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GE Oven Steam Clean Not Working? Fixed

Your GE oven’s steam clean functionality may not work because the device is too hot. One of the most common ways to fix this is to let it cool off and try rerunning the steam cycle. There are a few other causes: oven controls set with errors, the oven’s door left open (or faulty), or switching the “Bake” select and thermostat control knobs. Follow our quick fixes to resolve the issue.

I’m addicted to the clean steam feature on my GE range that I’ve had for two years. It’s easier to clean minor food spills in less time and at lower temperatures than the self-clean cycle. However, if the steam clean feature fails when you need to clean your oven, you’ll lose out on the benefits of the quicker cleaning option. 

Today, we’re diving into the world of GE self-cleaning ovens and exploring the wonders of steam cleaning.

Let’s explore the concept of steam cleaning GE ovens, addressing the positives and negatives, and even some troubleshooting tips along the way.

What is Steam Cleaning, and How Do I Do It?

Steam cleaning efficiently removes dirt, grime, and food residue from your GE self-cleaning oven without harsh chemicals or excessive scrubbing. It’s like a spa treatment for your oven if you will.  

To steam clean your GE oven, follow these simple steps:

  1. Removing oven racks and other stuff inside prepares your oven for a fresh start.
  2. Place a heat-safe vessel filled with water on the oven’s lower rack.
  1. Make sure to stay within the manufacturer’s recommended maximum fill level.
  2. Securely shut the oven door and navigate to the control panel of your GE self-cleaning oven to engage the Steam Clean function.
  3. Adjust the duration based on how dirty your oven is. The typical steam cleaning cycle lasts around 30 minutes to an hour.
  1. Sit back, relax, and let the steam work its magic! The high-temperature steam will help break down stubborn stains and grease.

Remember, it’s important to consult your GE self-cleaning oven’s user manual for specific instructions on the steam cleaning process. Safety first,

Benefits of Steam Cleaning a GE Oven

Now that you know how to fix your self-cleaning GE oven by keeping it clean, let’s explore the benefits this method offers:

Chemical-Free Cleaning

Steam cleaning eliminates the need for harsh chemicals, making it eco-friendly. Bid farewell to pungent fumes and embrace the rejuvenating essence of a pristine oven.

Time and Effort Saving

Unlike traditional cleaning methods that require hours of scrubbing, steam cleaning your self-cleaning GE oven reduces the time and effort needed to restore your oven’s sparkle. Let the smoke do the heavy lifting for you.

Gentle on Surfaces

Pamper your GE self-cleaning oven with the gentle caress of steam cleaning, preserving the durability of its interior surfaces. It’s a win-win for cleanliness and appliance care.

Risks of Steam Cleaning a GE Oven

While steam cleaning a GE oven offers numerous benefits for fixing your self-cleaning GE oven, it’s essential to consider a few potential risks:

Delicate Parts

Some oven components, such as control panels and electronic circuits, may not be designed to withstand steam cleaning. Always check your GE self-cleaning oven’s user manual for guidance on which parts are safe to steam clean.

Lingering Odors 

In rare cases, steam cleaning your GE oven might leave behind a temporary odor due to the breakdown of accumulated residues. Don’t fret! Airing the oven after the steam cleaning cycle should alleviate any lingering smells.

Why Is Self-clean Not Working on Your GE Oven?

Here’s why the Steam Clean feature may not work on your GE Oven:

  • Your oven’s temperature is too high
  • Error with oven controls
  • The door was left open (or faulty and needs to be replaced)
  • Switched “Bake” select and thermostat control knobs
  • Double-Wall ovens

Let’s see how to fix each of these potential causes quickly.

Oven Is Hot

The Steam clean cycle is programmed to run only at room temperature. The clean steam functionality won’t work if your oven’s too hot. In other words, setting a Steam clean cycle immediately after cooking is impossible because your oven’s temperature is too high.

How do you start a steam oven with a hot Oven? 

This issue is one of the easiest fixes on the list. Simply let the oven cool off before pressing the clean steam pad on your GE oven. You must reset the controls after the oven completely cools off (reaches room temperature),  and then the feature should work.

Just let it cool off. That’s it.

Oven Controls Are Not Properly Set

Your oven controls need to be set to steam clean before the cleaning cycle can function. If this is not done or the controls-setting process is not completed in all the steps, the oven will not steam clean.

How do You turn ON the steam clean in my  GE oven? 

You’ll need to set the Steam Clean cycle to fix this issue. Follow the instructions in the “Using Steam Clean” section of your Owner’s Manual. Generally, you should follow the steps below:

  • Ensure the oven is at room temperature.
  • Wipe off any excess spills from the oven. You don’t need to remove the racks since the heat is not too high and won’t destroy them.
  • Pour a cup of water onto the oven floor. The water will create the steam needed to clean the oven.
  • Close the oven door. Ensure the door is not open during the entire steam cleaning cycle.
  • Press the Steam Clean Pad. If your oven doesn’t have this option, double-press the Clean pad.
  • Press the Start button once you see “00:30” appear on display.
  • The Steam Clean cycle takes half an hour. Once complete, use a soft sponge to clean the moisture-soaked food soils on the oven floor, door, and walls. 

