cleaning a stovetop

Grease, grime, and dirt are just par for the course in most homes and keeping things clean takes skill and planning. In your kitchen, all that greasy buildup can be tough to handle and could even cause health problems. The Maids® has been cleaning stovetops for decades, so we feel uniquely qualified to give you the inside scoop.

Whether you’ve been putting it off for a while or you’re not sure how to clean a stovetop, we’ve compiled tips from the field to help you out. We’ve also included bonus tips for other hard-to-clean areas, all using homemade stovetop cleaners made with safe, natural ingredients.

How to Clean an Electric Stovetop

Here’s what you’ll need for cleaning the stovetop on your electric range:

  • Newspapers
  • Toothbrush
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Sponge

Before you jump in, did you know most electric stovetops are self-cleaning? Try this method out on your coil top stove and save some elbow grease:

  • Remove all cookware from the stove, turn the burners to high, and leave them on for two to three minutes. The intense heat will burn off most of the mess, so you may not even need to know how to clean a stovetop after all!
  • Wipe off any remaining residue with a damp, lint-free cloth (once cooled).
  • Remove the coils and drip pans.
  • Wash the drip pans with warm soapy water and then cover them completely with a mixture of 2 parts baking soda and 1 part distilled white vinegar.
  • Let the drip pans sit for at least 15 minutes so the cleaning concoction can do its job.

While the drip pans are “self-cleaning,” the coils are not. Lay out some newspaper and grab your coils and a dry toothbrush.

  • Gently brush the coils over the newspaper to clean off that crusty layer of dried grease and grime.
  • Wipe the coils with a damp cloth and then dry them with a towel.
  • Put them aside and get back to your drip pans.
  • Wash the baking soda and vinegar mixture off the drip pans and give them another wash with warm soapy water.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry them off with a lint-free towel and rub them to a nice shiny finish.

Before you put everything back together, let’s tackle the stovetop. To clean grease off a stove, do the following:

  • Wipe it down with a damp cloth to loosen up the top layer of residue and then wash thoroughly with a soapy sponge to cut through the grease. To clean burnt stains off a stovetop, your homemade vinegar and baking soda mixture is the ideal degreaser for a stove.
  • Spread your cleaning paste over the entire stovetop and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  • Gently scrub the whole area and repeat the application for those really tough spots.
  • Dry the stovetop, replace the drip pans and coils, and you’re done!

To protect your stovetop and keep it cleaner longer, pick up some electric stove burner covers. You’ll find covers with decorative designs and colors to complement your kitchen décor. Electric stove burner covers can also be used as cutting boards and give you extra counter space. Whether you use covers to hide ugly electric burners or to give you more work space, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try this practical solution before.

How to Clean a Gas Stovetop

Here’s what you’ll need for cleaning the stovetop on your gas range:

  • Soft scrub brush
  • Dish soap
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Large food storage bags
  • Sponge

Learning how to clean a stovetop on a gas range is more involved and requires some waiting.

  • Remove your grates and place them in a sink of warm soapy water. Let them soak for a few minutes.
  • Use a cloth and soft scrub brush to remove the residues and caked-on grime. If the grates are too dirty for this method, grab your vinegar and large food storage bags.
  • Place each grate in a bag filled with vinegar and let sit overnight.
  • The next morning, carefully remove the grates and rinse them off thoroughly and dry.
  • Wipe off the burner covers gently with a damp cloth. If the buildup is too bad, you can soak the burner covers in warm soapy water and gently scrub with the soft scrub brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly and make sure they are completely dry before replacing them.

While you have the burner covers off, inspect the burners, and make sure there aren’t any food particles or crud blocking any of the holes. If the burners need it, a bent paper clip is perfect for making sure all the holes are clear.

Before you degrease the stovetop, wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove food particles, and then wash thoroughly with a soapy sponge. Wipe up all the soap and residue with a clean damp cloth.

If you have spots that just won’t come clean, you can use 2 parts baking soda and 1 part vinegar to create a paste and apply it to the tougher spots. Give it about 15 minutes to break up all that grime, then gently scrub. You may have to repeat this process for some stains. Remove all the cleaning paste by wiping the stovetop with a clean damp cloth. Make sure everything is nice and dry before putting everything back together.

Additionally, if you want to clean your gas stovetop less often, try out a gas range protector. They cover most of your stovetop’s surface and are pre-cut to fit specific stove models. They are non-stick, dishwasher-safe, and can withstand extreme heat. You can also cover your glass stovetop when it’s not in use with decorative noodle boards or cutting boards. You can use these covers for extra counter space and even serving trays.

How to Clean a Glass Stovetop

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bath towel
  • Stiff non-scratch scrub brush
  • Pan scraper

Cleaning a stovetop made of glass takes a different approach, but we’ll still be using baking soda and vinegar to get the job done.

  • Wipe down the whole stovetop with vinegar and then wipe with a damp cloth to remove debris and residue.
  • Cover the entire surface with baking soda.
  • Grab your bath towel and get it wet. Wring out most of the water and place the towel over the stovetop and let it sit for about 15 minutes. The mild alkali in the baking soda, along with moisture from the towel, will break down grime and crud.
  • Remove the towel and grab your non-scratch scrub brush. Now start scrubbing! It may seem like all that build-up will never completely come off, but with some perseverance and elbow grease, you’ll get there.
  • Remove any leftover baking soda and crud with a damp cloth until everything is removed. If there is still some baked-on crud, dampen the stovetop and go to work with the pan scraper.

