How to Clean a Stovetop to Get Rid of Grease and Stains

Follow this step-by-step guide for cleaning glass, gas, and electric stovetops. Plus, learn which mistakes to avoid so your stove can remain clean.

Knowing how to clean a stovetop is not a skill we naturally pick up. Our stovetops take a beating from greasy spills, splatters, and sticky utensils left on the surface—even boiling water can leave spots from the minerals in the water if you allow it to boil over. And like most messy things in our homes, a stovetop doesn’t clean itself; the longer you ignore it, the worse it gets. 

Since stovetops can have gas burners, electric coils, or a smooth glass surface, it’s important to follow the proper cleaning method to prevent damage. Take a look at the manufacturer’s user guide for tips. Can’t find it? Almost every guide is online. So, get started cleaning that stovetop, then follow our tips to keep it looking its best longer.

How Often to Clean a Stovetop

You should clean the stovetop as it gets dirty. Ideally, splatters and spills should be wiped away as they happen to prevent them from becoming cooked-on and more difficult to remove later. Even if you don’t use the stovetop often, wipe it down weekly to remove crumbs, drips, and greasy residue.

How to Clean a Glass Stovetop With Vinegar

Glass stovetops are made from a ceramic/glass-blend or polycrystalline material that covers radiant heating coils. While very durable, the glass can be scratched if harsh cleaners are used to remove stubborn stains or if scrubbed with anything too abrasive; also, avoid scraping stuck-on food with metal utensils. You can purchase a commercial glass cleaner for cooktops, like Weiman's, or make your own with pantry ingredients.

What You Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid with a degreaser
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Hard plastic scraper

Step 1: Wait Until Cool

Always wait until the cooktop is cool to the touch before attempting to clean it.

Step 2: Create a Cleaner

In a spray bottle, add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, 1 cup of hot water, and 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Shake to mix and label the bottle. The cleaner can be used for daily or weekly cleaning.

Step 3: Clean, Rinse, and Dry

  • Spray on the cleaner and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  • Use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe the stovetop.
  • Rinse the sponge and wipe away any remaining cleaner.
  • Dry the surface with a lint-free microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Use Baking Soda to Remove Burned-On Food

Burned-on food on a stovetop can be hard to remove. Follow these steps:

  • Sprinkle the area heavily with dry baking soda and spritz on just enough distilled white vinegar to create a thick paste. (There will be some fizzing as the baking soda and vinegar react to help break apart the food particles.)
  • Dip a microfiber towel in hot water and wring until it is not dripping.
  • Cover the fizzing mixture with the towel and let it steam for at least 15 minutes.
  • Remove the towel and use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe away the loosened food.
  • Repeat the steps if needed and then rinse the cooktop with a clean, damp sponge and dry with a microfiber towel.

Step 5: Give a Final Scrape

If your glass stovetop has been neglected for a while, you may have to scrape away the burnt food.

  • Use hot water to wet a microfiber towel and place it over the messy area for 15 minutes.
  • Use a rigid plastic scraper held at a 45-degree angle to slowly scrape away the stuck-on food.
  • Work in a small section and use the steamy hot cloth again if the food is not budging easily.
  • Finish by wiping away the debris with a sponge and cleaning the entire stovetop with the vinegar and dishwashing cleaner you made in step two.

How to Clean a Gas Stovetop With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Whether the gas stovetop has a stainless steel or porcelain enamel finish, you can use the same cleaning supplies.

What You Need

  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Dishwashing liquid with a degreaser
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Nylon scrubber

Step 1: Let It Cool

Never try to clean a hot stovetop. Make sure the burners are turned off and cool to the touch.

Step 2: Clear the Stovetop

Remove the grates, the plates that cover the gas outlets, and the controls from the stovetop. (See instructions below for how to clean the grates.)

Step 3: Clean

Use a non-abrasive sponge dipped in a solution of hot water mixed with a degreasing dishwashing liquid to wipe away grease and food particles. 

Step 4: Tackle Stubborn Spills

  • Sprinkle burned-on food with dry baking soda and spritz with undiluted distilled white vinegar.
  • Cover the foaming area with a damp microfiber cloth dipped in hot water; leave it alone for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and scrub with a nylon scrubber.
  • Wipe away debris with a damp sponge.

Step 5: Dry and Reassemble

Once the stovetop is free of grease and stains, dry it with a microfiber cloth for a streak-free shine. Reassemble all of the components.

