How Long Does Self Cleaning Oven Take (And Why)?

How Long Does Self Cleaning Oven Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 – 4 Hours

It is the 21st century now. Gone are the days when one used to have to scrub and scrub the oven to make it shine like a brand new one. The new self-cleaning feature of the oven, first introduced by Thermador in 1963, was added to both gas ranges and electric ovens solely to make the process of cleaning them, easier. These days, this feature is a must-have and is regulated in all high-end oven models. It is now a near-universal setting on most household ovens.

So one need not worry if one has dropped an entire pie in the oven while trying to remove it, the cheese on the pizza has bubbled over and is all over the oven racks, or there is too much dirt accumulated inside the oven over time, all one needs to do is to push the self-cleaning button on the oven to enable it self-clean itself.


How Long Does Self Cleaning Oven Take?

A thorough self-clean every three to five months is pretty enough to keep one’s oven sparkling and clean. Ultimately, how one needs to self-clean one’s oven depends on how one uses it and how diligently one manually cleans it between two consecutive uses.

Some users use self-clean monthly, whereas others use it only once or twice every six months or so. However, how frequently one should use the self-clean feature completely depends on how regularly that person uses the oven. The average self-cleaning cycle lasts about 3 hours.

Though the exact timing of self-cleaning varies depending on the brand and type of oven one owns, it is safe to say that it takes a couple of hours to completely self clean the oven. One can also stop the self-cleaning feature mid-cycle if one needs to.

In general, self-cleaning ovens do not pose a threat to typical household pets like cats and dogs. The fumes that the self-cleaning ovens produce are harmful only to tropical birds. If one has a tropical bird as their pet, one needs to make arrangements to keep the pets out of the house before proceeding with a self-clean.

If the self-cleaning feature of the oven is used regularly after baking and cooking2 – 3 hours
If the self-cleaning feature is used very rarely3 – 4 hours

Why Does Self Cleaning Oven Take This Long?

There are two different types of self-cleaning ovens, one that cleans the oven with steam and the other one that cleans with heat or pyrolytic cleaning. Steam cleaning works with heat and water to loosen soils, but manual cleaning will still be needed to clean heavy soils. This method has the advantages of no burnoff, lower temperatures, and no odors. With heat cleaning, the oven cranks to extremely high temperatures to burn off residue and turn it to ash.

No matter which method the oven’s self-clean feature works on, some general steps are needed to be followed to achieve an efficient self-clean. Firstly, one needs to prepare the oven. Before using the self-cleaning feature, one needs to ensure that the surface of the oven is free from any major spills.

After the oven is prepared for cleaning, the last step is to press the run button and let the oven do its thing of self-cleaning. However, one must not forget to wipe down the oven with a damp towel, when the oven has completely cooled down, to clean up any lingering residue inside the oven.

Though self-cleaning is undoubtedly convenient, one should always strive to keep their oven in good, working condition. One must wipe up spills immediately and clean the racks carefully, by removing and washing them one by one.


The amount of time one’s oven will take to run its cleaning cycle will depend on the type of oven one has and how dirty the oven is. Naturally, the dirtier the oven is, the longer the cycle will take. Most self-cleaning oven cycles take anywhere from two to five hours.

One should always read the manufacturer’s instructions before running a cleaning cycle and follow them word-by-word. The key to successfully using one’s self-cleaning oven lies in timing and making sure that one has followed the manufacturer’s instructions to the T. Once a person knows how to plan accordingly and use the oven’s self-clean feature safely, the oven will get ready and clean in time for any occasion.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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