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Self-Cleaning Your Oven

Self-cleaning your oven is a wonderful convenience.  Gone are the days of nasty, caustic sprays and practically knocking yourself out with the fumes as you wipe the sludge out of your oven.  Of course you want to self-clean your oven just before a big holiday or event.  Just heed my advice and NEVER self-clean just before the big day! 

Special message from Cody about your oven during the holidays…

When you self-clean your oven, it will cause the oven to lock down and temps will soar up over 800 degrees for 3 to 6 hours.  This prolonged heat can (and does) cause failures.  If your oven is going to go down — and if you are a believer at all of Murphy’s Law — this will be the time.

We always try to prepare for the onslaught of calls for self-clean oven failures by having plenty of oven parts on the trucks, but as we cannot have every part for every brand and model on the trucks, here are a few things to remember before you schedule:

  • Try to have your model and serial number ready (some dealers might keep it on file as a convenience.  That could expedite the part order)
  • Try to know the approximate age if you have no M&S number
  • DO NOT FORCE THE LOCKING ARM to try to get it open (you are only compounding the problem and possibly necessitating another part for the repair)
  • Call as soon as you know you have an issue

If you are going to self-clean your oven, here are a few things to do beforehand:

  • Remove all the racks (or they will be dull after)
  • Wipe out all crumbs and debris
  • Use a mild degreaser such as Simple Green on the gunk on the bottom (this will prevent smoking up the house.)  Follow up with plain water to remove degreaser
  • Follow directions exactly (use your manual or go online for directions from the manufacturer)
  • Turn on the fan over the range and open the windows to the home (if weather permits) to help with the heat and possible smoke
  • Do not self-clean overnight or while you are away, just to be safe

Here’s a video that might help you get started.

What to expect when you self-clean your oven: 

  • It will not be perfect (there will be soot and some spots left.  It is not a perfect system
  • It might smell smoky during the cycle
  • It will heat up your house while in the self-clean cycle
  • If the unit beeps or you cannot open the unit after the self-clean cycle, turn off the breaker for 5 minutes.  If that does not work, call a professional

My hope is that this information is helpful to you.

Happy cooking!

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