A gleaming enamel cooktop is a lovely anchor in the kitchen. But when the hardworking appliance goes unchecked in an active kitchen, it can quickly become a grimy eyesore. When bits of food, globs of grease or splotches of sauce find their way into the finer workings of the burners and jets, it can affect how the appliance functions. Cleaning gas stove burners regularly is a relatively easy endeavor. If the burners and grates are caked with gunk, then a good scrubbing with the right techniques and detergents will thoroughly clean the appliance.
A good soak and an overnight ammonia treatment can quickly degrease the burners and grates of a stove top.
Start Cleaning a Cooktop
Approaching a greasy, grimy and gunky cooktop can feel like an overwhelming endeavor. There are so many parts to pull off and clean separately, not to mention that beneath it all are fixtures that spit fire on command. However, thoroughly cleaning a gas stove cooktop is a safe and fairly simple process when approached one layer at a time.
Begin with removing the stove grates and then work your way to the burner caps and well covers. Remove each part and place in a tub of hot, soapy water to soak as you clean the rest of the cooktop. Work from the last item you removed and finish with cleaning the stove grates. The grates should be washed weekly in a bath of hot, soapy water to keep the stove top looking fresh. This also decreases the chance of greasy residue from weekly cooking from slipping onto the burners and into the gas jets below.
Using a Dishwasher
Most gas stove grates, burners, caps and other removable parts of the stove cooktop can be placed in the dishwasher and given a spin through the sanitizing cycle to remove greasy buildup. If you aren't sure, check the manufacturer's user's manual online before putting them in the dishwasher. If placing the items in the dishwasher, then you may simply put them straight into the racks and put it on the heavy-duty cleaning cycle. However, stove grates and burners that are caked with greasy layers should get a good scouring before running through the dishwasher to ensure they come out clean.
Best Way to Clean Stove Burners
The best way to clean stove burners and grates that are seriously dirty is to give them a good soak in a diluted solution of liquid degreaser. Scour the surfaces with a nonmetallic, soap-filled pad, and then place the rinsed-off grates and burner caps in a bag with ¼ cup of ammonia and seal the bag. Taste of Home recommends using a trash bag for this task. Let the oven parts sit in this solution overnight or for at least for a few hours before rinsing thoroughly and buffing them dry with a soft, clean cloth.
If the grates are really grimy and don't have any rubber pads on the bottom surface, then they can be cleaned in the oven on the self-clean cycle. Place them on the oven's metal racks, not on the floor of the appliance.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.