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should i use self cleaning oven

Oven Maintenance After the Holidays: Self-Cleaning Oven Dangers & a Safe Alternative

During the holiday season, most ovens whether extra stains and spills that will warrant a thorough cleaning. But while the self-clean feature seems like an easy solution, it may do more harm than good. Is it safe to use self-clean oven after the holidays? Unfortunately, its high heat can cause part failures that require repair. Learn more about common self-cleaning oven dangers and how to avoid them with a safer, natural alternative.

Understanding and Avoiding Self-Cleaning Oven Dangers

While risking self cleaning oven dangers seems worth it to simplify cleaning, our natural oven cleaner may make you think again. But before we detail how effective this simple method can be, understanding how the self-clean function works can better illustrate its risks.

How the Self Clean Feature Works

The self-clean feature uses high heat to burn away food stains, spills, and splashes. However, this heat goes beyond typical cooking temperatures, reaching upwards of 900℉ over a period of several hours. During this time, the oven door and all other control panel functions remain locked.

Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the door stays locked until the oven has sufficiently cooled, often requiring an additional hour. Once cooled, the door unlocks automatically so stains can be wiped away with a damp cloth.

Why the Self-Cleaning Feature is Dangerous

self cleaning oven dangers

As simple as this feature sounds, there’s nothing easy about self-cleaning oven dangers and the problems they can cause. Unpleasant odors and uncomfortably warm temperatures can last for the duration of the cleaning cycle. However, part failures are one of the biggest reasons to avoid your self-cleaning oven feature.

The following are just some of the parts that can fail after exposure to the self-cleaning feature’s high heat: 

  • Heating elements: These metal coils can break, crack or blister, resulting in an oven not baking evenly or at all.
  • Thermostat: Unable to withstand prolonged heat exposure, the thermostat can “pop,” leaving it unable to measure the oven’s temperature fluctuations. Consequently food can emerge under or overdone.
  • Locking mechanism: If the door lock malfunctions from the intense heat, the oven door may remain locked even when the self-clean cycle ends. Repairing the lock and opening the oven door often requires professional assistance. As the weeks following the holidays are often busiest for appliance repair services, you may have to wait weeks for a repair.

Should I use self cleaning oven at all? If you must use this feature, make sure you avoid doing so before a big event or important meal. That way, any resulting repair needs won’t impact your plans. Ensure that your kitchen is well-ventilated to dissipate odor and avoid using the self-cleaning function on hot days that will exacerbate heat.

How to Clean Your Oven with a Natural Oven Cleaner

The best way to avoid self cleaning oven dangers and remove stains is to use a natural oven cleaner. 

natural oven cleaner

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sponge or scrubbing brush
  • Plastic scraper or spatula
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Coarse salt
  • Distilled white vinegar

Follow these steps to clean your oven naturally:

Step 1. Remove racks and large debris: Removing the racks allows for better access to all four oven walls. Once the racks are removed, use a plastic scraper or spatula to scrape away large food particles.

Step 2. Mix cleaning paste: Combine dish soap, baking soda, and coarse salt until it forms a thick, spreadable paste.

Step 3. Apply paste: Spread the paste thickly on all four oven walls and allow it to sit overnight.

Step 4: Remove paste: Wipe down the oven walls with a damp sponge or scrub brush, scrubbing away debris.

Step 5. Spray with vinegar: Spray the oven walls with distilled white vinegar and wipe them down a final time to remove any lingering food particles and paste. Replace oven racks.

Even if you avoid the self-cleaning cycle, the need for oven repairs may still arise. When they do, call CD Appliance Repair for the best oven repair in Green Cove Springs!

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