If you need to know how to clean a burnt stovetop, you’re going to have to be very careful with this method:

  • Use a razor blade scraper to remove heavy spills that have burned onto the cooktop.
  • Hold the scraper at a 45-degree angle to the surface and carefully apply pressure to scrape away the residue. Go slowly and be careful not to use too much pressure to avoid scratching your stovetop.
  • Remove the debris with a paper towel or cloth, and finish the job with one more application of vinegar with a damp cloth.
  • Buff with a dry cloth for a sparkling shine!

Finishing Steps for How to Clean a Stovetop

Regardless of which type of stovetop you’re cleaning, it’s often the final touches that make your stovetop sparkle. If your knobs are removable, pull them off and let them soak in warm soapy water for a few minutes and then wipe them clean with a cloth or sponge. For buildup on the backsides of the knobs, you can use a toothbrush. Just rinse the knobs thoroughly and make sure they are completely dry before replacing them.

For the stovetop, you can finish things off with a good wipe-down using a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol. This will remove any streaks and smears left over and give your stovetop a squeaky-clean shine. Run the cloth along the inside and outside of your stovetop’s bezel using your fingernail to push the cloth into the gap. If you’ve come this far, you might as well clean your oven, too!

Whether you’re cleaning your stovetop or oven, the best way to keep kitchen appliances clean is to clean them after every use. Stovetop covers will help keep your stovetop clean when it’s not in use, and you’ll start every meal with a clean slate. If you’re not too messy of a cook, this can mean as little as wiping down surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth or a soapy sponge.

How to Clean Grease Off a Stove Hood

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Very hot water
  • Degreasing dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Non-abrasive scrub pad
  • Microfiber cloths

You did know there are grease filters underneath your range hood, didn’t you? If you didn’t know, you might be in for a nasty surprise once you look up there! Your stove exhaust hood uses filters to capture grease as cooking fumes are expelled through the fan. So if your exhaust is working properly, you should see plenty of greasy residue. That’s a good thing.

But if this is your first time checking out your exhaust filters, they’re probably due for a good cleaning and degreasing. Whether it’s been awhile (or never) since you cleaned your range hood, too much greasy buildup is a bad thing. That buildup can make your exhaust fan work harder, cause unpleasant odors, and even create an unsafe environment.

A dirty range hood can cause fumes to go back into the kitchen and, eventually, the rest of your home through your HVAC system. This dirty air can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems. Greasy buildup on your range hood can also combust and quickly cause a fire under the right conditions.

Thankfully, getting out of the danger zone is easy when you know how to clean your range hood like a pro. Here’s how:

  • Remove your grease filters and put them in a sink full of very hot or boiling water, a half cup of baking soda, and a few squirts of the degreasing dish soap.
  • Submerge the grease filters as much as you can and let them soak for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse the grease filters and use your non-abrasive scrub pad and scrub the filters. Be sure to get into crevices and between the fins on both sides.
  • Add more dish soap to your scrub pad and baking soda to the filters if you need more firepower.
  • Rinse the filters thoroughly with hot water, and then use microfiber cloths to dry the filters.
  • Let the filters finish air drying for a couple of hours, then reinstall the grease filters.

Bonus Tips for Other Hard-to-Clean Appliances

Dish Sink

That sink may look clean after you’ve rinsed it thoroughly. You have been filling it with soapy water, after all! But all that soap and rinsing can still leave a residue that might go unnoticed. This biofilm can contain bacteria from raw meat or chicken, germs from a variety of sources and other unhealthy stuff. Here’s how to get your sink clean and healthy.

Whether you have a stainless steel or porcelain sink, baking soda is the perfect cleaner for removing stains and grime without scratching your sink’s surface. To start, rinse out the sink, liberally pour baking soda all over and scrub with a cloth or sponge. For tough stains, it may help to let the baking soda sit a little longer. Wipe dry, and you’ll have the cleanest, healthiest sink ever.

Refrigerator Shelf Seams

We’re talking about those popular glass shelves here. You probably keep the outside of your fridge clean and shiny most of the time. You even pull everything out and give the inside a complete cleaning once in a while. But when was the last time you cleaned the seams where the glass shelves fit into their frames? While this very specific cleaning task may seem a bit much, consider that these small crevices can harbor mold, bacteria, and germs, and these contaminants can spread under the right conditions. Here’s how to clean this often overlooked area.

  • Remove all of your glass shelves and move them to the sink area.
  • Rinse thoroughly with hot water from your sink sprayer or faucet with a focus on the seams.
  • Make a paste of equal parts water and baking soda and gently scrub the seams with the paste using a toothbrush.
  • Make sure you get all the debris and crud removed both from the top and bottom of the shelf.
  • Wash the shelves in warm soapy water, rinse completely, dry and replace them in the refrigerator.

Finally, you’ll have crystal clear glass shelves and a healthier refrigerator!

Now that you know how to clean a stovetop, range hood, and other kitchen appliances, what’s next? Whether you do it yourself with our field-tested housekeeping how-tos or let The Maids get the job done with our professional residential cleaning services, we make keeping your home cleaner and healthier more manageable. Get a free estimate today, and find out how we can make your home a better place to be.


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