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Range

Maintenance tips for your
range/stove/oven

In most homes, ranges, stoves and ovens are used daily. Due to the nature of these appliances, maintenance and safety procedures are essential for proper and safe operation and to avoid costly repairs.

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How does a range/stove/oven work?

  • Range/Stove/Oven Maintenance Tips

    Range/Stove/Oven Maintenance Tips

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How to care for your range/stove/oven

1. Clean the interior and exterior

Range Knobs

Control panel

Use a light-duty cleaner or simply soap and water with a rag. Using abrasive pads or too harsh of a cleaner can wear off the decal indicators, which identify the knob controls for each burner. If these decals get worn off from overzealous cleaning, the whole control panel may require replacement.

Clean range vent hood

Door cleaning

Keeping the front panel, window, and outer door glass clean is important because it prevents spills from staining the panel or glass when it heats up during oven operation. Only clean the front when your range or oven is completely cool. For spills on the front panel that are tough to remove, use a heavy-duty degreaser.

smooth electric stove top

Smooth electric stove tops

If a heavy spill occurs, use a razor scraper to remove large food deposits. Apply a cooktop cleaner. Remove the remaining residue with a scratch-free pad and then apply a coat of cooktop protectant.

Solid burner element

Some stove/ranges have heating element burners that are solid metal, there are no coils and the stove/range isn't glass or ceramic. You can clean these solid burners using a solid surface element cleaner.

Gas stove top

Gas stove tops, burner bowls and grates

Some gas stove tops are made of porcelain coated steel and can be cleaned exactly the same as an electric smooth top. Stainless steel tops should be cleaned with heavy-duty degreaser and a non-abrasive pad. Take care not use too much water when cleaning, especially around the knobs. If water drips down into the holes where the knob shafts come through, the burner switches can short out and cause problems with the spark ignition system. Grates and burner pans can be difficult to clean. However, before you purchase new ones, you can try and clean them with grate cleaner.

Stove interior

Oven interior

You should clean the interior of your oven three to four times per year.

Spills and drips should be removed as soon as possible, as they will smoke and may eventually catch on fire. Avoid detergent/soap use inside of an oven for both self-cleaning and non-self-cleaning ovens.


Oven interior: Self-cleaning ovens

Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the self-cleaning function. This feature heats the interior of the oven to a temperature so high, it incinerates food particles and spills. The length of the process varies from model to model but generally lasts for 2 to 4 hours. If you’re hosting a big-cooking holiday like Thanksgiving, run the self-cleaning feature a few weeks in advance, due to risk of an issue with the door latch or an electrical component.

Important: Never use a cleaning solution to clean the interior of a self-cleaning oven unless it is made specifically for self-cleaning ovens.

Oven interior: Non-self-cleaning ovens

Simply wait until the oven is cool to the touch, remove the oven racks and spray oven cleaner directly onto the interior surface. Wipe with a clean rag.

Oven wrap

Racks

Clean the racks in the sink. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Then, using regular kitchen sponges, scrub the racks. Most racks should not be left in an oven during a self-clean cycle as they can warp out of shape.

Broiler pan

Broiler pan

Most broiler pans are made of porcelain-coated steel that can be cleaned periodically with a non-abrasive cleaner. If the pan is damaged, replace it.

2. Replace the light bulbs

Light Bulb

You can replace the light bulb(s) in your range/oven; you may need to remove a glass covering or dome to reach it. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions. Most interior oven lights use a universal 40-watt appliance bulb.

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Range/stove/oven frequently asked questions

Every self-cleaning oven is different. Review your owner's manual for the correct procedure for your oven. Most self-cleaning cycles are complete within two to three hours.

Often the steps are:

  • Set the Start time for the time you want the cleaning to begin.
  • Set the Stop time to a time two to three hours after the start time.
  • Close and latch the oven door.
  • Set the selector switch and/or thermostat to "Clean."

Most modern gas ovens and many broilers use a "glow-bar" style of igniter that glows red-hot to ignite the gas. If the igniter doesn't reach the proper temperature, the gas valve won't open. You may need to replace the igniter. Enter your model number in our repair help information for troubleshooting information.

On the side of the burner facing the center of the stove, there are air holes that may be clogged. They help the pilot or spark igniter to light the gas. Make sure your range is powered off and clean out the holes with a fine wire or safety pin.

No. Ovens are designed to heat food only. Ovens emit small amounts of carbon monoxide which doesn’t present a problem for intermittent use. However, if you run the burners or oven for an extended period of time the carbon monoxide could build up and become dangerous.

If your clock consistently gains or loses time, you may have to replace the clock. They are not repairable.

There are many potential causes for this. Please see our troubleshooting and repair help information for ranges.

Many ovens have the broiler built into the oven near the top. If this is true for your oven, it may be best to leave the oven door open a few inches. If the broiler is at the bottom in a drawer, you can leave the door closed.

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