10 Natural Ways to Clean Your Stovetop
Dried. Splattered. Greased. We’ve all seen it. The roadmap of your week’s meals laid out in Picasso-esque glory all over your stovetop. The milk and butter that boiled over (guilty), the pasta sauce that toys with you, pretending to be an active volcano the moment you turn around. It’s inevitable; the second least favorite cleaning task in the kitchen (next to fridge cleaning day) is a recurring challenge.
So begins the scrubbing, scouring, grunting and cursing. Admit it, when you finally get that stovetop clean you have serious thoughts about being one of those fancy metropolitan families that orders takeout every night. Our thoughts and well wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the first person that dare use the stove after you’ve poured sweat into that shiny surface.
Unfortunately, eating takeout every night and leaving bacteria-riddled food particles on the stove are not healthy alternatives. Harsh chemicals that make cleaning a bit easier can also come with a negative health effect.
More Americans are leaning towards natural cleaning solutions and hacks. Below are 10 Natural Ways to Clean Your Stovetop. Whether you’re making culinary magic on a gas range, glass cooktop or old school coil, one of these tips is bound to help make your life a little easier and a little healthier.
Do you have a favorite cleaning hack? We’d like to feature your knowledge in an upcoming article.
For removable burners or gas burner caps, nothing gets off baked-on grease like ammonia. Although naturally-occurring, ammonia is not pleasant to smell and prolonged exposure to concentrated ammonia is not recommended. Remove your burners or burner caps, place in a large ziplock bag, pour in just enough ammonia to cover them and seal the bag. Let it sit overnight then pour out the ammonia and rinse your burners while gently scrubbing to get loosened grease off. Dry and replace.
2. Boiling Water
Seems too simple, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s all you need. For glass top stoves, carefully pour enough boiling water to just barely “puddle” on the surface. Let it cool and then wipe clean with a gentle scrubbing pad. You can get countertop electric kettles that boil water rapidly and will stay hot in case you need to repeat the process a couple times.
3. Vegetable or Olive Oil
Pour a little vegetable or olive oil out onto your stovetop and sing a cloth, scrub the oil into the caked-on messes. Next, spray it all down with a water-diluted version of the baking soda and lemon mixture in tip 4 below. Wipe clean. Try it on the splattered grease and food (ahem, volcanic pasta sauce) on the hood of your stove as well.
4. Lemon and Baking Soda
Lemons and baking soda are nature’s dirt and germ vigilante duo. Lemons effectively cut grease and baking soda has natural antibacterial properties. Baking soda also contains fine particles, acting as an exfoliant to help remove baked-on stains without scratching the glass. Mix lemon juice into 2 tablespoons of baking soda until have a thick paste. Dilute with water in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner. Leave paste on for 20 minutes then wipe clean. This mixture also works great for gas stove grates. Bonus: This combo leaves a fresh, clean and chemical-free scent behind.
5. Baking Soda and Salt
The naturally gentle abrasive characteristics of baking soda and salt work wonders on messes that require a little extra muscle (ahem, boiled-over milk). Mix together one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of water into a paste. Use small amounts on a cloth to scrub stains away. For overflows, pour the whole mixture over the area and let is sit for 20-30 minutes before scrubbing.
6. Dish Soap and Water + Baking Soda Paste
Try this method for cleaning electric coil burners. First, remove the electric burners from the stovetop. Rinse any residue from the coils using a cloth and a little mild dish soap and water. For cooked-on food debris that does not come off, mix a thick paste of equal parts baking soda and water, apply it to the stuck-on spot. Wait 20-30 minutes then scrub and rinse the burner. Lay out all burners on a clean dish towel to dry completely before replacing.
7. White Vinegar
The ultimate cleanser, white vinegar can be used to clean glass stovetops - it is great for loosening streaks and stains. In an unused spray bottle, mix one part white vinegar to two parts water. Spray the solution on your glass cooktop and wipe. A great daily formula for every day cleaning and disinfecting around your kitchen, the acidity in the vinegar helps remove dirt and grime.
*Adding white vinegar to the baking soda/lemon compound is a perfect combination for sparkling stainless steel stovetops.
8. Razor Scraper
For those big whoopsies - the tough-to-remove burned-on stains - use a combination of pre-treatment and a scraper. Apply the paste from tip #4 to the affected area and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Holding the razor blade at an angle to the stovetop, firmly scrape away the residue. When you’re done scraping the burned-on stains off of your burners, dip a cloth in white vinegar and wipe clean.
9. Baking Soda and Dish Soap
Stained drip pans are embarrassing. They are also tough to get sparkly-clean. Mix equal parts dish soap and baking soda in a small bowl until it creates a frosting-like consistency with a slightly foamy texture. Apply a generous amount of mixture to drip pans. Scrub down on the pans to loosen up the grime, but do not rinse the mixture yet. Transfer the drip pans to zipper-top bags for 2 hours, then move the pans from the bags and scrub the gunk away.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
We saved the most powerful combination for last. You’d be hard-pressed to find another cleaner that packs this much punch. Hydrogen has incredible stain lifting properties. Paired with the cleaning power of baking soda, you get an effervescently effective cleaning compound. Brush off any loose debris on your stove. Sprinkle the complete surface with baking soda and then drizzle with the peroxide. Watch as it fizzes and breaks down the baked-on gunk. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Using a gentle scrub sponge wipe the surface of your stovetop clean. Spray with diluted lemon/baking soda homemade cleaner and wipe down for an extra clean, great smelling final step.
EXTRA TIP: Keeping a dust vac in the kitchen makes it easy to remove crumbs and burnt food from cooktop before cleaning.
Like most anything, consistent maintenance helps to avoid bigger messes and future problems. Without proper care, fuel ports and hood vents can clog and cause damage.
Keep a bottle of the lemon, baking soda and water dilution in your kitchen and wipe down all parts of your stovetop after every use. Further maintain beauty and function by deep cleaning once a month.