Stop Using Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Feature: It Does More Harm Than Good

Stop Using Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Feature: It Does More Harm Than Good

Most modern ovens come with a self-cleaning feature. The goal is to keep your oven in good shape, but the truth is those self-cleaning routines run upwards of 530°C and can actually do damage to your oven.

According to The Kitchn, running the self-cleaning routine will scorch off any baked on goo on the inside, but most ovens today have heating elements hidden behind drip shields that make it difficult for anything to get on the element anyway. Plus, since those elements are hidden, they’re difficult to ventilate — especially when the interior temps get so high. All that trapped heat winds up damaging your oven’s internal components, popping fuses and burning out electronic components.

The Kitchn notes that manufacturers know this is a problem, but they include self-cleaners anyway because customers won’t buy ovens without them. So what do you do? Go back to basics and give the inside of your oven a wipe down with your favourite cleaner when it gets dirty. Even if you use your oven’s self cleaner without issue, they note it’s important to be aware of the risk of damage to your oven when you run it.

Why You Should (Almost) Never USe Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Function [The Kitchn]


  • I’m sure there was a horror story on one of our very respectable (cough) “current affairs” programs a few months back, where an oven exploded from using the cleaning function.

    If you’re going to buy an oven that self-cleans, make damn sure it’s a trusted brand backed up by a bloody long warranty. Less worry about it failing or exploding then.

    Me? I’ve got a basic oven without that fancy feature. I tend to put most “spitty” foods, like roasts, into a pan and cover with foil. Remove foil later to crisp/brown, and wipe oven out while still warm. Cleaning required less often then. Sure the experts will find some sort of fault in my method, but hey it seems fine to me 😛

  • My self-cleaning oven manual specifically says that using oven cleaning chemicals will void the warranty… With the self cleaning, i’m more worried about my bench and cupboards

    • I think the ACCC might want to have a word with the people who sold your oven if it has that sort of restriction in its warrenty. Being able to clean a product with cleaning products designed for it is something that is “expected” to be able to do, and the ACCC has shown that prohibiting things that the average person would expect to be able to do is not something they allow.

    • Decent ovens should have heat shields on the outsides to prevent heat escaping.

      When my oven runs the self-clean cycle it locks the door and I honestly can’t feel any heat on the outside at all.

  • My good friends glass door exploded (glass reached every corner of her kitchen, lucky she wasn’t in the kitchen at the time) when she used the self cleaning function, it was a manufacturers fault, but it scared the living crap out of her.

  • those self cleaning ovens are dangerous. I know of at least a dozen incidents in which the oven glass ends up cracking (some exploding) and oven doors warping. Yeah the manufacturer fixed it (most were under warranties) but I’d rather not take the chance with exploding glass – esp. with kids around.
    Stay away from them.

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