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What you'll need:
Non-abrasive sponge or toothbrush
Paper clip or bobby pin (optional)
Baking soda (optional)
Vinegar (optional for induction or glass stovetops)
Spray bottle (optional for induction or glass stovetops)
Your stove sees a lot of action—it’s where you heat leftovers, prepare roast chicken on Sunday night, boil water for tea, and more. Over time, the burners on your stove can look worse for wear, sometimes showing evidence of last week’s dinner menu. Learn how to clean your stove burners for a sparkling stovetop you’ll be proud of.
Prepping to Clean Your Stove Burners
Safety: Before cleaning your stove burners, ensure they’re completely cool. It’s a good project to do between breakfast and dinner, assuming you don’t need the oven for lunch; wait an hour after cooking your morning meal, then get to work scrubbing the grime off once the oven and stovetop return to room temperature. With a gas range, it’s also wise to shut off the gas valve before cleaning.
If you have your owner’s manual handy, give it a quick read-through to understand the various components of your stovetop. For example, if you have an electric range, you may need the manual to understand how to disconnect the burner coils from the sockets on the stove.
Allow additional time for your stove burner components to dry after cleaning. Expect the stove to be unusable for about three hours.
Remove the Grates or Coils
Photo: Mila Naumova / Adobe Stock
The grates on a gas range should lift right off. On electric ranges, you’ll need to gently pull the burner coils toward you while lifting them up and away from the connection point. If they don’t move, check your appliance manual to see how to remove them. Once removed, place them off to the side on your countertop.
Clean the Grates
Gentle dish soap and warm water can tackle most burner grease. With gas range grates, you can soak them in a sink full of soapy water before scrubbing away any caked-on food. However, don’t submerge electric coils due to the electrical connection; instead, gently wipe the coils with a dish sponge soaked in warm water and soap, being very careful to avoid the electrical connection. Set the grates aside to dry completely.
Remove and Clean the Burner Caps or Drip Pans
Gas ranges have burner caps—they look like slim plates that rest on top of the burners. They should be easy to remove by simply lifting them off. Soak them in a bowl of warm water and soap (or submerge them in the sink) for about 20 to 30 minutes, then scrub using a non-abrasive scrub pad.
For electric ranges, you can clean drip pans in a similar manner. Remove the drip pans by lifting them at the point furthest away from the electrical socket.
Remove and Clean the Burner Heads
Photo: Oleg Opryshko / Adobe Stock
You’ll find the burner heads below the burner caps. To remove, lift them off the stovetop, making sure not to damage the ignition electrode (a white and metal tube-like component).
Follow the same instructions for cleaning the burner caps in step three. You may notice gunk inside the port holes. Use a straightened-out paper clip or bobby pin to clean it out—just be gentle on the metal. A toothpick or another less sturdy object is not a great choice for this task, as it can break off into the ports.
Tackle Tough Grime
If your burner caps, heads, and grates still look dirty, make a paste with baking soda and water (use a one-to-one mixture). “A baking soda paste is a safe, mildly abrasive cleaner, which is useful for cleaning and removing any cooked-on food particles without damaging the stovetop," says Asya Biddle, Angi Expert Review Board member and manager of The Dustbusters, a family-owned and operated janitorial company in Williamsport, PA.
Apply it to the surface area of the oven components, and scrub any caked-on food or dirt with an old toothbrush. You may need to repeat this process a few times.
Rinse and Let Dry
Once you’ve cleaned all the components to your satisfaction, rinse them with warm water and set them aside to dry. Meanwhile, you can clean the stovetop with a cleaning spray or the baking soda paste; make sure to wipe it clean and let it dry before replacing the components. If you’ve got time, you might clean under the stove as well.
Photo: R_Yosha / Adobe Stock
Now that everything is clean and dry, you can put the stovetop back together. Work backward, starting with the heads, then the caps, and finally returning the grates to their rightful home. For electric ranges, replace the drip pans and then reattach the coils.
Turn the Pilot Light Back On
If your stove uses a pilot light, turn it back on—read the manufacturer’s instructions for how to do this. After it’s turned on, test your burners and ensure they’re not producing an odd flame color or shape. If they are, the burner heads might not be fully dry.
DIY Stove Burner Cleaning vs. Hiring a Pro
Cleaning stove burners is an easy task that you should do about once per week if you’re a cooking enthusiast (or simply have a big family to feed). Whether preparing for a big dinner party or life is simply getting in the way, you can save time by hiring a local house cleaning service to clean your burners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Glass-topped stoves and induction zones are very simple to clean. Make a natural cleaning solution with white vinegar and water, and add it to a spray bottle. Spray it on the stovetop’s surface.
Next, sprinkle some baking soda on the stovetop, and let the cleaning concoction sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with a damp, clean cloth, and wipe dry. Make sure the stovetop is completely dry before cooking again.
Add cleaning your stovetop to your weekly kitchen cleaning checklist. Make sure to wipe down any spills after cooking once the stove is cool to the touch and it’s safe to do so. This maintenance will ensure your stovetop and its burners are easy to clean and eliminate caked-on, hard-to-scrub food.