Do Not Put Your Computer in the Oven

by Katy on April 19, 2015 · 29 comments

Burnt keyboard

Today’s blog post will be both short and to the point, as it is being written on my iPhone.

Why the iPhone?

Well . . . I spilled some tea into my laptop, so my husband quickly took it apart to dry it out and minimize the damage. He also posted about it on his Facebook page. He received the advice to put the keyboard piece into the oven at 200 degrees and then turn the oven off.

He set the oven to 200, and instead of turning the knob clockwise to off, he turned it counter-clockwise to broil.


The toxic smell of melting plastic quickly filled the house and alerted us to the fatal error.

So yeah . . . no computer for me today.

We did order a used keyboard piece, but it’ll be a few days until it comes.

I think this will be funny later on, but I’m not there yet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, burn it up, make it do or do without .”

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen April 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Oh dear.

So sorry about your computer troubles, and I hope the new keyboard arrives fast!


Tammy April 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Note to self: Keep husband away from oven! LOL


Stacey April 19, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Oh NO! Sounds like something I would do. Hope the new piece comes soon.


Jill April 19, 2015 at 3:56 pm

LOL! I am sorry for the loss and inconvenience to you. That totally sucks, and would likely lead to a big argument in our house. However, since it *didn’t* happen in our house, I’m afraid I *did* chuckle quite heartily. Sorry.


cathy April 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Oh…the smell… I hope the oven survived unscathed.
I know it’s not funny to you (yet), but your story brought laughing tears to my eyes. I can relate, though. A couple of years ago I was making some frugal hummingbird sugar water. All you have to do is bring the sugar and water to a boil so the sugar is absorbed, turn it off and let it cool down. Only I forgot I was doing it so the water boiled out. There was this horrible smell and smoke pouring into the kitchen and the smoke alarm going off. When I grabbed the pot, I quickly took it outside and, without thinking, set the screaming hot pot down on the indoor-outdoor carpet. Destroyed the pot (because how do you get melted-on carpet off the bottom of a pot??) and there’s still a telltale circle of missing carpet.
Thanks for posting, even though it must have been painful.


Lynda D. April 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

You had me at “Do not put your computer in the oven.”
I can empathize tho my experience did not have the same impact on my life as yours.

I washed out my solid plastic toolbox and was impatient to get my tools back in it so I put it in the oven at a very low temp to dry. Set the timer for just a few minutes but in less than a minute I smelled burning plastic. The lid was just touching the electric coil at the top of the oven. Duh!
Fun time scraping off melted orange plastic. My toolbox now has “character”.


Kim April 19, 2015 at 5:25 pm

We did something similar on Easter! I had my laptop in my glass top stove to read a recipe that didn’t require the stove. We went out and came home later. My husband turned on the burner to boil some eggs, and didn’t realize he turned on the wrong burner until that telltale plastic smell alerted us. Thank God the battery pack didn’t blow before we ripped it off the glass!


Gerard April 19, 2015 at 5:35 pm

counterclockwise should totally be off. I would’ve made the same mistake. All the cool guys would have.


Katy April 19, 2015 at 10:58 pm



Kathy April 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm

I’m so sorry this happened especially with expensive tech equipment, but I had tears rolling down my face from laughing. I hope you will be able to laugh about this human error soon. I don’t suppose a hair dryer set on low or a fan would of worked? Or possibly that bag of cheap rice.
This made me think of the Red Green show (which I love). All you need is a little duct tape to put it back together and your all set. 😂


Nathalie April 19, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Oh Katy! I’m so sorry! Your husband must feel horrible. I told my husband that I’d be typing this post from jail if that had happened to my laptop! Count me as another person who really really feels for you but, dang it, I laughed so hard because it totally sounds like something I’d end up doing.

I read an article just this week about putting some electronic in the oven to “fix” it, I think it might have been an Xbox? Anyway, I was thinking to myself that I probably should never try that trick.

I hope you guys can get the laptop working again. Hopefully you didn’t lose important docs or pictures.


Sheila April 19, 2015 at 6:15 pm

So sorry Katy, but I can’t help it – it really made me laugh. We’ve all been there! And I was just annoyed with myself for putting sweet potatoes in the oven without a pan underneath. Yep, caramelized sweet potato goo all over the bottom of the oven. But, I guess it smelled better than burning plastic.


Practical Parsimony April 19, 2015 at 7:10 pm

I cringed; I laughed; I cringed some more. Now, I feel better about putting $100 worth of Tupperware in the oven to dry, forgetting it, and preheating the oven for cooking. Plus, that is not all I have ruined in the over when I forgot something was in the oven.


Katy April 19, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Glad to hear that my psi has served some purpose.


