You have to be unlucky for your oven door to shatter out of the blue. But if it does, it’s memorable – and not in a good way. While finding the root cause can be tricky, there are ways to lower the likelihood of this happening to you…
A few months ago we asked you to contact us if you’d experienced your oven door shattering.
An interesting discussion on Which? Conversation kicked off, where many of you told us about your experiences of shattering doors.
Since then, we’ve spoken to experts from the Centre for Glass Research at the University of Sheffield who have given us the low-down on exactly how strengthened glass is made, why it can shatter and the difficulties of pinning down the precise cause.
Ovens doors are made from tempered glass, which is stronger than normal glass. Its compressed outer surface makes it less likely to break, but if it does, pieces of glass can fly out onto your kitchen floor.
Fortunately, the individual pieces have blunt edges, so are less likely to cause a severe cut than normal glass.
The only way to be sure of the cause of failure is for the glass to undergo fractographic analysis. But this requires all the broken pieces to be gathered up to enable reconstruction. In the average home, this is next to impossible to do.
What can you do to avoid it happening to you?
Well for starters, we found that 65% of Which? members who clean their oven doors by hand use a scourer. Scrubbing at glass with something abrasive such as a scourer is tempting, especially if you have stubborn cooking grime to banish. But scouring is best avoided as it introduces microscopic scratches in the glass which can cause it to fail spontaneously some time later.
Other easy things to steer clear of is letting the door slam shut, or bash into the metal shelves. And if your door opens horizontally, it can be convenient to place a dish there, but this can compromise the glass, leaving it more vulnerable to shattering.
What to do if it happens to you
If your oven door does shatter and the appliance is out of warranty, don’t bank on a sympathetic response.
Worst-case scenarios from Which? members included long waits, pricey repairs and manufacturer apathy, though occasionally a manufacturer stepped up to the mark and supplied a quick repair free of charge.
We are continuing to push manufacturers to give a consistent and helpful response, so please tell us if your oven door has shattered and what happened next.
Has your oven door shattered? What did you do? How do you clean the glass on your oven door?