Self-clean vs Manual Clean Buying Guide

self-clean vs manual-clean ovens

When it comes to buying a new oven, consumers are often debating buying between self-clean vs. manual clean ovens. We all know how the manual cleaning of the oven goes down. It involves a lot of scrubbing by hand and elbow grease. On the other hand, a self-clean feature of the oven does the heavy duty of cleaning for you. The most frequently asked questions are: How does the self- clean really work? Does it mean that you will never have to scrub again? And most importantly, is it worth buying?

Many consumers love the new feature and think its very effective and time saving, while others are nervous about safety of the feature and choose to buy manual clean ovens. We'll give you manual cleaning tips if you choose to clean your oven manually. Also, we will inform you thoroughly about the oven self-clean feature and how exactly it works, along with its advantages and disadvantages. Whether the disadvantages outweigh the advantages depends on your personal preference.

Manual Clean

manual clean

The best way to clean the oven manually is to clean with a mix of baking soda, vinegar and water. You simply need to mix these three ingredients in your oven safe container. Dab some of the mixture on the bottom of the oven and place the rest of the mixture in the container on an oven rack. Set the oven at 100 degrees and let it run for 45 minutes. After this you can easily wipe up all the loose grease from your oven.

How does a self-clean oven work?

self-clean ovens

A traditional self-clean oven uses a high temperature of approximately 900 degrees Fahrenheit to break down and burn all the residue until it turns to ash. To get to this temperature the oven uses a locking mechanism which prevents the oven door from being opened. The cleaning cycle is timed and it takes approximately 3 hours. The self-clean ovens have a smooth enamel coating which makes the surface smooth and helps to ensure that the remaining ashes are wiped off easily with a wet cloth once the cleaning is over.

For a video demonstration of how self-cleaning works, check out this video:


Convenience is the biggest advantage of the self-clean feature. Self-cleaning can cut down your cleaning efforts tremendously. Even though the cleaning cycle takes around 3 hours, the oven is cleaning automatically and is very effective. You dont have to spend your time and energy scrubbing and scraping the walls of the greasy oven. You can simply turn on the cleaning cycle and relax, or do other chores. However, you need to do a light cleaning of the door frame and edges after the cycle. In addition to that, any large pieces of the food should be removed by hand before running the cleaning cycle.


Since the self-cleaning ovens use high temperatures to burn all the residue and a greasy build-up, they produce a lot of smoke and odor, especially if the oven is very dirty or was used to cook sugary foods high in carbohydrates. The high temperature makes the oven hot to touch, which means that you cant leave the oven unattended when children and pets are around. Another downside is that these ovens are made with Teflon. This chemical material releases gases when the oven reaches 900 degrees and can be toxic to pets, especially to birds.

Steam Clean Oven:

steam clean

Steam Clean is an alternative self-clean option. Similar to self-clean ovens, a steam clean oven works using the heat. But the difference is that it adds water to create steam and soften the residues in the oven cavity.

Steam clean is faster than self-clean cycle and usually takes around 30 minutes. Additionally, it only heats to 250 degrees of Fahrenheit and doesn't release fumes or odor during the cycle. Although, since it cleans on the lower temperature and in a shorter period of time, it's not as effective as a self-clean. They are faster, but can't really handle a lot of grease and food remains. The best time to use the steam clean is after minor food spills. You simply need to pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of the oven and it's ready to start the cycle.

For a video demonstration of how steam cleaning works, check out this video below:

Quick tips for using a Self-Cleaning oven:

  • It's very important to read the user manual because every oven has different instructions how to self-clean depending on the type of the oven.
  • Remove the oven racks if they are not enamel coated. Because if you leave it in the oven during the self-clean, it might damage or change the color.
  • Lightly clean the oven to remove larger food remains before you start the self-clean cycle. This way you will reduce the smell and fume of the burning residue.
  • Make sure you ventilate the room. Turn on your range hood and open the windows.

We can offer you various options of ovens which have both cleaning features: A self-clean and a steam clean. Self-clean would be ideal for cleaning up a lot of grease and residues after cooking a big dinner, while steam clean will be a fast and easy solution for minor food spills. You can choose a single wall oven, double wall oven or even range with oven according to your convenience.

Take a look at options below:

If you're worried about cleaning time and effort, a self-cleaning oven is a right choice. But if you decide self-cleaning disadvantages outweigh the advantages, or you simply dont like the idea of self-clean, we can also offer you a wide variety of ovens that can be cleaned manually.

Take a look at some options for manual clean ovens: