August 14

How to Clean Stove Burners

Written by: Nadia El-Yaouti


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Whether or not you are a seasoned cook, you can count on a pot boiling over in your kitchen at one point or another. The result? A mess that will require a solid cleaning routine to get your stovetop looking like new again. Even if you manage to keep all your recipes in their pots and pans, using your stovetop daily will ultimately lead to baked messes and grease stuck to your burners. 

Today, we’ll take a look at some of the best and safest methods to get your stovetops shining like new. Electric coils, cast iron grates, and burner drip pans, we’ll cover it all. Let’s get started! 

How to Clean Electric Stove Burners

Electric burners will generally come in two forms. There are electric stovetops with exposed heating coils, where pots and pans get placed directly on top of them. Secondly, there are electric burners where the coils are situated beneath a glass stovetop. Regardless of what type you have in your kitchen, we have two cleaning methods that will get your electric stovetop looking like new. 

How to Clean Heating Coils on Your Electric Stove


We are going to teach you two awesome cleaning methods for your coils, including a method using degreasing soap and a soft sponge, or a baking soda and vinegar mixture.

Before you start tackling your burner’s breakfast bacon grease and marinara sauce messes, it's important to disconnect your electric coils. It will make the cleaning process easier, but is not totally necessary. To remove the electric coils, gently lift up the heating element just a few inches from the stove. You should see the attachment piece that connects the coils to the stove. Carefully detach the coil by squeezing the end and pulling it out. When the heating element is removed, you can start your cleaning process. 

When cleaning your electric stove burners, avoid using abrasive scrubbers and harsh cleaning agents. These could damage your electric coils. 

Use Dish Soap and a Soft Sponge

A tough degreasing soap and a soft sponge can help lift away any grime, grease, or spilled food that has cooked onto your heating element. You can use this method on the coils while they're still attached to the stovetop, or you can remove them if you have a really bad mess. Here’s what you’ll need to do: 

1. Use a damp napkin or cloth to wipe away any stains or grease. 

2. For tougher spots, use degreasing soap and gently scrub at the stain with your soft sponge. 

3. Use a damp towel to wipe up away the soapy solution once the stain is lifted. 

Use a Baking Soda and Vinegar Mixture

The powerful combination of baking soda and vinegar can work magic to gently lift away tough stains on your heating coils. To clean your coils using this method, try the following:

1. Sprinkle baking soda on the parts of your heating coil that have grease stains or burnt food on them. 

2. Spray distilled vinegar over the baking soda.

3. You can wipe away the mixture after about five minutes. If you have a tough stain or a burnt-on mess, you can let the mixture sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Use a wet towel and wipe down the coils. 

5. If you have removed your heating coils to clean them, gently reinsert them once they are completely dry.

Safety first

Never submerge your heating coils in water. This could damage the heating element. Instead, gently work around the coils and avoid the end that attaches back into your stove top.

How to Clean Solid Electric Stove Burners 

Although many electric stove burners use electric coil elements, some use solid plate elements, especially if you have a portable electric stovetop.

Cleaning a solid electric element is very similar to cleaning an electric coil. Here’s what you’ll need to do: 

1. When the element is completely cooled down, remove any  stuck-on food from the surface.  

2. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the element and spray on some vinegar.

3. Allow the soda and vinegar to sit for about 15 minutes.

4. Wipe away the mixture using a damp rag or paper towel. 

How to Clean a Stove Burner Drip Pan

If you use an electric stove that has exposed coils, then the drip pan underneath the coils is where your messes will accumulate whenever you have spills or overflow. Here's a safe cleaning method that will ensure your drip pans stays clean for a longer life. 

1. Remove the drip pan from the stovetop burner once the heating coils have completely cooled. For the majority of electric stovetops, you will need to remove the heating coils in order to remove the drip pan.

2. If you have a small stain, a simple scrub with a strong decreasing soap and gentle sponge should be enough to remove the stain.

