The self-cleaning oven function is actually fantastic, but many people avoid it because they think it is more trouble than it’s worth. The cleaning professionals at MOLLY MAID have busted five myths about self-cleaning ovens.

MYTH #1: SELF-CLEANING OVENS ARE HEALTH HAZARDS.
The fumes coming out of a self-cleaning oven are harmful only to tropical birds. If you have a tropical bird, have a friend babysit them at their house on the day you do a self-clean cycle. Otherwise, typical house pets and humans are safe. Baked on spills and grease in the oven will likely produce bad smells as they’re blasted away by the high heat of the oven, so it’s still recommended to open your windows for air circulation and turn on the vent above the stove as well.

MYTH #2: THE SELF-CLEANING CYCLE IS ALL YOU NEED TO CLEAN THE STOVE.
The self-cleaning cycle is great for cleaning the inside of your oven, but don’t forget to keep the outside clean too. For optimal oven maintenance, clean the vent filter regularly, and of course keep the stovetop clean of spills. Before starting the self-cleaning cycle, wipe up any fresh heavy spills in the oven.

MYTH #3: THE SELF-CLEANING FUNCTION WILL TAKE ALL THE STAINS AWAY.
Full stain removal is not guaranteed. Often after self-cleaning, there may be white stains and white ash left behind. These deposits are usually salt residue that cannot be removed by the clean cycle. Once the oven cools completely, wipe the white ash away and clean the spots with a damp cloth.

MYTH #4:SELF-CLEANING OVENS ARE ENERGY WASTERS.
A self-clean cycle doesn’t use that much electricity. An electric utility company estimated that it costs about one dollar worth of energy for each cleaning. As well, because of all the heat produced during a cycle, self-cleaning ovens often have more built-in insulation than non-self-clean ovens, and as a result, they use less energy during normal cooking and baking functions.

MYTH #5: YOU CAN LEAVE THE RACKS IN THE OVEN TO CLEAN THEM.
Never leave the racks in the oven during a self-clean cycle because the immense heat will damage the racks. To clean racks separately, soak them in hot water and dish detergent, or use a special oven rack cleaning product (ventilate your house well if you clean them inside, or opt to clean racks outside instead.) The broker pan, broker grid or any cookware must also be removed from inside the oven when you use the self-cleaning function.