A greasy backsplash behind your stove may not be Pinterest-worthy, but it's a sign of a well-loved kitchen. You've cooked many meals for your family on that stove, and the backsplash holds memories of each one — literally.
Nonetheless, it's wise to keep a backsplash clean to cut down on any unpleasant smells or pests and to simply stay on top of the chore before it turns into a monumental task. If you find yourself worrying about stains on your tiled backsplash, you may want to consider adding an additional protective layer.
Here's what you need to know in order to clean a greasy backsplash and restore it to its full glory — even if only until dinnertime.
What's a Backsplash?
The job of a backsplash is to protect your wall from all those splattering pots on your stove, whether it's grease, water or food. So the fact that it's greasy means that it's doing exactly what it was meant to do.
It doesn't hurt that most backsplashes look very stylish and add a decorative element to your kitchen. You can keep your backsplash looking good for a longer period of time by choosing to install small tiles in a multicolored palette in darker shades. This mosaic-like aesthetic makes splotches and stains less obvious to the casual observer. Try to avoid large white tiles, which tend to show every little drop and streak.
For other ideas for a backsplash behind a stove, consider smooth stone or brick facades treated with a coat of protective sealant to prevent grease and water permeating the material.
How to Clean Grease Off a Backsplash
Whether you have a stone, brick or tile backsplash behind the stove, your plan of attack remains the same. All that's needed to clean grease off the wall behind the stove is your favorite grease-busting dishwashing liquid, a sponge and an optional stiff brush. Rinse the sponge in some warm water, wring out the excess and place a dollop of liquid soap on it.
Use the soapy sponge on the greasy backsplash. You may need to let the soap sit on the grease for a little while, then come back and scrub vigorously. If the grease is really tough, use a stiff brush to loosen it up. Rinse out the sponge, wring it out and wipe down the backsplash one more time.
To keep the backsplash clean, try to wipe it down after you're done cooking. Take care not to lean over a hot stove; let all the burners and pots cool off before cleaning the backsplash. Incorporate backsplash cleaning into your routine, such as by wiping it down whenever you wipe down your counters, and it won't become such a chore for the future.
Scrubbing Grout on Your Tiled Backsplash
One area where you may have to bring out the big guns is soiled grout on a tiled backsplash. An old toothbrush can come in handy for scrubbing away grease that has built up in the grout. Use grease-fighting dishwashing liquid to start, but you can also try baking soda, which has a gritty texture that's great for scrubbing and is safe to use around your kitchen. Commercial products like the Magic Eraser can also work well on grout, but be careful not to spray anything flammable onto your stove.
Protecting Your Backsplash
Admittedly, you have better things to do than to scrub grout. So, if you're tired of doing it, consider protecting your backsplash with a clear plastic overlay. This will give you a smooth and oil-resistant surface to wipe down easily while keeping your decorative backsplash on full display. Stainless steel options are also available.