How to Use Self-Clean on an Oven

Self-clean ovens are a great way to make your life easier by simplifying the cleaning process. Self-clean ovens work by heating up to a temperature above what is normal for baking to turn any food residue within the oven into ash.

Self-cleaning ovens can be a great way to help with cleaning, but it’s essential to ensure you know what you are doing so you do not damage your oven. Follow these tips to ensure your oven is cleaned safely and properly when you use the self-clean feature. 

Check the Owner’s Manual

Before using the self-clean feature, make sure you check the oven manual for your oven model. The manual will usually have step-by-step instructions for your particular model. Manufacturers post them online if you do not have one or have misplaced it.

Remove Everything from the Oven

Because the oven will be heating to an extremely high temperature, everything must be removed from the inside and around it; this includes the stainless steel oven racks. Anything left in or around the oven is subject to damage.

Also, ensure everything is removed from the top to prevent damage to those items. Towels hanging from the front of the oven should also be removed as a precaution. 

Clean the Oven Before Using the Feature

Manually cleaning the oven before using the self-clean feature is helpful in several ways. If you can easily wipe up some of the mess before running the self-clean feature, it will mean less to clean afterward. 

Cleaning the sides of the oven also helps the door to seal properly. The self-clean process can potentially release carbon monoxide, so having a proper seal is vital, along with good ventilation. But take care not to move or bend the gasket because it can compromise the performance of the oven.   

Increase Ventilation

Most ovens will normally bake between 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit, but during the self-clean process, they can be anywhere from 600-1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Because the oven gets so hot compared to normal, it is crucial to increase the ventilation of the room. If you have ventilation on your range hood, ensure it is on the maximum setting. Any fans in the room should also be on, and open windows to further improve ventilation.

Start the Self-Clean Process

Most ovens will lock automatically when running the self-cleaning function, but if your oven does not, lock it manually to prevent anyone from opening it when the temperature is too high. 

Once the oven is secure, start the process by selecting the self-clean option. The oven will then heat up to the required temperature to burn any remaining food residue. The time will vary, but in most cases, it should take 1-2 hours for a regular clean and up to 3-4 hours for a deep clean.

Clean the Remains

Once the process is done and you have let the oven cool, all that is left is to clean up the remaining ash. The food residue should have been burnt and turned to ash in the oven, so a wet cloth or paper towel should easily pick up anything left over.

Make sure to wipe down all surfaces of the oven, not just where the ash collects in the oven cavity. The outsides of the oven should also be wiped down, including the door and the top, as they were also subject to a higher temperature than normal.


Once the oven is clean, it’s time to clean anything you plan to put inside or on top of the oven. Wash the oven racks in hot soapy water and make sure the pieces that hold them do not have any leftover ash caught in them. Dry and place the oven racks back inside the oven.

Anything that would go on top of the oven should have the bottom wiped with a wet cloth. Once everything is wiped down, dried, and back in its place, your oven should be clean and ready to go.

Keeping Everything Clean

The kitchen is one of the places you will spend most of your time while at home, so it’s essential to keep it in good condition. Explore our blog series for more helpful kitchen tips.

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