Trying the Self-Clean for the First Time

We don’t use our oven much but apparently when we do we make a mess.

The stove/stove is on the prep side of the kitchen.
The stove/stove is on the prep side of the kitchen.

The stove was installed approximately 2 years ago. We’ve enjoyed using it.

We use the oven mostly to roast vegetables and to bake macaroni and cheese.
We use the oven mostly to roast vegetables and to bake macaroni and cheese.

Before using the self-clean feature everything — including the baking racks and anything stored in the utility drawer — must be removed.

The self clean button is at the lower left of the oven panel. "CLn" stands for cleaning mode.
The self clean button is at the lower left of the oven panel. “CLn” stands for cleaning mode.

Push the self-clean button, set the time (2, 3, or 4 hours) and it does the rest. The door automatically locks.

Most of the dirt and grease is gone with a 2-hour cycle.
Most of the dirt and grease is gone with a 2-hour cycle.

Any dirt or grease is turned to ash and easily cleaned up.  I did keep the exhaust fan on when I read in the manual that the fumes might kill a bird. I don’t have a bird but .  .  .

The glass is the oven door was splattered with hardened grease.
The glass is the oven door was splattered with hardened grease.

I also noticed while photographing the meringues that not only the inside of the oven was dirty but also the glass. The glass did not come clean during the self-clean cycle.

The glass cleaner sent by the shower door installer is white foam.
The glass cleaner sent by the shower door installer is white foam.

I used the glass cleaner sent us by the shower door installer.

So much cleaner.
So much cleaner.

After two applications the glass was much cleaner.

Do you clean your oven the old-fashioned way? Do you have a secret recipe?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

13 thoughts on “Trying the Self-Clean for the First Time”

  1. Cleaning the oven is the worst job ever. I have yet to find a good method and my oven refuses to clean itself. Seems that being created without that feature is a good enough excuse for it. I feel that it should be a little more creative and try to help out more.

    1. In the 17 years I had my old oven I never cleaned it (and I don’t believe it was cleaned by the person before me). Happy to have the new feature. Jo

  2. I had a self-cleaning oven in my old house. It was nice, but a little scary, too. I didn’t use it very often. My oven now is a vintage wall oven that I used Shaklee’s Scour Off on, which worked pretty well. The walls need to be cleaned again but I have a mat for the bottom that I bought at some store (can’t remember where) that keeps the bottom clean.

    1. I’m guessing the wall oven is at least at a height where you don’t heave to get on your hands and knees to clean it. Am I right? That’s the worst part for me. Jo

  3. We tried the self cleaning once and we got smoked out of our house and the fire alarms went off. If we were smart we would have at least waited until it was spring or fall and could have the windows open. It was fairly cold outside but, we HAD to open the windows. We do plan on trying it again when the weather is nice 😉

    1. I tried the shortest time allotment and the oven was not horribly dirty. The directions warned that things would smoke if there was too much grease so I did run a wet sponge over the dirtiest spots before trying the self clean. I did not notice any smoke but I could smell the process so I used the stove exhaust fan on low during the entire time. Jo

      1. We got ours from a family member and they said they had never cleaned it before and I thought how I’d like to start with a clean oven. I’ll try the wet sponge because we only made it worse with how much we use it. Thanks Jo!

  4. I read that some ovens have electronics that can’t survive a self cleaning cycle, but they still make them self cleaning because it sells better. That’s one of the many reasons why I put in cheap secondhand appliances. Just made me mad. My mom said the ovens that aren’t self cleaning are easier to clean because you can use harsher chemicals. And I learned the hard way that running the self cleaning cycle after baking cakes in pans that are too small or dropping things inside is a terrible idea. Incidentally, my mom talks about the worst thing I ever did as a teenager and it involved a cake. I said you’re welcome.

      1. I had an oven very much like that in college. And anyways, if I use Easy Off now it will have to be the gentler variety since my oven is self cleaning (I think). I read some about other cleaning techniques that are really slow, and I’m fine with shutting the door and letting something milder do its job.

        I could get behind the totally covered in grime thing, but my grandmother’s 1959 oven looked brand new. My mom is more in that camp and I started a small fire inside her oven before she got to bake anything in her sparkly new kitchen. Their before had one of those big oven and a half ranges, but I think the big oven only baked, the small one only broiled, and one of the heating elements on the stove top was broken. In the beginning they bought replacement parts, but once the remodel was getting closer they just made do with an range that was 2/3 working.

  5. I ran the self cleaning feature on my oven once. Didn’t really see the point in it. I like that glass cleaner though. I should try that! The glass on mine is all foggy looking and it looks like that worked really well.

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