If you cook often — or even if you just use your electric stove top for extra counter space — your stove can get dirty faster than you think. Because it comes into such close contact with food, you want to make sure it stays as clean as possible. But due to its size, frequency of use, and the types of grime it accumulates, your electric stove isn’t always the easiest appliance to keep spotless. We’re here to help! Check out these tips for cleaning your electric stove top without using too much elbow grease.
Electric Stove Cleaning Supplies
You don’t need harsh chemical cleaners to get your electric stove top looking brand-new. In fact, you probably have what you need to clean your stove in your pantry already. While different sources recommend slightly different supplies, they’re all common, accessible, and cheap. Cleaning websites Home Made Simple and Merry Maids say you only need baking soda, a dry, soft cleaning rag, mild liquid dish soap, and distilled white vinegar to clean your stove top. Once you’ve made sure you have all the necessary cleaning supplies, all you need is a fun playlist to keep you motivated. (Cleaning’s more fun when Dolly Parton is involved.)
Important tip: Professionals say you should completely disconnect your stove from the power before cleaning it by unplugging it or turning off the electricity at your breaker box. If you’ve just used your stove, let it cool before disconnecting it. This can help you stay safe and avoid electric shock.
How to Clean an Electric Stove Top With Coil Burners and Drip Pans
While the above cleaning supplies should work for both flat top stoves and stoves with coil burners, the methods used to clean them are a little different. Coil top stoves are classic: They’re easy to repair and relatively inexpensive, making them a sensible option. The downside to coil top stoves, however, is that their drip pans are crumb and grime magnets. Food52 recommends the following instructions for getting your coil top stove nice and clean.
If the coils and drip pans are really dirty (no judgement!):
- Burn off residue by setting heat to high for a few minutes, then letting cool completely.
- Once cooled, gently lift coils and drip pans out of stove.
- Wash drip pans with warm water and soap, then coat in a mixture of one part white distilled vinegar, two parts baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap, and let sit for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, use a dry toothbrush to scrub the crusty bits off the coils. (You may want to do this over a few sheets of newspaper to avoid mess.) Wipe off the rest with a damp cloth and dry them.
- Once 15 minutes have transpired, rinse the mixture off your drip pans, and clean once more in warm, soapy water. Dry with a lint-free cloth.
If the coils and drip pans are only a little dirty:
Wipe the coils with a damp cloth, and set burners to high heat for three minutes to burn off residue. Turn them off, allowing them to cool down fully, and wipe down once more. You may want to open a window, since this process could be smelly, depending on the level of grime.
To clean under the stove top:
Sometimes, crumbs and spills can get past the drip pans and under the stove top. You may need to clean under the stove top if there’s a burning smell when you turn on your electric stove. To do this: Prop open the front of your stove — it should open like a car hood — and wipe out the underside with a damp sponge, using soap to scrub off the more stubborn bits. If you’re having trouble removing coils and drip pans or opening your stovetop, check out the video below for tips.
How to Clean a Flat Top Electric Stove
There are many advantages to having a flat top electric stove. Flat, glass top stoves are easier to clean than stoves with coils, and they usually have a sleeker, more modern profile. These kinds of stoves are more expensive, however, and more prone to scratching, so they may or may not be your best option, depending on your needs. Jillee Nystul, creator of lifestyle blog One Good Thing, recommends the following methods for cleaning a glass top stove if you have one:
- Put distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray it evenly over the stove top.
- Once stove top is evenly covered in vinegar, sprinkle it evenly with baking soda, creating a fizzy reaction that will loosen up residue.
- Fill a large bowl or bucket with hot water and a few drops of mild liquid dish soap and dunk in a soft towel, wringing as necessary to ensure that it’s saturated but not dripping.
- Cover baking soda and vinegar-covered stovetop with the wet towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
- If residue remains, use a scrub brush to loosen it.
- Wipe away baking soda, and buff stove top with a few extra spritzes of vinegar and a soft cloth.
For another effective method to clean your flat top stove, try The Krazy Coupon Lady’s similar tip (see below). She notes that you can give a boost of disinfecting power by adding a couple drops of lemon juice to the mixture:
- Put a squirt of mild liquid dish soap, a sprinkle of baking soda, and a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide on your stove top.
- Scrub mixture with a scrub brush, let sit for three minutes, and wipe clean.
The Bottom Line
Whether you have a flat top stove or one with coils, you now have all the knowledge you need to get it sparkling. But once your electric stove top is clean, you want to keep it clean — which is easier said than done, considering how often you use it. To maintain the cleanliness of your stove top, wipe it down with a damp cloth after every use. This method can help keep crumbs and baked-on grime from creating a mess that will be harder to clean later. If you’re looking for tips on how to clean the inside of your stove, here are three easy methods.
When your stove top is clean, the rest of your kitchen feels cleaner. And since your kitchen is the heart of your home, that means that you’ve basically cleaned the house once you’ve cleaned your stove top, right? I think that’s a good enough excuse to kick back and enjoy a job well done!