Can Utilizing the Self-Clear Characteristic Smash Your Oven?


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Self-cleaning ovens are a marvel of modern technology. Instead of scrubbing off caked dirt, you can just flip a switch and let the oven do the job itself.

But is it a good idea to use this feature? Some people have claimed that the high heat used during the self-cleaning cycles can damage various parts of the oven itself.

Recently, Consumer Reports tried to settle the dispute once and for all. CR employee Tara Casaregola – referred to in the publication as the “Resident Range Expert” – has tested thousands of cookers and wall-mounted ovens over the years.

She says the fear of harm related to self-cleaning technology is exaggerated, although you should take precautions while using it.

Casaregola told CR:

“I remember a few self-cleaning malfunctions over the years, but that’s not common.”

However, this does not mean that there will be no self-cleaning problems. Chris Zeissler, Technical Service Manager at Repair Clinic, tells CR that oven parts that sometimes fall victim to a self-cleaning cycle include:

  • Door locks
  • Electronic Components
  • Baking or grill elements
  • Heating elements in gas stoves
  • Seals

Damage to your oven isn’t the only potential hazard when running a self-cleaning cycle. The Bob Vila website warns that self-cleaning ovens with high heat and steam can pose a carbon monoxide risk. According to the website:

“Due to the extreme temperatures, high-heat models tend to emit a higher volume of harmful vapors. These vapors emanate from both leftover food and the enamel lining that covers the interior of the oven. “

The vapors produced can irritate both people and pets. People with respiratory diseases are particularly at risk.

So should you forego self-cleaning? Not necessarily. You can reduce the risk of damage by running the self-cleaning cycle sparingly. Regularly wiping up small drops and other dirt can reduce the need for the self-cleaning function.

Also, before running a cycle, remove the racks and turn on an extractor fan and open the windows during a cycle to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide build-up.

Even if you use the self-cleaning function, the risk of damage remains relatively small. Consumer Reports says that self-cleaning caused problems in only 1% of the areas covered in its most recent reliability study.

Ignition problems are more common, however, affecting 9% of the Gasoline and Pro-Style ranges.

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