Skip to Content

GE Oven Won’t Self Clean? Here’s Why (+ How to Fix)

Spillovers are a possible occurrence when baking or broiling in an oven, and that means an additional cleanup is needed after the cooking cycle. Unfortunately, not every mess in an oven is easy to clean, which is why having a self-cleaning (auto-clean) model will save you time. But what if the GE oven self-clean cycle won’t start?

There are 3 likely reasons your GE oven won’t self-clean:

  • The oven temperature is too high
  • The oven controls are not set properly
  • You are operating a double wall oven

I’ll tell you how these issues can make your oven not self-clean. I’ll also give you a solution for each of the issues. 

The Oven Temperature Is Too High

If your GE oven just completed a bake or broil cycle and hasn’t yet cooled to room temperature, it won’t initiate a self-clean cycle under high temperatures. GE ovens heat up to about 880°F (471°C) during the self-clean process. Setting such high temperatures for an already hot range isn’t supported by the unit’s system. 

To fix a GE oven temperature that’s too high, leave your GE oven to cool to room temperature before initiating a self-clean cycle. 

The Oven Controls Are Not Set Properly

The correct self-clean settings must be followed for GE ovens with mechanical timers and those using electronic controls. Otherwise, the oven will not start the auto-clean cycle.

How To Set GE Oven Self-Clean Cycle

You should follow the specific details provided in your GE oven user’s manual to set a self-clean cycle. The process may vary a bit depending on whether your oven has electronic or mechanical controls. 

Generally, here’s what you should do to set the auto-clean cycle for the different models.

For GE Ovens With Mechanical Controls

  1. Prepare the oven for self-clean by removing racks, liners, cookware, and heavy dirt deposits.
  2. If your oven window door has a shield, slide the shield to close before closing the door.
  3. Press the latch release long enough to slide the latch to “Clean.”
  4. Set the “Oven Set” and “Oven Temperature” knobs to “Clean.” In case your model’s knob doesn’t have “Clean,” you can set it to any temperature instead.
  5. Press and rotate the “Stop” dial 2 – 3 hours ahead. You can vary the cleaning time depending on how dirty your oven is. The “Clean Light” should turn on when the cleaning cycle starts. Likewise, the “Lock Light” should go on half an hour or so into the cleaning cycle.

For GE Ovens With Electronic Controls:

  1. Get the oven ready for self-clean by removing any liners, cookware, racks, and heavy dirt deposits. You may leave the racks in the oven if they’re labeled “Never-Scrub” (“Self-Clean”). 

Below is a YouTube video that illustrates this:

  1. Press the “Self-clean” pad once to set a 4-hour self-clean cycle or twice for a 3-hour cycle. You can adjust the time between 3 and 5 hours depending on how much cleaning is needed. Use the number pads to enter an alternative clean time manually. 
  2. Hit the “Start” button to initiate the self-clean cycle. The unit’s door will lock automatically, and the clean time will display on the panel.

This quick GE Appliances video can help you make out the differences in oven controls for setting a self-clean process:

You Are Operating a Double Wall Oven

If you have a double wall oven, you can only run the self-clean cycle on one oven at a time. This could make you think that the other part of the GE oven won’t self-clean.

How To Run the Self-Clean Cycle on a Double Wall Oven

The functioning of the self-clean cycle on a GE double wall oven depends on whether your oven operates with the same controls for both ovens or has separate controls for the upper and bottom oven.

If Your GE Double Wall Oven Has the Same Controls for Both Ovens

  1. Press the “Self Clean” pad.
  2. Hit the “Start” pad. The upper oven will run the self-clean cycle first, followed by the bottom oven.

If Your GE Double Oven Has Separate Controls for the Upper and Lower Ovens

  1. Select the “Lower Oven” or “Upper Oven” pad, depending on which one you want to clean.
  2. Press the “Self Clean” pad.
  3. Press “Start.”

Note: For ovens with separate controls, you can set the self-clean cycles for both the upper and lower ovens at the same time. The ovens will self-clean in the order you set them. 

The discussed causes specifically apply when a GE oven won’t self-clean. Although problems with oven components such as a faulty thermostat or control board can cause your GE oven not to start a self-clean cycle, they generally affect all the other oven functions.