3. For tougher stains, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto your drip pan. 

4. Next, spray an equally generous amount of vinegar over the baking soda.

5. Allow the mixture to sit for about 20 minutes. 

6. After the mixture has dried, use a decreasing soap and soft sponge to scrub at the remaining stain.

If you have some really tough stains and have tried the method above without success, you can use another mild abrasive scrubber like Bar Keepers Friend. Sprinkle this cleaner over the stain and work at it using a damp sponge. This method will work to help lift away burnt on grease and other tough stains as well.

How to Clean Gas Stove Burners

Gas stove burners might look intimidating to clean, but require a similar easy cleaning method. One of the best ways to tackle a burnt-on mess is by using a baking soda paste. This will help dissolve hardened grease, burn stains, and stuck-on food. Here's what you'll need to do: 

1. Mix together ¼ cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water to create a really thick paste.

2. Wait until the burner has completely cooled and spread the paste over the top of your gas stove burner. Allow the paste to sit for at least 30 minutes.

3. You should now be able to easily scrub stains away with a soft sponge or scouring pad. 

4. If there are any leftover stains, you can sprinkle on some baking soda and spray with vinegar.

5. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes.

6. Use a scouring pad and gently work out any leftover grime. 

7. Once you have the stain fully removed, use a wet towel to clean up any remaining residue.

One of the best tips for how to keep your stovetop burners clean is tackling stains as soon as they happen. 

Pro Tip

Cleaning burners can be a difficult process if you have burnt-on stains and grime that have accumulated over time. One of the best ways to avoid this is by using a vinegar spray to clean your burners every few days. The vinegar will get rid of any traces of dirt and grease that quickly build up.

How to Clean Glass Stovetop Burners 

When it comes to cleaning your glass stovetop burners, the cleaning process is different because you're not actually cleaning the coils, but rather the glass stovetop. Glass burners require a special cleaning method so that you don't harm the glass top. Check out our guide on how to clean your glass stovetop for the best method that will help your glass stovetop shine like new.

How to Clean Gas Stovetop Burner Grates

Gas stove burner grates are typically made out of either an enameled coated cast iron or an exposed cast iron. Enamel coated grates are great because they give you a matte black finish that looks great in a modern kitchen. Cast iron grates are popular because they do a really good job of holding onto heat. 

Whichever type of burner grate you have, if you don't clean them consistently, you'll likely end up with tough stains that are hard to get off. Here's a simple method to get your cast iron stove burners looking like new again.

How to Clean Cast Iron Stove Burners

1. Make sure your burner grates are completely cooled down before you clean them.

2. Remove the grates and spritz some water over them. Next, rub a generous amount of baking soda over the grates, focusing especially on areas that have tough baked-on stains. Allow the grates to sit like this for 10 minutes. 

3. Next, place the grate into your kitchen sink. Drizzle a generous amount of a strong decreasing soap over them and submerge the grates completely in water. 

4. Allow the grates to sit in this soapy solution for another 20 minutes.

5. Remove the grates and use a gentle scrubbing pad or sponge to lift away any remaining grime.

6. Dry the grates off completely before putting them back onto your burner.

If you have an enamel covered burner grate, do not use an abrasive scrubber to scrub away food stains. Using a harsh scrubber like steel wool or a copper scrubbing pad could expose the cast iron underneath.

If you are cleaning an exposed cast iron grate, it is important to completely dry it off after cleaning, or rust could form. 


While these cleaning methods will help you safely lift dirt and grime from your stovetop burners, it’s also important to read the manual for your stove, which will give you additional information on proper cleaning tips that won’t harm your unit. 

Have you tried any of these cleaning methods on your stove? Let us know in the comments section below which method worked best for your burner. Be sure to share any stove burner cleaning hacks you have as well!



About the author

Nadia El-Yaouti is a postgraduate at James Madison University where she studied English and Education. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and three kids. When she's not exploring new and improved ways of cleaning and organizing the kitchen on a budget, you can be sure to find her traveling the world with her little family.

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