Apex Appliance Service San Diego County

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is it safe to use a self-clean oven

Should You Use the Self-Cleaning Oven Feature? A Pre-Holiday Warning

During most holiday celebrations an oven is hard at work while guests congregate nearby. Though you may want this busy kitchen appliance to look its best, should you use the self-cleaning oven feature to make it sparkle? We do not recommend using the self-clean feature unless you absolutely have to. Extreme temperatures may cause part failures. Learn how to clean your oven with a natural method instead.

Holiday Appliance Maintenance 101: Should You Use the Self-Cleaning Oven Feature?

Should you use the self-cleaning oven feature if your oven is crucial to holiday entertaining? There is certainly some risk to doing so. But before we discuss what can go wrong and how to avoid it, it may be helpful to understand how a self-cleaning oven works.

How Does the Self-Clean Oven Feature Work?

A self-cleaning function raises the oven’s temperature between 800-1000℉ over the course of several hours. These high temperatures burn spills, stains, and food particles to ash that can be easily wiped away once the cycle ends. Given this high heat, should you use the self-cleaning oven feature right before a big event? Here are some reasons why you may want to reconsider.

Self-Cleaning Oven Dangers

Is it safe to use a self-cleaning oven function? While the oven door locks automatically for the cycle’s duration, the high heat can still raise a room’s temperature to an uncomfortable level. There may also be unpleasant odors that occur as food particles slowly burn off and incinerate. 

This feature raises some risks for your oven too. Self-cleaning oven dangers include these three part failures that can result from high temperatures:

#1 – Thermostat Failure

The thermostat or thermal fuses control normal cooking temperatures. High heat can cause them to pop, requiring replacement. Unfortunately, you may not know these components are damaged until your next meal is under or overcooked.

#2 – Control Panel Malfunctions

The oven’s electronic control panel is the only way to relay commands to your oven. However, these controls can also be damaged by high heat, limiting communication or making it impossible. Even something as simple as turning on the oven or choosing between Wolf convection vs roast functions could be limited. A damaged control panel requires replacement.

#3 – Wire Damage

An oven has numerous wires that control its function. But high heat from the self-clean cycle can cause the insulation around them to melt. This then exposes the wiring to extreme temperatures that can result in irreparable damage.

While most of these issues can be fixed by a professional service, the holidays are a busy time of year for most repair companies. This means your oven may not be fixed in time for your Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration. If you must use the self-cleaning oven feature, we suggest doing so well in advance of a big holiday or event.

should you use the self-cleaning oven

How to Clean Your Oven With a Natural Oven Cleaner

Natural cleaning methods can be just as effective as the self-cleaning cycle, but with less risk. Here’s how to clean a self-cleaning oven manually with a natural oven cleaner:

What You’ll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Coarse salt
  • Baking soda
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Scraper


  1. Remove oven racks and use the scraper to remove large food particles from the oven’s interior.
  2. Mix baking soda, dish soap and coarse salt until it forms a thick, spreadable paste.
  3. Spread the paste throughout the oven’s interior walls and surfaces, skipping the heating elements. Allow the paste to sit for several hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Remove the paste with a damp scrub brush or sponge.
  5. Spray oven walls with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. Wipe with a clean cloth to remove lingering paste and debris.
  6. Replace oven racks.

So, should you use the self-cleaning oven feature right before the holidays? We hope this information sheds some light on what could be at stake. No matter the cause, Apex Appliance Service can fix any broken oven. Call us for fast and reliable repair!