You can use a non-abrasive cleaner if any stubborn spills are hard to wipe. GE Appliances recommends Bar Keepers Friend. You can purchase this superior oven cleanser and polish from The cleaner contains degreaser elements that save you the time to scrub off stains, leaving your oven sparkling like new. 

This video by GE Appliances on YouTube will give you a visual demonstration of the Steam Clean setup.

Alternatively, you can consider a home remedy using vinegar and baking soda. 

Note that the GE-recommended cleaning method for Manual Clean Ovens can also be used with Steam clean ranges. 

You leave a half-cup of ammonia in a shallow container inside a cold oven overnight. The ammonia helps loosen food soils on your oven and can save you the energy used during a clean steam cycle. 

The Oven Door Is Open

A half-closed or faulty oven door is another reason the Steam Clean cycle may not work on your GE oven. The cleaning process doesn’t start until the door is properly and fully closed. 

Leaving your GE oven door open while trying to start a Steam Clean cycle won’t work. There’s an easy fix; close the door properly before you start your cycle.

But if the door doesn’t close because it’s perhaps damaged, you have a bigger problem. We recommend calling a professional to fix the door or looking through your GE oven user manual to find a door fix.

Wrong Knob Placement After Cleaning

One simple cause of the steam cleaning feature not working on your GE Oven is that the “Bake” select and thermostat control knobs may have been switched when they were removed for cleaning. This mistake is easy but can seriously affect your oven’s steam cleaning functionality. Here’s what you need to know about checking the knob placement after cleaning and how to fix any issues that may arise.

To check if the “Bake” select and thermostat control knobs have been switched, refer to the GE oven’s user manual or this custom user manual to find the correct positions for these knobs. 

If you find that the knobs have been switched, the quick fix is to switch them back to their correct positions. Once you’ve done this, the steam cleaning feature should work as intended.

Double wall ovens: 

Still haven’t found a fix for your Oven Steam Clean problem? This last tip will help, but only if you use a double-wall oven.

For double-wall ovens, it’s important to remember that the self-clean feature will only run on one oven at a time. Attempting to run the self-clean cycle on both ovens simultaneously can overload the oven’s electrical system and may cause the circuit breaker to trip. Run the self-clean cycle on each oven separately to prevent any potential damage.

The self-clean cycle can be lengthy and generate significant heat, so plan accordingly. Remember to follow all safety precautions when using the self-clean feature, such as removing excess food debris from the oven before starting the cycle.

Troubleshooting Tips for GE Self-Cleaning Ovens

Now, let’s address some common troubleshooting scenarios for GE self-cleaning ovens:

Self-Cleaning Cycle Won’t Start 

Before cleaning, confirm if the oven door is firmly closed and the connection to the power source. If the issue stays, troubleshoot the problem based on the user manual guidelines or contact GE customer support.

Self-Cleaning Cycle Stops Prematurely

If the self-cleaning cycle ends before completion, it could indicate an issue with the oven’s temperature sensor. Again, consult the user manual or GE customer support for guidance.

Excessive Smoke during Self-Cleaning

Prevent excessive smoke during cleaning and safeguard your oven from harm by removing any food remnants before embarking on the self-cleaning cycle.


You’re now equipped with the knowledge to conquer steam cleaning in your GE self-cleaning oven. Steam cleaning offers a chemical-free, time-saving alternative to traditional cleaning methods. 

While there may be a few risks involved, proper caution and understanding of your oven’s capabilities will keep you on the right track. If troubleshooting issues arise, consult your user manual or contact GE’s customer support for assistance. Now go forth and steam clean your way to oven perfection!


Q: How do I steam clean a GE oven?

A: To steam clean a GE self-cleaning oven, remove the racks, place a heat-safe container with water on the bottom rack, select the Steam Clean function, and let the steam work its magic.

Q: What are the benefits of steam cleaning a GE oven?

A: Steam cleaning offers chemical-free cleaning, saves time and effort, and is gentle on your oven’s surfaces.

Q: What are the risks of steam cleaning a GE oven?

A: Risks include potential damage to delicate parts and temporary lingering odors, which can be minimized by following the manufacturer’s guidelines.


  • Hunter Hayes

    Hunter Hayes is a seasoned wordsmith with an obsession for all things related to Home Improvement. With years of experience in the subject, he brings to a unique blend of technical understanding and approachable writing. Hunter's articles not only explain complex thermodynamic ideas, but they also provide practical advice for day-to-day temperature management. Hunter's intelligent contributions will keep you well-informed and comfortable in every circumstance, whether you're intrigued about climate science or looking for help on optimising your home's HVAC system.

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