Holiday time is your oven’s chance to shine, cooking the traditional foods we love to eat. Some want their oven to literally shine and use the oven’s self-cleaning feature right before a holiday meal. But when a malfunction occurs and Thanksgiving dinner is jeopardized, you’ll find it may not be safe to use the self-cleaning oven feature before the holidays.

Why it May Not be Safe to Use the Self-Cleaning Oven Feature

We’ll review some self-cleaning oven dangers and provide an alternative oven cleaning method that’s safe to use. But first, a summary of how the self-clean feature operates:

How Does the Self-Clean Feature Work?

When you initiate the self-cleaning feature, the oven automatically locks and heats to temperatures ranging from 800°F to 1000°F. Over several hours, these high temperatures burn away grease and food particles to clean the oven.

Self-Cleaning Oven Warning

If you’re wondering if it’s safe to use the self-cleaning oven option with these high temperatures, you’re right to be concerned. High heat can cause serious malfunctions for multiple oven parts, which may require professional range repair.

Is it Safe to Use the Self-Clean Oven Feature?

Should you use the self-clean feature on the oven is one of our top kitchen range FAQs. We don’t recommend you do so right before a holiday or important meal. The risk of an oven malfunction is too high and it may not be repaired in time to save your dinner.

Some common problems caused by the self-clean feature include:

  • Damaged Control Panel: the control panel is your only way to communicate with your oven. The panel’s computer can be damaged by excessive heat, leaving your oven unresponsive to commands.
  • Blown Thermal Fuses: these fuses regulate the oven’s cooking temperatures. High heat can cause a fuse to burn out, leading to incorrect temperatures.
  • Burned Out Heating Elements: the components that provide the oven’s heat can snap or char if they sustain high temperatures for too long.

The self-clean feature poses dangers for us too. When high heat hits food particles an unpleasant odor often results. Are self -cleaning oven fumes toxic? They can be to certain people with respiratory issues.

safe to use the self-clean oven

Photo Credit: Low Amine Recipes

How to Clean Your Oven With Vinegar Steam

Now that you know it may not be safe to use the self-cleaning oven option, read the steps below for an alternative using vinegar steam:

  1. Remove the oven’s grates. Soak in a tub of warm soapy water for several hours. Remove lingering stains with steel wool.
  2. Vacuum loose particles from the oven with a nozzle attachment.
  3. Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part distilled water in an ovenproof dish.
  4. Replace the oven’s bottom rack. Place the dish on the rack, close the door, and heat the oven to 250°F for several minutes.
  5. Remove the dish and spray the oven’s interior with the vinegar solution. Close the door for 30 minutes.
  6. Wipe away residue with a damp sponge, gently scrubbing any lingering stains.

natural oven cleaning method