With our busy lives, it’s a challenge sometimes to find time to cook dinner, let alone do the cleanup. Yet, even if you only cook a few times a week, food and oil residue builds up on your stovetop. And it only takes one overflowing pot to make a mess that’s hard to remove.
Although not always practical, the easiest way to maintain a sparkling stovetop is to clean it after every use. This can be as simple as wiping down the surface, heating coils or burner heads, and grates. Use a soapy sponge or damp microfiber cloth and take care of any spills in the drip pans as well. The more often you do this, the less often you’ll have to do a more extensive cleaning.
Whether you manage to do a little bit of cleaning every time you cook or wait to do a massive deep-clean every once in a while, here are some methods to help you clean your stovetop so it shines like new again.
Glass or Induction Stovetops
Using a Chemical Cleaner
- Make sure the glass stovetop is turned off and completely cool before doing any cleaning. The exception is any spill with heated sugary substances, or foods with high sugar content. These should be cleaned right away, or they can permanently damage or stain the stovetop. If the spill is on a burner, turn it off immediately, and using an oven mitt to protect your hands, wipe up the spill with a soft damp cloth. You can wait for the burner to cool slightly if you prefer.
- Cleaners for glass stovetops are usually creamy. Apply with a paper towel or soft sponge. Let the cleaner dry, then rinse it off with a damp towel when you’re done. The surface can become permanently stained if you don’t clean off the residue. Then wipe the stovetop dry with a microfiber cloth to get a nice shine.
- For stubborn burned-on food or residue, apply the cleaner and let it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing with a special scraper made for ceramic and glass stovetops. Always do this when the stovetop is still damp. Never use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, and scrub-type sponges. Some people use a razor blade but be careful if you use one because you can scratch the stovetop.
Using a Natural Cleaner
- Alternatively, you can clean glass stovetops without the use of chemicals by making a soft paste with white vinegar or lemon juice and baking soda.
- Apply the mixture to the burned-on food stains.
- Fill a container or sink with hot soapy water and submerge two light kitchen towels. Wring them out so they’re damp and lay the towels on top of the vinegar-baking soda mixture for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes use the towels to scrub the stovetop. When all the stains are gone, wipe off the baking soda. If there’s any remaining burned-on food, use the special scraper for glass stovetopswhile the surface is still damp.
- Wipe the stovetop again with vinegar and a soft sponge or cloth, rinse off the vinegar, and dry the stovetop with a microfiber cloth.
Vinegar is also good for removing hard water stains on your glass stovetop. Moisten a cloth with some vinegar and rub the stain until it disappears. Then rinse off the vinegar with a soft cloth dampened with distilled water.
- To remove caked-on food from the burners, set them to high for a few minutes. Often this will burn the food off.
- If burned-on food still remains, let the burners cool completely, then try wiping them with mild dish soap and water, or a baking soda and water paste. For really tough residue, let the paste sit for as long as 20 minutes before scrubbing. Thoroughly rinse off the baking soda when you’re finished.
- You can also completely remove the burners from the stovetop to clean them. Most slide out with a gentle tug, but refer to your owner’s manual if you have any questions. Don’t submerge any part of the burner or get any part of the electrical connection wet.
- Most drip pans are removable. Dump out any charred food remnants and wipe out the pans with dish soap and water. You may have to soak them in hot soapy water to loosen any baked-on food. If they’re proving extremely difficult to clean, it only costs a few dollars to replace them.
- Replace the drip pans, and any coils you removed, only when they’re completely dry.
- For difficult stains on the stovetop, use a paste of white vinegar and baking soda. Let it sit for a while, then thoroughly wipe it off with a soft damp cloth. Rinse with a non-soapy sponge.
- For grates, burner caps, burner heads, and drip trays that are already fairly clean, remove them and wash thoroughly with a non-abrasive sponge and dish soap. Rinse and repeat if necessary, until there are no filmy stains, and they don’t feel greasy.
- If the grates, burner caps, burner heads, and drip trays are extremely dirty, soak them first in warm soapy water, then wash them with a non-abrasive soapy sponge. For stubborn residue, apply a paste of 1 part vinegar, 2 parts baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes before washing it off with the soapy sponge.
- After soaking the burner heads, use a toothbrush to remove any remaining stains between the slots. Use a sewing needle or paper clip to carefully dig out any debris from the ignition ports (but be careful with those).
- To clean the stove surface, wipe it down first with a damp cloth to remove any particles of food. Then wash it with a non-abrasive soapy sponge. For those greasy, stubborn food stains, spread the mixture of 1 part vinegar, 2 parts baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap over the stovetop. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before gently scrubbing it off with a soapy sponge. Rinse with a non-soapy sponge and dry the surface with a soft clean cloth. Return the burner heads, caps, drip trays, and grates.
Stainless Steel Stovetops
- For stainless steel stovetops, avoid using harsh abrasives, scouring powders, steel wool, bleach, and ammonia, all of which can damage the finish. Always check your owner’s manual and manufacturer’s website for any other cleaners to avoid.
- For scratches and stains, use a nonabrasive stainless-steel cleaner, and apply with a soft lint-free cloth. To bring out the natural luster, lightly wipe the surface with a water-dampened microfiber cloth, followed by a dry polishing chamois. Always follow the grain of stainless steel.
- As an alternative, use a soft cloth dipped in warm water mixed with a mild dish detergent. Wipe the stovetop surface, rinse the cloth, wipe again, and then dry with a towel to prevent water spots.
- For baked-on food and grease, gently rub a paste of baking soda and warm water onto the surface using a soft cloth or sponge. Wipe with a clean wet cloth and towel dry.
To keep your stove and other major appliances in peak operating condition, call C&W Appliance at (855) 358-1496 or (214) 358-1496 or fill out our online service request form.