The One Mistake You're Making When Cleaning Your Stovetop

With this simple tip, scrubbing your stovetop will be quick and easy.

Hosting a dinner party can come with many perks. Not only do you have an opportunity to catch up with old friends and get to know new acquaintances, but you also can impress guests with your cooking skills in the kitchen, serving them chef-quality pot roast and your grandmother's secret recipe for flourless chocolate cake. Of course, once the festivities come to a close, you're left with a sticky mess of maple syrup and grease from the meat all over the stove. Ugh.

After a late night, cleaning up is probably the last thing on your mind, but to save some serious time the next day, it's a must-do. "Humans are creatures of habit, and one of our most common practices is procrastination," says Merry Maids cleaning expert Debra Johnson. "But my rule of thumb is, as soon as the stovetop has cooled, it's time to get to work." If you wait too long, says Johnson, grease and other foods can dry and harden on glass cooktops or gas stovetop grates to the point where it might take you hours of aggressive scrubbing just to clean one burner.

So, as soon as your last guests walk out the front door, grab a microfiber cloth and fill your sink up with some soapy water. Then wet the cloth, wring it out a bit, and start cleaning. "A microfiber cloth absorbs grease best, but rinse the cloth following each wipe down so you aren't spreading grease all over the stovetop," adds Johnson. If you do decide to wait until the following morning, be prepared to devote several hours to scrubbing and scraping your stove. A bristle brush and chemical-based cleaning products should get the job done, but there's also the chance they'll do more damage than good.

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