Pre-Clean Your Self-Cleaning Oven to Prevent Fires | Super Blog

Pre-Clean Your Self-Cleaning Oven to Prevent Fires

TIME: 3 hours

You went for the oven with the self-cleaning function. It’s like magic, they said. Just press a button and watch the oven clean itself, they said. Running a self-clean cycle on an oven full of charred-on food will certainly make sparks fly, but more in a grab-the-extinguisher way than the oh-so-magical way. Don't worry — just pre-clean it to prevent fires.

What's in it for you?

  • Keep smoke and fumes out
  • Protect your oven’s components from overheating
  • Char-free food

Materials Needed

  • Dish soap
  • Equal parts vinegar and water
  • Gentle cloth (microfiber or lint-free)
  • Sponge
  • Scraper


Pre-Clean Your Self-Cleaning Oven to Prevent Fires

  1. Soak the oven racks in warm water. Oven racks are sensitive, so make sure to clean them by hand. Mix a few drops of dish soap into a tub full of warm water and let the racks soak for 3 hours.

Pro tip: Avoid scratching up your tub by laying a towel down before you put the racks in.

  1. Make a homemade cleaning paste for the inside of the oven. Grab a bowl and fill it with 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, ¾ cup baking soda, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, and a couple drops of dish soap. Now stir, stir, stir. Coat the inside of your oven with this paste. (PSA: Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick, especially over burned on food and gargantuan splatters.) Let it sit for an hour.

  2. Scrape away the paste, taking char with it. You’ve coated, you've waited — now it's time to take it off. Grab a scraper and scrape away leftover food bits (focus on those crannies). Wipe away the rest of the cleaning paste with a damp sponge. Good job! You’ve prevented smoke and oven fires.

  3. Inspect your oven gasket for any breaks or tears. FYI: We’re talking about the rubber or plastic seal around your oven door. The gasket is especially prone to deformities and food deposits so check it carefully for any issues.

Found a problem? Schedule a repair online or call us at 844-99-SUPER and we’ll send a Pro ASAP.

  1. Clean the oven gasket. Grab a sponge, drench it in some hot water and add a bit of soap. Give your gasket a good scrubbing so your oven doesn’t melt shut during the self-cleaning phase. Do your best not to displace the gasket as you clean, but if you do, you can just snap it back into place.

  2. Wipe your oven clean. Mix together a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar. Drench a cloth in this solution and wipe down the whole oven, including the exterior door.

  3. Turn on the self-clean function. Clean is good, but you can do better. Now that your oven and gasket are fire-hazard free, it’s time to turn on the self-clean cycle for that extra-clean feeling. Self-cleaning cycles vary depending on the brand but generally take between 2 and 3 hours.

  4. Replace the racks in the oven. Remember those racks you left to soak? They should be all clean by now. Remove them from the soapy water and pat them dry before putting them back in the oven. Easy!

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