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Caring for a Self-Cleaning Oven
2015-05-25
The high heat produced during self-cleaning oven cycles can be intimidating, and the oven owner’s manual warnings aren’t much more reassuring. We often find that our customers are reluctant to use their self-cleaning oven functions, so they let their oven interiors build up with grime, food particles and stains.

While there are many who believe that self-cleaning ovens pose health concerns, the State of Nevada actually advises consumers to clean their ovens or use the self-cleaning cycle monthly as part of its Healthy Homes recommendations. Dirty ovens are unsafe ovens, inviting fire and emitting unpleasant odors during cooking cycles. So if you prefer to manually clean your oven, that's great; but if you want to try out your oven’s self-cleaning option at least once, here are a few tips.

1. Check your range owner’s manual for self-cleaning instructions before you do anything. Read the instructions thoroughly, and call the manufacturer’s help line if any of the instructions are unclear to you.

2. Remove the oven racks and any pots or pans that might be inside the oven. Most oven manufacturers say that racks can be left in the oven during self-cleaning, but experience tells us that racks can become discolored or stained in the process.

3. Wipe up big spills and scrub off large stains before you start the self-cleaning cycle. Baking soda and warm water work nicely for this, but never use chemicals or harsh rags while pre-cleaning your oven. They can damage the oven’s coating.

3. If it’s a cool day, and it’s safe to open your windows, do so. Most oven manufacturers warn that self-cleaning ovens emit fumes that can be toxic to birds. While the fumes usually won’t hurt you, it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra fresh air flowing through your home while you’re oven is cleaning itself. If you can putter around your yard while your oven is cleaning, even better, but don’t leave your oven completely unattended. A spot in your yard where you have a good visual of your oven is a perfect place to hang out while your oven is cleaning.

4. The self-cleaning process will take about three or four hours, and most ovens will automatically unlatch themselves after about half an hour. Even so, you should wait a couple of hours to let the oven cool before opening the oven door.

5. Once the oven is finished cleaning and it has cooled completely, wipe away the ash left at the bottom of the oven interior. Then, wipe around all of the door edges and seals, and return your oven racks to their slots.

Now that your oven is clean, you can easily keep it clean by making wiping down the oven interior after every use. You’ll have a safer oven when it’s clean, and you won’t give your food funky smells or tastes from food particles that are baked into the oven.
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