I turned on the auto clean for my oven and I saw flames inside. help?

It has an auto clean function on it and all you do is remove the rack, push the button and wait 4 hrs. However it was on for 30 minutes and I saw flames inside. Now I am scared to turn on my oven. I waiting for it to cool off right now before I use a degreaser. Some cheese from my aunts baked macroni and cheese spilled inside the oven and got baked on the bottom of the oven.

Oh and the oven is 12 years old and electric.

Please help cause I am freaking out.



Well I am really not sure if seeing flames on the inside is normal or not. I am not sure whether I should use the degreaser either.

I am just scared of burning down my grandma's estate.

Update 2:

Well I am really not sure if seeing flames on the inside is normal or not. I am not sure whether I should use the degreaser either.

I am just scared of burning down my grandma's estate.

Update 3:

Oh, thanks. Its been off for the last 2 hours so I will try again. I'm cool. Not freaking out anymore

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    OK I'm pretty sure you can stop freaking out. If the flames are gone and the oven is cooling off, just continue to wait until you can open it.

    When you set the oven to self clean the temperature will rise to over 500 degrees. This will incinerate the food particles that are on the bottom of the oven. HOWEVER. If there are things like grease or cheese, or large pieces of bread or dough, this temperature can cause the food particles to ignite. After the oven can be opened, take a clean, wet, cloth and wipe out the bottom of the oven. Make sure that there is no grease puddled up on the bottom of the oven. Do not use a degreaser as this will cause the oven to smoke when it cleans. It can also damage the self cleaning feature. Just use water on a rag. Now if there is grease use HOT water on the rag and remove as much grease as possible. Remove any large particles of food, and try again. Set the oven on the shortest time possible and keep an eye on it. There may be smoke as this is normal when the oven is trying to incinerate SMALL food particles in the oven. This feature is basically for the removal of cooked on splatters that have developed from normal cooking. Never allow grease to build up on the bottom of the oven. Even normal baking and broiling can cause a fire if there is too much grease.

    Hope this helps you

    Good luck

  • 1 decade ago

    The flames you are seeing (which is normal) is to bring up the temp in your oven extremely high to burn to a crisp all the food particles and spills on the inside. The temp is so high at times that the debris actually disintegrates and vanishes inside the oven. Let the auto clean program complete its 4 hour cycle AND DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR DURING THE CYCLE. Let the oven cool completely (next day) and you can wipe clean with a damp cloth the residue left on the inside. You really shouldn't nor should it be necessary to use a degreaser if you run the complete cycle. I do not know the condition of your 12 year old electric stove so if you feel uncomfortable about using it, don't.

    Source(s): I have a oven cleaning cycle on my gas stove but my stove is only 8 years old.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    An auto clean function works by bringing the oven temperature up to a point beyond the ignition temperature of food residues left in the oven. This is hotter than a bit of burning grease and the oven is designed to withstand the heat.

    You usually don't see flames because the quantities are small and simply turn to carbon dust. Stop freaking out. Let the oven cool, then go in and remove any crud that you can with just a cloth and dish detergent. Then run the auto clean cycle again.

    Do not use any product like EasyOff™ Oven Cleaner which is a strong alkali intended for enamel ovens. It may damage the interior finish of your oven.

  • Self cleaning just gets the oven hot enough to incinerate any food droppings in the oven, so thats probably what you saw. Don't use the degreaser. Thats the whole point of a self cleaning oven, you dont have to get in and scrub it. You will know by the time I post this if it is a serious problem. If the element snapped, you will hear electrical type sounds as the flames get huge.

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  • 4 years ago

    Likely a build-up of grease or other matter that caught fire. The fire is self-contained inside the oven, so fire is not a big concern. However, the smoke that will develop will stink up the house and make you choke a bit. Might want to clean up some of the major spills before using the self-clean option again.

  • cheezy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I did that once too--my oven still works good. however, before I set it to self clean, I now use a bbq brush to get the larger blobs of grease & whatnot out of the oven first.

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