/ Home & Energy

Has your oven door shattered?

shattered oven

We’ve all heard about exploding washing machine doors. In fact, a few years ago, the Which? Convo community helped us compile hundreds of examples of exactly that happening. But what about oven doors?

Recently, a number of you have told us about the alarming experience you’ve had of your oven door shattering or even breaking explosively onto the kitchen floor. And in some cases, as with washing machines, the oven wasn’t even being used at the time.

One member wrote:

‘A few weeks ago, I went to open the bottom oven door to put away some baking trays and, as I touched the handle, there was a loud bang and the door shattered into a thousand pieces on the floor. Gave me a real fright. I had used the oven about 3 hours earlier so it was quite cold.’

Another said:

‘The oven had been on cooking a roast and was cooling down. I was in the kitchen when there was a loud bang and I felt something hitting the back of my legs. When I looked around, the outer oven door was shattered, with small pieces of glass scattered around the kitchen with a pile of small pieces lying on the floor underneath the oven door. We measured that the small pieces had travelled 11 feet from the oven door.’

But mostly, the oven has been cooking, when the incident has taken place:

‘Today, without warning and whilst cooking a roast meat joint, the inner glass door exploded forcing open the outer glass door and ruining the roasting meat and making a huge bang and depositing minute pieces of glass all over the kitchen floor.’

Are any brands worse than others?

When we looked at shattering washing machines doors in our May 2016 issue, the brand Beko cropped up more often than you’d expect, considering its market share.

But so far, when it comes to ovens, no particular manufacturer stands out – in fact, more than 20 brands are on the list from Which? members’ experiences.

So what’s causing oven doors to shatter? While we’ve never had an oven door shatter during our testing, we are currently gathering information from oven engineers, industry experts and manufacturers on why oven doors – inner or outer – might shatter.

So far, potential culprits include:

  • incorrect positioning of glass after cleaning
  • use of abrasive cleaning materials that score the glass
  • build-up of grease causing the oven to overheat
  • glass has been knocked
  • a wet towel hanging on the oven door
  • a dish touching the inside of the door while cooking

Over to you

While it’s unlikely that your oven door will shatter, if it does, it isn’t something you’ll forget in a hurry.

So, we’d like to hear from you if the glass of your oven – whether part of a cooker or a built-in oven – has ever shattered or exploded.

Let us know what happened, including any response from the manufacturer. And if you’ve taken any pictures, please send them to conversation.comments@which.co.uk


When glass doors first appeared, they were inside a metal door, allowing the user to inspect their food without affecting the temperature. Before that, ovens had just a metal door. I expect that anyone how has had an oven door ‘explode’ would welcome these options.

If oven doors ‘explode’, this means that they are made of tempered glass, which is tougher and more break-resistant than normal glass. If it does break as a result of abrasion, sudden temperature change, etc. then an ‘explosion’ can happen with warning.

Toughened glass (as for oven doors) are made by heating the standard glass to near softening then blasting both sides with cold air to rapidly chill them. This shrinks the outside of the glass and forms a tough “skin” that is more resistant to impact and temperature change than standard. The other feature is that when it breaks it forms very small safe-edged pieces. Think old car windscreens, large windows….

I mention this because whilst normally very tough if the skin is damaged – nicked on the edge or face for example – or if the glass is not high quality, with small inclusions say – then the stresses formed in the glass will be released and it will spontaneously shatter. It is rare.

An alternative would be to use borosilicate glass (like Pyrex) that is heat resistant because it is very low expansion, but does not have the impact resistance of toughened glass.

Like many other incidents we need to consider the statistics – out of all the ovens on the market, how many doors have shattered. Metal doors are an option; how many can still easily see properly through their glass oven doors after a few years use?

Glass can vary considerably in composition and toughened glass can break because of small imperfections that create points of weakness that can lead to ‘explosions’. Duncan Lucas has discussed this in detail in the context of mobile phone screen breakage.

