Tried-and-true tips to keep your stove sparkling

July 29, 2015

Cooking can be a messy affair and stovetops are rarely spared. These tried-and-true tips will help you keep your stove sparkling. All that’s required is a little elbow grease.

Tried-and-true tips to keep your stove sparkling

Clean spills quickly

  • Cooking spills are inevitable. The good news is you can whisk away virtually any spill with a damp sponge or paper towel if you get it while it's still wet and the stove is still warm.
  • So get in the habit of wiping down your stovetop after every use — your stove will gleam like new for decades, and you'll save yourself plenty of scrubbing.

Use elbow grease, not abrasives

Human nature will of course prevail, and chances are good that once in a while you won't wipe up stovetop spills right away. The longer you wait, the more elbow grease you'll need to invest.

But rest assured, if a spill has had a chance to dry and cook for a while, these tips will have your stove shining in no time.

  • Use a sponge along with a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water or a 50-50 solution of vinegar and warm water.
  • An all-purpose cleaner is fine to use, but whatever you do, don't give in to the temptation to grab that can of abrasive powder — you'll create tiny scratches in the surface. The next spill will grip the scratches and be even harder to remove.

Clean the stove parts regularly

In addition to an after-use wipe-down, periodically give your stove parts a more extensive cleaning.

  • Wash the burner drip plates and other removable accessories (but not electric burner coils) either by hand in the sink or by running them with your next dishwasher load (if the owner's manual for your stove says they are dishwasher-safe).
  • Carefully remove control-panel knobs (usually by pulling them straight out) and clean around the knobs' bases. Wash the knobs in hot, soapy water, rinse, and dry before replacing them.

Clean under the hood

If your stove doesn't have a sealed cooktop, food and grease will fall down under the burners. It's easy to forget about this out-of-view debris, and any mice in the house are hoping you do. The grease is also a fire hazard.

That's why it's important to give the space below the cooktop a regular cleaning.

  •  Follow the owner's manual instructions for lifting the top without damaging it. On many models this is like lifting the hood of a car.
  • Clean the grease buildup with a sponge and warm, soapy water or a 50-50 solution of vinegar and warm water.
  • Rinse with clean water and a sponge.

Keeping your stove sparkling is equal parts wiping up spills when they happen and regular deep cleanings. Take good care of your stove and it'll continue to serve you and your family for years to come.

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