call the Fire Dept. I’m working today and you would have to hear shit from me for the rest of your life. As i’ve told you in the past Mrs. Parkway gets carried out you got no shot

    Comment by Capt Art — August 24, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

  7. “Don’t ask me how I got from cleaning an oven to self-wiping asses”

    I figure it was probably chocolate vodka or something similar.

    Comment by joated — August 25, 2008 @ 6:45 am

  8. Capt. Art,

    That came up in discussion as I was given the task of pushing the “CLEAN” button.


    Comment by Jim - PRS — August 25, 2008 @ 8:05 am

  9. Jimbo-
    You forgot about self-serving asses….DEMOCRATS.

    Comment by JihadGene — August 25, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

  10. self-cleaning asses?… wouldn’t that require a third hand-type appendage growing in a very close proximity to the ass? Which would then require re-designing ass-covering apparel.

    Comment by Jean — August 25, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  11. Hey Joan, I have a Roomba. It kicks ass!

    Comment by Richard — August 25, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  12. I’m laughing at Carl’s comment. It just struck me funny… wanting to look into a kiln. Holy crap.

    I only self clean my oven when my Mom is here. I get too freaked that my whole kitchen will spontaneously combust.

    Yes, at 43, I still need my Mom.

    Comment by Bou — August 25, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

  13. Some friends of mine tried the self-cleaning feature. I don’t think the house had working smoke alarms, because it was full of smoke in minutes.

    Comment by Jerry in Indiana — August 26, 2008 @ 12:46 am

  14. … you are a brave man, sir…. I have wondered at that button many times, but never had the courage to push it….. bravo, Pathfinder….

    Comment by Eric — August 26, 2008 @ 10:08 am

  15. I kept looking through that glass on the oven door..I wanted to see what that arm looked like that was using the scrub brush…

    Comment by GUYK — August 27, 2008 @ 9:10 am

  16. I got a terrible headache when I used the self-cleaning option on my brand new oven…the smell was so intense that I had to open all the windows and got all the fans inside the house on as well.

    Comment by Mesothelioma-Asbestos-Cure — December 3, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

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