Who wouldn’t want to make a hard job easier? When self-cleaning ovens first became available they were heralded for allowing us to press a button, walk away and return to a clean oven. But sometimes what’s easy isn’t always the best choice. Is it safe to use the self-cleaning oven feature? New evidence says no, at least not regularly.
Is it Safe to Use the Self-Cleaning Oven?
The oven’s self-cleaning feature uses high heat (upwards of 800 degrees) to disintegrate leftover food particles. But when these food remnants, and even the enamel of the oven walls, are exposed to such high heat they can emit dangerous odors.
When asking should you use the self-clean feature on the oven, it’s important to know it can also harm your oven itself. The high heat used in cleaning can actually damage oven components.
This is why we recommend not using the self-cleaning option right before the holidays; a damaged oven may not be repaired in time to cook a holiday dinner. Below are more details about self-cleaning oven dangers as well as a safer cleaning option.
Failed Control Board
The control board is the brains of your oven, responding to your commands via the push of a button. But it may not be safe to use the self-cleaning oven feature. The high heat could easily damage the computer mechanism of this vital component.
A damaged control board means your oven is unable to respond to commands and is in need of professional repair.
Blown Thermal Fuse
Thermal fuses regulate the cooking temperatures in your oven. However, extreme heat can result in a blown thermal fuse.
You’ll learn the hard way when your food emerges from the oven significantly under or overcooked. Once again, a professional fix is in order to solve the problem.
Burned Out Heating Element
It also may not be safe to use the self-cleaning oven feature because the actual heating elements of your oven can also be damaged from the heat.
This will involve a costly repair, as heating elements in modern ovens are hidden to limit their exposure to spillage, making them difficult to reach and fix.
How to Clean Your Oven with Vinegar Steam
Now that you know it may not be safe to use the self-cleaning feature on your oven, you’re probably wondering how you can safely clean it.
Read on for step-by-step instruction in using vinegar steam as a natural oven cleaner instead.
- Remove oven grates and soak them for at least several hours in a tub of hot soapy water. Use a heavy-duty scrubber for stubborn stains and replace the bottom rack.
- Vacuum any loose particles from your oven with a nozzle attachment.
- In an ovenproof dish, mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part distilled water.
- Place the dish on the oven’s bottom rack, set the temperature to 250 degrees, and close the door for a few minutes.
- Turn the oven off and remove the dish. Spray down the oven’s interior with the vinegar solution, close the door, and let soak for 30 minutes
- When the oven is cool, wipe down with a damp cloth. The stains should come off fairly easily.
We hope this information was helpful in answering if it’s safe to use the self-cleaning oven feature. Caesar’s Appliance Repair is happy to address any question and expertly assist with any oven repair!