How to Clean a Stove Top, Including Tough Stains and Grease

Don't let hardened stove-top stains stand in the way of a sparkling kitchen.

Of all the surfaces in your kitchen, your cooktop probably suffers the most spills, splashes, and stains. Worse still, high heat from the burners can cause messes to become baked-on and difficult to remove. Keep it looking pristine by spot-cleaning minor mishaps at mealtime and dedicating time each week to perform a more thorough scrubbing. A daily wipe-down during your routine kitchen cleaning only requires a quick spritz of cleaner and a swipe with a damp cloth. This quick routine will prevent food and oils from hardening onto your stove top. However, scrubbing your stove top weekly requires a little more work. Whether you have a glass cooktop, a gas stove, or electric coil burners, we'll show you the best way to rid your cooking surface of any leftover residue and get it in tip-top shape.

Kitchen with white stove and patterned rug
John Bessler

Before Getting Started

Stoves, especially those with gas stove top burner heads, and other inner working stove parts are intricate and vary greatly from model to model and brand to brand. You'll want to be well informed on how to clean the stove burners on your specific appliance so you do not damage the burner and cause it to malfunction or become a hazard. Your owner's manual will be a helpful reference. Inside, you'll find instructions specific to your model and diagrams that spell out exactly how to clean your stove top. Can't find your manual? Search the model number (often on a label inside the door) online, and you might be able to find a digital version or consult the manufacturer's website, which might have cleaning tips and how-to videos.

How to Clean a Glass Stove Top

Glass-topped electric stoves have become a popular choice over the years. They're smooth, flat, and almost undetectable on a kitchen counter. Their safety features have improved, too. The latest electric stove tops use induction cooking technology that can boil water while keeping the cooking surface cool to the touch.

A big selling point for glass stove tops is that they're easy to clean. When it comes to this hardworking room, easy-to-clean kitchen features are a perk. Wiping a flat surface with a damp cloth after every meal is barely considered a chore. (Need a little extra cleaning power? Spritz with a little bit of vinegar before wiping.) However, grease splatters and bubbling sauce can build up over a few days of cooking.

How to Clean Stains on a Glass Stove Top

One of the most efficient ways to clean a glass stove top with tough stains is to pick up a single-edged scraper ($5, The Home Depot) and get to work. The scraper lets you target stubborn buildup and hard-to-clean edges and crevices.

What You Need

  • Single-edged scraper
  • Cleaner (approved for glass stove tops)
  • Clean cloth

Step 1: Soak Cooktop

Soak the problem area in a cleaner approved for glass stove tops and let it sit for several minutes.

Step 2: Scrape Cooktop

Then, scrape slowly, firmly, and carefully, holding the blade at a low 30- to 40-degree angle. Don't press too hard and avoid holding the scraper at a high angle so that you don't accidentally crack the glass.

Step 3: Dry Cooktop

Wipe the glass cooktop clean with a clean cloth.

How to Deep Clean a Glass Cooktop

For a general, all-over deep scrub, try this method from cleaning company Merry Maids, which features cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, two of our favorite natural cleaners.

What You Need

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Clean cloth
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Apply Vinegar and Baking Soda

When the glass stove top is cool, spritz with vinegar and generously sprinkle the stove top with baking soda.

Step 2: Soak with Hot Water

Wet a cloth with hot water and wring out any excess moisture. Place the towel over the cooktop and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3: Wipe off Residue

Remove the towel and wipe the cooktop with a microfiber cloth. Spray lightly with vinegar again and wipe with another clean, dry microfiber cloth, buffing out any streaks. Repeat these steps until the residue is gone.

Step 4: Dry Cooktop

Wipe the glass cooktop clean with a clean cloth.

white shaker kitchen cabinets and modern range hood
Joyelle West

How to Clean a Gas Stove Top

Gas stove tops continue to be one of the most popular stove options. They use a real flame that provides responsive, even heating. Modern gas cooktops offer a range of burner sizes and shapes, so you can always find the right surface for the job. Since your cookware sits atop grates, you can use stoneware or cast iron skillets, which would otherwise scratch a glass cooktop.

