Cleaning the stove burners is an easy thing to let go by the wayside. By the time you’ve made dinner, put everything away and washed all the dishes, it’s an added task that looms larger than it should. It’s far easier to turn off the kitchen lights and ignore the stovetop! But knowing the easiest ways how to clean stove burners can make it a job that takes little extra work.
Supplies for Cleaning Stove Burners
Before you get started, gather up all the things you’ll need to clean the stove burners and make them look shiny and new. It’s not a long list and you’ll probably have everything in the cleaning cabinet already:
- Dishwashing soap
- Baking soda
- Scouring pad
How to Clean Electric Stove Burners
While the basics steps are pretty standard, they will vary depending on what type of stove you have: electric, gas, glass or ceramic.
Wait Until the Stovetop is Cool
If you’ve been using the stovetop, don’t try to clean the stove burners until they are completely cool. On a gas stove, take off the grates and for an electric stove, remove the burner coils. In most cases, burner coils can be removed by lifting them and then pulling at the point where the coils plug into the sockets on the stove. If you have difficulty removing them, don’t force them and check your user’s manual. You don’t want to damage the coils! Set aside the parts you removed for separate cleaning.
Clean the Stove Burners
Now, mix up some warm water and a little dish soap in a bowl. Grab a cloth or sponge into the soapy water and start scrubbing, avoiding the sockets on an electric stove. If the stovetop was relatively clean, this may be all you need to do. If not, you need a little more elbow grease and the next step.
Break Out the Baking Soda
If it hasn’t already, baking soda needs to move out of your baking cupboard and into the cleaning supplies because it can help tackle lots of home cleaning projects, including the stove burners. In fact, if you have some tougher stains or baked-on drips and residue, baking soda is the ideal abrasive. Combine some baking soda and water to make a thick paste. Apply a thick coat to the stained area and let it sit undisturbed for about 20 minutes. This will soften any cooked-on food and lift the stains. Wipe it all off with a sponge and rinse off all the remaining baking powder.
Treat Trouble Spots
If you’ve tried both methods and neither one was able to successfully clean the stove burners, you have one more tool in your arsenal: ammonia. This works with burners that can be removed because you need to put each one in a separate plastic bag with about a quarter cup of ammonia. The aim is to seal the burners in the bag so that the ammonia fumes can go to work on the stains. Leave them in the sink overnight just in case one leaks. When you’re ready to clean them, open a window for good ventilation and open the bags. You should be able to wipe off whatever was stuck on the burners. Finally, rinse the burner thoroughly.
Clean the Grates and Coils
For gas stoves, clean the grates thoroughly – you can do this in the sink – and dry them completely. For the coils, just gently pat them with a damp cloth or paper towel and leave them to air dry. Before you reconnect the coils, make sure that everything is completely dry.
Pat down the burners with a clean cloth or paper towels and let them air-dry. Before reconnecting the coils on an electric range, be certain that both the coils and the stove sockets are both completely dry.
How to Clean a Glass or Ceramic Stove Top
Lots of homeowners are now choosing electric stoves with glass tops for lots of reasons. When it comes time to clean the stove burners, the smooth, flat surface is a breeze to tidy up. Plus, if it’s an induction cooktop, the surface will be cool to the touch and ready to clean anytime. Most times, all you need is a damp cloth to give the surface a wipe after every cooking session to keep it clean and shiny. On occasion, you might need a little spray of vinegar, but that’s it.
Cooked on Messes
Of course, there will be times when grease splatters and sauces boil over, both of which can stick, meaning that you’ll need a little more effort to clean it up. The easiest way to remove cooked-on foods and splatters from a glass cooktop is to use a single-edge blade scraper – often called a window scraper. They are inexpensive and definitely handy to have around the house if you don’t already have one. If the cooktop is ceramic, make sure that the user’s manual says it’s ok to use a scraper first, or you might damage the surface.
First, soak the dirty area with a cleaner that is approved for your specific stovetop and let it sit to soften the residue. Grab the scraper, expose the blade and then slowly scrape off the food, holding the scraper at a low angle. Be sure to scrape slowly, firmly, and carefully, holding the blade at a low 30- to a 40-degree angle. Don’t press too hard – you don’t want to crack or scratch the glass. After you’ve scraped it off, wipe down the cooktop.
How to Clean Gas Stove Burners
Gas stovetops are very popular because of the even cooking and great control they offer. The burners on today’s gas cooktops come in a range of shapes and sizes. The grates are typically more durable than the surface of a glass cooktop because they won’t scratch. Cleaning gas stove burners is not quite as simple as it is with a glass cooktop: You won’t be able to get by with a quick wipe down. That said, it’s not that complicated either.
Before your start messing around with the gas burner heads and other stove parts, it’s best to check your owner’s manual and read up any precautions or preferred cleaning methods for your type of stovetop. This information is likely to be available online as well and you can locate it with some basic searching.
On a daily basis — Wipe down the stovetop using a damp cloth and some cleaner. Lift the grates and clean up anything that fell or dripped below the grates.
Occasionally — Every few weeks while you’re cleaning, check the burner caps to see if they are dirty. Grungy burner heads can block proper gas flow, affecting how evenly the flame burns. Use a damp cloth to clean up any spills in the burner head and around it. If there is debris anywhere around the burner or in the slots, grab a toothbrush to remove it. Finally, wipe everything using a damp cloth.
How to Clean Stove Burner Grates
Grates are probably the fussiest parts of a gas cooktop when it comes to cleaning. Grease droplets from cooking and bits of food get baked onto the surfaces and become sticky over time. Cleaning this sticky film can be a real bother, but unless your manual indicates otherwise, it’s perfectly safe to run the grates through the dishwasher, which will cut a lot of the grease. If the grates have a good deal of stuck-on food residue, you’ll need to soak them in a sink full of warm water with soap. You can scrub the grates with a sponge if they are coated, and with a non-scratching scouring pad if they are not coated. If you have a large stove with grates that cover more than one burner, you might need to use a large plastic tub to soak them.
While it’s inevitable that you’ll have to do a deeper cleaning of the stove burners from time to time, investing a little more effort on a daily basis to keep them cleaner can help minimize how often you’ll have to do this.