A stove is the workhorse of any kitchen and you need it to work properly for cooking or heating up meals every day. As your stove toils for you, signs of its hard work will show. If you neglect regular clean-up, those burnt bits of sauce from Tuesday and charred cabbage from Wednesday will remain for a whole week. After a year of daily cooking, the brownish patina of grime and grease will accumulate. The neglected stove will be a perfect habitat for germs and they will make it into your pan, potentially causing digestive problems. Stove cleaning isn’t just a nice look obligation.
A blemish-free stove is equivalent to a blank canvas for artists and you will have more freedom in preparing your meals. For many homeowners, a well-maintained kitchen is a matter of pride and they want it to be perpetually clean. The best way to keep your stove sparkling is to clean it every day. It is often as easy as wiping the whole surface with a damp sponge or microfiber cloth. However, after two weeks of heavy use, you need more than just some simple wipes. You need to invest more time and effort to thoroughly scrub down the stove.
Preparation and Tools Needed
Before cleaning up your stove thoroughly, it is important to prepare all the required tools. Fortunately, they are easy to get and you don’t need to spend a lot of money.
- Rubber gloves: Because you need to get your hands dirty to keep things clean, rubber gloves are important. If you have been maintaining the looks of your nails and the skin of your hands, proper gloves can provide adequate protection. Sharp metal objects may prick your skin, so make sure your gloves are adequately thick.
- Microfiber cloths: Microfiber cloths are non-abrasive and lint-free, so they won’t scratch the paint. These cloths are highly absorbent, making them suitable for wiping the surface with a dishwasher or baking soda solution. Avoid using wire wool or other scouring pads that may scratch the glass and paint.
- Old toothbrush: The toothbrush is great for dislodging a thick layer of grease from your stove and absorbs dishwasher solution well.
- Plastic scraper: It takes more than a sponge to remove burnt and sticky grime on your stove. Avoid metal scrapers that may damage the paint.
- Baking soda and dishwashing liquid: Both are versatile cleaning substances that can effectively remove any greasy deposit from your stove. Because they are non-toxic, you don’t need to worry about the risk of food contamination.
Stove cleaning tips
Follow these steps to get better results when cleaning up your kitchen stove:
- Remove everything: Handles, knobs, gas burners, and racks can be easily removed from your stove. Refer to the manual and be sure your stove is completely cool before disassembling it.
- Soak them: Soak all the stove parts in a dishwasher liquid solution and make sure they are fully submerged. Allow them to soak overnight to loosen the stubborn greasy layer. The dishwasher solution should make it easier to remove the gunk off the handles, knobs, burners, and racks, but it takes time to work.
- Apply baking soda: If you haven’t cleaned up your stove for a long time, a mixture of water and baking soda is needed to dislodge tough stains. Apply a paste of baking soda on stubborn stains. You will get better results if stove parts have been soaked overnight before in dishwashing liquid solution. Allow the baking soda paste to soak for 30 minutes and use a damp sponge to scrub it.
- Wash: Use warm soapy water to wash your stove parts. You need rubber gloves to protect your hands against sharp metal objects. Gently wipe those parts with sponges and rinse with running water. If parts are very greasy, you may need to wash them a couple more times.
- Clean electric stovetop: Electric stoves have different parts and they don’t use a flame to heat up your food. They use coils as a heating element that must be cleaned up more regularly. Burnt deposits may make heating coils become much less efficient. Grime may also potentially cause fire hazards and damage your electric stove. Before removing the coil, be sure to refer to the manual, so you do it safely and properly. Unplug the stove to prevent unwanted electrocution. Soak the heating coil in a solution of dishwashing liquid for a few hours and use a sponge to clean it thoroughly. Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth and be sure to remove any moisture before reattaching the coil back to your stove.
After all stove parts have been thoroughly cleaned, proper finishing is required before you re-attach them. Here are things to do:
- Sprays the stovetop: Spray the stovetop with a solution of dishwashing liquid. Avoid using a degreaser, because it will leave a toxic film that may potentially contaminate your food. Consider making a thicker solution by adding more dishwashing liquid to the mixture, especially if your stovetop is very greasy. On the dirtiest spots, don’t hesitate to spray the solution liberally.
- Allow it to sit: You need to wait for 30 minutes to give time for the dishwashing solution to break up the greasy layer. If the surface becomes dry, you may spray it again to keep it wet.
- Scrub: With back and forth motions, use a damp sponge to scrub away grease or deposits of leftover food. Rinse your sponge regularly and continue scrubbing the stovetop. If the deposits are hard to remove, you may need to re-spray them with dishwashing solution again and let them sit. Don’t be tempted to use a scouring pad, because you may damage the painted surface. Also, use a plastic scraper if some burnt and dry food deposits still won’t come off easily with dishwashing solution.
- Rinse and dry: After thoroughly cleaning up the stovetop, use a damp sponge to remove traces of dishwashing liquid. Finally use a microfiber towel to wipe the surface dry. Re-attach all the parts.
Conclusion and Final Results
When it comes to daily cleaning, the stove is often overlooked. But with the above steps, the final results with being satisfactory and your stove will be as good as new. Neglecting your stove for too long can be dangerous, because it may cause food contamination and potential fire hazard. If the burner or heating coil is covered with food debris, there’s a higher risk of an unwanted fire. Bits of stale food may make their way into your pan, potentially causing dangerous contamination. After being cleaned up, your stove will operate at maximum efficiency again, especially if you have an electric or induction stove.