How to Clean Cooktops

Stovetops can be a headache if you don't clean regularly.
Stovetops can be a headache if you don't clean regularly.
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Cooking is a messy task, but it is easily controlled with quick daily cleanups. Grease is one of the ­major culprits behind the grime that accumulates on cooktops. But we'll show you how to tackle grease and other culprits that mess up your cooktop.

Ceramic Cooktops

The ceramic cooktop is a glass cooktop with electric heating elements under the glass. While smooth tops may appear to be easy to clean, special care must be taken to avoid damaging or discoloring the ceramic surface.

The best way to clean ­a ceramic cooktop is to sprinkle a nonabrasive cleanser or baking soda over the surface and rub with a synthetic scouring pad or sponge. Rinse well with clear water, and buff with a soft cloth for a clean finish. Here are a few other handy suggestions:

  • Wait until the top cools to wipe up spills. Never use a wet sponge or cloth on a hot panel.
  • Don't set soiled pots or pans on the surface; they can mar it permanently.
  • Abrasive cleaning products will scratch the surface, discoloring it and making it difficult to keep clean.

Gas and Electric Stovetops and Range Exteriors

The exteriors of most gas and electric ranges are baked-on porcelain enamel; the trim is usually chrome; and the control knobs are plastic. The easiest way to keep these clean is to wipe the surface around the heating elements after each use. Avoid usin­g harsh abrasives or steel wool, which will damage the stove's enamel finish. Also consider these suggestions:

  • Wash reflector bowls, or drip pans, and grids in warm soapsuds whenever food or grease is spilled on them.
  • Gas burners should be washed occasionally. Clear the holes with a fine wire. Do not use a toothpick; it could break off and clog the hole.
  • Electric heating elements are self-cleaning and should never be submerged in water.
  • Remove all the control knobs when you clean the exterior of the range to make the job easier. Soak the knobs in warm sudsy water, and dry them with a soft towel before putting them back in place.

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