Keeping your stove top clean will extend the life of the appliance and lower your risk of safety hazards. Even so, with all the little crevices and all that cooked-on grease that seems to have fused with the burner, the task can seem impossible.
If you’re wondering how to clean stove burners without breaking a sweat or a burner head, keep reading for our helpful tips. In this article, you’ll find step-by-step guides to cleaning gas stove burners and electric stove burners.
- How to Clean Gas Stove Burners
- How to Clean Electric Stove Burners
- Final Word
How to Clean Gas Stove Burners
When gas stove burners get dirty, the ports clog which interferes with the gas flow. If you notice the flames getting weaker or irregular flame height, it’s likely because food or grease has clogged the ports. This can affect the cooking process and potentially create a safety hazard. So, clean your burners often and follow these steps to make sure you get the job done right:
1. Use the Right Cleaning Products
While dish soap might be strong enough to remove grease from dishes (and ducks), cooked on grease buried in the nooks and crannies of your stove burner are a different story. Here are a few options that can get the job done:
- Vinegar and Baking Soda. Use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts baking soda.
- A store bought gas range cleaner that can dissolve cooked-on grease and food.
Whether you go for a homemade vinegar and baking soda mixture or a store-bought stovetop cleaner, make sure you also have the following tools to use them with:
- A sponge with a coarse and soft side.
- A toothbrush (or small cleaning brush)
- A soft washcloth or towel
You will also need a glass cleaner to remove the cleaning product residue after you’ve gotten rid of the grease and food. If you prefer DIY cleaning solutions, try one of these glass cleaner recipes that use common household products to create a solution that can remove streaks and residue.
2. Remove the Grills, Caps, and Heads
While designs vary slightly, most gas burners will have grills that your pots sit on and a smooth cap sitting on top of the head. Both of these parts should be easy to pick up and set aside. Do that.
Then, you’ll see the “head” which is a round piece with “teeth” around the edge. This should also lift right up without a struggle. Just make sure to lift it straight up so you don’t bend or break the ignition line underneath.
3. Soak the Caps and Heads
Place the caps and heads in a mixture of hot water, soap, and baking soda to soak while you clean the range. Let them soak for 20-30 minutes. This will make it much easier to scrub them clean once you get to that stage.
4. Soak the Grills if Necessary
If your grills are also dirty, soak them in a similar bath of hot water, soap, and baking soda. Do this in a separate container or keep them in a separate part of the sink. The grills are heavy, and the caps and heads are a little more fragile. Any accidental knocking around that can happen in the water might chip or break the caps and heads.
5. Wipe Down the Range
While they soak, use your degreasing products and a sponge to clean the surface of the stove range. Tougher spots might need to soak for a few minutes before they can be scrubbed away.
6. Scrub and Rinse the Grills, Caps, and Heads
After the soaking stage is done, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to remove any stuck-on debris in the nooks and crannies of each part. Then, use a sponge or dishcloth to clean grease and grime off the rest of their surfaces. Once they’re clean, rinse off the soap and dry them with a towel.
7. Reassemble Your Stove
Once everything is grease-free and dry, put them back on your stove. Again, be careful not to bend or damage the ignition line when putting the heads back on. After all the parts are in place, quickly test each burner by turning them on. Make sure the flames are blue and evenly distributed. If not, you may have missed some debris.
If you cook with your stove daily, clean your burners at least once a month. If you don’t cook that often, the best way to tell it’s time to clean a gas stove is when the flames become yellow instead of blue or the flames are irregular heights.
How to Clean Electric Stove Burners
If you have a newer glass cooktop stove, cleaning it as simple as using a cook top cleaner to dissolve cooked on food and then wiping it down with a glass cleaner to get rid of the residue. If you have an older electric stove with metal coils, it’s a little more complicated. Here’s are some tips for cleaning those older models:
1. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
Electric coils are a little easier to clean than gas burners since they have fewer crevices and hard to reach spots. Food and grease that land on them also burn instead of bake onto the equipment so they can usually be cleaned with regular dish soap and some kind of abrasive cleaning product like baking soda—or a scrub brush.
Here are the basic supplies you’ll need:
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
- Hot water
- Clean washcloth
2. Make Sure the Coils Are Cool
Before you do anything, make sure the coil burners are completely cooled off before removing them. This might seem obvious but, because it takes electric burners a long time to cool down and it’s not always obvious when they were last used, accidents do happen. So doublecheck them before handling!
3. Remove the Electric Burners
Most electric burners are mounted by one or two prongs that plug into the electric socket. So, removing them is just a matter of unplugging and lifting. In some designs, you may need to gently squeeze the prongs together to loosen them from the socket.
If they aren’t coming off easily, check the user manual for your specific model to see what the proper removal process is.
4. Wipe Down the Coils
These coils have electrical components built into them, so you do not want to submerge them in water. Instead, use a warm wet washcloth with soap to wipe it down. This will remove the easier dirt and start softening the tougher bits.
5. Scrub the Stuck-on Food
If there are tougher bits, wet a sponge with soap and hot water. Use the coarse side to scrape away the stuck-on pieces. If it’s still not coming away with the sponge alone, you can dust some backing soda onto your sponge and scrub at the tough spots again.
6. Wipe Clean With a Cloth
Rinse the soap out of the washcloth you used earlier (or use a new washcloth) and then use the wet cloth to wipe away the soap and baking soda residue. Again, you don’t want to submerge the electric burners or put them under running water. Otherwise, water might damage the electrical components.
7. Wipe Down the Range
To clean the surface of the stove top itself, you can use the same cleaning products here that you would for a gas stove. A degreaser that actively dissolves grease and cooked on food or a DIY mix of baking soda and vinegar will do the trick.
When you’re cleaning the range, spray the cleaning product onto the cloth or sponge you’re using instead of onto the range itself. You don’t want cleaning product or excess water to get into the outlet or other electrical parts of your stove.
When the dirt and grime are gone, wipe it down with glass cleaner to get rid of soap scum and residue.
8. Plug the Electric Burners Back In
Once the burners have dried completely and the range is clean, you can plug them back into their sockets. After you’ve plugged them all in, quickly turn on all the burners to make sure they’re working.
With electric burners, it can be tough to tell when it’s time to clean since charred food stains can blend into the grey-black color of the coil itself. If you make a mess while cooking, wipe down all the burners and the range before the food has a chance to cook on. Outside of regular wipe downs, do a deep clean using the steps described above at least once a month.
Both gas and electric stove burners are easy to clean but they do require slightly different processes so make sure to follow the steps for your stove type. More importantly, make sure to clean your stove regularly.
Wiping down spills and messes as they occur will make deep cleaning our stove burners later on much easier as there will be less cooked-on grease and food. Grab your sponge and degreaser and start scrubbing!