How to Clean a Dirty, Grease-Splattered Stovetop

Has cooking every meal at home wreaked havoc on your stovetop? Here's how to clean it.

My kitchen stovetop has seen better days. While I used to eat lunch at the office and would often take nights off from cooking, over the past two months I've been preparing every single meal at home. The result: (besides an ever-present pile of dishes in the sink) I've had to clean sauce splatters, grease, and cooked-on food bits off of the stovetop much more often. Anyone else relate?

One tip I've found the most helpful in this daily cleaning battle is to avoid the major stovetop cleaning mistake of letting the mess sit for too long. Once grease, sauce, and food dries on the surface, a quick wipe-down turns into an hour of scrubbing. But let's just say you got caught up binge-watching your new favorite Netflix show, and now that grease is threatening to permanently adhere to your stovetop. Try the greasy stovetop-cleaning techniques below, starting with the mildest solution and working your way up. Those splatters don't stand a chance.

Note: To avoid scratches, first make note of what type of stovetop you have. Glass stovetops can get scratched by anything too abrasive, so avoid scrubbing with steel wool or salt, and don't scrape stuck-on gunk with metal utensils.

Gather Your Supplies

  • Dishwashing liquid (look for the grease-cutting kind)
  • Sponge or soft brush
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon
  • Store-bought kitchen degreaser spray (optional)

Follow These Steps

1. For a gas stovetop, start by removing the grates. If they're dirty, soak them in warm, soapy water and remove debris with a soft brush. For both gas and electric stoves, start by removing food crumbs and spills, so only the stuck-on messes are left.

2. Method 1: Using warm water and a drop of dishwashing liquid, lather up a sponge or soft brush. Apply it to the greasy stovetop, rubbing in a circular motion, and concentrating on the greasy areas. Let the soapy water sit for a few minutes on the surface. As you start to see the grease loosen, follow with a damp cloth. For a really messy stovetop, work in small areas, wiping as you go.

3. Method 2: If simple soap and water didn't do the trick, try this. Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on the stovetop. Slice a lemon in half and rub the cut side on the stovetop in a circular motion. The mildly abrasive baking soda and the naturally degreasing lemon juice will form a scrubbing paste. Continue scrubbing until you can wipe away the grease with a damp sponge or cloth.

4. Method 3: Combine baking soda with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and a few drops of water directly on the stovetop. Let the solution sit for 10 minutes, before wiping with a damp cloth.

5. Method 4: If the natural cleaning methods above didn't work, it may be time to try a store-bought degreasing spray (such as Method Kitchen Degreaser, $4, Follow the product instructions for a grease-free stovetop.

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