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Okay, people! Roll up your sleeves, grab your scourer, and kiss goodbye to the nail polish you applied this morning. It’s time to learn how to clean a stovetop! *Klaxon sound* Are we all pumped?!
Ehhh, yeah, we feel you. No one wants to do it, and it’s not a fun job (unless you put some slammin’ tunes on while you’re doing it).
But it’s one you’re going to want to do — having a less-than-clean stovetop might not seem like a big problem, but it can have some serious health risks. Studies suggest that pollutants released into the air from a dirty stovetop might harm lung function.
So let’s get that stovetop cleaner than your cat’s butt when your prim elderly aunt comes to visit.
Okay, you’ve been a bit busy, or a bit lazy, and your gas stovetop is looking grimmer than your ex. Your current flame is coming over, however, and you need that thing looking like you clean it every day. But how?
No worries. Here’s how to make it sparkly AF while giving you enough time to grab that champagne from the store.
Grates and burner caps
As you’re (hopefully) aware, it’s easy enough to lift up both the grates and the burner caps (those round things) from the stovetop and give them a good clean.
If you’ve been cleaning your stovetop regularly, you won’t need much more than a damp cloth. Pick up the grates and give them a wipe. You might even be able to put them into the dishwasher if that just seems like too much effort — but check your stove’s manual first — your grates might not suit it.
Important: Make sure your stove is off before you go picking up the burner caps to avoid spontaneous combustion incidents. Give them a wipe over, and clean up any crumbs or spills that might’ve worked their way underneath with a bit of paper towel or a small brush.
Having clean burner heads is important. If they get blocked by dirt and grime, you’ll have a less efficient stove. Want to pay out more on your bills, because your stove is taking longer to cook your food? Thought not.
Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to keep them clean… as long as you know what you’re doing. Burner heads may well vary between stove manufacturers, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to cleaning them. And as they’re the most intricate part that you’ll be cleaning, it’s important to get it right.
Check the manual (or look online for the specific product that you have). These will give you detailed instructions on how to tackle them.
Grates and burner caps off? Burner heads nice and clean? Excellent, you just got to the easy part!
Simply give the stovetop itself a wipe with a sponge or cloth, using an all-purpose cleaner to dispose of any invisible grime and germs, and it’s good to go. It’s wise to do this every time you use the stovetop, just to keep on top of things. But at the very least, it’s best to zap any dirt and grease splatters as soon as they become visible.
If a wipe with soapy water isn’t cutting it, use an oven cleaner spray and let it sink in for a while. Come back in 10 minutes, and the gunk should slide right off.
For those who fear leaving the gas on when they go out, electric stoves are the way to go! But they can be just as intense to clean as their gassy cousins. So what’s the best way to go about it?
Those with metal coil burners and drip pans
A lot of electric stovetops don’t have a completely flat surface — instead, they have a raised metal coil which spreads heat evenly throughout your yummy saucepan of goodness.
You can carefully unplug these coils and remove them from the receptacle they’re connected to. And, for the love of pizza, make sure the oven is turned off first. You can unplug it at the mains to be doubly safe.
You can probably get off a lot of the grime with a small, firm brush. But for a deeper clean, either use an all-purpose spray cleaner or cloth and soapy water.
The important part is not getting the electrical connection wet. That is a one-way ticket to electrocution.
While you’re at it, check the drip pans underneath the coil burners. These should lift out pretty easily, and as they’re not much more than a metal dish, you can really go to town on them!
Spray ’em, soak ’em, and scrub ’em.
These will take a bunch of elbow grease (ironically) to get them sparkling. You can usually lift off the metallic surrounding ring, too, and fling that in the sink alongside the pans.
Replace the drip pans, the metal rings, and the burner coil in that order, and cleanliness is yours.
Cleaning underneath (ew!)
Did you know that a lot of electric stovetops pop up like the hood of a car? If we’ve just blown your mind with this info, the chances are that you’re going to find an interesting scene down there when you check it out.
