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The Better Way to Get Your Oven Clean


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The Better Way to Get Your Oven Clean

Should You Use Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Feature?

Updated August 23, 2018

If you’re a busy mom like me, it might be hard to imagine being without your electric oven’s self-cleaning feature. After all, my oven’s ability to scorch itself clean saves me a lot of time and effort. That has to be a good thing, right?

Not so fast. You may want to reconsider relying on your electric oven’s self-cleaning function, especially if it has a hidden heating element. Here’s why:

Ultra-High Temps Can Cause Element Burnout

Many models of ovens now offer hidden heating elements. While this makes the ovens easier to clean when something drips, there can be a downside.

Hot OvenAs an oven self-cleans, the internal temperature typically climbs to about 1000° F, much higher than the 350° to 500° range we usually use when cooking. When the elements are enclosed, this excessive heat has less room to vent, which can burn out control panels and/or pop fuses.

In addition, hidden heating elements can be more difficult (and therefore more expensive) to fix or replace.

The Self-Cleaning Feature Uses (a Little) More Electricity

How much more? Only about $2 per year more than electric ovens without the self-cleaning feature, according to energyguide.com. Turns out that, because self-cleaning ovens are better insulated, energy consumption is reduced during cooking. But still. It does require a lot of energy to heat an oven to red-hot temperatures. If you do decide to use your oven’s self-clean feature, do it on a cold day at least.

The Racks Must Be Removed

Most manufacturers will recommend removing the racks before flipping the switch to self clean. If you don’t, you risk marring their shiny coating, making it more difficult to slide the racks in and out of your oven. So, even though your oven may be cleaning itself, you still have to clean the racks separately if you want to keep them shiny and functioning optimally.

Self-Cleaning Is a Long (and Sometimes Smelly) Process

If you do decide to self-clean, remember that your oven will be unavailable for use for several hours, so night-time will probably be best. And depending on how dirty your oven is, as the gunk burns off you may have to deal with strong smells or even smoke. You should also know that concerns about the possible release of toxic fumes have also been raised.

Is There a Better Option?

While using your oven’s self-cleaning feature might not be the best choice, you also don’t want to coat your oven with harsh cleaning chemicals that can burn eyes and lungs or even contaminate food.

Your best option is to use a heat-activated enzyme-based oven cleaner that safely dissolves baked-on grime and deposits in just minutes. This type of Earth-friendly cleaner is suitable not just for ovens and grills, but pots and pans too.

You can even use it to clean the oven door!

comment_2How do you clean your oven? Why do you prefer your method? Please tell us about your oven-cleaning experiences in the comments below.

Resources:

Do you use your oven’s self-cleaning feature?

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Yes:
 
23%
No:
 
77%
Total Votes:
197
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April Pearson
April Pearson
3 years ago

I got great results with Cleaning Paste and a Spirinett!

Lia Thompson
Lia Thompson
3 years ago

I had no idea there were self cleaning ovens! Do many people have one in the states? I’m UK based.

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
3 years ago
Reply to  Lia Thompson

Hi Lia, yes pretty much all of our ovens in the US today are self cleaning, but like the article says, it isn’t good for the oven (hence they get you to buy new more often) and they are smelly and toxic. Norwex has the best enzyme based oven cleaner….it works wonders!! I also use it on my outdoor barbeque grill. It’s fantastic.

Kim Metzger
Kim Metzger
3 years ago
Reply to  Lia Thompson

I would say most come with this option. I only know one person who uses hers. Her dogs stay outside the entire time it is running. She thinks it hurts their ears.

Lia Thompson
Lia Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Kim Metzger

That’s a good share Kim thanks. And thanks for your response Amy.

Victoria Van Dalsen
Victoria Van Dalsen
3 years ago

I used the self cleaning feature on my over just once. It filled the house with smelly smoke and it discolored the porcelain at the vents to a dingy yellow. It also made the kitchen really hot! So now I use Norwex oven and grill cleaner, my spirinett and for the baked on spots, the cleaning paste. It doesn’t take me long to clean my over either and the spirinett cleans the racks in a jiffy! I use the spirinett on the glass door. My only issue is to clean the glass in between!

Kim Metzger
Kim Metzger
3 years ago

I cover most of the items I put in my oven. Even loosely covering them eliminates a lot of splatter which means there is less to clean. I use the cleaning paste and a kitchen cloth.

Sharon Campese
Sharon Campese
3 years ago

My oven has a steam clean option which I prefer to use. I also use the Cleaning Paste for stuck on stuff.

Mindy Simonson
Mindy Simonson
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Campese

Does the steam not heat up the same as the old style of self clean, our oven has aqualift self clean and I would like to try it at least once.

Sharon
Sharon
3 years ago
Reply to  Mindy Simonson

The steam clean feature doesn’t heat up to the same high temp. As its wet heat you dont get that acrid burning odor.

Mindy Simonson
Mindy Simonson
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon

Perfect, thank you for the reply!

Juliana DeWeerd
Juliana DeWeerd
3 years ago

I hate cleaning the oven, before learning about norwex oven and grill cleaner I would spend over an hour scrubbing

Mindy Simonson
Mindy Simonson
3 years ago

I still haven’t heard if the self cleaning is referring to the old style or the new features some have that is the aqua lift where you pour water in the bottom, does anybody here know?

Anne-Marie Bauman
Anne-Marie Bauman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mindy Simonson

The high temps (that the article is referring to) come with the older style self-cleaning oven. The new aqua-lift method of self-clean does not utilize high temps so does not incinerate the baked-on gunk. The newer method is not as good at removing the gunk and needs a little assistance, but is much safer and less expensive.

Lisa Dankel
Lisa Dankel
3 years ago

I love the Norwex oven and grill cleaner. No more smelly, smokey self cleaning oven for me!!

Anne-Marie Bauman
Anne-Marie Bauman
3 years ago

The best results for me were from a baking soda paste that I applied with a basting brush. After it dried, I sprayed a fine mist of regular vinegar and it started reacting with the baking soda. You can re-apply the vinegar several times over the course of a few hours. The longer the better and then I just wipe with a damp cloth.

Kit
Kit
2 years ago

I read before that vinegar and baking soda is a natural cleaner for ovens or any appliance that has been burnt or has been stained then I use charcoal to remove its bad smell. Ive been using my oven everyday because I bake healthy snacks for my kids.

https://myeasychoices.com/foods-high-in-fiber/

Olivia
Olivia
1 year ago
Reply to  Kit

Thanks for writing helpful blog.
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