8 Cleaning Tips For Crusty Stove Tops

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Here are several different tips for cleaning stove tops that have caked on crud that won’t budge. If things are a real mess, you may need to try a method a few times to remove it all.

Supplies*Note: Each point is a separate method…

Surface (porcelain enamel):

  • Remove elements, rings and drip pans. Scrub surface with hot, soapy water then dry. Place paper towels over crusty spots and soak with household ammonia. Cover with plastic wrap to keep paper towels moist, and leave sit for several hours. Scrub again with hot, soapy water and crud should wipe away.
  • Generously sprinkle baking soda around the surface then spray hot water (boiling hot if possible) over it all–enough to dissolve baking soda without making it run all over. Let soak for about 30 minutes, then scrub.

Surface, Element Rings and Drip Pans:

  • Cover everything with paper towels then soak thoroughly with white household vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap then let sit for several hours. Remove the paper towels and start scrubbing, things should loosen up and wipe away easily.

Drip Pans:

  • Spray with oven cleaner, place in garbage bags, seal, then let sit over night. Remove them the next day, rinse, then scrub with hot, soapy water.

Drip Pans & Rings:

  • Take a large kettle, pot or roaster and fill with water. Bring to a boil. Add a cup of Cascade dishwasher detergent, stir until powder dissolves. Using tongs place the items in the pot of hot water. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off heat, cover with lid and let sit overnight. In the morning remove the items then scrub in a sink full of hot, soapy water. The caked on crud should remove easily.
  • Spray with household ammonia, place in garbage bags, seal, then sit over night. Remove from bag the next day and scrub with hot, soapy water. You can also first cover the pans with paper towels, then saturate with ammonia. If it’s a hot, sunny day outside–let the sealed bag sit in the sun to add heat to the process.
  • Make a paste with cream of tartar and vinegar (50/50) and slather all over items. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then scrub.
  • Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup baking soda, stir to dissolve. Drop in the items, cover then let sit over night. Scrub in hot, soapy water the next day. If crud is really bad and won’t loosen, try scrubbing with a scouring pad first dipped in household ammonia.

Caution: Do not spray the elements themselves with any solutions, just wipe with a hot, soapy cloth.

As always, first test a small area to make sure the method you use won’t cause any damage.

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Published: March 1, 2007
Updated: August 18, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
5 Comments to “8 Cleaning Tips For Crusty Stove Tops”
  1. Charnell says:

    To remove burnt food from pots and pans: lay a fabric softner sheet in bottom of pan and add very hot water; soak several hours or overnight, then scrub…everything comes off!

    • jerry says:

      I used a drill and a dill bit that looks like a wire brush and a wire brush for the hardest parts

      • jerry says:

        I I used a drill and a dill bit that looks like a wire brush and a wire brush for the hardest parts, i got them at the hardware store for 5 dollars I may ad.

  2. Linda Holder says:

    I have used scrubbing bubble bath room on the top of my stove when things was caked on crud. Let sit for an hour then wipe off caked on crud. Then wash with soap and water. It worked grate for me.

  3. shirley says:

    I have a problem to remove burnt on food from my porcelain drip pans. How do I clean them ?


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