The key feature of borosilicate glass is that is resistant to breakage due to rapid changes in temperature, unlike most other glasses that we have round the home. Pyrex used to be synonymous with borosilicate glass but the name is used for cheaper soda glass in the US. Soda glass is not heat resistant.

When cleaning oven doors it is important to avoid abrasive cleaners and not to use oven cleaners that contain sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide is alkaline and can destroy the smooth surface of glass, making it more likely to break and even making it opaque. For the same reason, drinking glasses are best kept out of dishwashers. Oven doors are best cleaned after use and it’s best to keep food towards the back and covered if possible.

I agree with the facts presented by both Wavechange and malcolm and ,yes , I did go into detail on glass composition + manufacture elsewhere ,I can only add that glass is tempered at roughly 720 degrees but if the oven has a self-cleaning operation then the oven is heated to -900-1200 degrees then if regularly used , over time the glass structure can , and does become affected and the glass could (and has exploded -in the USA ) taken from a US oven cleaning company. But even if you dont believe the company the US Federal authorities actually state that this is a known fault and has occurred in a large number of households all over the US.

Kathy Jeffrey says:
14 May 2017

I had a fantastic Stoves double oven 17 years old still worked perfectly and the inner glass of double glazed doors went in the dish washer.One day I was about to put a plate in the oven and it caught the edge of the glass and it shattered.Sadly the company could no longer supply the door.I did try to source a second hand one without success.My replacement hotpoint not a patch on the Stoves.

Clean the glass using lukewarm water -no harsh detergents -no metalised/metal brushes/scrubbers metal chip pads/cloths . Mine is still going strong after many years (touch wood-my head ) and has double glass in the oven door.

That worked for me too. I did use detergent but no abrasive cleaners.. I had an inner glass door that lifted out of the main oven and it was easy to remove and clean regularly.

BorderReiver says:
15 May 2017

We owned two Siemens pyrolytic ovens with consecutive model numbers. Both oven doors have cracked (though not exploded) during a cleaning cycle. That would indicate to me some sort of design fault. Unfortunately Siemens were less than helpful when we approached them. Needless to say, when we replaced one of the ovens, it wasn’t another Siemens.

If you read my post of the 13th May Border Reiver you will find ,its a beyond doubt/proven fact (at least in the USA ) that continuous use of the oven cleaning facility will eventually weaken the glass doors of the oven .This is backed up by the US Federal Authorities who have the US figures . The problem is it isn’t published by the makers as a flaw but as an additional BENEFIT ! Border Reiver ? any relation to the Duke of Buccleugh , Northumberland used to be owned by Scotland and previously the Vikings QE 1 thought a lot of them as fighters. Plenty of folk songs about them and the clans in that area.

Jennifer Reynolds says:
15 May 2017

I had a Hotpoint integrated oven it was not even on when It suddenly exploded onto the kitchen floor. It would have cost more to replace the door, so I replaced it ! However everything else was working . I Have
had 3 ovens since 1970’s and the new one is my fourth. this is the first time ever that a glass has shattered
in this way.

Indeed my glass oven door exploded a few years ago, thankfully i wasnt in the kitchen at the time as the glass went high + low in a very small that caused a lot of glass everywhere, i phoned the manufacturer to report the incident + ended up having to buy a new door+ paying for someone to replace it.

Natasha Knight-Kristoffersen says:
16 May 2017

Last night my oven down exploded and sent shards flying all across the room. I was walking towards it and some tiny splinter-sized piece got lodged in my legs – which I then had to dig out. The bang sounded like and bomb had detonated. I was glad my house bunny and and Godson were nowhere near it.

I posted about this in a local group and so far well over 30 people have said this has happened to them.

Lorraine Martin says:
16 May 2017

My microwave door shattered today. I put a pasty in to heat for two mins and as I removed it the glass door shattered like a windscreen. The door was not hot. The microwave is only about 18 months old. It is a Sharp R272(SL)M and I think it cost around £80 I have emailed Sharp and awaiting a response. I have photos but not able to paste them here.

Hi Lorraine,

Gosh, I bet that came as a shock. You can email pictures to: conversation.comments@which.co.uk

We look forward to seeing them.


