Saving Money With Your Stove Top

The average electric stove will last 17 years, and a gas one, 19. If you are only cleaning every week, that is around 1,000 cleanings. Help your stove live a long, clean life with the following tips for how to clean a stove.

Stop before it starts.

StoveMinimum spilling means minimum cleaning. In the end, this will prolong the life of your stove.

  • Prevent as many boil-overs as possible.
  • Use pots and pans which are deep enough to contain boiling.
  • Reduce spattering by using appropriate lids.

Pick up the habit.

By wiping down the stove each time you use it, you will keep the stove top shining like new for decades. You will also avoid the need for heavy duty scrubbing, which eventually damages the stove top.

Burn it off.

stove topHeating elements and wet anything do not mix. If you spill something on the burner, simply turn it to the highest setting and burn it off. If any ash remains, scrape it off (outlined below).

If the spill is big, when the burner cools, blot as much of the spill off the burner as possible. Then, burn off the remainder.

Elbow Grease

While trying to get dried-on spills off the stove with an abrasive cleanser may seem like a no-brainer…do not.

365 Days / #290Abrasives, like Comet® and Ajax® powders, will scratch the enamel on the stove top. Instead, use either dishwashing liquid in warm water or a 50/50 mix of vinegar and warm water. Both will cut grease and not scratch the enamel.

All purpose cleaners, like Formula 409® and Fantastik® will lend some extra muscle to your cleaning without scratching.

Lift the cooktop.

Most stoves have a pop-top cooktop. Read your owners manual on how to lift your cooktop. Use a sponge to clean the interior beneath the cooktop of all spills with warm, soapy water or a 50/50 mix of vinegar and warm water. Dry and replace the cooktop.

Scrape gently with the right tool.

If you spill something which cooks or dries on the stove top or the burners, scrape it off with a plastic or nylon scraper. Use a pot or ice scraper. If you use something metal, you will scratch the surface or damage the burner.

Chips, anyone?

Is the enamel on your stove top chipped? Touch it up with a porcelain enamel patch/repair kit. Kits are available at most hardware stores. It is best to fix chips immediately, before the stove top has a chance to rust. Rust will shorten the life of your stove measurably.

The Pieces Parts

Every other month, clean the stove parts:


  • Remove the burner pans. Wash them by hand or in the dishwasher (if they are dishwasher safe).
  • Remove knobs (they usually pull straight off). Clean where the knob covered.
  • Soak the knobs in hot, soapy water.
  • Rinse and dry them before replacing.
  • Do not run these through the dishwasher.

Many have either markings or padding which will not fare well in the dishwasher.

Beyond All Hope

Burner pans are designed to reflect heat upward to increase the efficiency of the stove. If yours are stained and grimy, you are costing yourself money (extra electricity or gas) and shortening your stove’s life.

Shine burner pans with a paste of cream of tartar and vinegar. If they will not shine, replace them with new pans from an appliance store who sells parts for your brand. A perfect fit, accomplished best when using the manufacturer’s replacement parts, will save you money on power and a new stove.

See, cleaning the stove is worth something!


How old is your stove? Have you had to repair chips? What product did you use? Have you ever cleaned under the cooktop?


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2008-2011
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  1. I have one of those sealed stoves with the high cooking rack on top. Any suggestions on how to clean such a thing? It is gray and shows everything. I can’t keep it clean so I gave up

    • Yes, there is a special polish (if you want the chemical route) for the cooktop which will dissolve anything. It is sold everywhere (including Amazon)

      Otherwise, use the vinegar and water mix, but use 70% vinegar. It works for both the cooktop and the range hood. If it is really baked on, heat the elements and turn them off before you add the vinegar mix. Stay away from abrasives, like baking soda or powder cleaners. They will destroy the glass on the cooktop.

      You can use a cellulose sponge on the hood, but not the range. I have even used loofah on the dirtiest of hoods. The enamel can take it because it gets little or no abuse. If it is brushed metal, only use soft cloth or wool (not steel wool, just sheep).

      Let me know if you need something stronger!

  2. This is a fine contribution Red and my cooker is one of those absolute pains to clean, well stainless steel always looks the business but trying to keep it spotlessly clean is quite another, however some good old fashioned elbow grease often works wonders…

    Now all I need is a hoard of attractively sweet and sexy slaves to do the business end and I will be a much happier cook, or is that chef? 🙂 lol Well whatever, as it will definitely save me all the hard graft, now I wonder if those delightfully looking slaves will work in the niff?

    Nahhhhh maybe not? 🙂 lol

    Do have a wonderful rest of afternoon
    and an exquisitely wicked evening too 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • It would make you a chef. But if they were in the niff, you would be back to a cook, for the food would be used for another purpose entirely, methinks. I hope you are having a frightfully grand night, my friend! Red. xxx

  3. I despise cleaning under the stove top and in the oven. I know I need new burners, I have my grandmother’s old stove so it’s about at it’s life expectancy, a couple of the knobs have the numbers rubbed off from cleaning them. I despise cleaning the top of the stove after someone else cooks dinner, the next morning I get up and realize there is grease all over the stove top. Good thing I’m not a morning breakfast person, I’d be starting a fire once a week.
    Laurie recently posted..Changes in Hope of SimplicityMy Profile

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