How to Clean Stove Grates

Having clean stove grates not only makes your kitchen look nicer, it also helps your stove work more efficiently and can extend the life of your stove. Over time, stove grates can accumulate burned-on food and grease that can be tough to remove. However, with the right cleaning methods and tools, you can get your stove grates looking like new again.

Supplies You’ll Need

Cleaning stove grates thoroughly requires having the right supplies on hand. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Baking soda – Helps scrub off stubborn, baked-on grime
  • White vinegar – Helps dissolve grease and cuts through grime
  • Steel wool pads – For scrubbing off stuck-on food or grease
  • Old toothbrush – For getting in crevices and small spaces
  • Rubber gloves – To protect your hands while cleaning
  • Spray bottle – For applying cleaning solutions to grates
  • Soft cloths – For wiping down grates after cleaning
  • Plastic scrapers or putty knives – For chipping off any chunks of stuck-on gunk

Gather all these cleaning supplies before you start so you have everything you need within reach. You may also want to lay down some old towels to catch any drips while cleaning.

Cleaning Gas Stove Grates

Gas stove grates often get coated in burnt-on drips, grease splatters, and food crumbs that get baked on from the open flame heat source below. Here are the steps to clean gas stove grates thoroughly:

Remove Grates and Soak

The first step is to remove all the stove grates so you can fully submerge them. Carefully pull the grates off the burners and place them in your kitchen sink or a tub.

Fill the sink or tub with warm water and add 1⁄2 cup baking soda and 1⁄2 cup white vinegar. Let the grates soak for at least 30 minutes, up to a few hours. This will help loosen up any hardened, stuck-on gunk.

Scrub with Steel Wool

After soaking, it’s time to start scrubbing. Take a coarse steel wool pad and scrub every inch of the grates, applying force where needed to remove stubborn spots. The steel wool will scour off all the accumulated grime.

Be sure to scrub both the tops and bottoms of the grates. You can use an old toothbrush to get into small crevices. Rinse the grates periodically to check your progress.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda Paste

For extremely stubborn burnt-on spots, make a paste with baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda directly on problem areas of the grates, then use a spray bottle to spritz on white vinegar. Let the paste bubble and fizz on the stuck-on gunk for 5-10 minutes.

Then take your steel wool and scrub the paste away. The chemical reaction helps dissolve the bonds on the toughest baked-on grime. Rinse the grates well.

Rinse and Dry

Once the grates are scrubbed clean, give them a thorough rinse under warm running water. Use a soft cloth to wipe them down and make sure no steel wool bits are left behind.

Let the grates air dry completely before putting them back on the stove. You don’t want any water dripping down into the gas burners.

Cleaning Electric Stove Grates

Electric stoves collect similar dirt and grime on their grates from cooking splatters and spills. But you’ll need to use a slightly different cleaning method to avoid getting the heating elements wet. Here’s how to clean electric stove grates:

Remove and Scrape

Carefully remove the electric grates so you can clean both sides. Use a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently scrape off any chunks of hardened, stuck-on food or grease deposits.

Try not to gouge the metal. Just scrape to remove the built-up gunk. Dispose of the scraped off bits in the trash.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

In a small bowl, mix together baking soda and just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Using a soft cloth or an old toothbrush, apply the baking soda paste to the entire grate surface.

The paste will bubble up and help lift grease and grime. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Scrub Away Grime

Dip a steel wool pad in vinegar and scrub the grates to remove all the gunk, rinsing the pad frequently. The baking soda paste combined with the vinegar will dissolve any sticky oils or food residue without dripping excess liquid into the electric elements.

Use a toothbrush dipped in vinegar to get into crevices. Rinse the grates with a damp cloth. Avoid submerging in water or placing under running water to prevent electric shock hazards.

Remove Residue and Dry

Make sure to wipe off any leftover baking soda paste until the grates are completely clean. Let the grates air dry fully before replacing them on the electric stove. Run the stove briefly to help completely dry out any hidden moisture before cooking again.

Cleaning Glass Stovetop Grates

Glass stovetops need some extra care when cleaning to avoid scratching the smooth surface. Follow these steps to clean glass stove grates safely:

Remove and Inspect

Lift off the grates carefully to avoid scraping them against the glass cooktop. Inspect for any cracks or chips along the bottom edges. Damaged grates can further scratch the glass when you replace them.

Set any damaged grates aside to replace. A glass cooktop repair kit can help resurface minor scratches later.

