Cleaning the stovetop is often one of the more challenging aspects of kitchen maintenance. Stove burner grates get splattered with sauces and crumbs, which then get burned in place and take a lot of scrubbing and cleansers to remove. If burner grates aren't regularly cleaned, the buildup can become impossible to deal with. However, with some ammonia and a bit of patience, you can cut down on the amount of effort needed and still attain a clean stovetop with grime-free burner grates.
Turn the oven hood exhaust fan on if you have one. Crack open a window or door while you are working with the ammonia, even if it's wintertime. Ammonia fumes are potent, and excessive exposure can be harmful. Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands against irritation.
Remove one stove burner grate and place it inside a plastic bag. Add the burner cover, if you so desire.
Hold the bag upright in the sink. Pour 1/4 cup of ammonia into the bag. This small amount is enough, as it's the fumes, not the liquid, that will clean the grates.
Quickly seal the bag and close the lid on the ammonia bottle.
Repeat steps 2 through 4 for the remaining burner grates.
Place bagged grates in the sink in case of accidental leaking of ammonia. If that is not convenient, store them out of the way in a dishpan or other open container.
Leave grates in the bags for one hour. If you haven't cleaned your grates in a long time and they are extra soiled, leave them in for up to three hours.
Open the bag in the sink, wearing gloves and aiming the opening away from you. Quickly pour ammonia out and then remove the stove grate and burner cover from the bag. Rinse the bag and discard it.
Clean the grate and burner cover with a scrubber sponge and water. The baked-on food should just slide right off with minimal or no scrubbing at all.
Rinse the grate and cover and towel dry, or allow it to air dry.
Repeat steps 8 through 11 for all stove burner grates and covers.