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How to Self-Clean an Oven

Updated February 21, 2017

Most new ovens come with a self-cleaning feature. Instead of having to hand clean the oven, which is often time consuming and requires a fair amount of elbow grease, the self-cleaning setting heats the oven to a high temperature and cooks off any build-up from the oven's surface. Make sure you don't combine oven cleaner with a self-cleaning capability as this can produce harmful fumes and vapours.

Remove the oven racks. This step is important, as the metal racks can easily expand and warp when your oven reaches high temperatures during self-cleaning.

Turn on the self-cleaning setting on your oven dial and allow the process to clean your oven. The procedure typically takes about an hour to complete.

Turn on your stove hood or open a nearby window if there's a lot of stuck-on residue in the oven, as this will typically cause strong burnt smells and sometimes smoke until the residue is baked off.

Scrub the oven racks with a wet nylon sponge drizzled with dish soap. Either clean them outdoors and rinse with the garden hose, or wash the racks in your bathtub. If you're using the tub, line the tub's base with towels so the racks don't scratch the surface.

Rinse the racks and place them back into the oven after the self-cleaning process finishes and the oven cools.

Things You'll Need

  • Towels
  • Garden hose
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Dish soap
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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.