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The Appliance Care Company Blog

Thursday, Feb. 15th 2018

The Self-Cleaning Oven Feature: Use at Your Own Risk

Your in-laws are coming to dinner this weekend and you’re feeling the pressure. Not only does dinner have to look and taste great, the entire house, even your oven, needs to sparkle.

If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, chances are it’s dirty. No matter how careful you are, food splatters, scatters and spills when cooking.

You plan on using the self-cleaning feature to make your oven look good as new. (The Appliance Care Company does not recommend using the self-cleaning cycle, particularly on older oven models, especially before major events or holidays.)

However, if you’re going to use this feature, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, understand how the self-cleaning function works. When using the self-cleaning cycle, your oven heats up to nearly 1000 degrees so old food particles can be incinerated. The high heat works well when destroying old food particles, but can damage parts of your appliance.

Control boards, thermal fuses and other oven elements can be injured enough by the high heat that you’ll need to be replace some or all of those parts. That’s why The Appliance Care Company recommends using the self-cleaning function well-ahead of a major event or holiday. If something is damaged, you’ll want plenty of time to be able to schedule an appointment to have your oven diagnosed and order and install any needed parts.

Using the self-cleaning function can also warp the inner metal liners of your oven. Check’s your owner’s manual to see if your oven racks should be removed before the self-cleaning cycle is used. Remove any foil in the bottom of your oven and wipe up any food spills. The oven’s self-cleaning cycle can also leave a lingering smell in your kitchen.

Before starting the self-cleaning function on older units, lock the oven door so it can’t be opened during the cleaning cycle. All newer models have automatic locks for the self-cleaning cycle.

When the self-cleaning function is finished, and your oven has cooled down, check your oven to make sure nothing was damaged. Make sure the oven properly heats and your control panel works. 

Place foil in the bottom of the oven to catch any future spills.

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