Should I Run My Oven Self-Clean Cycle?


Wondering should I run my oven self-clean cycle? Word on the internet and among most appliance repair professionals is that you should forgo the self-clean option. But, despite the warnings, the self-clean feature is still commonly used by homeowners.

So what’s the fuss? Why not just run the self-clean cycle and move on with other oven maintenance tips? Here’s our take: While the self-clean option is definitely a convenient feature, there are instances when the self-clean cycle can (and will) cause an oven failure. We see this problem every year around the holidays! Which is why we say, DON’T USE YOUR SELF-CLEAN BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!

The self-cleaning cycle raises your oven temperature to around 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471° C) and may go beyond 1000°. This extreme heat can cause circuit boards, switches, and fuses to malfunction. If you choose to self-clean your oven the day before Thanksgiving and your oven fails, you will not be so happy to learn that most appliance repair companies are either closed or fully booked.

Should I Run My Oven Self-Clean Cycle?

You have two options:
1. Run the Self-Clean Cycle with Care or 2. Use an Alternative Cleaning Method.

When You REALLY Want To Use That Self-Cleaning Feature

Should I run my oven self-clean cycle before a holiday? We recommend that you wait to use the self-clean feature until after or well before the holidays.

To prepare for your fall and winter cooking (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, New Year’s), run your self-clean cycle in early October. This will give you plenty of time to call for repair if you need it. Then, run it again in January or February when you start using your oven less frequently.

If you do choose the self-clean cycle, we don’t blame you! There’s just something so much easier about using the self-clean cycle. And so, because living without the self-cleaning function is just not an option for you, here are some tips on how to keep the self-clean cycle relatively safe:

  • Always be in your home when you do a self-cleaning cycle.
  • Never use the self-cleaning cycle right before a big event or bake-off, especially right before the holidays.
  • If summers are particularly hot in your area, avoid doing a self-cleaning cycle in the summer. Remember, the temperatures in your oven could go up to over 800 degrees, which will make your house REALLY hot!
  • Keep a Class B fire extinguisher nearby in case of mishaps.
  • Always have your oven repairman’s number close by.

Thinking Twice About Self-Cleaning Your Oven?

As already mentioned, the self-clean cycle works at temperatures too hot for comfort and can cause your oven to malfunction. If this makes you nervous, here are some suggestions for alternatives to self-cleaning: 

  • Clean your oven regularly. If you splatter and spill while cooking, be sure to wipe it up quickly (after the oven cools, of course). This will keep your oven relatively clean and require less effort to manually clean the oven.
  • Choose the “Steam Clean” or “Easy Clean” options instead. With Self-Cleaning models that have the “Steam Clean” option, you can just add a cup of water to the bottom of the oven and then run the “Steam Clean” cycle. This option lasts just 30 minutes, and the oven runs at temperatures lower than the Self-Clean cycle. It’s safer and works well on light oven debris.
  • Pre-heat your oven, and then use the methods outlined by Jody Allen for Stay At Home Mum: Easy Ways To Clean Your Oven. This is a great method that uses natural ingredients to get your oven squeaky clean.
Photo Credit: Stay at Home Mum

When seeking help with an emergency oven repair during the holidays, be sure to look for a company that stocks their vehicles with common parts so you can get it fixed fast! If you live in the Connecticut, Massachusetts or Rhode Island, call us for help if your self-clean oven fails.

Bonus Tip: Learn how to clean glass between oven doors.

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