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Here is Your Simple Guide to Cleaning Your Stovetop Burners

stovetop burners

Cathie Hong

Vacuuming can be a delightful task. Cleaning off and styling a coffee table? Even better. Cleaning your kitchen stove burners, however, is a chore that doesn't foster much fondness. Your leftover meals are quite literally cooked onto the burners, and cleaning them is going to take a bit more elbow grease than running the Dyson.

It doesn't have to be so hard though. We talked to cleaning expert Kadi Dulude, owner of Wizard of Homes NYC, for her tips on how to clean stove burners. Read on for her professional take on how to get your kitchen sparkling again.

Meet the Expert

Kadi Dulude is the founder and owner of Wizard of Homes NYC, a professional cleaning service she started in 2009 that has grown into a team of 70+ professional housekeepers.

Materials You'll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Old toothbrush
  • Bent paperclip 
  • Dishtowels  
  • Dish gloves

You don't need fancy sprays or tools to clean your stovetop. Once you've gathered your supplies, you're ready to get scrubbing. Read on for everything you need to know on how to clean your store burners the right way. 

stovetop burners

Pure Salt Interiors

Step 1: Remove Your Stove Burners and Soak Them

  1. Fill your sink with a mixture of hot water and a generous squeeze of dish soap, then get ready to give your burners a bath.
  2. Carefully remove all of the grates and parts of your burners from the stove. Make sure not to bend the ignition electrodes, if your stove has them. Dulude says it's always best to read your specific stove's manual about cleaning tips, too, before getting started.
  3. Place the pieces in soapy water, making sure to completely submerge them. If you have a small sink, this might take a couple of rounds, but your patience will lead to a better payoff. If it does take you multiple rounds, just make sure to drain and clean out the sink in between every time.
  4. Once the water is cooled and filled with grease from other burners, it won't be too effective in soaking off any more dirt. You can use dish gloves if you like, but because you are only using soap and water, it's perfectly safe to go without them.
  5. There's no need to add bleach to your mixture when soaking stovetop burners. Even if you're cooking directly on the burners—for example, using the flame to char a tortilla—the heat will kill off any bacteria.
  6. If dish soap truly won't cut it, Bar Keepers Friend Cooktop Cleaner is another expert-loved product for safely getting off tough grime.
stovetop burners

Naked Kitchens

Step 2: Gently Scrub Your Burners With a Toothbrush

  1. Allow the burners to soak for at least ten minutes, then Dulude recommends scrubbing them with an old toothbrush. The small head of bristles is gentler than a cleaning brush, and it allows you to really get into the small corners.
  2. If soaking and scrubbing doesn't get all of the debris off, Dulude suggests using a small sharp object, such as a bent paper clip, to gently nudge off stubborn particles.
  3. Wiggle the bent paper clip under the burnt-on food or dirt, and you'll be able to pry it off without much hassle.
  4. While pan brushes and compostable scouring pads are great sustainable alternatives to tearing up a sponge every week, Dulude recommends against using abrasive products or tools for this chore. The toothbrush and paperclip will do the job as well, and you won't risk damaging and dulling your burners. 

Step 3: Dry and Replace Your Burners

Dulude says a very common mistake people make is to put their burners back on the stove before they are absolutely dry. Moisture in the ignition or flame ports can cause them to be slow to or unable to ignite.

To ensure your burners are dry, you don't have to whip out the leaf blower. Simply place your burners on a dry towel, use another towel to pat off the water, then let them sit until they feel dry and rough to the touch. While they dry, take the opportunity to wipe down your stovetop.

Dulude also recommends you test out all burners when you're done assembling them. Depending on the type of stove, you may need to re-light the pilot or wiggle the burners a little to make sure they're put back exactly the right way.

stove burners

Reena Sotropa

Step 4: Wipe Down Burners Between Cleanings

How often you need to clean your burners depends on how often you use your stove, Dulude says, but you can cut down on deep cleans by cleaning up spills and splatters as they happen—after the stove cools down, that is.