How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven Without Using the Self Cleaning Feature

How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven Manually

Remember in Charlie and the chocolate factory where his Dad loses his job to a machine, but then gets a job fixing the machine that replaced him?

That’s kind of the issue with cleaning self-cleaning ovens. Okay, not really, but hear us out. 

Self-cleaning ovens aren’t magic. They still require maintenance and scrubbing to keep them sanitary, safe and working well. 

This calls for manual cleaning. 

That’s why we’re here to tell you how to clean a self cleaning oven without using the self cleaning feature.

If you’re looking for answers on all things cleaning and maintaining a self-cleaning oven then you’re in the right place! 

Maybe the self-cleaning feature is broken, or you just don’t like the way it cleans and know you could do better. 

Either way, these cleaning tips and instructions will have your oven performing at it’s best and looking brand new. 

In this post, we’ll cover the various ways you can manually clean a self-cleaning oven and self-cleaning oven FAQ’s. 

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How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven Manually

Self-cleaning ovens can be a time-saver in the short term. Over time, they can build up with grease and burnt bits that affect the cooking performance of the oven. 

There are even some horror stories of self-cleaning ovens getting way too hot and blowing their fuses which could potentially be dangerous. 

To avoid these problems or supplement the self-cleaning process with manual cleaning from time to time, it’s good to know the best ways to clean an oven. 

The time this task takes will depend on the products used and whether you’re cleaning each component, such as the trays, or just the inside walls and door. 

How to Clean Self Cleaning Oven With Baking Soda

Baking soda neutralises acid, which is what most bad smells are made of. If your oven is stinking a bit then baking soda is the best option. 

It’s also edible so there’s no risk of chemical contamination in your food. 

Baking soda to clean - how to clean a self cleaning oven without using the self cleaning feature - Clean and Tidy Living

Cleaning the inside of an Oven with Baking Soda

1. Empty the oven and sweep out all of the loose bits of food and wipe away as much grease as possible with paper towels. 

2. Mix baking soda with small amounts of water until you have a thick paste that will stick to the sides of the oven. 

3. Apply the paste and leave to sit for a minimum of 15 minutes to overnight.

4. Use a gloved-finger to wipe away some of the paste on the worst areas and see if the grease and burnt-on food is lifting. 

5. Once it’s wiping away easily, use a paper towel or cloth to wipe away all of the visible paste and dirt. 

6. Wipe down again with water or white vinegar. The vinegar will react with any leftover baking soda so you can see where any has been missed.  

How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven Glass Door with Baking Soda

1. Using a thick paste of baking soda and water, wipe over the surface of the oven glass working the mixture into the greasy areas. 

2. Spray the oven glass with water and a small amount of vinegar and wipe the mixture away. (This will cause foaming so put a towel on the floor to prevent mess.)

3. Once the paste is all gone and the door is dry, mix two tablespoons of vinegar with two cups of water and spray onto the glass. 

4. Polish with a dry microfibre cloth or newspaper. 

5. The vinegar smell may linger, but it will quickly cook away. 

Cleaning Oven Shelves and Trays with Baking Soda

1. Mix a thick baking soda and water paste and apply generously to the racks and any trays for about 15 minutes.

2. Rub the mixture with a gloved finger and see whether the dirt is coming off. If they are, you can use a scourer to remove the bicarb mixture and then rinse off in the sink.

3. If the dirt isn’t coming off, try using a scourer, toothbrush or a blunt knife to scrub off the burnt bits, then rinse. 

For more baking soda cleaning tips, take a look at our Clean and Tidy Living post How To Use Bicarbonate Of Soda For Cleaning.

Or, find out How To Clean A Washing Machine With Vinegar And Baking Soda. 

How to Clean an Oven With Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaners tend to use strong chemicals to cut through grease and grime. We recommend using gloves, opening windows and goggles to protect your eyes. 

Never mix multiple cleaning products together as you can create harmful or even fatal fumes. 

Watch this short video or check out our instructions below for how to clean an oven with oven cleaner. 

Cleaning the inside of an Oven with Oven Cleaner

1. Empty the contents of the oven and spray your chosen oven cleaner evenly around the walls of the oven, avoiding the light and internal electrical components. You can cover these with aluminium foil to be extra careful if necessary. 

