Terrifying fumes, dishwasher warning

Kiwibird

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I had a terrible scare today. I'm not a big fan of dishwashers. They ruin glasses and seem like a farce since you have to pre rinse everything anyway (why not just wash it fully?). But I digress, I never used one in all my life before we bought this place and still don't use it for dishes because it's easier/faster to just wash them by hand for me. I have, however, been using it for Kiwi's perches and plastic toys after hearing everyone sing praises of how well they do for sanitizing etc... I had put in a load of perches and toys earlier today as I was cleaning his cage/area. I was taking a break, sharing some peanut butter but Kiwi was acting funny, not interested in the treat, making "alert" noises and just kind of edgy. A parrot not interested in peanut butter is pretty serious so I began to investigate. I was looking all around, couldn't figure out why he was acting strangely until I went back into the kitchen and it hit my nose- something acrid smelling, faint though. Sniffed around, seemed to be coming from the dishwasher door. It was done with the wash cycle and running the "sanitize" cycle, so I opened the door to investigate further. Then the steam/STRONG burnt plastic fumes come pouring out of the dishwasher in a thick cloud of acrid smelling pure horror for a parrot owner.

I grabbed Kiwi (who was in the living room) so fast there were practically feathers flying and threw him in the office to get him away from the smell, opened all the doors and windows to air it out. He seems ok now. My lungs actually hurt though from getting a face full of it. I think he smelled it before I did though and knew it wasn't "right" (hence alert noises and strange behavior). The source of the smell, much to my horror, was a plastic toy that had somehow worked it's way out of the basket on the top rack and fallen/melted onto the heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher, probably during the sanitizing cycle. I knew I inherently distrusted dishwashers for a reason and I will NEVER use one again after this. Just a word of warning to everyone else before you wash small toys in a dishwasher- even if in the baskets on the top rack, it could still make it's way down to the heating element and will produce a terrifying mass of steam and fumes. Also, remember to always pay attention to your parrots cues/behaviors/body language. They are intelligent animals capable of communicating, we just have to figure out what it is they're trying to communicate! Kiwi could have died had I not recognized him acting abnormally, investigated and removed him from a dangerous situation before it became deadly (which with the strength of those fumes, it no doubt could have been had the toy melted more before I discovered it).
 
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Kiwibird

Kiwibird

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Keep a close watch on your baby!
This thread is how it can go ugly!
http://www.parrotforums.com/bereavement/55082-my-baby-conure-passed-away.html

This thread makes me feel sick to my stomach.

I don't know what I'd do if I lost my precious Kiwi over something so random to have happen. I have dragged all 3 of our air purifiers out into the kitchen/dining area and am running them full blast to help clear out any residual fumes. 1 is capable of filtering VOCs so hopefully that will take care of it. Windows and doors are open as well. Kiwi seems ok, but I will be keeping an extra close eye on him the rest of the day.
 

Violet_Diva

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Oh my gosh! I had a similar accident recently involving melted plastic
http://www.parrotforums.com/general...cy-help-toxic-smoke-melted-plastic-fumes.html
I totally know the feeling of panic in that moment you realise what you are smelling! I had a major freak out...
I'm SOOOOOOO glad Kiwi is ok! (I love Kiwi)

Kentuckienne suggested this to me during my scare...
"The smell of plastic smoke lingers. But most of the toxic stuff will dissipate or precipitate...Airing out the room is good. You might also go around with a spray bottle and mist the air well, this can wash suspended particles down where they can be swept or mopped up. And wipe down surfaces after that. Once the smoke is clean and the room is aired a bit I think you will be OK to go in there, and as long as you keep a towel under the door the birds will be OK too."

Hope you are OK now :)
 

SailBoat

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Kiwi, you're all Amazon!!! Save the family first, what a guy!!! Hero status!!!

Fine Misting is a great recommendation!

April, so very sorry about that happening to you! A hard, but teachable moment for everyone!

Get Kiwi up close and listen for any clicking sounds!

Thinking of you and Kiwi!!!
 

Kentuckienne

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That does happen, rarely, with dishwashers - some plastic things gets down to the element. You can probably avoid that risk by not using the "heated dry" option. If you tell me the model of dishwasher I could look it up for you. I don't usually use that option anyway, to save energy. Also, paradoxically, don't rinse the dishes beforehand. Just scrape off the most of it. Most dishwashers have a sensing function - they rinse off the dishes, and check that water. If it has a lot of gunk, the dishwasher thinks the dishes are really dirty and kicks off a stronger wash cycle. If the water is pretty clean, because you rinsed the dishes, it thinks it's just a light load of fine crystal and sterling flatware and provides the most gentle and delicate of washes. That's usually the reason dishes aren't getting clean. Try it again with the dirty ones! Just fling them in there dirty and see if the results are better.
 