Use a Razor Blade

For stuck-on splatters or drips across the glass under where the grates sit, use a single-edge razor blade to gently scrape the area clean. Hold the razor at a 30° angle against the glass and scrape off the gunk.

Rinse the blade frequently to keep the scraping edge sharp. Be patient and take care not to press too hard, which can scratch the glass.

Clean with Vinegar

In a spray bottle, mix together equal parts vinegar and warm water. Spray the mixture liberally across the entire glass cooktop surface.

Use a soft cloth or paper towels to wipe down the glass. The vinegar will help cut through any oily grease or food residue without damaging the surface.

Scrub the Grates

Clean the glass grates similarly to other types. Soak in warm soapy water then scrub with baking soda paste using a soft brush or cloth. Avoid abrasive steel wool or scouring pads which can scratch the glass.

Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing on the stove.

How Often Should I Clean the Grates?

To keep your stove grates looking their best, you should aim to clean them thoroughly once every 2-3 months. However, a quick wipe-down maintenance cleaning should be done more frequently.

Here are some tips on regular grate maintenance:

  • Wipe up spills promptly after cooking to prevent baked-on drips
  • Remove and rinse grates after cooking especially messy dishes
  • Use a paper towel dipped in vinegar to wipe grates weekly
  • Clean drips and splatters from the stovetop burners weekly
  • Always ensure the grates are completely grease-free before turning on the burners

Following these simple habits will cut down on the time spent on deep cleanings. But a periodic thorough scrubbing is still required every few months to keep grime from building up over time.

Tips for Preventing Grease Buildup

No matter how diligent you are about cleaning the grates, some grease accumulation is inevitable from daily cooking. But you can take some proactive steps to minimize the amount of grime that sticks to the grates:

  • Use grill mats – Place silicone grill mats or foil over sections of the grates when cooking especially greasy foods. This shields the grates from splatter.
  • Adjust burner flames – Keep flames low and centered under pots/pans. High, lapping flames are more likely to cause drips and splatters.
  • Choose lower-fat cooking methods – Opt for broiling, grilling or roasting rather than frying. Simmer sauces in a pot rather than pan frying in grease.
  • Clean up spills ASAP – Don’t let drips bake on. Remove grates and wash right away if anything boils over or splatters heavily.
  • Use cleaner burning gas – If your stove is natural gas, have the fuel line professionally switched to propane which burns cleaner.

With a few minor changes in cooking habits, you can minimize grease buildup on the grates between cleanings. But regular scrub-downs are still essential for sanitary hygiene and optimal stove performance. With the right tools and techniques, you can keep your stove grates shining like new.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest way to clean stove grates?

For a quick clean, mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda into a paste, apply it to the grates, let sit 5 minutes, then scrub with steel wool. The chemical reaction will help lift grime fast without heavy scrubbing.

What naturally removes burnt on grease from stove grates?

White vinegar is highly effective at breaking down grease and dissolved burnt-on food residue. Letting grates soak in a diluted vinegar bath helps naturally loosen stuck-on gunk without harsh chemicals.

Can I put stove grates in the dishwasher?

Most metal stove grates are dishwasher safe, but the high heat can actually bake grease and grime on even more. It’s better to hand wash grates so you can fully scrub all surfaces and use ingredients like baking soda and vinegar to cut through mess.

How do I get rust off my stove grates?

For light rust, scrub with a paste of baking soda and water using steel wool. For heavier rust, use a vinegar soak followed by scrubbing with very fine grit sandpaper. Avoid coarse steel wool or sandpaper which can scratch the grates.

How do I clean my glass stovetop grates?

Avoid abrasive scrubbers on glass grates. Instead, soak in soapy water, use a plastic scraper to gently loosen stuck-on gunk, then scrub with a soft cloth, nylon brush, or sponge using a baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution to remove residue without scratching.

In Closing

Regularly cleaning stove grates is an important kitchen maintenance task. Although it may seem daunting to tackle baked-on grease and grime, the right cleaning solutions and tools make it easier to remove layers of filth and restore your grates to a like-new condition.

Be sure to use gentle, non-abrasive methods on glass or enameled grates to avoid scratching delicate surfaces. With some elbow grease and the cleaning power of ingredients like baking soda and vinegar, you can get stove grates sparkling again in no time. Keeping up with periodic deep cleanings will make your time spent cooking on the stove much more pleasant and appetizing.