Cleaning your Kitchen Stove

The big tip for this Tuesday is Cleaning and detailing your kitchen stove.  
The stove gets a lot of wear and tear with the evidence of thick, baked on grease and grime.  

Do not panic if you have left yours go.  Many of us have.  Our stoves are a useful investment in every home because we cook all our food in or on top of it.  Sadly, many of us have left things burn and cake until it has a layer of thick black spots of grime.  

Have no fear-there is hope!  

For this segment I wanted to use inexpensive, more natural options that anyone may have around the house.  After doing much research I found several methods that people were talking about…

  • Dawn dish soap– squirt the straight dawn onto the grime and leave it set overnight.  Next day wipe clean-NOT!  I found this to be a mediocre method at best.  I had put my whole body into scouring, and yet there was much grime remaining.  Not my first method of choice.

  • Rubbing Alcohol-take a rag that has been saturated with the rubbing alcohol and simply dab over the problem areas.  Leave this soak overnight and the grime will just wipe off with no effort.  SORRY, No go!  This was the worst advice I found.  Nothing came off at all.  It was if I never did a thing after scrubbing for 10 minutes.  It seemed to set the grime in stone. 
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste-make a paste combining baking soda and vinegar.  Smear the paste over the baked on surface of your stove.  Let set for several minutes (I left it overnight to be sure).  Using a non abrasive scouring pad, gently work the grime off the surface-FRUSTRATING!  No, this just does not do the trick.  Maybe if you use that method after one fresh spill of goo, but sorry, my stove that has withstood years of caking and baking in, it is a FAIL.  

And the winner is (drum roll)…..

  • Ammonia!!!!  There was nothing on the internet that told me how to use ammonia on the cook top, so I experimented.  I doused a rag in ammonia (it is a very strong vapor, so please use caution!!!), set it on the affected areas, covered the area with a bowl, and let it set overnight.  The fumes from the ammonia break down the grime like nothing else.  By morning, a gentle rub of my non abrasive pad took everything off!!! It was amazing to me.  And easy!  Ammonia is super cheap.  I bought a half gallon jug at the dollar store for a dollar and it is the best stove cleaner ever. 

NEVER use ammonia with other household cleaners, especially bleach!  Combining it with bleach will make a chemical reaction where the fumes are deadly.  Here is more information on the safety of ammonia please read this article…

It is safe to use on most surfaces and is effective.   Never have small children near the ammonia.  If used once a year to detail your stove, and by using proper care, you will not have a problem.


It worked so well that I used it for the rest of the tough areas.  I placed the grills, grates, and oven racks into a trash bag and dumped 2 cups of straight ammonia in.  I was careful not to breath it in and did this all outdoors. If you live in an apartment you could do this in the garage or outside patio.  I tied the trash bags up and let the ammonia fumes do their work while I was sleeping.  

After a good nights rest, I placed another trash bag on my counter top for a protective barrier.  Out of the trash bag came these filthy looking grates.  Not for long!  I used a wire brush to work off the grime which virtually flaked off in chunks.  For harder spots I used a plastic scraper.  This was super exciting for the girls and I.  For some reason or other, effective cleaning methods make us giddy.  While we took breaks from filming, the girls and I went to work on these grates.  We were sort of fighting over the worst grates because the thicker grime was more fun to peel off with our tools.  After getting the worst of it off, we gentle rubbed it over with a damp scouring pad and then with a rag.  Wow!  The results were amazing.  

The oven grates were not as receptive to the wire brushes so we got out the old wire scouring pad.  That worked so much easier because you can wrap the fibers around the long, thin, metal bars and power it off to a shine.  The results were much the same-amazing.  

Inside the stove we placed a rag and poured a cup of ammonia over it.  Then we let it set over night for the fumes to penetrate the grime.  It worked so well.  All the grime came off the window.  We could see all the way to the floor through it.  Everything just wiped off pretty easy without too much elbow grease.  I suggest putting a sheet of aluminum foil at the base of the oven as a preventative step.  *Check your owners manual if any of these methods are okay to use in your stove because stoves may vary on the care.  Any food that should drip or bubble over, will drop on the foil instead of the bottom of your stove.  It is much easier to toss the foil into the trash than to go through this process all over again.  My grandmother always said…

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

The last step was to spray and wipe down the entire exterior of the stove to make it shine.  I made a homemade spray cleaner by combining 2 cups vinegar with 2 cups of water.  A 1:1 ratio.  Spritz the entire top, around the controls, the buttons, and door to complete the shine.  Stand back and watch how it sparkles.  

To keep the stove clean, simply wipe down the stove top after each cooking session.  The grime will come off with very little effort.  Watch for spills and pay close attention to the grates as well.  This wipe down will only take about 2 minutes a day.  2 minutes a day will save hours of detailing.  

I hope you enjoyed this weeks cleaning project.  Tune in for next week when I detail my messy refrigerator.  

