How To Clean and Use a Self-Cleaning Oven

Cleaning an oven is one of those tasks that most of us end up putting off week after week. The dirtier the oven, the harder the cleaning. And our guess is most families have a few set-in stains from using the broiler a few times to make ribs, bbq bacon burgers, and more. But thankfully, with evolving technology, self-cleaning ovens came along to save the day. 

But even with this great feature, many of us end up wondering how to clean self-cleaning oven? Truth be told, the process is not too difficult but don’t feel bad if it seems more complicated than it is. We are here to help you work that out.

Let’s start the process.

How to Clean a Self-Cleaning Oven 

First, let’s do a general guide on how to use your self-clean oven. Then we can talk about the individual processes for some of the most popular brands. This section will teach you how to use the feature and how to clean the oven after self-clean. 

Note: You may find this process incredibly similar to how to clean a Blackstone griddles and grills. In fact, some grills have self-cleaning options. 

You Can Expect:

  • It to take you 10-20 minutes of physical cleaning
  • The entire process to take about 2 to 5.5 hours, depending on the model
  • Minimal cost 
how to clean a self-cleaning oven

How to Use Oven Self Clean 

First, it’s worth knowing whether you have a self-cleaning oven or not. Here is the difference between a self-cleaning and a manual-cleaning oven. 

  1. Self-cleaning ovens can run at very hot temperatures, with most going up to 930 degrees F. This causes everything inside to turn to ash. It includes food particles, greases and oils, and so on. Typically, there will be a self-clean button on your control panel over the stovetop. 
  2. Manual cleaning ovens or standard cleaning ovens don’t have the option to self-clean and generally range between 200 F to 450 F. This is generally not hot enough to turn the food in the oven to ash. In this case, you will have to scrub your oven when it is off manually and not hot on the inside. 

General Self-Clean Instructions

First, let’s start with what you need. 

Materials

Instructions 

  1. The first step is to turn the oven light on and clear the oven of anything inside. This includes cooking sheets, pans with aluminum foil, broiler plates, and so on. The only thing that can stay in the oven is your oven racks if they are self-clean-safe. You will need to check the manual for this. 

The reason behind having to remove everything is that the oven will be set to extremely high temperatures. And the cooking pans are only meant to handle regular cooking temperatures. 

WARNING: This also includes taking things off your stovetop and around it. The heat gets vented out of the top, and you don’t want anything nearby. No dish towels, nothing! 

  1. Most people skip cleaning the door seal, and this is an important step not to miss. The door seal can attract odors and stains just as easily as any other part of the oven. For this part, use warm water to dampen a microfiber cloth. Wipe through the entire seal and around to loosen and remove any food crumbs, sticky spots, and stains. 
  2. Because the heat is going to be vented through the top of the oven, it’s good to turn on the range fan. If you have a microwave that sits overhead, then turn the fan range on from there. You can find this button on the range or microwave, not on the oven. 
  3. If you have a self-cleaning oven, chances are the door will lock automatically, so you don’t risk a fire hazard or getting severely burned. If it doesn’t automatically lock, then you can manually lock it. You’ll have to refer to the manual to check how to do it properly. 
  4. Simply let the oven do its job until it’s done. It should unlock automatically once the oven has cooled off. Sometimes self-cleaning ovens will run a timer so you can see how much time is left. This can take 2 hours to 5.5 hours. 

How To Clean A Self-Cleaning Oven By Hand 

Well, the job is not done because there is a little bit of hand work after using the self-clean feature. Here are a few more steps you need to take. This is how to clean a self-cleaning oven manually or how to clean oven after self-clean.

Instructions 

  1. Throw on your rubber gloves and grab a fresh new microfiber cloth. Dampen the cloth with some warm water and begin to wipe down the sides and bottom of the oven. Depending on how much ash there is, you may need to use several cloths. 

Just like you wouldn’t clean your bathroom shower or tub with a wet paper towel is the same reason you don’t want to use anything but a lint-free microfiber cloth. You don’t want it to shed and make more of a mess, and you don’t want anything abrasive that will cause scratches on the inside of the oven. 

  1. Now is the time to clean all the racks and other pans you took out of the oven. The last thing you want to do is bring dirty trays back into the oven. Give them a good scrub with liquid dishwashing soap and a sponge. Then let them dry before placing them back inside.  
  2. Finally, take your last clean microfiber cloth and slightly dampen it with warm water and dish soap. Run it through the entire exterior of the oven, including over the control panels. This is where you find the most fingerprints. Then take a dry towel and dry it off. If you leave it wet, it may cause water stains. Similar to how harsh water stains glass in showers. This is how to clean a self-cleaning oven glass door. 
natural oven cleaning products

How Long to Self-Clean Oven?

Well, if you are using the self-clean feature, then you should expect the process to be minimally two hours. Having said that, if you want to know how to clean an oven without self-clean, the process could very well take the same amount of time. 

If you want to know how to clean self-cleaning oven manually, then you will take the same process as above, except you will need a more abrasive sponge to get all the stains up from the inside. You will manually scrub the inside with an oven cleaner. 

Not everyone loves this process because of the harmful toxins and chemicals that some oven cleaners have inside them. Sometimes it’s better to use a homemade cleaning solution. 

