What Is a Self Cleaning Oven?

By on 8th August 2011 (updated: 10th March 2020) in Oven Cleaning

A self cleaning oven is exactly that, an oven that cleans itself. It supposedly ‘cleans’ your oven, without you having to do anything except switch on the self clean button. The way it ‘cleans’ is by using an incredibly high temperature (approximately 1200 degrees Celsius) to burn off the leftovers stuck inside of the oven. This turns into dust which can then be swept away once the oven has finished ‘cleaning’ itself.

All sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well self cleaning ovens have proven to be quite popular over the last couple of years, and there’s a good reason for this. We live busy lives, some of us don’t have the time to spend cleaning for hours and the thought of buying an oven that cleans itself is understandably appealing. But before you get ahead of yourself, there’s something you need to know about ‘self cleaning’ ovens.

It’s not that the process of burning left over’s into dust and sweeping them away doesn’t work, it does. However here at Ovenu we argue this doesn’t constitute as cleaning your oven, which needs a thorough clean all over, for you and your family’s health and safety.

In addition, for self cleaning ovens to be completely effective, they must be cleaned once a week. This means having your oven heat up to approximately 1200 degrees Celsius once a week for around 3 – 4 hours at a time. Can you imagine how much electricity will be used in this process? So not only are self cleaning ovens time consuming, they’re also very expensive, and at the end of it, you don’t have a thoroughly clean oven.

Whether you have a self cleaning oven or an ordinary oven, its best to make sure your oven is thoroughly cleaned. As we’ve said, self cleaning ovens are great at burning off existing food, but this isn’t a thorough clean and you need to make sure you clean all areas of the oven. So that’s the shelves, the door, the handles, even the hood and behind the fan cover.

The problem here is that if you have a self cleaning oven, and want to give it a better clean, you shouldn’t really just do it yourself or trust any cowboy oven cleaners. You need to make sure the right chemicals are used on self cleaning ovens, otherwise you’ll cause more harm than good.

So what do we mean by the right chemicals? Well most well known oven cleaners contain what’s known as caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). This particular chemical can be very hazardous, it can damage the seals, the trim, the chrome, the surfaces, as well as the heating elements. Doing the job yourself or choosing an unknown oven cleaning company may cost you a lot more in the long run.

This is where Ovenu are here to help, when looking to give your self-cleaning oven a thorough clean, be sure to choose a reputable company, with professional and highly experienced technicians who only use products that are completely free of sodium hydroxide.

Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.