Ultimately, many people put off oven cleaning until they move or until it starts to concern them. There are actually several good reasons to keep your oven looking nice and take care of spills as soon as possible. The self-clean function is also not a good alternative to regular cleanings -- when things get too bad, the intense heat of self-cleaning can bring the fire department, either from smoke or, worst case, from an actual fire.
Oven messes tend to be baked-on before you can get to them, so a simple wipe-down is rarely the answer. Still, if you make a spill on the door or oven bottom while putting a casserole into the oven, save yourself a lot of trouble later and take care of it if it's safe to do so. Heavier cleaning will involve either strong chemicals with equally strong odors or less powerful cleaning agents and repeated cycles of scrubbing. Beware of metal scraping tools damaging the oven's enamel surfaces or leaving scratches on an elegant stainless steel interior.
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