In my efforts to keep a clean kitchen, there are three elements that I always prioritize, if for no other reason but that they are the most noticeable. I want clean dishes, a clean floor, and a clean stove top.
Of the three, the stovetop is probably the least approachable. For one thing, there are all sorts of different stovetops. More than that, cleaning stoves is annoying. They are inconvenient enough to maintain that many of us do the bare minimum (or even nothing at all!), making them frustrating to clean once the mess becomes unbearable.
I want to make keeping a clean stove top and a clean kitchen as simple, approachable, and (dare I say it?) fun as possible. So without any further ado, here is my guide for how to clean stovetops.
Get to know your stove.
It might sound like a silly first step, but as I mentioned at the beginning, stovetops come in various styles and materials. You are probably most familiar with the traditional gas stovetop, which will be the focus of my writing here.
That said, you may have an electric stovetop, of which there are several varieties: coil stovetops, smooth-top stoves, and induction stovetops.
Whatever you have, you must know how to handle the stove’s components safely. Cleaning glass stovetops like smooth-top and induction stoves will be different than cleaning coils or grates. Consult the owner’s manual if you are unsure. If you are like me and threw out the owner’s manual, most manufacturers will provide a free PDF online – you only need to know your model number!
What you will need
In general, cleaning a stove doesn’t require very many tools or materials. Here is a short list of necessary items plus some additional ones you may find helpful.
- A clean, working sink or other access to warm water.
- Rags you use for cleaning. Paper towels work as well but create extra waste I prefer to avoid!
- Dry cleaning towels.
- Dish soap or another non-corrosive degreasing detergent. Our favorite right now is Dawn Platinum!
- A sponge
Not required, but very helpful!
- Softscrub All-Purpose Cleanser
- A stiff, nylon toothbrush or small utility brush.
Make it fun
Cleaning, and chores generally speaking, is not fun. I won’t pretend as though it is. That said, there are things you can do to have fun while you clean! I love blasting Van Morrison and jamming while I work. My son prefers putting on his favorite podcast. You might enjoy putting on your favorite TV show in the background!
At the end of the day, linking something you love, like music, podcasts, or even TV, to your cleaning chores will help them feel less exhausting and more approachable next time you want to pick them up! Try out different things and discover what works well for you!
How to clean your stovetop
For this writing, I am focusing on gas stovetops. I hope to write detailed blogs about cleaning the various electric stoves in the future, so make sure to check in regularly for new content!
1. Remove stovetop grates, burner caps, and the gas valve knobs!
- Remove the metal grate and burner cap from your stovetop, as well as the knobs that activate the stove (these usually pull off easily). Leave them to soak in a sink half-full with warm, soapy water. Some grates are made of cast iron, in which case you may prefer to wash without soap. I’ve never had problems, but listen to your gut!
2. Begin washing your stovetop.
- With the hardware out of the way, this step should be a breeze. Using a rag damp with warm, soapy water, scrub the stove’s surface, gently passing over the control panel.
- Dish soap works well! Dish soap is a degreaser, which allows the oil build-up on your stovetop to break down and mix with the water, so you should begin to see a big difference right away.
- After you have given the stovetop a good sudzing, rinse your rag with warm water and wipe away the soap a couple of times until the stovetop is fully rinsed. It may take more than one pass – whatever it takes to clear all of the soap!
- Avoid using so much water that it pools up. Using too much water may cause it to leak into the mechanical parts of your stove, which could damage it.
- After your first pass, take stock of the areas of your stove that need extra attention. In my experience, this is usually right around the burner, where leaked food, oil, grease, and starchy water burned onto the surface of your stove. Apply a small amount of concentrated soap onto these spots, scrub, and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
3. Now, while we wait, let’s clean the hardware we removed earlier.
- Back at the sink, wash the grates, burner caps, and activator knobs just as you would dishes. Some of these elements may have coatings that can be damaged if scrubbed too roughly, so try to limit using abrasive sponges or scrubbers to the places with a build-up of burnt food and other gunk.
- Set your grates and burner caps aside to dry.
- Now return to the stovetop, and use your rag to scrub the stubborn, burnt parts that remain. You may need help from an abrasive scrubber. Start small, with the scratchy side of a sponge, and if that doesn’t work, try using a stiff, nylon utility brush. Be careful! You don’t want to leave scratch marks or chip paint.
- If you still have some areas that won’t get clean after all of this, try applying a small amount of Softscrub. Softscrub is one of our favorite solutions for removing stubborn stains on kitchen surfaces, bathtubs & showers, and more. If you decide to use Softscrub, read the safety instructions and consider using gloves. It is not especially dangerous, but it can irritate the skin of some people.
- Replace the hardware!
It’s as simple as that. I like to run my burners on for a minute or two to help evaporate any lingering moisture.
You did it! You’ve given yourself a clean stove top – it makes a big difference, doesn’t it? Now it is time to rest. Make sure you celebrate the work you’ve done in whatever way suits you best. I like to flip through my favorite magazine with a hot cup of coffee. How do you relax after hard work?
My final tip: Don’t get lazy with maintenance!
A clean stove top goes a long way to making your kitchen and home feel tidy and organized, which is so lifegiving! All it takes is wiping down the stovetop with a damp, soapy rag once you’ve finished cooking, lifting the grates as you go. I built this habit by thinking of wiping down my stove as a part of doing the dishes. It hardly takes a minute to do and keeps me from having to do this big, deep clean very often!
We at Master Clean USA believe that a clean, organized home can be life-changing. We exist to improve the lives of those we serve, one clean home at a time. Maintaining a clean stove top is a wonderful step, and we hope this guide helped you.
You’ve got a clean stove top – are you interested in other awesome tips for cleaning your kitchen appliances? Check out our complete guide!
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