Along with the mad rush to find the perfect gift, Christmas is a time to scrub your home from top to bottom before visitors arrive — but you may think twice about putting that self-cleaning oven to work.

One appliance expert says if people don't want the stress of finding someone in the days before Christmas to come and fix their malfunctioning oven, it's a good idea to skip the self-cleaning cycle. 

"Don't self-clean your oven until after the holidays because you'll be hard-pressed to get somebody in at the last minute to get it fixed," Aaron Publicover, an independent repair technician with more than 20 years experience, told CBC's Maritime Noon.

Publicover says the problem is that most modern ovens have a thermal fuse meant to keep an oven from overheating. 

Self-cleaning oven temperatures can reach up to 800 F or 900 F, which is pretty much the temperature where the thermal fuse burns out, making an oven unusable. 

"If you're concerned that your oven is dirty or somebody might look inside, hang a towel over the handle," he said.

Wet towel + hot oven = disaster

Speaking of which, make sure that towel is dry if the oven is hot, otherwise the hot glass could explode. 

If people are really keen to get their ovens looking shiny and new, a little elbow grease goes a long way.

Publicover says some modern oven cleaners are safe to use on self-cleaning models, but it's important to check the label beforehand. 

For those who absolutely must get their money's worth out of their self-cleaning function, Publicover recommends pulling the oven out from the wall so there is better airflow, reducing the chance of blowing the thermal fuse. 

With files from Maritime Noon