our house have a built-in oven that hasn't been used since we moved in (a year and half ago). I think the owner didn't clean before we move in. Do you think I can still use it? will it be safe? should I be worry of food poisoning if I use it? How can I check if there is insect or something nesting in it. Thanks in advance

  • 1
    You could run it at its max temperature (250 degrees?) for a half hour, that'd be enough to kill what might be nesting in it, then wait for it to cool and give it a good clean with some oven cleaner and elbow grease. If it's pyrolitic, just fire that up!
    – Ming
    Mar 16, 2015 at 1:37

1 Answer 1


Look in the oven. Smell the oven. Turn the oven (and exhaust fan, if any) on to the maximum temperature. If you smell nothing untoward (there might be some "normal" smallish amount of smoke/burnt smell when you fire it up hot for a while) it's fine.

If it smells like rodent urine, or you see rodent scat, you might have a problem, and firing it up might smell very bad and/or cause rodents to come running out of the insulation. Other than that, most issues of disuse will be cured by heating it throughly, once.

Since few, if any baked items come into direct contact with the oven (most are in a pan on a rack) there's no health/safety difference between a shiny clean oven and a fairly filthy-looking oven. Most oven cleaning chemicals are far scarier than what's baked on the oven; and all self-cleaning ovens need is to be run hot enough to burn off whatever is on them.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.