Jan says:
16 May 2017

The oven door at my daughters flat exploded violently this week leaving her quite shaken.It’s an electric built in oven. I rang Hoover today and as it’s just less than a year old they are sending an engineer to replace the glass. The oven was on at the time and in fact still contains some food but Hoover said she shouldn’t open the door. I have photos but can’t see how to upload.

Hi Jan,

We can imagine that it was quite a shock for your daughter and we’re glad to hear that Hoover is replacing the glass. We’d love to see your photos – you can send them here: conversation.comments@which.co.uk


Karen Finn says:
17 May 2017

Hi, My De Longhi microwave oven door did this just a couple of months ago. It was 3 years old and hadn’t been used for 3 hours and then only for 10 minutes. We were in the lounge, heard a pop and then a sound like dogs chewing on a basket, but both our boys were with us. Crept out to see if it was rodents and realised that the microwave door was making thhe noise and stood fascinated watching the door slowly craze over. Luckily it didn’t explode as the dogs water bowl was just beneath. Asda, who make De Longhi, have a 6 year duty of care so although well out of guarantee, they gave us 2/3 off the price of a replacement.

I do hope Which? allow this link as it explains this as completely as possible:


The bottom line of it is, this can and will always happen. It is unavoidable other than to get rid of glass doors and go back to solid ones, which cannot shatter.


The company your link goes to Kenneth is a commercial spares for domestic appliances company , while it gives good advice -as far as it goes – thats the problem its left an “elephant in the room ” as it is not willing to “upset ” the people its business depends on -ie- the manufacturers – read my post of 15-5-2017 . I have downloaded a whole webpage from from the FTC website on a massive investigation into exploding oven doors , taking in the whole of the USA and questioning all the families involved in those incidents , the model+make of oven etc and the conclusion reached was that a large number were caused by the manufacturer,s OWN advertising of an “additional Luxury feature ” -ie- the self -cleaning mode which , by its actions increased the internal temperature well above that of the manufacture of tempered glass thereby causing long term damage (weakening ) of the glass. Of course NO manufacturer is going to print that especially in this country where its a policy of -hide the truth from the public right across the board . Why-oh why ? do I have to go to the Home of Capitalism to get the truth , it makes me admire the American openness in this regard as opposed to UK -need to know -wartime basis which is getting worse by the minute . On every level its -keep it secret . If the US is going to takeover the UK I hope at least this type of thing is incorporated into UK (US) Legislation.

Why oh why must every response be something to do with the USA which, is far from perfect? 😉

And if you go out there on the big bad internet you’ll almost always find an opposing view or study as there’s usually interests involved be it consumer or business or governments or academic or whatever. Doesn’t mean to say any one is completely definitive as the one you mention likely isn’t, that I’m not bothering to read as it will not apply to EU product.

However Duncan, can you accept that I have over 25 years experience in dealing with this stuff right here in the UK and I know a ton more about it than most people ever will?

If you accept that then please accept that the information there is not to drive sales, it is intended to inform people and demonstrate the reasons why oven glass fails.

Despite the not-so-veiled inference, if you read many articles I’ve written you will find many of them to be deeply disparaging of the industry, some even call into question the general practices of many brands who can be seen to often trade on a fine line between what they can get away with and what’s legal.

So I’m sorry Duncan but I have to defend my corner here and say that your take is wrong, it is not as you allude to at all.

The vast bulk of info on there is written to help people. If you don’t want to see it that way, that is of course your prerogative but it’s comments like these that make myself and others think, “why should we bother, you try to help people an all you do is get a kicking for it, what’s the point?”.

It’s a sure fire way to ensure people get minimal or no help at all.


According to what I have found, self cleaning ovens work at temperatures of between 500 to 900F whereas glass is heated well past this to around 1150F in the toughening process. There is no secrecy that I can find.

“Recently, a number of you have told us about the alarming experience ”

As with so many Conversations one were facts would be useful to size the problem up. And a distinction between microwave ovens and normal ovens may also be helpful. As it stands I have no idea whether we are dealing with 20 million cookers times usage 10 time a week giving 1,040,000,000 opportunities to go bang and 100, 1,000 or 10,000 actual happenings a year.

