Read This Before Using Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Feature

November 16, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

A spotless oven is a rare sight. Most people’s ovens are stained with spills, messes and crumbs. These remnants are a reminder of meals past and memorable kitchen experiences. Unfortunately, they’re also quite challenging to clean. Scrubbing the burnt-on leftovers from the bottom or sides of an oven can take hours and a lot of elbow grease. Restoring the oven to its original level of cleanliness can feel like an impossible task. That’s why many homeowners turn to the self-cleaning feature on their ovens. This feature presents itself as the perfect solution to the mess hiding behind the oven door. Unfortunately, the self-cleaning cycle might not be everything it’s cracked up to be. The cleaning feature can work, but it’s important to know the associated risks before you ever switch it on.

Watch out for unexpected side effects

You could successfully run the self-cleaning cycle 100 times only to have the oven stop working entirely after the 101st time. Many calls for oven repairs in St. Peters, MO are due to self-cleaning problems. This is caused by two things. First, new ovens are equipped with hidden heating elements above the oven ceiling and beneath the floor. This is much better than older ovens with exposed elements that were prone to smoking or scorching if anything dripped. But the hidden heating elements make it much more difficult to vent the heat out and keep the air circulating inside of the oven. The temperatures are much hotter—about 900 to 1000 degrees—during a self-cleaning cycle, unlike normal baking that rarely exceeds 500 degrees. The high heat can cause the fuses to pop and the control panels to burn out since there’s no ventilation. The hidden heating elements are difficult and very expensive to fix.

Self-cleaning odors can be dangerous

If that’s not enough, the fumes from the self-cleaning function can be incredibly strong and even toxic. The spilled food is burned away at such a high temperature that enough carbon monoxide is produced to pose a safety risk for both pets and children. The only way to curb these effects is to open the windows and turn on vent fans during a cleaning. Animals and kids should not be in the room when the cycle is running to avoid the harmful effects of the fumes.

Keeping the oven clean

This doesn’t mean you have to live with a dirty oven forever. Simply wiping down the oven by hand with a plastic scrub pad and hot, soapy water immediately after the oven has cooled down should suffice to keep the oven clean. Powerful cleaners can also help with deep cleanings if regular elbow grease just won’t cut it.

Some homeowners can run the self-cleaning cycle for years without any problems, and that’s great, but it’s important to know there is a high chance the oven will break, leaving you with no choice but to call for oven repairs in St. Peters, MO. Appliance specialists recommend running the feature for about an hour—instead of the full four hours—to reduce the odds of a breakdown. For more information, reach out to Crews Appliance Repair today.

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