Although daily cleaning isn't as easy as the "wipe and go" method conducive to a glass stove top, the routine is still pretty simple.

What You Need

  • Cleaner (approved for gas ranges)
  • Damp cloth
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Remove Grates

When the stove top is cool, pick up the grates and wipe up any spills or crumbs that fell beneath the grates.

Step 2: Clean the Stove Top

Spray with a cleaner that is designed for gas ranges. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Wipe the grates with a damp cloth. If grates are particularly dirty, wash them with dish soap and warm water in the sink. See the instructions below for how to deep clean gas stove grates.

Step 3: Dry Cooktop

Dry the cooktop with a microfiber cloth. Dry and replace the grates.

kitchen with white stove black refrigerator and copper dishes hanging
David Tsay

How to Clean Gas Stove Burners

From time to time, look under the burner caps to assess if the burner heads need cleaning. Proper gas flow is dependent on clean burner heads. Before starting, ensure all the burners are off and the stove top is cool.

What You Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Damp cloth
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Soak up Spills

Remove grates. Use a damp cloth to soak up any spills in the burner head and slots.

Step 2: Remove Crumbs

Use a nonabrasive brush, like a toothbrush, to remove any crumbs between the burner slots. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Replace Grates

Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth and put the grates back on the cooktop.

white kitchen stove oven range with hanging pots
Michael Partenio

How to Clean Gas Stove Grates

Grates make cleaning a gas stove top more difficult. Grease, oil, and food particles splatter onto the grates and stay there until the buildup becomes noticeable. By then, the sticky residue is stubborn. If the manual for your gas stove top says it's okay, you can run the grates in your dishwasher on a regular basis. For cooked-on stains, clean grates with dish soap and warm water.

What You Need

  • Dish soap
  • Sponge or scouring pad

Step 1: Soak Grates

Soak the grates in warm, soapy water in the sink. A good grease-cutting soap, such as Dawn dish soap, will help break down the cooked-on gunk.

Step 2: Scrub Grates

Scrub the grates gently. If they aren't coated, you can use a gentle scouring pad. For coated grates, use a sponge. (Remember that handy owner's manual? It should indicate what types of grates you have.) If your grates are too large to place in the sink, use a large storage bin.

Step 3: Dry Grates

Dry the grates with a clean cloth and return to the stove top.

How to Clean an Electric Stove Top

Electric coil stove tops look like gas stoves but cook with electricity. The electric-powered coil burners provide even heating that can be adjusted according to the heat knobs. No flame means a safer way to cook, which might be ideal for families with young kids or curious pets. Like the grates on a gas stove top, electric coil burners are prone to sticky residue from cooking.

What You Need

  • Dish soap
  • Cloth
  • Sponge
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Remove Electric Coil Burners

To clean them well, you must first remove the electric coil burners. Once the cooktop is cool, gently unplug the burner.

Step 2: Wipe Burners Clean

Wipe the burners with a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water. As you clean, be careful not to get the electrical connection wet. Rinse and set aside to dry thoroughly.

Step 3: Clean the Stove Top

While the burners are drying, wipe down the rest of your electric stove top, getting into every nook and cranny with a damp cloth or sponge. Use an all-purpose cleaner to remove any tough stains.

Step 4: Clean Drip Plates (optional)

If the drip plates beneath the burners are removable, take them out and give them a deep stove cleaning with this vinegar and baking soda method from cleaning expert Mary Findley of Go Clean.

Heat the vinegar in a microwave. Sprinkle baking soda on the drip pans, then carefully pour hot vinegar into the pans. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before wiping clean with a wet sponge and rinsing with water.

Step 5: Reattach the Electric Coil Burners

Use a microfiber cloth to dry the clean cooktop. Replace the drip plates if you removed them in step 4. Once dry, reattach the coil burners.

Now that your stove top is sparkling, take a peek below and see if your oven needs cleaning, too.

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