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 using less noxious cleaning methods.
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 keep your cooktop clean is by never using it. Now, while I find that solution mighty tempting, my family would probably riot if I stopped cooking altogether. If your family insists on being fed, too, here’s how to get your stove looking good again.
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 they don’t come out quickly, do NOT force them — clean them in place instead.
2. Use this to clean 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.
Remove any remaining residue on the drip pans and get them shiny again with a paste made from equal parts cream of tartar and white vinegar. Rub this on well, let it sit 20 minutes and then rinse under hot water, scrubbing as needed until clean.
3. Clean the stains. Get scorched food, grease, and other stains off of the burners and cooktop by rubbing with the homemade scouring powder recipe below.
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 scouring powder recipe below to remove remaining food residue from the grates and stovetop.
2. Clean gas eyes. Wipe the around the gas eye with a hot, soapy cloth to remove as much gunk as possible. Then, using a toothbrush and scouring powder, remove any remaining grime.
If your gas vents looked clogged, 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
Use the homemade scouring powder recipe below and a damp cloth to remove any cooked-on food. Wipe repeatedly 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 (it will foam!) and wait 5 minutes. Remove the material and scrub away the loosened grime.
Homemade Scouring Powder
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tbsp. liquid dish detergent
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 stovetop stains come from spills. 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 using a pot large enough to allow at least 4 inches between the surface of the water and the top of the container.
• Use a splatter screen when frying food to minimize grease stains.
• Be sure to clean the stove hood filter regularly, too.