Even careful cooks have to clean stove drip pans from time to time. Pots that boil over, spoons that drip after stirring pots and grease that spatters as you're cooking are just a few reasons why electric stove tops just don't seem to stay clean for very long. Because drip pans are removable, you can take them from the stove to the kitchen sink, which makes cleaning them a little easier.
Clean Stove Drip Pans Precaution
Before starting to clean stove drip pans, make sure that the burners on your electric stove are turned to the "off" position. And then also be sure to let the burners cool completely before attempting to remove the drip pans underneath them. You may want to remove the drip pans as soon as possible to clean them after a boiled-over pot or other food has soiled the pans. But it's not worth risking a burn injury to remove them before they've cooled.
Baking Soda and Dish Soap
If you're only dealing with a minor mess, you may be able to clean stove drip pans with a paste made of baking soda and dish soap. After removing the drip pans, discard any crumbs or loose particles into the trash and rinse the pans with hot water from your sink faucet.
Make a paste with equal parts of baking soda and liquid dish soap. Using a soft cleaning rag or a pastry brush, apply the paste to the drip pans and let them sit in the sink for an hour.
Rinse the paste off the drip pans under hot running water and use a soft cloth or a non-abrasive scrubbing brush, such as a toothbrush, to remove any residual grime. If your drip pans aren't completely clean, you can try a second cleaning method using vinegar.
Cleaning Drip Pans With Vinegar
AARP also recommends using baking soda to clean stove drip pans, but in tandem with vinegar. Using the sink stopper to keep the vinegar from draining, place the pans in the kitchen sink and cover them with distilled white vinegar. Let the pans soak in the vinegar for 30 minutes.
Without draining the sink, sprinkle baking soda on top of the vinegar and rub the baking soda over the pans. Let the pans sit for another 15 minutes before rinsing them with hot water. If stains or burnt-on food persist, scrub the drip pans with more baking soda and rinse completely.
Deep Clean Stove Drip Pans
For an overnight method to clean stove drip pans that doesn't require scrubbing, you can use gallon-sized sealable plastic bags and ammonia. Place each drip pan in a separate 1-gallon plastic bag, add 1/4 cup ammonia to each bag and seal. You won't even need to make sure that each drip pan is coated with the ammonia, because it's the ammonia fumes that will do the work. Stack the plastic bags in your kitchen sink for an overnight deep-cleaning treatment.
The next morning when you open the bags, make sure not to inhale the strong, caustic fumes. Reseal the bags and dispose of them. Wash the drip pans in warm, soapy water and thoroughly rinse them with hot water. Completely dry the pans with a kitchen towel and position them back onto your stove top.
Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist and a professional writer who has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, horticultural articles, and magazine and newspaper columns. Her writing expertise covers diverse industries, including horticulture, home maintenance and DIY projects, banking, finance, law and tax. Blackstone has written more than 2,000 published works for newspapers, magazines, online publications and individual clients.