2. Leave the oven cleaner overnight or following manufacturers instructions. Extremely strong solutions may only need half an hour. 

3. Using gloves, check the worst areas of the oven by wiping the solution away and see if the dirt is lifting. 

4. Using a sponge and a warm bucket of water, start wiping out the inside of the oven and rinsing the sponge as you go. 

5. Spray any stubborn dirt and grease again and leave for 30 minutes, then scrub with a non-metal scourer and wipe away. 

6. Pour out the dirty water and replace it with clean, warm water. 

7. Rinse and wipe the inside of the oven until completely clean. 

How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven Glass Door with Oven Cleaner

Spraying an oven door with cleaner wearing marigold gloves - how to clean a self cleaning oven without using the self cleaning feature - Clean and Tidy Living

1. Using a damp cloth or paper towel, wipe away any food or easy to remove grease from the oven glass.

2. Spray the oven glass with oven cleaner and leave overnight or according to manufacturers instructions.

3. Wipe the oven cleaner away using a damp cloth. 

4. For stubborn marks or grease, use a blunt knife or non-metal scourer to remove them. 

6. Polish the glass with a rag or newspaper. 

Cleaning Oven Shelves and Trays with Oven Cleaner

1. Place the oven racks and trays on newspapers on the floor and spray a sponge with oven cleaner.

2. Using the sponge, work the oven cleaner mixture into all areas of the shelves and trays. Spray directly onto the trays for extra cleaning power. 

3. Leave the trays in the solution overnight, making sure to close doors to keep away pets or children from the chemicals. 

4. Test how well the solution has worked with a gloved-finger and use a knife or scourer to remove any hard-wearing grime. 

Related: For our top recommended oven cleaner, have a read of our article: What Is The Best Oven Cleaner UK
Cleaning an oven wearing marigold gloves - how to clean a self cleaning oven without using the self cleaning feature - Clean and Tidy Living
Bonus Tip – How to Clean Oven With Lemon: 
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and half a cup of water in an oven-proof bowl.
2. Turn on the oven then place the bowl with the mixture inside. The goal is to make the mixture turn to steam, so the oven has to be over 400F.
3. Once the liquid has evaporated, leave to cool until safe to touch scrub the surface.
4. The steam will soften the dirt so it comes off easily with a cloth or some light scrubbing.

Self-cleaning Oven FAQ’s

Can I Use Oven Cleaner on a Self Cleaning Oven?

Natural products are always better for cleaning items that are regularly in contact with food, to prevent chemical ingestion. However, if you’re going to be using oven cleaner on a self-cleaning oven make sure to follow manufacturers instructions, thoroughly remove all traces of the oven cleaner and avoid the heating elements and lights. 

Are There Any Self Cleaning Oven Dangers?

Self cleaning oven fumes are sometimes emitted into the air and have an unpleasant burning smell. If you’re living with somebody with breathing issues or health conditions then we don’t recommend risking the fumes, even if it’s just from food incineration. Natural products do a great job at cleaning ovens so it’s not worth the risk with self-cleaning oven cycles. Many natural cleaning products are safe to ingest such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar. 

Is it Safe to Use the Self Cleaning Oven?

There are risks posed from the self-cleaning oven cycle that requires us to monitor the process. Users have reported food catching fire, and strong fumes being released from the enamel and food being heated to extremely high temperatures. 

Oven manufacturers wouldn’t keep making self-cleaning ovens if they aren’t safe, and it’s only on very rare occasions that things can go wrong. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep a watchful eye on the self-cleaning process. 

We would say that it’s definitely safe to use a self-cleaning oven, as long as you’re in the room during the cycle. In which case there isn’t a time-saving advantage, so manually cleaning is probably the better option.

How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven Without Using the Self Cleaning Feature – Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide to cleaning ovens manually has been helpful and that your oven is looking brand-spanking new. 

Here at clean and tidy-living we always like to recommend natural products if they can do as good of a job as the chemical ones. In this case, baking soda is the winner over chemical-based oven cleaners. 

So the answer to the question of how to clean a self cleaning oven without using the self cleaning feature, is using baking soda, a scrubbing sponge and some elbow grease! 

For some more cleaning tips and advice, check out some more of our articles below.

Related Deep Cleaning Posts:

How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven Without Using the Self Cleaning Feature

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