Cleaning a Self-Cleaning Oven

 Self-Cleaning Oven Actionable Guide

How does a self-cleaning oven work?

Due to the self-cleaning option the problem of the dirty and fuliginous oven is a thing of the past. Forget about the time-consuming and backbreaking cleaning, chemical cleansers and sponges. What a relief is just to close the oven and turn the self-cleaning cycle on! Such a magic feature requires just seconds of your participation, and after a while the oven is absolutely clean. No mess, no splashing chemicals and wasted time. All hard-to-reach areas are clean, and the oven is ready to be used again.

So, how does the self-cleaning oven function?  Most ovens are designed to heat up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Such a feature enables to make the accumulated dirt and debris split off. That’s why after the self-cleaning is concluded, you can notice some gray substance matters associable with ash on the bottom of your oven. Just wipe out the dirt with the help of the cleaning cloth.

How to use self-cleaning oven

Some may wonder how often they should use the self-cleaning option. It depends on the frequency of cooking. As soon as you noticed the spills on the sides and bottom of the oven, it is time to start the cleaning process. We recommend keeping the oven always clean (some few inconsiderable spills are not the issue). 

The oven is functioning much better, when it is free of food buildup, debris and soot. In case the oven is not cleaned in time, the unpleasant odors can infiltrate into the other food while cooking. The vitiated air of the outside surrounding space can be also caused by the soil buildups. 

For these reasons use the self-cleaning cycle on a regular basis, and after the cleaning wipe away the ash and debris on the bottom with soapy water and the damp cloth. 

Types of self-cleaning oven

Before using the self-cleaning feature, specify what type of oven you owe: traditional high temperature or steam. Each type performs its own cleaning method. Some of the latest models can provide two methods of cleaning, so you can choose what is more appropriate for you.

The traditional high temperature is characterized by the smelly cleaning with the time range between 2 to 4,5 hours. To split the food buildups, the temperature hits 900-1000 degrees Fahrenheit that causes ash on the bottom of the oven. One should wipe the ash away after the oven has cooled down. 

Make sure that while the self-cleaning cycle, there isn’t anything on the top surface, and the oven ventilation outlet is not blocked.

The steam option won’t take so much time for self-cleaning (about 20-40 minutes), and is not so smelly. The bottom of the oven is being filled with distilled water, and the produced steam is cleaning the oven from inside out. After the self-cleaning cycle clean the bottom and the inner sides of the oven with soapy water and the damp cloth.   

How to clean a self-cleaning oven

Before starting the self-cleaning cycle follow the simple and efficient cleaning tips:

  •       Remove all significant food buildups and other possible debris.
  •       Discard the oven racks because when they are inside while cleaning, they can fade afterwards. In case there is no way to discard the oven racks, we advise you rub the rack sides with the help of some olive oil and the paper towel. This manipulation will help prevent their fading.
  •       When the cleaning is completed, let the oven cool down. Afterwards, using a damp cloth or sponge together with soapy water wipe the ashes and debris away on the bottom of the oven. Carefully clean areas around the seals and the exterior door since they won’t be involved into the self-cleaning cycle. With such a regular cleaning you will avoid any soil buildup.
  •       Don’t wait until debris and grease grow into the sizeable soil buildups inside the oven. That is the main reason why the oven starts smelling during the self-cleaning cycle. If you cook pretty often, fulfil the self-cleaning 1-2 times per month. Moreover, the debris-free oven will function much better. That’s why regular cleanings are highly recommended.
  •       Plan the self-cleaning. Avoid the oven cleaning on the eve of some important occasions or holidays like Thanksgiving Day. The nonstop heating can cause the short circuit or deactivate the control panel. Of course, such issues require the help of a professional repairman who can be not on duty during the holiday period.

How Long Does a Self-Cleaning Oven Cycle Take?

How long the self-cleaning cycle is running depends on the type of oven. The self-cleaning cycle will last longer, if your oven is too dirty. If you owe the traditional high temperature self-cleaning oven, the cleaning will be cycling from 2 to 5 hours. Although the self-cleaning ovens are designed to make your life easier, still we recommend keeping a close eye on the oven while self-cleaning. 

The intense heat will turn the food buildup and debris into the ash, and normally it will cause some smells. If it starts smelling, you will be just in time to vent and air out the kitchen or just open the window. 

The best time to fulfil the self-cleaning of your oven is the early morning or late evening. So you won’t be forced to turn the air-conditioner on because of the created heat in your kitchen.

Do’s and don’ts

The efficient maintenance tips to provide the proper functioning of your oven.


  •   Before starting the self-cleaning cycle, read the user manual of your oven and strictly follow all the instructions mentioned there. If you don’t have it in its hard copy, you will easily find it in Internet.
  •   Release the oven from any kitchen utensil like pots, pans, oven racks, foil liner etc.
  •   You can clean only those parts of your oven which are listed in your oven user manual.


  •   It is not recommended to clean the oven door gasket because of the delicate oven seal that can be accidentally damaged.
  •   Don’t apply any oven cleansers.
  •   Keep yourself and kids away from the oven while the self-cleaning cycle. The oven surface heats up to high temperatures, and therefore, it can easily burn the sensitive human skin. 



Repair self-cleaning oven

What if your oven is not self-cleaning? Let’s consider some common issues:

Door Lock Motor and Switch Assembly

When the self-cleaning is on, the door lock switch brings the door lock motor into the action to keep the door blocked. If either the door lock or the switch assembly is defective, the door oven won’t close or open. Consult your oven user manual how to get access to the door motor and switch assembly. Replace the parts, if they are defective or worn out.

Oven control board

You can fail to perform the self-cleaning cycle because of the faulty oven control board. The relays of the board won’t be able to send power to the bake and broil circuits. Use the wiring diagram of your oven to detect the correct terminals of the board that have to be checked for continuity with the help of the multimeter.

Thermal fuse

The thermal fuse prevents the oven from its overheating, namely it shuts the power off, if the oven is getting too hot. Verify the continuity of the thermal fuse using the multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the thermal fuse.