Missing from the list of possible causes is that glass oven doors have become larger and larger. But that is fashion and fashion trumps many things like engineering common sense. I am not an engineer or versed in the thermodynamics of glass but it would fit in with exploding washing machine doors. Never happened when it was metal!

Quite right Patrick; it is a question of putting matters into proportion. Those proportions rarely feature because that might detract from the impact.

Hello both, actually we’ve had a few reports of this happening and so this is an early days exercise in scoping out the problem. The figures are missing simply because at this stage there aren’t any. Convo is a great sounding board for understanding the scale of the problem, scoping out the issue and mooting possible solutions.

Hi Lauren, if you’d asked me… 😉

It’s a pretty common thing to happen but there are any number of reasons for it to happen as pointed out in that article, most of them nothing at all to do with design whatsoever, it’s just the nature of the beast.

Some are more common than others for sure but then, without comparative sales figures to get an idea of how many are in service using particular panel it’s impossible to even guess at the actual failure rate. Which is where most research in the area falls over as, you are guessing at numbers.

To illustrate, one common Beko, Bosch or whatever glass panel may well be fitted to ten or two hundred models. You need to find that out first.

How long have they been on sale, how many are still in service, how old were then when they failed, how much use have they had, general condition of the appliance… the list goes on of things that would need to be well documented and demonstrated in order to form any substantive opinion.

You may be able to isolate a particular part, model or even perhaps brand but in my experience, probably not as they all suffer from it to one degree or another as this does happen through general wear and tear.

And, it’s been happening way back to the eighties so, it’s nothing new.

Frequency wise, I’d not think there much difference across that 30+ year period.

Other than the odd blip with the like of the Whirlpool ones of old that Watchdog went into but, that was dodgy brackets that allowed the panel to move, it scored, it blew. Lessons were learned and there’s never been a similar occurrence across the industry that I know of.

I essence so long as people want glass doors that they can see into the oven through, this will happen and I would think it wholly unavoidable. If that style is required by users then I’m afraid it’s just something everyone will have to live with.

My cooker, it’s got solid steel doors.


“Frequency wise, I’d not think there much difference across that 30+ year period.”

So in your experience how often does it happen Ken ?

To belabour the point if every member who joined Which? was asked to track and complete some survey we would have hard figures. Which? already has the Connect resource which has been running for decades albeit not branded Connect.

I know I have completed surveys on ovens etc and it asks if you have had repairs or problems. Has nobody bothered to extract the broken glass responses? Which? you do have the data you are just not using it.

As an example of joined up synergy this ain’t it.

It’s a frequent failure essentially.

Probably easily several a day in one form or another but from my own experience in the field seeing them, that’s not exactly a shock with grease and whatnot covering the door glasses. So much so I wonder why people bother with it as that’s what will happen unless you religiously clean them then when they are cleaned it’s often with a Brillo pad or something to attack the built up crust on them. They get scored, they blow.

Then there’s the glass seals failing or they just get loose and move. They score, they blow.

Or a plethora of other reasons why it happens.

But the crux of it is that it’s an insert piece of material and barring some sort of shock, be that mechanical or thermal, they will just go on forever. Some do, probably the vast majority by some margin will never fail as it’s far from uncommon to see 20+ year old product with intact glass on it even when the same model/s have been common for glass failure which would suggest strongly that it’s a use thing rather than a design thing.

Or perhaps just luck in some cases, I’d accept that.

I have seen manufacturers investigate failures and having them analysed a couple of times or so and none proved a problem with the glass as such.

As I said, the old Whirlpool on, we’ll known problem that wasn’t before that all happened and, it hasn’t happened since as everyone knows this now.

But the key bit of info is that, if a glass gets scored, even slightly then it will go, it’s just a matter of time till it does. Could be a minute, hour, month, year… who knows but, it will go.

You can see the same on some glazing stuff as well, they’ve got the same issue I am informed.


