How to Clean Your Stovetop for a Quick and Easy Refresh

A kitchen with an ivory backsplash and a gas stove

Tyler Karu

Most of what’s involved in cleaning a kitchen is a no-brainer. Washing the dishes, wiping down countertops, and taking out the trash are easy things to do. But cleaning dirty stove burners? That one’s not quite so obvious.

Over time, stoves can get loaded with gunk and grease, and debris can start to accumulate, too. As you might expect, this can leave your kitchen looking not so great, cause bad smells or smoke when cooking.

Needless to say, cleaning your stove is not the kind of thing you want to put off. Thankfully, there are some very easy ways to clean your stove—whether you have a gas stove or an electric one.

A kitchen with pink walls, white tiles, and a gas stove
Pure Salt Interiors

How Often Should You Clean Your Stove?

How often you should clean your stove will depend on a couple of things. For starters, how often do you cook? And second, how dirty does your stove get when you cook? 

A good rule of thumb is to deep-clean your stove burners once a month if you cook regularly. This should be frequent enough to keep them in tip-top shape, without being so frequent that you’re wasting your time cleaning.

If you don’t cook that often, you can probably get away with cleaning them less frequently. And if your stove burners are starting to look bad, smell bad, or put off smoke between your regular deep cleans, you may want to sneak in an extra clean—and tackle it ASAP.

A kitchen with mint cabinets, a printed tile backsplash, and a gas stove
Design: D.L. Rhein, Photo: Amy Bartlam

Things You’ll Need:

For Cleaning a Gas Stove

  • Dish Soap
  • Vinegar or degreasing spray
  • Paper towels or a cleaning rag
  • An old toothbrush or a cleaning brush (optional)
  • A plastic scraper or a razor blade (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)

For Cleaning an Electric Stove

  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels or a cleaning rag
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • An old toothbrush or a cleaning brush (optional)
  • Degreasing spray (optional)
  • Sponge (optional)
  • A plastic scraper or a razor blade (optional)

For Cleaning a Glass-Top Stove

  • Paper towels or a cleaning rag
  • Dish soap
  • Vinegar or degreasing spray (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • A plastic scraper or razor blade (optional)
A kitchen with wood-lined walls, a blue tiled backsplash, and a shiny gas stove
Tyler Karu

How to Clean Gas Stovetops

Step 1: Remove the Grates, Burner Caps, and Burner Heads From Your Stove

Start by making sure your stove is turned off and cool. Then, take it apart. You’ll want to remove the grates that sit on top of your stove and remove the small burner caps and burner heads that make up each burner.

Step 2: Soak Your Burner Caps and Burner Heads

Place your burner caps and burner heads in a bowl filled with hot water and dish soap. (There’s no go-to ratio here. Just make sure the water is hot and soapy.) Let them soak in the bowl for about 30 minutes. During this time, the dish soap will work to break down the grease that’s accumulated on your burner caps and burner heads.

Step 3: Clean Your Stove Grates

If your stove grates are small enough to sit inside your sink, fill your sink with a one-to-one mixture of warm water and vinegar. Then, let your grates soak in that mixture for about 30 minutes. 

If your grates are too big to pull this one off, you can also spray them down with a store-bought kitchen degreasing spray. Again, you’ll want to let them sit for about 30 minutes (or for as long as the store-bought degreaser recommends).

Step 4: Sweep Any Debris Off Your Stove

Over time, debris—like crumbs and burnt food scraps—may accumulate on your stove. You’ll want to sweep these out of the way before tackling the rest of your deep clean. Use a paper towel or a dishrag to sweep the debris into a pile. Then, scoop the debris up and throw it away.

Step 5: Wipe Down Your Stovetop

Now that your stovetop is out in the open, it’s time to give it a really good clean. Dip a sponge, a cleaning rag, or a paper towel into a soapy mixture of dish soap and warm water, and start wiping down your stove. You can also wipe down your stove with a store-bought degreasing spray, and wipe it down with a cleaning rag or paper towel.

Double-check the degreaser’s directions to see if you should let the spray sit for a certain amount of time before wiping down your stove.

Gently scrub the areas where grease is most persistent. Repeat this step as many times as needed to get your stove clean.

Step 6: Gently Remove Persistent Grease From Your Stovetop

Some grease may persist even after you’ve wiped down your stove. If it does, you have a couple of options. First, use a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush to gently scrub these spots with your cleaning mixture. Test the brush to see whether it will scratch the paint on your stovetop, and if it does, consider going back to your cleaning rag or sponge.

If even that isn’t working, consider using a plastic scraper or a razor blade to scrape off the grease. Again, you’ll want to be extremely gentle to avoid scraping the paint off your stovetop. Once you’re finished scrubbing or scraping, wipe down your stovetop one final time to remove any lasting grease or debris.

Step 7: Scrub Down Your Grates, Burner Caps, and Burner Heads

By this point, your grates, burner caps, and burner heads should be done soaking, and it’s time to wipe them down. Use your cleaning rag, paper towel, or sponge to wipe them down. If they’re grease-free, rinse them with water and let them dry. 