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Kiwibird

Kiwibird

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Never going to use that thing again! I'll use it the same way my mom has always used the one that came in her kitchen- as an extra place to store things! For dishes, it's useless to me. Most of our dishes aren't dishwasher safe, as I've never bothered buying dishwasher safe stuff. By the time I'd have enough dishwasher safe things to put in it to bother, I would have needed to wash most of them to use them again anyways. Not to mention I can wash, dry and put away a sink full of dishes with plenty of time to spare in the time it takes that thing to run a cycle. I've been hand washing dishes since I was tall enough to reach the sink and I honestly don't mind doing it. I know people love them, but I just don't trust them not to ruin our dishes, and now even more terrifying, that something plastic will get loose inside again.
 
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Kiwibird

Kiwibird

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Oh my gosh! I had a similar accident recently involving melted plastic
http://www.parrotforums.com/general...cy-help-toxic-smoke-melted-plastic-fumes.html
I totally know the feeling of panic in that moment you realise what you are smelling! I had a major freak out...
I'm SOOOOOOO glad Kiwi is ok! (I love Kiwi)

Kentuckienne suggested this to me during my scare...
"The smell of plastic smoke lingers. But most of the toxic stuff will dissipate or precipitate...Airing out the room is good. You might also go around with a spray bottle and mist the air well, this can wash suspended particles down where they can be swept or mopped up. And wipe down surfaces after that. Once the smoke is clean and the room is aired a bit I think you will be OK to go in there, and as long as you keep a towel under the door the birds will be OK too."

Hope you are OK now :)

I'm glad your birds are ok too! Your heart just sinks when you smell something toxic doesn't it? I'm actually unsure if I should throw out everything that was in there with the melted toy or not.
 
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Kiwibird

Kiwibird

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Kiwi, you're all Amazon!!! Save the family first, what a guy!!! Hero status!!!

Fine Misting is a great recommendation!

April, so very sorry about that happening to you! A hard, but teachable moment for everyone!

Get Kiwi up close and listen for any clicking sounds!

Thinking of you and Kiwi!!!

He seems ok. I took him outside (in the 60's today, luckily) for some fresh air. Any idea if it's safe to wash and re-use the other things in the dishwasher at the time when the toy got melted or should everything in there be trashed (I threw out the toy that got melted, of course)?
 

SailBoat

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He seems ok. I took him outside (in the 60's today, luckily) for some fresh air. Any idea if it's safe to wash and re-use the other things in the dishwasher at the time when the toy got melted or should everything in there be trashed (I threw out the toy that got melted, of course)?

The rougher the surface the more likelihood of there being something. Think off-gassing more than pieces. A good general wash should clean them for reuse. As always, the nose, knowns - so if after you're general wash, if their is a odder, better trash it.
 

wrench13

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I never worry about my dishwasher. As long as I keep her in furs and fine jewelry, she never gives off acrid steam and smells. Except after eating cabbage, then all bets off.

Sorry, the topic was too good to resist. I am happy your baby is OK!
 

Kentuckienne

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It's good to trust your instincts. Your gut was probably telling you not to use it, and see, you were right. Not everything that is true is logically knowable.
 

Scott

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What a horrible event, April. So glad you were alert and perceptive. Evacuating Kiwi so quickly was a stroke of maternal genius. So glad you are all OK, and thanks for posting a cautionary thread.
 

Kentuckienne

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I never worry about my dishwasher. As long as I keep her in furs and fine jewelry, she never gives off acrid steam and smells. Except after eating cabbage, then all bets off.

Sorry, the topic was too good to resist. I am happy your baby is OK!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The pirate IS the treasure.
 

DRB

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Kiwi, you're all Amazon!!! Save the family first, what a guy!!! Hero status!!!

Fine Misting is a great recommendation!

April, so very sorry about that happening to you! A hard, but teachable moment for everyone!

Get Kiwi up close and listen for any clicking sounds!

Thinking of you and Kiwi!!!

Can you expound on the clicking comment?

Perjo makes a click sound when she is not happy with me, she makes a different one when she sees something in the house she is not comfortable with. Is this the context in which you are speaking?
 

YUMgrinder

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turn off the drying cycle. It won't allow the heating element to run after the wash.
 

Mont.cin

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Wondering how this all worked out. I just burnt the plastic top to a baby bottle. I feel like a complete fool. I was sterilizing bottles and started folding laundry and forgot. There was a burning odor but very little smoke. I have two amazon parrots, I aired out the house for a little and put the pot outside. Wondering if my birds will be ok. Currently they seem unbothered by it
 

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