DIY fans have given oven cleaner a surprising new use but it’s SO dangerous, why you should avoid the hack | The Sun

FOR home DIY fans, every product has a handy off-label use.

According to experts, though, one trendy DIY hack is much too dangerous for your to-do list. It can sabotage your project, but even worse, it cam harm your health.


A kitchen staple, oven cleaner is the new "secret ingredient" behind many furniture refurbing projects.

Fans of the hack have posted dozens of videos on social media showing the spray being used to strip or bleach wooden furniture.

While it's effective in many cases, the home pros at Martha Stewart living warned against using oven cleaner in furniture DIY projects.

"There's no denying that this household formula is a force to be reckoned with," the experts admitted.

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But that's because of what the cleaner is made from.

"Most iterations are packed with dissolving solvents and sodium hydroxide, which is regarded as one of the toughest cleaning agents around," the pros added. "In fact, sodium hydroxide is often found in drain cleaners."

Of course, the chemicals that can break down hair and food clogging your pipes aren't going to have any trouble blasting through some measly layers of paint or varnish.

The problem is, those ingredients can harm you, too, if you accidentally inhale them or get them on your skin.

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"Oven cleaners have lye, ethylene glycol, and methanol, which can be very toxic," Mark Knutson, a refurbishment expert for furniture startup Oliver Space, told Martha Stewart Living.

You could easily suffer chemical burns and eye irritation from interacting with the substance.

While you're spraying it, or waiting for it to work, your kids or pets could also be badly harmed if they accidentally come into contact, especially because many of the ingredients are toxic if ingested.

Knutson said that stripping furniture with oven cleaner is "not for the faint of heart or the general consumer in my opinion."

His colleague, refurbishment expert Alton Syrus, told the outlet another reason DIY fans shouldn't try this hack.

"Oven cleaners will most definitely dry out wood," Syrus explained. That's likely to manifest as splitting wood, or the veneer separating from the furniture, impacting the structural integrity of the piece.

You might also find your furniture comes away from the process far too pale, or with blotchy areas.

"I think it's fair to expect a bleaching effect, as well, with oven cleaners," Syrus said.

The good news for DIY aficionados is that there are many finish-stripping formulas on the market made for this exact purpose.

The experts recommended looking for a gel furniture stripper, instead of trying to use your oven cleaner for this purpose.

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Gel formulas give you better control and are less likely to splash or flow over areas you want to avoid, and they're less expensive than you may think, with many brands landing in the $12 – $20 range before adding coupons or in-store deals.

When in doubt, speak to an employee at your local hardware store, who can help find the right formula for your project and direct you to the proper safety gear, too.

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