When you invest in a major appliance, you want to keep it in peak working condition. The best way to do that with a stove is to clean it often. In this post, we will look at how to clean your stove top, whether it is a traditional electric range or a glass or ceramic stove top. We will also explore self-cleaning ovens and how best to use them.
- Prevent stuck-on spills. The best way to clean your stove top is to avoid having to do so. Use deep saucepans so that the probability of boil over is slight. If putting a lid on the saucepan, use one with a vent, or leave it partially off so steam can escape. When the inevitable spill does occur, wipe it up quickly with a warm, soapy cloth.
- Avoid Abrasives. If it is impossible to clean a spill right away, you are confronted with a cooked on spill. Use a sponge with dishwashing liquid and warm water, or a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water to clean it. You will be tempted to use a powder abrasive; do not succumb! Abrasives will create tiny scratches in the surface of the stove top and the next spill will cling to these and make it even harder to remove them.
- Clean Stove Parts. Periodically, it is a good idea to clean the burner drip pans and knobs. If the owner’s manual says that they are dishwasher safe, use that. Otherwise, hot soapy water works just fine. If the drip pans become dingy, just replace them. They are readily available in any hardware store and are inexpensive. If your stove doesn’t have a sealed cooktop, lift it up and clean underneath. Food and grease tend to accumulate there and a 50/50 vinegar water solution can clean it easily.
- Beware of Short Circuit Possibilities. Never wash the burner element itself. That can cause a short and you could find yourself with a nonfunctional range. Also, don’t spray around the knobs; they lead to electrical controls and a squirt could cause a short. Instead, squirt a rag or paper towel and use that to wipe them down. If you have a traditional electric range, refrain from wrapping the drip pans in aluminum foil. While that may make them easier to clean, the foil could cause the heating element to short circuit.
- Self-cleaning Ovens. Maintaining the efficiency of your stove as a whole means that you should pay attention to the oven. Keeping the oven clean is the best way to do that. However, if you have a self-cleaning oven, using that feature may not be the best idea. Self-cleaning ovens are designed to incinerate food debris by increasing the temperatures in the oven to 900º to 1000º. Not only does this take a long time (from 2 to 4½ hours), it creates a nasty odor and fumes that can be toxic. It’s best to use hot, soapy water and a plastic scrub pad to clean your oven. Clean the window with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda. If it is really dingy, wipe the window with ammonia and let it stand for 30 minutes. Then scrape it off with a plastic tool.
Your oven is a major appliance that you use every single day. With proper care, it can last decades. These tips on how to clean your stove top and deal with a self-cleaning oven can extend the life of your appliance. With increased energy efficiency, it will be cheaper to run too.
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