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July 26, 2011


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I had a very similar experience with my oven self cleaner and I wondered if something was wrong with my oven or if I did something wrong, but I guess not. I know now to not ever use it again.

Sarah Lena

No, you did it right. We did this in my oven for the first time in its oven-y life, and I swore we would all die. Horrible thing is: you're supposed to stay in the house "just in case" something happens. Chances are it won't - but you're supposed to stay there.

(I will say, though - my oven was SPARKLING CLEAN!)


Most (I think all, but I'll go with most to be safe) oven self clean features just heat the oven up SUPER hot to burn off whatever food has gotten on the bottom/sides/racks etc. That said, if you've ever cleaned your oven WITH oven cleaner, you aren't supposed to use the self clean feature ever again. Using self clean after having used oven cleaner heats up the oven cleaner chemicals super hot, emitting that lovely smell that permeated your house.

My mom uses the self clean feature on her oven regularly (like twice a year or more) and has never had any problems. It does make the kitchen really hot, but that's all.


I'm so glad someone finally asked about this - I've always been nervous to use the self-clean feature. We lived in our old house for 8 years and I never used the self-clean feature and never actually cleaned the oven in any other way... I am pretty sure that's gross, but I didn't know what to do so I just avoided it completely. I'm just thankful that it wasn't a horrid mess when we moved out.

Now that we're in the new house, I'm nervous all over again especially since I don't know what the previous people used in it (see oven cleaner comment above). Ack.

Jenn R.

Just do it a couple times a year and it won't stink so bad. We run ours 2, maybe 3 times a year, and we'll do an extra clean if something like cheesecake batter drips everywhere. Remember to take your racks out of the oven first, or they won't be silvery/shiny anymore.

Jenn H.

I love the self-cleaning feature! You can even take the removable parts of your stove and stick them inside while it runs. They look like new when you're done. So yes, I keep the racks in there. Though it's true they might not be as shiny after, they are a lot cleaner. Given the choice between the noxious chemicals from oven cleaner spray or a little smoke from a superhot-but-controlled environment, I'll pick the self-cleaning feature, thanks. If you've got a vent/fan in your kitchen, run it. And I'll believe you that the smell is worse if you almost never use it and then you try it. But if you use it a couple times a year, it's really not that bad.


Typically, the noxious smell only occurs the first time you use the self-clean function. After that, what you're smelling, if anything, is an accumulation of burned on food spills being burned off. I just turn on my vent fan if necessary.

I also leave the racks in - they're a super pain to clean manually. Yes, they'll lose their shine and might stick a bit when sliding in and out, but a light wipe with vegetable oil on the side of each rack solves that issue.

I personally think the self-cleaning oven is the best invention since sliced bread and use mine a couple, three times a year.

Heather Lei

My oven manual says that there are fumes given off by the self-clean feature that can kill pet birds.

It also said to wipe up any surface dirt.

I used it once but it didn't get the oven clean and took a lot of time and electricity and didn't save me any labor. And of course, the fumes. I'll just clean mine manually by wiping up spills as they happen.


The first time I used the self clean feature on my then-new gas oven, we had to leave the house due to gas fumes. The CO2 monitor showed the level climbing to dangerous numbers, even with the windows open. I quit using it after the one time.

Fast forward a couple years. Oven quits working, repairman fixes, repairman notices the flame isn't adjusted correctly and fixes that too. I bravely decided to try self clean again. Worked beautifully.

Anyhow, I didn't know if you had electric or gas but I had no idea a simple adjustment would solve my problem.

Kacy Hays

I turned my self cleaning on for the first time today and we have had the stove for two years we bought it brand new and it had a slight smell but be smart and open your windows or turn the attic fan on. Excited to see how it turns out

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