Updated December 20, 2023
Regular oven maintenance is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your appliance. Keep the heart of your kitchen happy and healthy with these 5 oven maintenance tips.
1. Clean the Oven Regularly
Cleaning your oven may not be the most enjoyable task, but it’s essential for maintaining a safe and efficient cooking environment.
Use the Self-Cleaning Feature
Many modern ovens come with a self-cleaning feature. A self-cleaning oven uses extremely high heat to burn spills and residue inside the oven cavity to ash. After running the self-clean cycle, you just wipe out the ash residue and the inside of your oven practically looks brand new. It’s a modern miracle of appliance engineering.
Self-clean the oven when a dish spills over or when you notice significant stains and residue inside the oven.
Follow the owner’s manual instructions when using this feature, and make sure to remove any large food debris before initiating the cleaning cycle.
Manually Cleaning Your Oven
When you don’t have a self-clean oven, wipe down the interior surfaces, including the walls, racks, and oven door, regularly. Use a mild detergent or a mixture of baking soda and water to remove any built-up grease or food residue.
For deep cleaning, use an oven cleaner to remove stubborn stains and residue from the walls of the oven cavity. Ventilate your kitchen properly when using an oven cleaner.
2. Inspect and Replace Oven Door Seals
Check the door seals or gaskets for any signs of wear or damage. A tight seal is crucial for energy efficiency and proper cooking. If you notice any issues, replace the seals to ensure that heat is retained within the oven.
3. Clean Oven Burner Elements
If you have a gas oven, clean the oven burner tubes regularly using this procedure:
- Allow the oven and burner tubes to cool completely.
- Shut off the gas supply and disconnect electrical power from the oven or range. (You can unplug the power cord or shut off the house circuit breaker to disconnect electrical power).
- Use a moist cleaning cloth to remove any debris or residue that may have accumulated on the broiler burner (if your oven has a broil burner in the top of the oven cavity).
- Remove the thumb screws from the bottom oven cavity panel and pull the bottom panel up and out of the oven to access the bake burner.
- Wipe off debris and residue from the bake burner and the pan under the burner.
- Reinstall the bottom oven panel and restore the electrical power supply and gas supply to the oven.
Note: If you’re not completely confident that you can safely complete this procedure on your own, schedule Clean & Maintain Service and have a Sears Home Services Technician complete this task and professionally maintain your oven.
For electric ovens, disconnect electrical power to the oven or range and allow the oven elements to cool completely. Wipe debris and deposits off the elements using a damp cloth and restore electrical power to the range or oven.
4. Manage Oven Temperature
Periodically check your oven’s temperature accuracy using an oven thermometer. If you find significant discrepancies, you may need to recalibrate the thermostat. Refer to your oven’s user manual for instructions on how to calibrate the temperature.
5. Have Your Oven Professionally Cleaned and Maintained Yearly
To keep your oven operating efficiently and safely, schedule a Sears Technician to perform a Clean & Maintain yearly. Yearly professional maintenance will also help your oven last longer.
During Oven Cleaning & Maintenance Service by Sears Home Services, the technician will complete these tasks:
- Check oven control operation. Controls are checked for accurate temperature control of the oven. Faulty controls can cause the oven to waste energy when overheating occurs.
- Examine oven door sealing and clean the oven door gasket. A loose oven door gasket or bent door hinges can prevent the oven door from sealing shut — allowing heat to escape during baking. You’ll wind up paying higher energy bills if heat constantly escapes the oven during baking because the burner will need to ignite more often and stay burning longer to heat the oven. The technician adjusts and cleans the oven door gasket to make sure it seals the oven door properly.
- Test oven self-cleaning operation. Some ranges have self-cleaning ovens. During the self-cleaning operation, the oven burners heat the oven to extremely high temperatures to burn spills and residue inside the oven to ash. To prevent fires, the oven door must remain shut and locked during self-cleaning. If you were to open the door during self-cleaning, a sudden rush of air into the extremely hot oven can cause a serious fire. The service technician checks the control and oven door lock to make sure it stays shut during the self-cleaning cycle.
- Check oven burners or elements. The tech examines and adjusts oven burners in a gas range or electric elements in an electric range. Gas oven burners that aren’t adjusted properly can fail to heat the oven properly and may emit excessive carbon monoxide. Electric elements that aren’t heating properly will fail to heat the oven properly. A shorted electric element can pose a serious electrocution risk.
- Inspect readily accessible electrical wiring. Whether you have a gas or an electric range, wiring needs to be periodically checked for insulation damage, proper grounding and secure connections. Damaged wiring can short to the metal in the range – causing an electrocution risk. Risk of electrocution is elevated if the ground connection of the range isn’t secure. The ground connection dissipates an electrical short to prevent you from getting an electric shock if a loose wire touches metal in the range. Having your range wiring checked by a technician helps ensure your safety.
Having your oven professionally serviced every year will help prevent unexpected breakdowns.
By following these oven maintenance tips, you can keep your appliance in good condition, improve energy efficiency, and ensure that it continues to cook food evenly.