Homemade Oven Cleaning Solution Ingredients List

  • Two cups of baking soda
  • ¾ cup of water
  • A few lemon drops

Popular Store-Bought Brands

Product
Price
Easy Off Heavy-Duty Spray
$4,47
Method Cleaning Products Kitchen Degreaser
$4.79
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface cleaners
$6.59
Homemade mix listed above
Less than $2.00

All you need to do is mix the ingredients in a bowl and spread it on the inside of the oven. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes to let the cleaner break down the grime inside the oven. Then you can start scrubbing. This is how to clean a self-cleaning oven by hand.   

oven cleaning tips

Common Oven Brands – Find Yours 

While the process remains relatively the same, here are a few distinctions between brands that are worth knowing. It doesn’t matter whether you have a GE, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Samsung, lG, for an oven. Most of them are relatively similar. Here are the minor differences. 

How to Self Clean a Frigidaire Oven 

 Frigidaire how to self-clean oven is a popular choice among kitchen favorites. Frigidaire allows you to choose a few more options than some of the other stoves. You can control your cleaning time which is a big plus since not everyone can afford to wait five hours. You can also choose the cleaning level from light, medium, or heavy cleaning. This is all done from the control panel after selecting self-clean. 

How to Use Self Clean on Whirlpool Oven

If you want to know how to self-clean a Whirlpool oven, then look no further. Whirlpool is awesome when it comes to self-cleaning ovens because you only need 50 minutes to get the job done. That’s because they offer something called their AquaLife feature. This is how to clean a Whirlpool self-cleaning oven. 

How to Use Self Clean on Samsung Oven

Samsung offers features very similar to Frigidaire. When you press the self-clean option, you can hit it a few times. This will toggle your menu options so that you can select multiple cleaning times to fit your time standards. 

How to Use Self Clean on GE Oven 

A lot of people find themselves Googling “ how to self-clean oven ge.”  That’s because it is slightly different from some of the other options. GE ovens have a self-cleaning latch that you need to push to set the cleaning feature. This is different from the control panel. Then you will use the knobs to set the temperature. 

how often to clean oven

Frequently Asked Questions

The above is how to clean your self-cleaning oven. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a few more answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Let’s take a look 

How Long After Self-Cleaning Oven Can I Cook? 

One of the most common questions people have is how long they can cook after cleaning. For starters, you don’t want to ruin the hard work you just did, and some people have concerns about the cleaning products that may have been used. You may be surprised to learn that you can start cooking immediately after you have used the self-clean feature. 

But keep in mind that your door should not unlock until the self-clean has let the oven cool. This is a safety feature that all modern ovens have

Is Self-Cleaning Oven Safe?

Because of how hot a self-clean oven can get, it is no wonder that people get concerned about the safety of this feature. The ovens are safe and have a number of technology safety options built-in to protect yourself, your family, and your home from any danger. For the best safety, please read the entire manual of your oven and follow the oven-clean instructions as listed. 

Self cleaning oven dangers

Of course, with anything, there are drawbacks. It is not impossible for an oven to have broken parts. This can cause failure in some of its settings. This is unlikely. But what is potentially dangerous is a self-clean oven that does not have an auto lock. This can be dangerous if you forget it is self-cleaning or having children around the house. In this case, you need to lock the door manually. This should also be set in the instructions or manual. 

How to Unlock Oven After Self Clean

Naturally, this leads us to the next question that people ask when talking about how to clean a self-cleaning oven manually. Or even how to self-clean the oven that does it itself. If it’s automatic, then don’t worry, but if you have locked it manually, then you will unlock it the same way you locked it. Usually, this is a lever of some sort that sits underneath the bottom or on the side of the oven.  Your manual can tell you how to unlock the self-cleaning oven door.  

How Often Should I Be Setting My Oven to Self-Clean?

It never hurts to keep your oven clean and free of build-up. After all, it does alter your cooking some. It’s recommended to run the self-clean feature every four to six months. But this can be highly dependent on the types of foods you are cooking as well as how often you are cooking. If you are constantly running greasy foods that are splattering around your oven, you may find yourself running the self-clean feature a lot more often. 

If your oven looks pretty spotless, you can probably hold off. Just keep in mind that you can always see grease build-up. And when it gets really stuck there, it becomes more difficult for it to come off, and you may have to set longer cleaning times. 

What If My Self-Clean Oven Doesn’t Have A Timer?

Most do but if it doesn’t, this question will be answered in the manual. Just remember that it usually takes an additional 60 to 90 minutes at least for the oven to cool down. This may not be included in the self-timer that is running on your screen. The newer the model is the more likely it is going to be completely accurate with him. 

Just note that you should never leave a home when it is on a timer. And you should never do it at night when you are sleeping. You want to be present in case a rare accident does occur. This is unlikely but doing it while you are awake and around is important. 

self cleaning oven hand cleaning

Last Thoughts 

When it comes to making life easy, a self-cleaning oven knows how to do it. For the most part, you don’t have to tend or pay attention to the process because it is a safe way to get rid of all those grease stains you have been staring at for the last few months. Hopefully, not years! What happens when you leave food particles, ash, and grease inside your oven for too long it can damage the oven. And worse, it can damage the food you are cooking. It can alter the taste. 

The best thing you can do if you are using the self-cleaning feature for the first time is to read through the manual. For the most part, it should be a pretty easy process on any relatively modern oven. If you find yourself having to do some manual work with locking the door, be sure to check twice to avoid a safety hazard. 

And finally, enjoy having some options on the newest models. Now you can choose the time that you want to set it for. But don’t forget you still need to do a good wipe down when all is set and done, no matter what type you have. 

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