Home Cleaning Tips: How To Clean A Stove

Instructions for cleaning stoves and ovens for both gas and electric appliances including tips for self-cleaning oven.

Every person that has cooked in their own kitchen has faced the obstacle of cleaning their stove at least once. With so many cleaners on the market, this job should be easy, but many of us face it with trepidation. Here are some tips to break down the job and hopefully help take the fear away.

Gas Stove:

Before cleaning the surface of your stove or the interior of your oven, make sure it has completed cooled from prior use. A good spray cleaner, like Formula 409 or Fantastic, will easily remove the surface grime. Remove the burner plates and liberally spray down the top side of the stove being careful to avoid the gas jets. Wipe away the cleaner using a clean, damp sponge followed by a good rinse. If the stove has pilot lights, check to make sure you haven't accidentally blown them out with the spray. The burner plates can be washed separately in hot soapy water and should be rinsed well. Check the gas jets to make sure each one lights properly. If you find some of them clogged with grease, use a thin piece of wire such as a safety pin or paperclip to clean the holes. Don't use a toothpick or you may run the risk of it breaking off in the hole which will cause a much larger problem than a grease-clogged jet.

The oven to your gas stove is not that hard to clean, but before using a commercial oven cleaner you must first turn the gas off. This will prevent any excess fumes from the cleaner causing a flash fire or explosion. Once the gas has been turned off to the oven, remove the oven racks and set them aside. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin and liberally spray the inside of the oven with the oven cleaner being careful to avoid the light fixture or any wires or components inside the oven. The oven cleaner should be safe to use on the door of the oven, but if you have a glass window, avoid spraying the glass with the cleaner. Allow the cleaner to sit undisturbed on the surface of the oven for a few hours or overnight. Use a damp sponge and remove the cleaner from the surface, rinsing your sponge often. Use a window cleaner to clean the glass window in the oven door.

Clean the oven racks with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Most oven racks can be safely scoured with a scouring pad or steel wool, then rinse and dry. Replace the racks in the clean oven.

Electric Stove:

The directions to clean the top and outside of an electric stove are much the same as a gas stove. The major difference is in the burners. Some electric stove burners will simply lift up to allow you to remove the burner trays for easy cleaning. Clean the trays in hot soapy water and rinse and dry thoroughly. Use a spray cleaner that is safe for stoves on the top and outside again being careful to avoid spraying any of the electrical components. Wipe the cleaner with a damp sponge and then rinse thoroughly.

If your stove has a self-cleaning oven, carefully follow the manufacturer's directions. Some self-cleaning ovens will let you leave the racks in place during the cleaning process. If you choose to leave the racks in place and then notice them sticking instead of sliding easily, rough up the sides of the racks with steel wool, then take a paper towel moistened with some solid shortening and rub the sides of the racks. This should allow the racks to once again slide smoothly.

If the oven is not self-cleaning, a commercial spray cleaner will make this job much easier. Remove the oven racks, spray the inside liberally with cleaner being careful to avoid any electrical components and after several hours, wipe away the cleaner with a damp sponge followed by a thorough rinse. Wash the racks separately in hot soapy water and rinse and dry thoroughly before returning them to the oven. Some stoves have a storage drawer in the bottom. Remove all the contents from this drawer and clean it with the same spray cleaner used on the top of the stove. Rinse and dry before returning the contents.

Tips and Tricks:

Never clean a hot stove top or oven. Allow the appliance to cool completely before cleaning. Read all label directions on the commercial stove cleaner chosen. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the harsh chemicals found in the cleaners. Rinse the surface of the stove and the inside of the oven after cleaning to remove any residue left from the cleaning agent. Open the window or run your exhaust fan while using a commercial cleaner to keep any fumes at bay. If your oven has tough grease or food stained spots that refuse to come off with the wipe of a sponge, use a nylon brush or nylon scrubber on the spot. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleansers or steel wool on a stove top or oven as they may scratch or damage the surfaces.

© High Speed Ventures 2011