We just rented an apartment with a rather new kitchen. After the first kitchen cleaning, I saw that our new oven has a self cleaning feature. My question is how to use a self cleaning oven properly?
We always used oven cleaner on our old one, but now I am not sure if it is necessary on a self cleaning stove. Please let me know how to best clean this oven.
Kaitlin Wise – Bloomington, IN
Cleaning a self-cleaning oven is pretty straightforward. Empty the oven by removing any racks beforehand. Clean all oven racks separately and do not leave them on the stove while running the self cleaning cycle. I use regular dish soap to clean the racks. If needed, I spray some oven cleaner on, let it sit for a couple of minutes and wipe the racks clean.
When you empty the oven, you can switch on the self cleaning function. On our oven, it usually takes about three hours, but you better check with the manual of your specific oven. It depends on the model and age of your oven.
We covered how to clean a self-cleaning oven extensively in our big oven cleaning article here: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-clean-an-oven-from-the-stove-top-to-between-the-glass-in-the-door/ Be aware that the oven is heating up a lot during the cleaning run.
At home, I usually leave the kitchen window wide open during the oven cleaning, since the burned residues start smelling bad after a while. After finishing the self-cleaning cycle, make sure the oven cools down completely. Once the oven is cool, you can clean up the remaining ash and burns with a sponge or cloth.
If you are uncomfortable using the self cleaning feature on your oven but still want to clean it and remove built-up food stains, know that you can clean a self cleaning oven manually. It takes a little time and some elbow grease, but there are numerous recipes for DIY cleaning that you can use that do not involve high heat or expensive chemical compounds.
To clean an oven without chemicals that can be harmful to you and the environment, try all-natural cleaners. One of the best recipes is for cleaning an oven with baking soda and vinegar. This solution is very inexpensive and gets your oven nice and clean without the harsh fumes of a store-bought oven cleaner or the heat from the self-cleaning oven feature.
As a bonus, it smells pleasant and leaves a sparkling oven when you are finished. If you don’t like the vinegar smell, you can always add a citrus-based essential oil like orange or lemon to the mixture to leave behind a fresh, clean scent.
Other natural ways to clean an oven include using vinegar steam or steam from an oven-safe bowl of lemons and water left on low heat in the oven. After the oven cools, the debris should wipe clean easily.
Hope it helps and good luck at your new apartment.