If you’re hosting this holiday season, you may want your oven to look its best. But is it safe to use self-cleaning oven right before a holiday gathering? We’ll answer this question by reviewing some of the risks of the self-clean feature. We’ll also provide an all-natural cleaning method using vinegar steam so you can make an informed decision.
Is It Safe to Use Self-Cleaning Oven? Here’s What You Need to Know
As convenient as an oven’s self-clean function seems, it may not be as labor-saving as you think. But before we discuss the question, “Is it safe to use self-cleaning oven before the holidays?” it’s helpful to understand how this feature works.
How Self-Cleaning Ovens Work
The self-clean feature raises the oven’s temperature between 800-1000℉ to burn away food particles, grease, and grime over several hours. The debris incinerates to ash that can be easily wiped away once the cycle ends, and the oven has cooled.
As you may imagine, there are several self-cleaning oven dangers that can happen under such high temperatures. Here are some of the risky possibilities that can occur.
Self-Cleaning Oven Dangers You Should Know About
While oven components can easily withstand normal cooking temperatures, exposure to the high heat of the self-cleaning feature can lead to malfunctions. Is it safe to use self-cleaning oven? These common part failures can occur if you do:
- Blown thermal fuse or thermostat: These parts regulate the oven’s temperature and can pop or blow when exposed to high heat, resulting in under or overcooked food.
- Control panel failure: The oven control panel is your only means of oven communication but can be damaged by high heat. This may leave you unable to initiate any oven functions.
- Failed locking mechanism: As a safety precaution, your oven automatically locks during a self-clean cycle and remains locked until it’s complete. However, the cycle’s high temperatures can damage the locking mechanism, leaving the door locked just when you may need your oven the most.
In light of this information, should I use self-cleaning oven function at all? If you must, put it on your Thanksgiving planner a month in advance of the big day or well before any important meal. This can better ensure that busy repair companies can fix your oven in time for your event.
How to Clean Your Oven with Vinegar Steam
Fortunately, there’s a natural oven cleaner that’s just as effective at cleaning your oven with much less risk. Here’s how to clean a self-cleaning oven manually using vinegar steam:
Step 1 – Remove Oven Grates:
These can be cleaned separately by soaking them in a tub of warm, soapy water, preferably overnight. Tough stains can be scrubbed away with a steel wool pad.
Step 2 – Vacuum Out Large Food Particles:
Removing this debris can improve the effectiveness of the vinegar steam.
Step 3 – Replace One Oven Rack:
Position it in the middle of the oven.
Step 4 – Mix Vinegar Solution:
Mix a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and distilled water in an oven-safe dish.
Step 5 – Place Solution in Oven:
Heat the oven to 250℉ and allow the solution to bubble and steam for several minutes.
Step 6 – Spray Oven Interior:
With gloves, remove the solution and turn the oven off. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray down the oven’s interior. Close the door and let the solution sit for 30 minutes.
Step 7 – Remove Vinegar Spray:
Once the oven is completely cool, wipe away the vinegar solution with a damp sponge. Dirt and debris should come off with ease.
Bonus Step – Apply Baking Soda Paste:
Apply a paste of baking soda and vinegar to heavy stains and scrub with a steel wool pad. This oven cleaner alternative can also be used throughout the oven in place of vinegar steam.
Is it safe to use self-cleaning oven before the holidays? We hope you have enough information to make an informed choice. And regardless of how or when an oven malfunction occurs, Sloan Appliance Service is here to help!