Adventures in Stupidity

This is one of those days where us crazy mom bloggers wonder if it’s worth exposing our stupidity on the internet just to make a point… I guess I’ll make that decision when I have to click the publish button.

For now… I’ll elaborate on my idiocy. I have been preaching (and yes, I know, sometimes it has come out as preaching) about the need to use safer products… and I truly believe that due to both health and environmental reasons. The chemical burn on my arm and my subsequent call to poison control illustrate that beautifully.

It started out innocently enough. The Girl was out all day, the Dudes were at daycare and, after a week away, I had a light work day and a filthy house. I decided to take advantage of that and do something I have not done in a long time… clean the oven.

Now, this is not something I do very often. I have never liked oven cleaners and it is a mess I find easy to ignore. Not today. It really was filthy.

Next came one of those moments in motherhood where convenience sometimes overcomes the best intentions. The only oven cleaner I had in the house was not, shall we say, natural or environmentally friendly. It was, however, the only thing I had and the can was almost empty. In a moment I can’t take back, my thrifty side overtook my better judgement. I though ‘just clean with this one last time and then you can search out something better for next time.’

I should have known when my gag reflex kicked in with the first spray. Nevertheless, I pressed on. I was promising myself I would never do this again even as I finished the can. The nozzle was partially blocked so the stuff was oozing all over my rubber glove.

The next bit happens in slow motion in my memory. I scratched an itch on my exposed bicep. The burning began immediately. The next hour is a bit of a blur. The can told me to run my burn under water for 10 minutes and go immediately to my doctor. She’s closed until Tuesday so I called poison control. The lady there walked me through the process of more flushing and what to do if it blisters (thank God it has not!).

I told the nice lady at poison control that I never intended to use such a product and she said ‘oh, it’s very safe if used properly’ and said this kind of cleaner was the best option for getting off baked-on grease. I have to say I respectfully disagree. If this cleaner can do that to my skin, I can’t imagine what it was doing to my lungs or to the ground water.

So… my oven is half cleaned. I got the chemical crap out of the oven as fast as possible and attacked the uncleaned oven window with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. With a bit of elbow grease it came off okay. There is still some baked on crap in there but I plan to find a much safer option before I ever attempt to clean it again.

I really can’t believe they sell this crap to clean something in which I cook my family’s food. No wonder there is a world-wide cancer plague if this is something society thinks is acceptable to use in our homes.

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