The Truth About Oven Self-Cleaning

Fred's Appliance Academy
July 15, 2021

Hi, my name is Renae, and I'm an appliance repair tech. If your oven has one of the self-cleaning features that just gets everything really, really hot, I would highly recommend never using it. Most ovens have a little thing called a high-limit thermostat. The entire point of the high-limit thermostat is to prevent a fire. So if the temperature inside your oven goes above a certain point, it'll trigger the high-limit thermostat, which will cut power to your oven, and you can't restore power until that part is replaced. Because self-clean gets so very hot, sometimes it can trip the high-limit thermostat. This means that not only will the power be cut off to your oven, but your oven will also be locked shut, and you're going to have to call for service to get it fixed.

The other downside about this type of self-clean is that it just gets things really, really hot. It's meant to burn everything off, but not everything that spills in your oven is able to be burned off. Sugar for example, caramelizes at high temperatures, which means the self-clean is more likely to bake it in and stain then burn it off.

The appliance industry as a whole is moving away from this type of self-clean in favor of a gentler water-based steam clean. So if your oven has that type, you're good to go. Otherwise, you're better off with good old-fashioned elbow grease.

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