How to Clean a Stove Top
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Spills and foods that boil over make a nasty mess on stove tops. Once the spills are burnt on, they’re especially hard to remove. When you’re shopping for the best stove top cleaner or oven cleaner, look for one designed for your stove, whether it’s ceramic, glass or some other material. You can also mix baking soda with a little water to use as a cleaner.
Be sure your stove is turned off and cool before you do any stove cleaning. Don't use abrasive cleaners or pads that can scratch, and for best results, keep your stove top clean by wiping it daily with warm water and a little dishwashing soap.
Before starting to clean an electric stove top, make sure your stove is turned off and cool. Then use a cloth or sponge to wipe the top with warm, soapy water. Some coil burners are self-cleaning, but foods can still build up. If yours are dirty, lightly wipe them, too. Finish by wiping everything with clean water.
Next, turn your burners on high to burn off anything left on them. It’s normal for them to smoke. Open a window or use your stove top fan to keep your smoke alarms from sounding. Turn off the burners when the smoking stops and let them cool completely. Remove them and wipe off any remaining debris with a dry, lint-free cloth.
Continue your stove cleaning by removing the drip pans and soaking them in hot, soapy water. If they’re really dirty, put them a zipped, plastic bag with a little ammonia and leave them overnight. Remove them the next morning, rinse them with clean water and dry them using a lint-free cloth.
Clean the stove top itself with a paste made from a half-cup of baking soda and 3 or 4 tablespoons of water, using a soft scrubber or other non-abrasive kitchen cleaning tool.
On most electric stoves, the top will lift up so you can clean the burnt food from underneath. Use a plastic knife or spatula to scrape off any hardened foods and wipe the area with warm, soapy water. For stubborn spots of burnt food, use the baking soda paste or other stove top cleaner recommended by your manufacturer. To avoid electrical shock, don’t get water in the burner connections.
Follow the directions in your owner's manual for recommended products, or spray some glass cleaner on your stove top and wipe it off with a soft, clean cloth for extra shine.
When all the stove parts are completely dry, reassemble them. Keep your stove top clean by placing drip pan liners under the burners or lining the bowl-shaped area under the burners with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Discard and replace the foil when needed.
If you have a dual fuel stove, which is a stove that uses electricity to heat the oven and gas for the cooktop, handwash the grates and burner caps in warm water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid. If the grates are really dirty, use a sponge to scrub them with hot water mixed with dishwashing liquid or use the homemade baking soda paste.
Don’t let spark igniters, wires, switches or any other electrical controls or parts get wet. Rinse the parts you’ve cleaned with fresh water and dry them.
If your manufacturer recommends it, apply a degreaser to the stove top and wipe it with a soft cloth until it’s dry and streak-free.
Before you begin, make sure the gas to the stove is turned off and the stove and burners are cold. Gas stove cleaning is easier if you first remove the grates and reflectors pans from the stove top and soak them in hot, soapy water for 15 to 20 minutes. Take them out and gently scrub off any remaining gunk with a mesh pad that won’t scratch them.
Use a sponge and warm, soapy water or a stove top cleaner paste made from baking soda and warm water, as in step one, to remove any remaining grunge. The paste can also be used to clean the grates and reflector pans. Use a plastic spatula or plastic knife to scrape away dried or baked-on foods on the stove top. Don’t scrape with anything made of metal, which can leave scratches. Use a damp cloth to wipe off the scrapings.
Finish by wiping the stove top and parts with a cloth dipped in clean water. Use a fresh cloth for drying and reassemble everything.
Glass stove tops don’t have grates or drip pans, so they’re easier to clean than other types of stove tops. Clean a cooled, black glass stove top daily by spraying it with a little warm water or distilled white vinegar and wipe it with a microfiber cloth. Use a fresh, lint-free cloth to dry and polish it.
Every other week, or as often as needed, give your glass stove top a more thorough cleaning. When it’s cool, spray it with distilled white vinegar and sprinkle baking soda over it. Moisten a towel in hot water and drape it over the baking soda and vinegar. After about 10 minutes, pick up the towel and use it to scrub the stove top clean, rinsing often. Spray more vinegar on the stove top and wipe it again. When all the gunk is gone, polish any steaks on the black glass with a dry microfiber cloth.
If you have a heavily soiled glass stove top, you may need to use a razor scraper to remove hardened or sticky foods. Read your owner's manual first and do not use a razor scraper unless it's recommended. Follow the manual instead to find the best glass stove top cleaner and cleaning technique for your model.
If the manual says you can use a razor scraper, first spray distilled white vinegar on the food debris to soften it. Then scrape gently and slowly, holding the scraper as flat as possible. Using the corners of the blade or moving the scraper in a direction parallel to the blade can ruin the stove top. Wipe the loosened debris with a clean, microfiber cloth and repeat the steps repeat as needed.
Clean a cool ceramic stove stop following the same steps for cleaning a glass stove top, but do not use not a razor scraper. However, your owner’s manual may suggest using a glass scraper to remove burned on or dried spills. Check the manual for their recommendations on specially formulated ceramic stove top cleaners, too. For best results, wipe up spills as soon as they happen.