I’m a repairs expert who won’t use your oven’s self-cleaning option for key reasons

THE self-cleaning option on your oven might seem like a neat feature but a repairs expert is warning to think twice before using it.

Scott the Fix-It Guy, a YouTuber who shares tips on how to repair and maintain your appliances, says using the self-cleaning feature is akin to swimming with sharks.

A repairs expert is warning people to avoid using the self-cleaning feature on ovens as it can cause more harm than good


A repairs expert is warning people to avoid using the self-cleaning feature on ovens as it can cause more harm than goodCredit: Getty

“There’s no guarantee that you’ll be bitten by a shark, but it’s highly likely,” he said.

“Using the self-clean feature of your oven doesn’t guarantee an expensive repair, but, based on my experience, it’s probable.”

According to Scott, in his over 30 years as an appliance repair pro, the number one call he gets for ovens is to make them work again after the caller used the self-cleaning feature.

The feature works by incinerating crumbs and grease in your oven to turn them into ashes.

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The oven turns up the interior temperature to almost 1000 degrees for three to five hours. That’s where the problem lies, said Scott. 

“That much heat can damage oven components.”

The parts that are most at-risk in this process are the high-limit switch, which is the component that is most likely to fail.

“When the oven gets that hot, it can break the power connection to the elements or igniters, so none of the heating features of your oven will work, and you’ll probably hear the cooling fan kick on when you use the oven,” said Scott.

A replacement for this requires a pro and can cost around $200.

Other components that could be damaged are the door lock, bake, broil or convection elements and relay boards. Any of these replacements can cost between $300 to $600.

This begs the question: Is it ever a good idea to self-clean your answer? Scott says the short answer is no.

However, other dangers that could come with using the self-cleaning oven are possible exposure to carbon monoxide as it releases during the incineration process.

“Unlike your water heater and house heater that also produce CO, your oven does not vent this dangerous gas outside your house,” said Scott.

“Instead, the CO gas is allowed to vent into your kitchen. There currently is no clinical evidence regarding how much CO is released during the self-clean cycle.”

Touching the oven during the hours-long self-cleaning process might also cause severe burns. Most manuals warn against allowing small children or pets into the kitchen during the cycle.

In rare cases, the oven can also catch fire, resulting in a house fire.

There are some benefits to using the feature, according to Scott. Self-cleaning ovens need a lot more insulation around the oven chamber.

“That insulation prevents excessive heat (during the self-clean cycle) from causing the cabinet around the oven to catch on fire,” said Scott.

This also prevents heat loss during normal baking or roasting, which makes the oven more efficient and saves you money.

“In fact, a self-cleaning oven costs about $100 more than a regular oven, but over four to five years of baking, that $100 should be made up from energy savings due to the upgraded insulation.”

Self-cleaning ovens can damage components, resulting in hundreds in repairs


Self-cleaning ovens can damage components, resulting in hundreds in repairsCredit: Getty

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