Deep cleaning the kitchen stove ranks up there with one of the more disagreeable household cleaning tasks out there. Not only do stoves have all sorts of pieces and parts that need to be removed and cleaned with a toothbrush, there’s also the grease splatters and baked on food that’s so hard to scrub clean.
If your housecleaning tasks for the day include deep cleaning the range and oven, these tips from the professionals can help make the task easier.
1. Remove coil, burners, drip pans, knobs, dials, and oven racks first. Before cleaning the range top and oven, remove all these smaller components first and (except for the coils) get them soaking in warm sudsy water. Soaking in warm water for 10-15 minutes will loosen built-on gunk and make cleanup a snap. Other things you should know:
* For best results, use dish washing soap with a grease cutter.
* Use a toothbrush to remove gunk trapped in the ridges and knobs.
* Finger tip scrub the numbered dials only to prevent “rubbing off” the numbers.
* Use baking soda to scour stubborn stains on drip pans.
* Use 0000 steel wool to remove baked on grease on the oven racks, instead of running them through a self-clean cycle.
2. How to clean the range top. The same soaking method that cleans dials will also soften the gunk on the range tops and drip tray beneath the burners. What I do soak an old towel in warm soapy water, place it over the entire range top, and let it set for 10-15 minutes. This softens baked-on food so that it can be easily removed with a scrubby on the larger areas, and a toothbrush in the seams. After cleaning, rinse the range top with clean, damp towel. The final step of this project is to replace all the knobs and dials, and polish up the range top with your favorite window cleaner.
Glass top range tops take a bit more effort to clean. What doesn’t come up with the soaking method should be removed with a porcelain range-top cleaner and a green scrubby.
3. How to clean the stove exterior. After the range top has been cleaned, move to the sides and fronts of the range and oven. Since these areas don’t see heavy grease buildup, window cleaner is usually all that’s required to get these areas sparkling clean. For stubborn food particles trapped in seams, around the glass front, and behind the dials, a toothbrush dipped in some ammonia will help.
4. How to clean the oven. If you own a self cleaning oven, this is the time to set the oven to a three hour cleaning cycle and let it clean itself. After the oven has been cleaned and cooled down, the ashy residual found in the bottom of the oven can be wiped up with a damp paper towel. For ovens that must be cleaned the old fashioned way, you will need a container of Oven Cleaner, gloves, newspapers, and lots of paper towels. Follow the instructions to activate the cleaning agents, let set the proper amount of time, and then clean up the mess with damp paper towels.
When it comes to deep cleaning an oven and range, it really takes less time than you’d expect. A good soaking, scrub brushes and a little elbow grease are the secret ingredients in keeping this kitchen appliance looking spotless.