My house has a built-in oven that I've never used since I moved in ~10 years ago. (I prefer to use the oven function of a combi-microwave.)

My wife, who has just moved in with me, wants to use the big oven but I'm rather worried about safety since its been standing there untouched for so long.

Assuming the thing even works, should I have it cleaned first?

(It's a fan assisted electrical oven.)

  • If you had to ask, you know the answer. One that old, I would also get inspected by a qualified technician.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Feb 17, 2014 at 20:26
  • 3
    I think I would clean anything that hadn't been used in 10 years.
    – SourDoh
    Feb 17, 2014 at 20:44
  • 5
    @SAJ14SAJ A "technician"! Is there such a thing as an oven technician? An oven is designed to last many years 20+ while being used at high temperature. Exactly what do you think is going to go wrong with it sitting at room temperature? The inside is going to be very clean if the door was closed, as there should be heat seals etc. This is silly. Just wipe it over, and heat it up and see what happens!
    – TFD
    Feb 17, 2014 at 21:19
  • @TFD Whatever you call people who repair ovens... and I cannot agree with you that it is self-evidently safe.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Feb 17, 2014 at 22:27
  • Not everything that can deal with heat can deal with moisture. Heat drives moisture out, and regular use makes heat. Sep 7, 2016 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


It should be fine to use. It is probably dusty, perhaps greasy from other kitchen sources. If it's self cleaning, go for it (and avoid using any harsh cleaners) It might get smoky at first, so you should have ventilation possible (window, fan, or whatever) If not self cleaning, give it a good wiping-out with an ammonia based cleaner or use commercial oven cleaner(nasty stuff). If its possible that you have mice, you should probably make sure that they aren't nesting in the cabinet- get a technician if you aren't comfortable removing panels, etc. And buy an oven thermometer to check the oven thermostat. Self-cleaning or not, it will probably be smoky at first. Good luck.

  • 6
    I'd turn the thing on at say 250°F (120°C) for a while before doing a full bore cleaning cycle; just to test to see if anything unpleasant happens at lower temps. Feb 18, 2014 at 14:15

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