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Should You Use A Self-Cleaning Oven?

Lets Look At The Pros & Cons

By:  Shaun Kaushal     |     Last Updated: April 1st, 2020

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Table of Contents

What Is A Self-Cleaning Oven?

Self-cleaning oven is an option offered by appliance brands like GE and Whirlpool which adds the convenience of cleaning your oven for you, so you get to save on time and stress. For homeowners that use their ovens frequently, they can find themselves having difficulty cleaning their oven as you have to kneel down and reach hard to remove food residue and grease. 

With this issue, many brands decided that the self-cleaning oven would be a good option to handle this situation. By increasing oven temperatures to reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Celsius), it breaks a part food and grease that is stained in your oven. This makes it easier when cleaning your oven afterwards, where with just one swipe you can have your oven as fresh as new.

Now there's a couple problems with this. With the amount of oven repairs we've had to do because of self-cleaning oven feature, there are somethings you need to know before using or buying such an appliance. 

The high temperatures can produce toxins that you should not breath in, and don't be amazed when appliance parts in your oven have lost their functionality because of your frequent use of the self-cleaning feature.

With that being said, lets dive right into the pros and cons of the self-cleaning oven, and you can decide from there.

Pros & Cons Of A Self-Cleaning Oven

Our goal here is to help you determine if a it is worth using or even buying a self-cleaning oven


  • Convenient: No time wasted on cleaning. 
  • Money: No need to buy cleaning supplies.
  • Hazards: No harmful chemicals used.
  • Easy: Breaks down almost all particles and oils.
  • Frequency: You won't need to clean as often.


  • Heating: High temperatures can be a fire hazard.
  • Cleaning: You will still need to clean your oven.
  • Dangers: Don't come near the oven till its done.
  • Smoke: Don't breath in the fumes and odors.
  • Environment: Not environmentally friendly.
  • Damage: High temperatures can damage parts.
  • Energy: Uses a lot of energy which increase costs.
  • Cost: Generally more expensive than other ovens.


Based on this information you will need to decide if using or buying a self-heating oven is worth it. While it does cost more than a regular oven, the damages in the long run can be quite alarming based on what we've seen from previous customers. The high temperatures if used often can be hazardous, damaging to your appliance, and create fumes that is toxic if you accidentally breath it in.

However with the convenience of breaking down food stains, oils, and residue it makes cleaning your oven a lot easier. If you are to use this feature use it in moderation, with only 3-4x per year is possible.

In the next section I go through GE Appliances video of how to work the self-cleaning function if you are convinced it will provide more value to you.

Still Want To Use A Self-Cleaning Option?

For those of you see the benefits of the self-cleaning oven outweigh the cons of a self-cleaning oven, GE Appliance made a great video demonstrating 'how to perform a self-cleaning cycle'.

Before starting your Self-Cleaning Oven:

Step 1: Open up windows and turn your vent hood on for any smoke that might seep through your oven during the cycle.

Step 2: Remove all cooking wear including trays, racks, and any other cooking materials. There are some trays which you can leave in the oven, but if you are unsure you can leave them out just to be safe.

Step 3: Make sure your light cover is in place and protected.

Step 4: Remove any major spill overs. Try to avoid using cleaning products, and remove using soap and sponge if possible.

Step 5: Start the self-cleaning process. It should take anywhere from 3-5 hours to get the job done, with a 2-3 hour cooling period.

Step 6: Clean up the debris after the oven has cooled down and its safe to clean.

*Be sure to stand away from the oven and do not even attempt to open it up, as the fumes released can be toxic.

Having Oven Issues And Need Help?

If you are having issues with your self-cleaning oven whether it be a gas range or an electric range, I have included some reasons and solutions below. These are issues that we've seen occur as a result of a frequent use of the self-cleaning feature.

Reason/Solution #1: Thermal Fuse

Imagine if your oven reached temperatures above 900 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Celsius) which is the normal temperature it runs at with the self-cleaning option. This would potentially melt, break, or permanently break your oven causing you to fully replace it. This is why the thermal fuse was installed, as a safety part to prevent your oven from overheating. 

Your oven will not be able to run if there is a malfunction in the thermal fuse, and it will need to be replaced as soon as possible for safety reasons.

Reason/Solution #2: Oven Control Board

If your control buttons used to start and set oven temperatures is not working, this will be very apparent. You will need to replace your electric board that sends a signal to the parts used to set temperatures in the oven.

It is best advised to hire a repairman to setup your oven control board to ensure everything is set properly.

Reason/Solution #3: Door Switch

If you are attempting to use the self-cleaning oven and your oven door lock is dysfunctional, you might notice that the oven door won't open after a cycle, or if the door lock won't work the self-cleaning option will not turn on for safety reasons. If this issue is obvious you will need to search for a door lock motor repair part and have it reinstalled.

If your door is completely shut or won't close properly, this wouldn't be that difficult to repair if you know how to reinstall it.


Thank you for reading our blog!

Shaun Kaushal / General Manager & Blogger

Shaun Kaushal, a home service blogger with experience and knowledge in appliances, home renovation, and home design. With a passion for educating homeowners on the industry, Shaun decided to create a blog dedicated to teaching homeowners appliance repair tips, strategies and ways they can save more money. 

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