How to Clean Gas Grates With Dishwashing Liquid

What You Need

  • Sink or large plastic tub
  • Dishwashing liquid with a degreaser
  • Nylon scrubber or brush
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Plastic wrap (optional)
  • Microfiber towel

Step 1: Remove the Grates

It is easier to clean the grates, the plates covering the gas outlets, and the control knobs if you remove them from the stovetop.

Step 2: Make a Soapy Bath

Fill a sink or a large plastic tub with hot water and 1 teaspoon of a degreasing dishwashing liquid per gallon of water. Add the stovetop components and let soak for at least 15 minutes (up to an hour is better if you haven’t cleaned them lately).

Step 3: Scrub and Rinse

Use a nylon scrubber or brush to scrub every surface of the grates and plates. Use a non-abrasive sponge on the control knobs, then rinse everything with water.

Step 4: Clean Away Burned-on Food

If soaking didn’t remove burnt food, follow these steps:

  • Make a paste of baking soda and a bit of water to cover the messy area.
  • Cover the paste with plastic wrap and set the grate aside for at least 20 minutes.
  • Scrub and rinse.
  • Repeat if needed.

Step 5: Dry and Reassemble

Dry the pieces with a microfiber towel and reassemble your freshly cleaned stovetop.

How to Clean an Electric Stovetop With Dishwashing Liquid

What You Need

  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Dishwashing liquid with a degreaser
  • Baking soda
  • Nylon scrubber or brush
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Hard plastic scraper
  • Microfiber cloths

Step 1: Burn Away Debris

If the coils are greasy or have food spills, turn each unit on high and let them heat for three minutes to burn away the problem. Turn on the kitchen vent fan and keep a fire extinguisher on hand during the process in case of a flare-up.

Step 2: Remove Parts

When the coils have cooled down, remove them (most plug-in and can be removed with just a little pull), the drip pans, and the control knobs for easier cleaning.

Step 3: Wipe Down Coils and Control Knobs

  • Dip a sponge in hot, soapy water (use the dishwashing liquid) and wipe each side of the electric coils.
  • If there is still stuck-on food, dip the sponge in some dry baking soda and scrub gently.
  • Do a final rinse with a clean, dampened sponge. Do not ever submerge the coils in water!
  • Clean the control knobs with a quick soak in hot, soapy water and wipe with the sponge.
  • Rinse and set aside.

Step 4: Clean the Stovetop

  • Both stainless steel and enameled metal stovetops should be cleaned with a sponge dipped in hot, soapy water.
  • Sprinkle burned-on food with dry baking soda and moisten it with a spray of distilled white vinegar.
  • Cover the area with a hot, damp towel.
  • Let it sit for 15 minutes, then use a hard plastic scraper to remove any stuck-on food.
  • Finish by wiping the area with a clean, damp sponge.
  • Dry with a microfiber towel to prevent streaks.

Step 5: Clean Underneath

Most electric coil stovetops open like the hood of a car. Lift it to clean the sheet of metal underneath that has caught all the drips and spills. Follow the same steps you used on the upper surface.

Step 6: Reassemble

Once every component is clean (see how to clean the drip pans below), reassemble the stovetop.

How to Clean Drip Pans With Dishwashing Liquid

What You Need

  • Sink or large plastic tub
  • Dishwashing liquid with a degreaser
  • Nylon scrubber or brush
  • Baking soda
  • Microfiber towel

Step 1: Remove the Pans

Before you remove the electric coils, you must remove the drip pans that catch most of the residue from boilovers.

Step 2: Create a Soapy Soak

Fill a sink or large plastic tub with hot water and several squirts of a dishwashing liquid that contains a degreaser. Add the drip pans and let them soak for at least 15 minutes, but longer is better.

Step 3: Scrub Away Grime

Use a nylon scrubber or brush to scrub away grease and food particles. Sprinkle on dry baking soda to act as a mild abrasive for stuck-on food.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

When the drip pans are clean, rinse them in hot water and dry them with a towel before reassembling the stovetop.

Step 5: Toss and Replace

Drip pans are inexpensive to replace and easy to find in standard sizes. If your drip pans have never been cleaned and are coated with burned-on food, toss them and replace them with new ones.

Seasonal Upkeep

Wipe Spills and Splatters

When you see spills, splatters, and boiled-over food, wipe them away as quickly as possible. The longer they stay on the stovetop, the harder they are to remove.

Clean Weekly

A weekly stovetop cleaning can take less than five minutes. Waiting months to clean a stovetop can result in hours of work.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners

Abrasive cleaners and tools like steel wool or wire brushes can damage glass and metal stovetops by leaving tiny scratches.

Prevent Too Much Water Use

There is no reason to flood any cooktop with water. Too much water can cause problems with electrical and gas components.

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