Ken – when you say several a day you are talking presumably as a centre for questions and parts. Just to clarify that you are not speaking as an electrician going out on daily jobs replacing broken glass.

So if we multiply your daily experience with the few other on-line contact points we should have a sense of the numbers involved.

As I have said I AFAIR over the four or five years been asked twice on major kitchen appliances and reliability and brand. Which specifically ask questions on problems. I assume that people who have had an exploding door in the previous three years or however long the period is will mention it. On that basis Which? should be able to provide the number of surveys completed and the number of reported door incidents and the Brand/model.

This figure could be scaled to provide an idea of incidence.

I wonder if Which? have written to the various manufacturers and simply asked how many replacement glass doors have been requested. Non-answers in themselves are interesting, Who knows some might even reply and talk in technical terms that may interest the geeky readers here.

The reasons toughened glass can spontaneously shatter have been given earlier – essentially in most cases something damages the compressed outer skin and the energy from toughening is released. Such glass is used in many situations, including doors and windows. Its main breakage characteristic is forming small pieces with safe edges, not shards of sharp glass (unless the toughening was done incorrectly).

As Patrick has said, if Which? want to look at the incidence of breakage it could do a formal survey by asking all Which? members, or the Connect members, whether they have a cooker with glass doors, its make, and whether a door has ever spontaneously shattered. Manufacturers may differ in the quality of their supplier. I don’t see a Convo as providing statistics, only interesting posts.

Checking back it was 2015 September 4th I completed a survey asking amongst other items about my ovens. The Ikea oven was fitted in 2008 and was included in the supplementary questions on faults and had I repaired it.

Given the numbers involved in the surveys I would think Which? has data on ovens from at least 4000 people which is less than two years old.

“Polls have shown that, when asked whom they trust, Germans answer: family, friends and the Stiftung Warentest. …. That it has remained focused on testing may say something about Germany’s business culture too, reflecting how, in the German-speaking world, cold hard facts tend to trump spin.” FT


Even putting together a list as Patrick suggests would take a monumental amount of effort through countless thousands of part orders and, we wouldn’t have a clue what machine they were fitted to most often so, I can’t see that flying. Aside which, unless someone’s footing the bill for the time and effort and to pay staff to do that I doubt anyone would, no reason to or benefit in doing so.

What I can say is, no brand, no model is immune from this which would logically suggest there’s really not a lot anyone can do about it. It’s just the way it is unless someone can come up with a better glass manufacturing process.

You’ve got all the reasons pointed out, almost all of which are use and/or fair wear and tear.

Then throw in the lifespan of anything from 2-20 years… I’d think it nigh on impossible to get a truly accurate picture.


I am not going back on anything I posted and want a statement from anybody saying that the FTC are wrong and that many glass oven doors in US investigations cant/arent due to stress caused by continual over temperature of the tempered glass and are NOT , in any shape/way /or form caused by the “Luxury ” additional spec ( US advertising ) of “self-cleaning ” ovens .I realise the aim is to play this down but once somebody has said that this type of fault does NOT occur I intend to make them look a bit foolish, not something I like doing or want to do , but if my integrity is being challenged as to whether I am posting the truth or not then I have no option . I wish to say I am highly impressed with this US branch of the Federal Government and I am certainly not a US “praiser ” as the US authorities well know but I have always said I dont care what the politics are or the country or the people or their level in society I am first and foremost for the British public and their well being and will never accept an known engineering fault to be discounted . This country should “take a leaf out of America,s books in this regard as they openly state that they are for the American public and their well being -full stop. But as I have found , in situations like this , the FTC has provided me with plenty of info on another well publicised convo that is driving the public mad and angering them greatly , while HMG issues statements -we can do nothing (bull ) well the US Federal Authorities can , have and done and brought the culprits to court even though they were legitimate business companies but used sly methods deception of obtaining money through communications fraud. Its a lesson that HMG is ignoring-why ?

Duncan, it does happen. No doubt about it. No denial at all.

