When was the last time you cleaned your cooktop? (Don’t answer that!) Sure, you may give it a quick wipe-down when dinner boils over, but have you taken a closer look at what might be lurking under your burners? It may be time to give your stovetop a good thorough cleaning.
The first step of cleaning your range is to take it apart. Whether you have a gas or an electric stove, you’ll want to remove burners and caps, drip plates and even knobs, which should pop right off. Soak these parts in a solution of hot water and dish soap to loosen stubborn grease while you work on the rest of the stove.
Electric burners should not be submerged. They are designed to self-clean. However, you may use a damp cloth to wipe the grease that can accumulate near the plug. Set the burners aside while the other pieces soak.
If you’ve never cleaned a stovetop, you may not realize that most ranges lift upward at an angle from the oven, allowing you to clean between the burners. You’ll find crumbs and lint if you haven’t cleaned the space recently. If you have a range that lifts, lift it from the front corners. The top may stick, but sliding a butter knife into the seam can help to un-stick it.
For both above and below the stovetop, a damp cloth or sponge will help remove crumbs and larger debris. Combine one tablespoon each of salt, baking soda and water to form a paste that can help remove stubborn food particles and even set-in stains. You can also add a bit of lemon oil or another one of your favorite essential oils to leave your kitchen smelling fresh once you’re done. You can also mix lemon juice and hot water to clean your range.
Baking soda is an abrasive, so don’t use it on a glass or ceramic-top range, as it will damage the surface. Instead, use a soft scrubbing sponge on these surfaces. You can find cooktop cleaner made especially for this type of range. Allow the cleaner to sit for a minute before wiping with a clean, dry cloth. More stubborn stains can be removed with a special scraper (or even a razor blade) and cooktop cleaner. Hold the edge of the scraper or razor as flat as possible to remove any burned-on residue.
As your stove dries, clean the drip pans, caps and knobs, drying them completely before replacing. Plug in the burners after the drip trays are in place. Wipe down the front of your oven, back of the range and around the knobs. Don’t forget to scrub down any walls or cabinets near your stove, as they may have accumulated grease or food splatters from cooking.
A clean cooktop is a happy cooktop and happy cooktop function efficiently. However, should you ever find your range or stovetop needs maintenance, a home warranty from American Home Shield could help cover any repair or replacement costs. Visit ahs.com to learn more about their home warranty coverage plans.