You can skip harsh, expensive commercial products once you know how to clean a dirty stove naturally. The surprising thing? It really won’t take that much longer. After all, with commercial products you’ll have to wait while they work. And that time waiting? That’s time their harsh fumes are filling up your house and lungs.
How To Clean A Dirty Stove
There are several parts to a stove, all of which can get nasty over time. The easiest way to have a clean stove? Buy a new one and never cook. Now, while I find that solution mighty tempting, my family would probably mutiny if I stopped cooking altogether. If your family insists on being fed, too, here’s how to get your stove looking good again.
Electric Stoves: Clean Burners and Drip Pans
1. Remove the burners. Make sure the stove is off and completely cooled down before you begin cleaning. Then, carefully lift each burner and gently tug it out of the socket. If your burners don’t come out easily, do NOT force them: you’ll just need to clean them in place instead.
2. Remove the drip pans. Once you’ve removed or lifted the burners, slip the drip pans out and soak them in a sink of hot, soapy water for 15 minutes while you proceed with cleaning the burners and cooktop. After the drip pans have soaked, scrub them with a scouring pad to dislodge as much cooked on gunk as possible. Shine the drip pans, and remove any remaining residue, by scrubbing with a paste of equal parts cream of tartar and white vinegar. Rub this on well, let sit 20 minutes then rinse under hot water, scrubbing as needed, until clean.
3. Clean the burners and cooktop. Get scorched food, grease, and other stains off of the burners and cooktop by scrubbing with homemade soft scrub (recipe below).
Gas Stoves: Burner grates and gas eyes
Gas stoves require a bit more attention than their electric counterparts but are usually easier to clean.
1. Clean the grates and drip pans. Remove the grates and soak them in a sink of hot, soapy water for 15 minutes. Scrub and rinse, then use the homemade soft scrub cleaner recipe below to remove remaining food residue from the grates and stovetop.
2. Clean the gas eye. Wipe the around the gas eye with a hot, soapy cloth to remove as much residue as possible. Then, using a toothbrush and homemade soft scrub cleaner, remove any remaining grime. If your gas eye vents looked clogged, you can gently insert the tip of a toothpick or pin to break through crusted on food. Be careful that you don’t break the toothpick off in there! Once clean, you can restore the shine to the gas eye by rubbing it with a paste made of equal parts cream of tartar and white vinegar. Allow this to sit for 20 minutes then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Glass or Ceramic Smooth Stovetops
1. Light stains: Use the homemade soft scrub cleaner below and a damp cloth to remove any cooked-on food. Wipe repeatedly until the all of the scrub is gone, then buff to a shine with a dry cloth. For more stubborn stains, sprinkle with 1/2 cup baking soda then dip a clean cloth in 1 cup of hot vinegar. Spread this cloth over the baking soda and wait 5 minutes. Remove the cloth and scrub away the loosened grime.
Homemade Soft Scrub
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tbsp. liquid dish detergent (Dawn Original works great)
2 tbsp. white vinegar
Directions: Combine the baking soda and dish detergent to make a thick paste then stir in the vinegar. Add more vinegar if you prefer a thinner consistency. To use, apply with a microfiber cloth or sponge, scrub well, and rinse dry.
Tips To Keep Your Stove Clean
• Most stove top stains come from spills that harden on. The best prevention is to wipe your cooktop with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge immediately after cooking, or, at the latest, when you’re doing that meal’s dishes.
• Prevent spills from over-boiling sauces and pasta by keeping the heat so it’s just boiling, not a bubbling cauldron.
• Always use the proper-sized pot for cooking, bearing in mind that there should be at least 2 inches between the top of cooking liquids and the pan.
• Use a splatter screen when frying food to minimize grease stains.
• Be sure to clean the stove hood filter regularly, too!
It’s a good idea to make cleaning the stove top part of your weekly cleaning routines. Need a reminder to do it? Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter for cleaning schedules, meal plans, and more help staying on top of household tasks.