But it is just the nature of the beast as explained rather in depth. Unless someone comes up with a better way to form glass or, you can remove the heat/cool by altering the physics, you can stop people from letting the glass get grubby with detritus and grease and on and on, you’ll never solve the fundamental problem as, without some change or many, this is inevitable and keep on happening.

If people want glass doors then, I’m sorry but buyers will just have to accept it can happen.

So yeah, the FTC will find this happens, anyone with a pen, clipboard and a bit of time could work that out.

If people wish to avoid it, go for a machine with solid doors. It’s a very simple and effective solution and we did, after all, manage without glass doors on ovens for several centuries just fine.

Pyro ovens are different as they invariably have at least three panes of glass, driven air cooled, locks and a load of other key differences to a standard oven door to withstand temps of 400-450˚C+ on a pyro cycle. This also means that they are subject to massive temperature differentials and, if not cared for (i.e. get too dirty) they probably may well fail more.

Most you see i the field are streaked internally due to that and cleaning gunk from improper cleaning… like mostly all of them.

Try telling a customer that’s bought a £500-1000+ oven they’re not cleaning it properly, it’s not a pleasant response you get. And, as the pyro doors are built to withstand these high temps they’re harder to take apart to clean, another compromise.

In the end, buyers want glass doors and pyro functions and that’s fine. If they research both they’ll find there’s compromises that have to be made to get each or both.

If they don’t research, that’s on them.

If they can’t accept the compromises then what do you reasonably expect anyone to do about that?

It’s like me impulse buying a PC only to find it’s more virus prone than Mac then whining about it… it’ll fall on deaf ears.

Providing that information is what Which? is all about in my opinion.


Quite right Ken. Which? should provide the data and interpret it in a meaningful way for subscribers.

I have always been faintly irritated by the detail in some surveys that is never used, plus lightweight questions. When Connect was started we were promised access to the raw data as a reward for taking part I suppose. This offer was never put into place other than a dead link.

I am sure I could easily speed read 4000 survey returns in a day to find the few that have glass door problems. Using a scanning system would of course be far quicker but I am happy to help out.

The trade off in high temp cleaning options and increased chances of a broken glass event surely is explicit advice Which? should give. But then it does need quantifying.

As someone guilty of cleaning with wire wool 0000 grade, I am curious as to whether it is a dangerous practice.


Anything that can score the glass weakens it in essence, it puts fractures in the outer “skin” that holds it all together. Ultimately over time that will weaken it and ka-blooey, it blows.

It will often seem completely random, the appliance can be switched off totally, unused and it is said that even just sunlight hitting it cause it to expand/contract at an uneven rate and those micro fractures just rupture and, game over for the glass.

So my general advice is, don’t go near them with anything that’s abrasive at all or you invite the possibility of it blowing or at least making it more likely.

This is why most can be removed for cleaning, hot water, mild detergent, non abrasive stuff and it’s absolutely fine to clean that way. Keeping them clean is also important or, again it can stress the glass and it’ll go.


Gary Lloyd says:
24 June 2017

My Hotpoint cooker’s glass grill door just exploded whilst I was doing my hair in the bathroom. Heard an unfamiliar crack and crash as if something strange had happened, and I wasn’t disappointed. One of the glass doors on my fairly new cooker had exploded. So fairly new infact that I haven’t even used the grill yet at all to cook, not once except to briefly turn it on to test the heating element. It’s still factory clean inside.

joanne says:
4 July 2017

I have just been reading your article on oven door glass exploding into the kitchen.
We brought our oven just under a year ago and whilst cooking a chicken tonight the glass smashed with a loud bang all over our kitchen floor and managed to reach our hall way (about 10ft away) The manufacturer has advised they can not do anything until Friday(7/7/17) when an engineer has been is this normal procedure? It seems along time to wait?

Mick Doherty says:
22 July 2017

Our integrated oven door has just exploded. We hardly use it, but it was in use at 150°C when the outer glass shattered and put glass in every corner of our kitchen and on every surface.

Its usually caused by minute imperfection in the glass Mick which arent easily removed in its manufacture, unless, of coarse , its for the defense industry.