One of the most annoying cleaning tasks in anyone’s home is cleaning the inside of the oven. Failed baking projects and extra juicy foods drip all over the bottom of the oven. Because of the high temperatures, they get stuck there seemingly forever. Enter the self-cleaning oven. These ovens may cost a good deal more than the old, do-it-yourself cleaning ovens. However, the cost saves you a lot of the hassle. However, if you ever get a really big, stuck-on mess, you may wonder if you can just clean it by hand instead of using the self-cleaning cycle. Here is the answer to that question and how to use your self-cleaning oven effectively.

Cleaning By Hand

Your self-cleaning oven costs more because the feature that allows it to self-clean is two-fold. First, it is able to reach super high temperatures, roughly 900-1000 degrees Fahrenheit. But beyond this it also has a special coating on the inside. The coating is made to be able to withstand these high temperatures – a pyrolytic coating. This pyrolytic coating gets damaged or even completely wiped away if you use any chemical or harshly abrasive cleaners on the inside of your oven. This is why it is not recommended to use any blade scrapers or common chemical cleaners in a self-cleaning oven.

Using the Self-Cleaning Part Of Your Oven

Instead of resorting to harsh abrasives or chemicals, use the feature you paid good money for. Every oven is different, so it is important that you refer to your owner’s manual before running a cleaning cycle to ensure that you are making the most of this handy feature. Be sure to remove your oven racks before running this cycle. The shiny metallic coating on the racks becomes dull or chips away in high temperatures.

Some ovens automatically lock, and others have a locking lever just above the door. If yours has this lever, be sure to slide it all the way over to lock the oven door. With the high temperatures inside during the self-clean cycle, you do not want anyone to accidentally open the door. It is also important that all the heat remains trapped inside of your oven during cleaning in order to maximize its efficacy.

If you have a particularly sticky or built up mess on the bottom of your oven, use some baking soda and water to loosen up the grime, then wipe it away with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth. This will help to remove the tougher messes while protecting that pyrolytic coating. Once this is done, run your self-cleaning cycle as normal. After the cycle is complete, simple wipe away any ash that may remain on the bottom of your oven.

Don’t Forget The Door

If, after the self-cleaning cycle is complete, you notice that the glass door is still dingy, open the oven door and apply a paste of baking soda and water to the door. Be sure not to use too much water, as you do not want any excess leaking in between the panes of glass. Leave the paste on the glass for 30 minutes to an hour then wipe it away.