We’ve all been there before. We’re cooking dinner on the stove top and, suddenly, something boils over or splatters all over the place. Messes like this happen in the kitchen, but if they aren’t taken care of properly, they can cause unsanitary (and embarrassing) buildup on your stove top. It’s essential to know how to clean household appliances like your microwave, oven, and stove top because you use them so frequently. The stove top is especially important, though, since neglecting to clean it can cause some serious problems—and people will also definitely notice if it’s dirty. Here’s how to clean your stop top effectively and get rid of those unsightly messes quickly.
Why is it important to clean your stove top?
You should clean your stove top because it’s an area that sees a lot of traffic—and splatter. “Cleaning your stove top is important because it is an area of your kitchen that is most prone to grease, food grime, and bacteria buildup,” says Johnny Palleras, owner of De La Rosa House Cleaning.
It’s also important to disinfect your stove top, especially if you’re cooking with items like raw chicken. If you don’t clean your stove top, you could spread the bacteria and germs that come from the items you’re cooking with. Cleaning your stove top will make your kitchen cleaner and reduce the chance of someone falling ill. It’s embarrassing to have company show up unexpectedly and see your messy stove top, so be prepared to scrub quickly and know how to clean your kitchen fast.
What happens if you don’t clean your stove top?
If you don’t clean your stove top, food and oil will build up on its surface. The longer that buildup sits, the harder it will be to clean down the road. Plus, this buildup can leave unpleasant stains on your stove top. “Every time you use your stove top to cook, small amounts of food, oil, dirt, and grime begin to build up atop it and form stains,” says Cyrus Bedwyr, an oven cleaning specialist at Fantastic Services. “With time, these stains will become quite noticeable.” If you don’t know how to remove stains like these, they could easily become eyesores.
You could also damage your stove top and reduce its life span by not cleaning it. “Depending on what type of stove you have, if you don’t clean your stove top frequently, grease can build up around the coils and burners and impact the life span of your appliance,” Leanna Staph, Chief Operating Officer of The Cleaning Authority, explains. The average life span of home appliances varies, but one thing is certain: You want to keep your stove top properly working for as long as possible, and cleaning it will help it last longer.
Palleras adds that not cleaning your stove top can also be a fire hazard. “A stove top with large amounts of food and grease buildup can cause that leftover food to burn and can cause a kitchen fire.”
How often should you clean your stove top?
How often you should clean your stove top depends on how often you use it. “Someone who cooks once a week may only need to clean it once a month,” Palleras explains. “However, a family of four that cooks five to seven days per week should clean their stove top at least once a week.”
If you’re worried about grease and food building up on your stove top, you can always do a quick cleanup after each use. Just make sure the stove top is cool before you wipe it down. Grease can get on other kitchen surfaces, too, so make sure you know how to clean grease off common kitchen surfaces.
How to clean a glass stove top
Knowing how to clean your stove top is essential, especially if you have a glass stove top. Bedwyr says the following procedure is a great way to make your glass stove top shine.
What you’ll need:
Microfiber towel (big enough for the entire stove top)
Non-abrasive scrubbing pad
Once you have those materials, here’s what to do:
Wait until your glass stove top is cold—never clean on a hot stove top.
Fill a bowl with warm to hot water, and add a few drops of dish soap. Mix well until you’re left with a sudsy mixture.
Submerge an entire microfiber towel into the mixture; wait until it becomes saturated.
Add a thick layer of baking soda over your glass stove top.
Take the towel out of the soapy water and wring it out. Then, lay it over the baking soda, and let it sit for around 30 minutes.
Once time is up, scrub the stove top in a circular motion using the non-abrasive scrubbing pad.
Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to remove remaining water or baking soda residue from the stove top.
Be extra careful when using the non-abrasive scrubbing pad, as you don’t want to leave scratches on the glass.
How to clean a gas stove top
If you have a gas stove top, Staph recommends the following process for cleaning it properly.
What you’ll need:
Once you have everything, here’s what to do:
Make sure the stove top is cool and turned off before cleaning.
Wipe down the stove top with a damp cloth.
Wash the entire surface area with a non-abrasive sponge and dish soap.
If the surface is too greasy, utilize a 1:2 baking soda and vinegar mixture, and let it sit before wiping it off. You can use this same tactic on the burners.
Dry the stove top with a clean cloth, and replace the burner heads.
All that grime and grease will be gone before you know it!
How to clean an electric stove top
If your electric stove top needs a good scrubbing (don’t forget the coils!), Bedwyr says the following cleaning routine will make your stove top look as good as new.
What you’ll need:
Once you have the materials, here’s what to do:
Make sure the stove top is completely cool and turned off before you begin cleaning.
Put a bit of dish soap on a damp cleaning cloth, and use it to wipe dirt off the coils.
For stubborn dirt and grime, make a cleaning paste out of baking soda and warm water.
Rub the baking soda paste over the persistent stains, and let it sit for around 30 minutes.
Use a wet cloth to scrub the paste and dirt away.
Dry the stove top with a clean, dry cloth.
Let the stove top dry completely before turning it on again.
Things you shouldn’t use to clean your stove top
Cleaning experts recommend staying away from cleaning products that have a large amount of chemicals when cleaning your stove top. “Stick to natural products,” Staph says. “Baking soda is effective at eating away stuck-on foods and stains.” There are other baking soda uses that can save the day, but this one is especially helpful for cleaning.
Bedwyr says to avoid using scrubby sponges and steel wool when cleaning a glass stove top, as they can leave surface scratches and deep crevasses in the glass’ surface.
How to keep your stove top clean
Consistency is key when it comes to keeping your stove top clean. “A quick daily clean goes a long way in keeping a happy and healthy kitchen,” Palleras says. “I also recommend checking the edges of your stove and cleaning there. This area is missed frequently, and old food and grease can easily build up in there.” He also recommends cleaning your oven once every three months to keep it sanitized and running smoothly.
If you see a mess on your stove top, wipe it up quickly if you can. It’ll save you some cleaning hassle down the line, and it will keep your kitchen looking tidy.
Johnny Palleras, owner of De La Rosa House Cleaning
Cyrus Bedwyr, oven cleaning specialist at Fantastic Services
Leanna Staph, Chief Operating Officer of The Cleaning Authority
The post How to Clean Your Stove Top: Tips for Getting Rid of Grease and Spatter appeared first on Reader's Digest.