Lesa April 19, 2015 at 8:32 pm

It may be funny one day, but it sure isn’t funny today. 🙁


dusty April 20, 2015 at 3:25 am

Years ago when I was married, I placed a Bose wave radio on the ledge above our gas fireplace. My husband came in and turned the fireplace on and never took the radio off of the ledge. Well, the radio still worked but the CD player was toast. Of course, I was blamed and my ex even tried to get me to buy him a new one in our divorce settlement. My atty and I had a good laugh over that. I hope he thinks of me lovingly every time he plays the radio!!


Karen April 20, 2015 at 3:57 am

So sorry about your keyboard. I had something similar happen with mine, but it got fixed without going into an oven. Am not saying how, maybe I was lucky that my less-drastic fix worked,


Chrissy April 20, 2015 at 6:07 am

That sounds awful! I was recently crushed when my husband spilled water on my MacBook and so grateful I had a warranty on it. However, I will share advice from your buddy Gretchen Reubin’s sister Elizabeth Craft. She recently shared the things that go wrong tend to make the best memories. I’ve been loving their podcast Happier.


Katy April 20, 2015 at 9:47 am

I haven’t listened to their podcast yet. I’ve been thinking that I should.


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary April 20, 2015 at 8:13 am

oy. some things make you wish you could go back in time and take that one moment back, and (for me) those are some of the worst regrets. hopefully someday this will be one of those stories you laugh about, but it may be awhile. 🙁


Sandy Remmers Hofstatter April 20, 2015 at 11:32 am

So THAT’S what the odd photo was on your page yesterday or the day before. I could NOT figure out what the heck that was. The truth comes out. Poor you; poor hubby.


JD April 20, 2015 at 11:41 am

Oh, wow, that is so terrible! I would have been “tense” to put it mildly. And I’m thinking of an incident myself….
The youngest daughter and I went to visit family, but my husband and oldest daughter stayed home, as both had things to do that weekend. While I was gone, they made something in the oven and washed and dried the heavy casserole dish ( good, right? ) but set it on the counter instead of putting it up. They set it, without realizing, on the push down handle on the toaster — and the toaster had a brand new loaf of plastic wrapped bread on top of it. They kept thinking they smelled something like bread baking, almost smoky, but they checked the oven and it was empty, so they went on fishing that afternoon anyway! They came back to a smoldering toaster filled with gooey, burnt plastic, and a blackened loaf of bread on top of the toaster. Thank Heaven nothing caught fire! It was an old toaster, without an auto shutoff or anything. My husband was the safety man at his work and my daughter was an older teen at the time — you would have thought they would have been more careful. I was livid at the time, mostly because they could have sat the house on fire. I bought another toaster from a yard sale and put it up out of reach after that. I refuse to leave it out on the counter to this day, but now we can laugh about it these days.
Stuff happens, as we can all attest — I hope the time for laughing about it comes to you soon, Katy!


Carla April 21, 2015 at 7:46 am

a few years back just after getting a Vitamix I put ‘just for a second’ the pitcher on top of one burner on the stove. This burner then got turned on by mistake and before I knew it, the pitcher was starting to melt! it was still usable. But then a couple years before that, during the dark days of second baby and toddler, I had a pot go on fire, can’t remember why and in the sleep-deprived panic I put it on the formica counter and burned the thing! so we had to replace the whole counter because it was in one piece. Not a happy day!
Anyway, since then we have vowed that No Plastic Shall be On Top or In Stove Ever. It’s saved us further money and heartache!


Carolyn January 11, 2024 at 6:27 am

My carpenter dad replaced many a burned countertop with an insert of wood chopping board or glass. Lots of people apparently were not used to having this new fangled formica back in the 50’s so lots of burned and melted spots. The replacements worked well as a landing spot for hot stuff.


Katy January 11, 2024 at 10:55 am

I remember this tip from The Tightwad Gazette.


twf March 21, 2019 at 6:40 pm

At least it was only the keyboard?? Hang in there.. <3


dave94703 March 21, 2019 at 7:24 pm

In my experience clockwise is generally off. Faucets, ovens. You screw things to closed. But I as well get confused with my oven, especially since the handle broke and I’m using a vise-grip with an unlabeled dial. But the next time you need to dry off electronics, immerse them in dry rice and leave them in a completely off oven. The pilot light is enough. I also have a proofer I guess I might set at a hundred, an electric proofing oven is hard to screw up.


Marci March 22, 2019 at 8:41 am

Oh my! Sounds like something I would do! Your husband and I must be siblings from another mother! Good luck.

PS- I noticed the change to your motto!


Coral Clarke July 28, 2023 at 6:37 pm

Dear Katy!! Words fail me! ( That’s a first!)Wish we had a “ Go Fund Me” for a replacement! Just a dollar each would fill up in minutes, I’m sure!


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