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27 thoughts on “Cleaning your Kitchen Stove”

  1. Lori Alexander

    I just had to tell you my new discovery! I cleaned a very dirty oven of a friend of mine’s. I decided to leave the grates in the oven and I put in anything that had baked on food in also. I put a bowl of ammonia on the bottom of the oven and left it for a night. Today, everything was SO easy to clean. It was much easier and efficient than putting the grates in a big plastic bag and scrubbing off the stuff off pans. I love learning easier ways! 🙂

  2. I always place casserole dishes, lasagne dishes etc. inside a roasting pan or put a pan on the shelf below to catch any drips, it helps to minimise spills. A roasting pan with a lid also reduces splashes on the inside of the oven. Have used foil before successfully but my fan oven tends to blow it about so I now use trays. I do use a commercial oven cleaner not sure if you can get ammonia in the UK, I’ll have to look. Thanks for the post.

  3. Hey, Erin! Great post! Thanks for trying out the different suggestions and letting us know how they rate. I’ve been enamored by great claims like those you mentioned only to be sorely disappointed. I love the “research” mindset you used. Great work!!!
    I wanted to chime in about the aluminum foil. I used it in the past and it worked great…until somehow a corner of it curled up and could touch the element at the bottom of the stove. I heard a terrific pop and saw a bright electrical flash and smelled an awful burnt smell. It fried the element and so I was without an oven for a little bit. That’s when I saw it was not recommended to use foil. I could still see why people would use it, but I was done!
    Then I got a spiffy new stove with a hidden element. It’s so cool; it’s just flat at the bottom with nothing to clean around. This time I read the book carefully first and it does say not to use foil. I also looked up how to clean it online and there were loads of people who had missed the warning in the book, used foil, and had a severely damaged stove as a result of the foil melting. (One person said to use some kind of naval goo something or other and that removed the aluminum but almost nothing else would.) Just wanted to back up Alana and explain why both sides are right but using foil under a visible element is risky, and using it over a hidden element is a NO-NO! 🙂

  4. I read the warning about this by Alana, and have never had that problem in the last 2 years I’ve done this. So it works for me, but maybe not for everyone

  5. Enjoy your posts. Inspiring. One thing I would highly recommend is lining the bottom of your stove with aluminum foil. It will catch all the drips and just toss and replace once a year! This made a huge difference for me.

  6. If I may ask, what font do you use on your blog titles? I love it! So pretty and feminine! I’d like to woodburn “recipes” in this font onto a recipe box.

  7. Oh it was so good to read this! Yes, I do need to have a better method than using a paint scraper, but mostly because some days a body just needs to read something to get the mind in gear! Today’s the day! 🙂 Ammonia… I’ve avoided it all these years. As a young bride, I naively picked up a bottle of “lemon scented ammonia” at the dollar store and opened it to get a whiff… Ouch! Brain burn was what I got! LOL! Kind of like when you get water in your head while swimming. I may just have to be brave and get another bottle. I think as a safety precaution, I’ll label my ammonia bottles with “do not use near bleach!” as well as some verbal instruction. Thanks for doing the homework for us and sharing, Erin! You’re awesome!!! 🙂

  8. Just wanted to let you know something very important in regards to one of your recommendations: It is not safe to put a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of any and every type of oven. I have a fairly new Frigidaire oven and tried this method months ago to “prevent” messes… The foil burnt/melted to the bottom of my oven and would not come off. I had to have the bottom floor of the oven replaced. The repair man told me if I would have read the manual to my oven I would have seen it said DO NOT LINE THE OVEN FLOOR WITH FOIL. Sure enough, when I read the manual it was there! Just a warning – you should probably make a note of this in your post.

    1. Erin @ Keeper of the Homestead

      Wow, I have never had that happen, but I am sure some models are different. I will make a not to the readers to check their owners care instructions for their stoves. Just in case. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  9. Erin, you are beyond awesome! I was praying you would give some tips for cleaning stoves next! I’m completely lost on cleaning stoves. Thank you for this cleaning series. It is super helpful!

  10. I just LOVE these videos! Thank you for taking the time to make them! I do have a quick question for you or your readers ~ Does anyone know if ammonia is safe to use on stainless steel stove tops?
    Thanks! I look forward to scrubbing my stove (hopefully tomorrow as it’s late now)!

    1. Erin @ Keeper of the Homestead

      Yes, ammonia is great for stainless. I placed a link in this post where you can get more information on ammonia. I hope you have some great success on your stove. God bless!

  11. Hello ! Thank you so very much for these cleaning snippets. You make cleaning look fun 🙂 which I agree, a clean stove IS something to get excited over!
    My husband made mention that people should be VERY attentive to never let the ammonia be near bleach. The two are a deadly poison when put together.
    God bless you and your family … Happy cleaning 🙂

    1. Erin @ Keeper of the Homestead

      I did know that but totally forgot to mention about bleach. Thank you for reminding me!!! I sure appreciate that. As you can see, I actually added it to this post. And I left a link for people to read all about ammonia.
      I am so blessed that you enjoyed the post today. God bless you and your family as well:) Happy cleaning!

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