While turning your oven’s self-cleaning feature on, and setting it as hot as it can get for an hour or two, may be quicker and easier than getting out the scrubbing brush, oven cleaners can and do help you avoid a smoky mess in the kitchen.
The self-cleaning mode on modern electric ovens are hard on the appliance, and you run the risk of burning out the fuse if you do not use a cleaner to help things along.
What’s the deal with self-cleaning ovens?
Some of the newer self-cleaning ovens have a hidden filaments under the floor and at the ceiling to avoid scorching and excessive smoking if some rogue drips decide to make a desperate escape from your roasting turkey. While this does make it easier to clean, the heating vents from these hidden filaments can become clogged without you knowing it.
As a result, the temperatures near them can be far in excess of the 400–500° degrees to which you set the oven. If this happens, you might be unlucky enough to experience one of the most common reasons for calling the oven repairman: control panels burning and fuses popping.
Self-cleaning ovens aren’t going anywhere, however, as very few people wake up on their day off and excitedly exclaim, “I think I’ll scrub the oven today!” As such, treating your self-cleaning oven with an oven cleaner can save you a good deal of time and money.
How do I clean my oven using the self-cleaning function?
When it comes to setting the cleaning cycle, it is best to err on the side of caution and not go for the full four hours. Using it for only an hour or two every month should help to prevent the fuses from blowing out.
Everything that can be removed from the oven should be—racks, drip trays, and foil should all be dealt with separately. The racks can be soaked for a few hours and cleaned with an oven cleaner, most of which are available in any good supermarket or online retailer.
Which oven cleaner is best for self-cleaning ovens?
Carbona Bio Oven Cleaner is an affordable, powerful, and natural product that battles through grime like it has a personal gripe. It requires a little more elbow grease than products that use harsher chemicals, but this product is safe and very effective.
Baking soda keeps things simple and natural, and you probably have some hiding at the back of one of your cupboards. Just mix it up with a little water and spread the paste around liberally, leave for an hour, and wipe off the fatty, crunchy sludge before running the self-clean cycle.
Mr. Muscle Oven and Grill is, as you would imagine, a tough, no-nonsense cleaner. It may well be the best value for money and you are sure to find it at your local supermarket.
In my opinion Easy-Off Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner is the one to buy. It does the job you want and does it well. At around ten bucks, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than calling someone out to replace a fuse that has blown due to a buildup of grease in the vents. Even the toughest and oldest burnt-on stains are no match for Easy-Off. (It may not take a genius to know where they got the name!)
With very little aroma and the option leaving the product to soak overnight—if your oven hasn’t been cleaned in longer than you would care to admit—this is a go-to product for ovens, self-cleaning or otherwise.
Anything else I should know?
Whichever product you decide to use, it’s important that you don’t set the oven’s self-cleaning cycle to run while you are out of the house. Accidents can happen, and you don’t want the rest of your house to look like the inside of your oven!
It’s a good idea to run the cycle early in the morning, or after it has cooled off in the evening, if you live in an area hot enough to require air conditioning. The cleaning will produce quite a lot of heat and you may not want to put anymore stress on your air conditioning unit than is necessary.
Be sure to keep children and pets far away from the smoke produced by the oven, especially birds. Always use oven cleaning products as directed, and follow the self-cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Use rimmed baking trays to keep things tidy, so you don’t have a mess to begin with!
Clean early, and clean often, my friends!
Not going to be using the self-cleaning feature? See the best heavy duty oven cleaners!