The answer is, yes, you can, if you’re a bird. Let me clarify that, a small bird. I’m not kidding. Yesterday, I was finally going to clean my oven for the first time in four years. I know that sounds a little disgusting, but truth be told, I hardly ever notice how dirty it is, and since I’m the only one looking in there, well, it hasn’t been cleaned, and I haven’t felt bad about it. That is until the other day, when I was watching house hunters on HGTV, (which is right up there with The Weather Channel and the Food Network in my must see tv category) and I noticed that this house hunting couple kept inspecting the ovens of the all houses that they were considering buying. My house is on the market, which means that people are probably looking in my oven, which means OMG! Are people looking in my oven? And then I thought, of course they are, you’re the only one stupid enough not to look in ovens and open closets and pantries when you look at house. For goodness sake, I even let my husband buy a house sight unseen once, and walked through my current house for all of five minutes before submitting an offer, just proving (that I am not a total control freak, dear husband) that inspecting an oven is the least of my worries. But I digress.
So, after viewing the episode with the oven snooping buyers, I decided that the first nice day, I would open up my windows and clean the oven, but only when my husband was home. Why? Because I have this (maybe irrational) fear that I will hit clean, my oven door will lock, and a fire will start in my oven as I stand by helplessly watching. If that happened, I thought it might be nice if there was another adult in the house to find the fire extinguisher. I know what you’re saying to yourself right now, mom, the lady accidentally forgot place mats in her oven, the fire didn’t start just because she cleaned her oven. But really, in my first house, I did try to clean my oven once, and watched in horror as little things burst into flames inside, while I was locked out, helpless to do anything. I stopped the process short and made a few lame attempts at cleaning it by hand after that, but always got freaked out about the fumes and what not of oven cleaners (you should try reading those warning labels).
Which brings me back to the story at hand, yesterday’s failed oven cleaning attempt. I went online to find my manual and read the instructions for self cleaning, and right there in black and white, it said if you own a small bird, it was best to move it away from the oven when using self clean, because the fumes that are released when cleaning said oven, might kill it. I don’t know what kind of whacko hangs a bird over an oven, but seriously? Small birds? What about small children? What about big moms? Am I supposed to believe that fumes that can kill a small bird are harmless to the rest of us. Don’t they use birds in mines to monitor air quality? You know, if the bird dies, it’s time to get out. It was a nice day, but not nice enough for me to open every window and door in my house, and even if I do that, I’m still not sure if I want to hang around waiting for things to catch fire, while inhaling deadly fumes. So, then what do I do, leave the house and come back when the fire department calls me to tell me my house burnt down? You do see my dilemma, right?
Needless to say, I put off the whole oven cleaning thing for another day. HGTV and strangers may shame me into cleaning my oven, but in the interest of small birds (and children), I think I’ll wait.