Cleaning an oven manually is usually tedious as you have to scrub and scrub before it sparkles. However, many modern household ovens are now easy to clean thanks to a high-temperature self-cleaning feature. Suppose you have a self-cleaning oven; how long does it take to clean?

A self-cleaning oven can take between two and six hours to clean. The time a self-cleaning oven takes to clean depends on how dirty your oven is and the model of the oven. In addition, it needs about 30 to 90 minutes to cool completely; after cooling, the oven door opens automatically.

In this article, I’ll tell you how long a self-cleaning oven takes to clean. I’ll also explain how you can know when your self-cleaning oven is done, whether it’s ok to self-clean it overnight, and precautions to take while self-cleaning it. Here we go.

Self-Cleaning Ovens: The Basics

The self-cleaning feature in ovens was introduced in 1963 to make cleaning thorough and easier. Dirt builds up in your range after cooking and baking, and if you don’t clean it regularly, it could spread harmful bacteria. If your oven has a self-cleaning feature, it’s best to utilize it to make cleaning your oven easy and thorough.

When you press the self-cleaning feature on your oven, the oven heats up to above the typical cooking temperatures; about 900 °F (482 °C). The high temperatures incinerate the dirt in the range, turning it into some fine powder. When the oven cools, you can easily wipe out the ashy powder using a wet cloth.

The self-cleaning oven takes between two and six hours to clean. You can set the time you want to self-clean the range based on your needs. Below is the amount of time you can take to self-clean your oven, depending on the type of cleaning:

Light Cleaning

If your oven isn’t very soiled, you can allow it to self-clean lightly. An example of a lightly soiled range is one with light grease splatters or spots of melted cheese. You can set the self-cleaning time to two hours; two hours is more than enough to lightly self-clean your oven.

After two hours of self-cleaning, the oven switches itself off automatically.

In addition, the oven takes about 30 to 90 minutes to cool off completely before you can use it.

Heavy Cleaning

If you feel that your oven is very soiled, it may require heavy self-cleaning. A filthy oven is one with all sorts of grime and grease coating on its doors, ceiling, and walls. Setting a self-cleaning time of about six hours is ideal for heavy self-cleaning.

Also, note that after self-cleaning, the oven takes between half an hour and one and a half hours to cool completely before you can use it. 

How Do I Know When My Self-Cleaning Oven Is Done?

When you set the self-cleaning timer and click the self-clean feature, the oven door locks automatically. During the self-cleaning, you can hear the sound of a fan running. You know when your self-cleaning oven is done as it will go off, and the door will open automatically after the oven cools.

The oven door locks automatically when the self-cleaning cycle starts because the self-clean temperatures in the oven are incredibly high. Automatic locking is a preventative measure that prevents people from opening the oven door. Opening the door could break the range or cause severe burns.

After the oven turns off automatically, it needs time to cool before the door can open. As I mentioned earlier, the amount of time the range takes to cool could be between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your oven’s make and age.

When the oven door opens, you must wipe away the powdery residue using a damp cloth to complete the cleaning process. This should take you about 30 minutes.

Is It OK to Self-Clean Oven Overnight?

Since the oven self-cleaning cycle takes several hours, you might be tempted to self-clean it overnight.

It’s not ok to self-clean the oven overnight as some risks are associated with self-cleaning your oven. It’s important to be awake as your oven self cleans so that you can mitigate any risks.

As I mentioned earlier, the oven self-cleaning cycle takes several hours, and the oven temperatures are incredibly high. High temperatures may pose safety risks, so you should be alert and awake throughout the process. Below are some reasons why you shouldn’t self-clean your oven overnight:

  • There’s the risk of injury: As your oven self cleans, the inside and exterior of the oven become extremely hot. Suppose you self-clean your range overnight; your kids or pets could go to the kitchen as you sleep, touch the range, and get burned.
  • The process could produce dangerous substances: As the high heat turns the dirt in your oven into ash, it can generate hazardous substances such as fumes and smoke. Inhaling such substances as you sleep can be harmful to your health.
  • The self-clean cycle could produce carbon monoxide: The process of self-cleaning your oven could produce some carbon monoxide. Inhaling carbon monoxide continuously as you sleep is harmful.
  • There’s some fire risk: If your oven has a lot of grease, there are risks of the fat igniting a fire as the oven self-cleans. It’s, therefore, vital to be awake as your oven self-cleans so that in case of a fire risk, you can put off the oven and call an emergency if the need arises.

Precautions to Take While Self-Cleaning Oven

As I have stated above, self-cleaning your oven may pose some risks. Though these risks are rare, it’s important to take some precautions to minimize them while self-cleaning your rangel. Below are some precautions you can take while self-cleaning your oven:

  • Read the owner’s manual before using the oven self-cleaning feature so that you can boost your confidence.
  • Wipe up as much grease from your oven as possible before starting the self-cleaning process; doing so can prevent grease from igniting a fire.
  • Do a quick manual pre-clean by scraping out big food messes in the oven before starting the self-cleaning cycle. Scraping off reduces smoke, fumes, and foul odors as the oven self-cleans.
  • Remove everything from the top of the oven because the high temperatures can bend or melt some items.
  • Remove everything from inside the oven, including oven racks, as they can get damaged by the heat.
  • Avoid using any cleaning products while self-cleaning your oven as the chemicals in cleaning products can react negatively with high heat.
  • Stay at home and awake throughout the self-cleaning process to take care of any issues that may arise.
  • Maximize ventilation in your kitchen and house to prevent inhalation of smoke, fumes, and carbon dioxide.
  • Protect kids and pets from injuries by preventing them from entering the kitchen as the oven self-cleans.
  • Wear protective eyewear and gloves when cleaning the residue of powdery ash from the oven.

You may also like: Oven Making Noise When Off.

Final Thoughts

A self-cleaning oven is an excellent investment as it reduces the stress of cleaning your oven. A self-cleaning oven takes several hours to clean and requires additional time to cool completely. Once the self-cleaning cycle is over and the oven has cooled completely, the oven door opens automatically.

If you want to use the self-clean feature, it’s best to do it on a day when you’re free. This ensures you are at home while the oven self-cleans and prevents you from self-cleaning the oven overnight. If you take the necessary precautions, you will enjoy the benefits of a self-cleaning oven.

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