Push the stovetop firmly up with your hands, or use the handle if there’s one built-in — not every electric stovetop pops up, so if you’re tugging hard and getting nowhere (no smirks at the back, please), it’s probably safe to say that your model doesn’t have that feature.
Got your top off (we *said* no smirking)? Looking a bit nasty? No need to panic — or even to scrub. As long as you avoid anything which looks overly electrical/vital, you can go to town with a spray cleaner, let it soak for as long as it needs, then pop back and wipe it down with a cloth.
You may well have some stubborn, cooked-in stains down there. Give them another spray with the cleaner, or you can give them a gentle scrub. If we’re being totally honest, no one’s gonna see it anyway.
Cleaning an electric stovetop
Most electric stovetop surfaces aren’t any different from gas ones, and you can use the same methods. Ideally, you want to clean your stovetop after every use. So using little more than a cloth and water should be enough to get up temporary grime.
Inherited an electric stove, and wondering if the previous owner knew what soap is? No problem: again, you can treat them much like gas stovetops, and use a cleaning spray on them. Let it soak like a capybara in its pool, and wipe off the dirt.
You just have to be a little more careful not to get spray (or water) in any electrical connections, because fluid and electricity are generally not on friendly terms right now. Or ever.
If you’ve got yourself a glass top stove, then you can absolutely pat yourself on the back. Congrats: you now have the easiest stove to clean of them all. Go on, you can feel smug about it. Bask in it. Ahhh.
But as most people use the electric stovetop as an extra prep surface, it’s more important than ever to keep it clean. Fortunately, the design is on your side: with no awkward fixtures to maneuver around, you can easily clean after every use with a single wipe of a damp cloth. It’s as easy as it gets.
If you want the absolute best for your stove, get yourself two microfiber cloths, and use one for cleaning, and one for drying. Think of it like you’re washing your windows — sure, you can just hose them down or use a wet cloth, but they’ll get streaky, right? Use a second microfiber cloth on your stovetop, and it’ll shine like a diamond.
You don’t even need to use expensive products. You can absolutely use specialized cleaners (especially if there are some cooked-in stains and smears on there — just apply and leave to soak). But honestly? Your regular dish soap will do an excellent job of clearing up grease and grime.
These are the best sprays and cleaners for your stove:
- Weiman Gas Range Cleaner and Degreaser. Recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute as their top gas range cleaner, this really does cook with gas. It’ll cut through the grease on practically every part of a gas stove, making it shine like never before.
- Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser. Perfect for enamel stovetops, whether they be gas or electric, this stuff cuts through the grime. It also has a rather nice citrus scent for that clean, fresh feeling.
- Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Aerosol. Is your stove a man of steel, rather than enamel? No worries; spray this stuff on, and your stove frontage will be shining in no time.
- Easy-Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner. A great all-purpose spray, perfect for getting under the hood of electric stovetops — let it soak in, and wipe off. Fume-free variety means less stinkin’ chemicals.
- Weiman Glass Cook Top Heavy Duty Cleaner. Want to make sure that your glass stovetop just has that extra bit of sparkle? Get this stuff, apply, and enjoy cleanliness without the streaks.
- Baking soda. Surprise! If you’re looking for a less chemical-based way to clean your stove, baking soda can be your friend if applied correctly.
It’s important to have a clean stovetop — partly because it’s gross not to, and partly because you may legit develop some health issues if you don’t keep that thing clean.
Fortunately, there’s a ton of specialized cleaning products and techniques that can help you lift unwanted grime from your surfaces — and even deep into the crevices — as long as you have the right know-how. Spray, leave to soak, and you won’t even have to scrub too much.
But for best practice, just wipe everything down as much as you can after every use. Why let it get out of hand? Keep it simple and regular, and you can keep a deep clean to as little as once a month.
That way, you’ll have much more time for the fun stuff — like eating!