Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cleaning Your Stove Top: An Old-School Trick

Ever douse flames coming out from underneath your pot of boiling water with water thinking it was an electrical fire? Only to have your husband tell you later it was actually a grease fire?

(my fire wasn't quite this dramatic)

Pretty sure you're not supposed to put out grease fires with water...good thing it worked! I was surprised enough grease had built up to cause a fire in only 9 short months. I either need to clean more often, or become a not-so-sloppy chef - maybe both.

So here is my trick to getting your burners looking like new again! My mom taught me this long ago and it has been the icing on the cake to get apartment deposits back when we're moving. It's cheaper than buying new burners. And especially good if you have fancy gas burners like these...

...which cost more to replace. But most importantly - it can save you from a grease fire when used often (note to self).

So here's what you do. First check out your disgusting burners...

All you need is some white vinegar and cream of tartar - buy the cheapest possible, so you don't feel bad using it...

First soak your burner plates in hot water and vinegar. I don't measure, I just pour in a good amount till it smells like I'm dying Easter eggs (1/2-1 cup I'm guessing)...

The longer you soak them the better. While mine soaked Little Miss and I ran errands and even played at the park - it was probably a good 2 hours...see all the little bubbles? The vinegar is working it's magic...

Then rinse all the crud off - a lot will just wipe off under water, leaving the horrible black stuff to contend with. I wear gloves so my hands don't smell like vinegar the rest of the day. And to protect my fingers from the sharp edges of the burner plate...

Get a score pad or rag damp...

Mix vinegar with cream of tartar until it is the consistency of glue, a nice paste. You'll need 1-2 Tbsp of paste per burner. For my horribly gross burners I used about 1 1/2 of those little cream of tartar jars...

Then start scrubbing. Coat the entire plate. Some spots will just wipe off while others need more elbow grease...

Voila! One down, three to go...

It only took about 20 minutes of scrubbing and my stove top is shiny again! Love it.

Some before and after...

You can use the same paste on your stove top as well to get those grease rings off...

Done and done. Do you have any old school cleaning tricks to share?


  1. Okay, I love you! Here's my trick! You know when your towels and rags start smelling bunky? Wash them as you regularly would, but add a couple cups of vinegar! I love vinegar! I keep some in a spray bottle in case one of my kids says a naughty word too!

  2. My mom just puts tin foil over hers! Then she would just change the tin foil when they would get disgusting. Super easy and it only takes a minute. Plus when you spill something down there you just pull the tin foil off and you don't have the burning smell. We have a gas top and I just use comet and that usually does the trick!

  3. Nat - I am so glad you commented about towel stink...I hate towel stink! Thanks for the trick. I'll be trying that one out for sure!

  4. Since we're talking vinegar, I was told that about 1/2 cup of vinegar in a load of white laundry will help brighten the white. At least it keeps them from turning grey.

  5. thanks for the tip! it'll get used for sure.

  6. I wish I had known about that vinegar trick when we were getting ready to move months ago. I ended up just buying new burner plates.

  7. Barb, that's a great trick. I'll have to keep that in mind. This week I wrote a post that included several cleaning hacks using hydrogen peroxide.

  8. Well, I am impressed, I would have tossed those for sure and tried to buy new ones. We just leased a home that has granite counter tops--they never look shiny after I wash them down. I have even tried glass cleaner, but it seems to show a film. any ideas?

  9. I am just glad that I don't have that kind of stove anymore. Mine is a glass top, which has it's own challenges, but it's a lot easier to keep clean.

  10. Thank you!! That and I just want you to know I love you for this, seriously, I am trying it tomorrow. I'm a stickler for a clean stove but whenever my husband cooks well, things turn into a mess. It wasn't log before our brand new stove turned into something rather gross. I can't wait too see it after a good cleaning

  11. That is great. It is really a helpful information. Keep up the good work...

    Great resource for educators as well!

    Carpet Cleaning Vancouver

  12. We used the same eco-friendly material for stove cleaning. Vinegar is really a powerful agent for stains and other stuff that stick on the stoves plate. Thanks for this information Barb. Keep up the good work and keep on posting cleaning tips.

    Carpet Cleaning Roseville California


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