If they’re not grease-free, create a paste from water and baking soda. Apply this paste to a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush, and gently scrub the grease until it’s gone. Then, rinse your stove parts with water and let them dry.

Step 8: Reassemble Your Stove

Once every bit of your stove is clean and grease-free, there’s only one thing left to do: reassemble your stove. 

A kitchen with mint cabinets, a black oven, and an electric stove
Calimia Home

How to Clean Electric Stove Burners

Step 1: Remove the Electric Heating Coils From Your Stove

Make sure your stove is turned off and cool. Then, remove the heating coils from your stove. 

Step 2: Wipe Down Your Heating Coils

Create a soapy mixture of dish soap and warm water. Then, dip a cleaning rag or paper towel in the mixture, and use it to wipe down your coils. Be sure not to get any of the electrical parts wet, and instead, focus on cleaning the surface of each heating coil—that’s what needs attention, anyway.

Step 3: Scrub Down Your Heating Coils

If you’re dealing with persistent grease or gunk, make a paste using baking soda and water. Pair this paste with a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush, and gently scrub your heating coils. Again, stay away from anything electrical, and focus on the surface of each coil.

Once the coils are clean, rinse them off and let them dry.

Step 4: Sweep Any Debris Off Your Stove

While your heating coils are removed, take a moment to sweep away any food scraps or crumbs that have accumulated on your stovetop.

Step 5: Wipe Down Your Stovetop

While your heating coils are removed, take some to clean your stovetop. Dip a cleaning rag, paper towel, or sponge in that soapy mixture you made earlier and use it to wipe down your stove.

You can also use a store-bought degreasing spray—paired with a cleaning rag or a paper towel—to get the job done.

If there are spots where a bunch of grease or gunk has built up, give them some extra attention. And keep cleaning until your efforts are no longer making a difference.

Step 6: Gently Scrub Your Stovetop

If there’s still some grease leftover on your stove, it’s time to revisit that baking soda paste you made earlier. Apply some of the paste to any persistent grease spots, and use a cleaning brush or old toothbrush to gently scrub your stove.

If that isn’t working, you can also try using a plastic scraper or a razor blade to remove the grease. Again, be as gentle as possible—you don’t want to scratch your stovetop.

Once your stove is about as clean as you can get it, give it one final wipe-down to remove any lasting grease, gunk, or debris.

Step 7: Reassemble Your Stove

Congratulations—you’re finished! Make sure your heating coils are completely dry. Then, stick them back onto your stove.

A kitchen with light-stained wood cabinets, marble accents, and a glass-top stove
Liljencrantz

How to Clean Glass-Top Stove Burners

Step 1: Sweep Any Debris Off Your Stovetop

Start by making sure your stove is turned off and cool. Then, use a cleaning rag or a paper towel to wipe off any crumbs or food scraps that have accumulated on your stovetop. You’ll want these out of the way before you tackle the rest of your deep-clean.

Step 2: Wipe Down Your Stovetop

Create a mixture of dish soap and water. (There’s no recommended ratio here—just make sure the mixture is soapy.) Dip a cleaning rag or paper towel in this mixture, and use it to wipe down your stovetop. Gently scrub any areas where grease or gunk has accumulated. 

Repeat this step until it’s no longer making a difference.

Step 3: Gently Scrub Your Stovetop

If you encounter any grease or gunk that just isn’t going away, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you can spray vinegar all over your stovetop before wiping it down again. This should help to break up some of the grease. (A store-bought degreasing spray should also get the job done.)

If that doesn’t seem to be working, you can sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda all over your stovetop. And you can place a hot-water-soaked towel on top of it. Let the combination sit for about 10 minutes. Then, use a cleaning rag, paper towel, or sponge to wipe down your stovetop.

If the gunk and grease still hasn’t gone away, you may want to consider scraping it off using a plastic scraper or a razor blade. If you’re taking this approach, be gentle—you don’t want to scratch your stovetop.

Step 4: Give Your Stove One Final Wipe-Down

Once your stove is about as clean as you can get it, wipe it down one more time—and consider your work here done.

A kitchen with a bold tiled backsplash, gray kitchen cabinets, and a gas stove
Reena Sotropa

Tips to Keep Your Stovetop Clean Longer

Deep-cleaning your stove once a month isn’t the only thing you can do to keep it in tip-top shape. To keep your stove clean even longer, take some time to wipe it down every time you cook—yes really, every time.

Wait until your stove has turned off and cooled down. Then, use a cleaning rag, sponge, or paper towel to wipe down anything that got on your stove while you were cooking. Depending on what spilled, splashed, or splattered, you may want to pair your cleaning rag with some water—and even a little dish soap.

Grease is easiest to clean when it’s still wet, and a lot of other common ingredients are, too. By wiping them down when they first show up, you can keep them from getting sticky. And you can make your deep cleans a whole lot easier and faster.

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