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How to clean stove grates and burners - a quick and easy guide

A person lifts up cooking grates to wipe the front of a stove.

Cleaning your range is a great way to keep your kitchen looking and smelling great. But once you’ve finished sweeping up crumbs and wiping up surfaces, it’s time to turn your attention to an often-ignored component of your cooktop – the cooking grates or burners. Cooking grates are used on gas cooktops to hold pots and pans above the flame from the gas burner. In contrast, electric stovetops heat pans by way of a heating element. Both should be cleaned every so often to keep them performing at their best.

How to clean gas stove top grates and burners 

Before you start cleaning your gas grates and burner tops, review your owner’s manual or user guide. Each range is different, and there may be special instructions for cleaning your grates and tops. You can clean your grates and burners with soap, water and a soft cloth.

  1. Remove your cooking grates and burner caps from the cooktop once they have cooled completely.

  2. Soak your cooking grates and burner caps in hot, soapy water for a minimum of 20 minutes. If your grates are cast iron, don’t soak them unless they’re coated or seasoned. If you’re not sure how to clean stove grates that are un-coated cast iron, check your owner’s manual.

  3. If your grates or caps are very dirty, create a paste by mixing three parts baking soda to one part water. Coat the grates in this mixture and set aside for 20 minutes.

  4. Wipe down the burners with a soft cloth. If you have coated the burners in baking soda paste, rinse this off first to avoid damaging the finish. Use a soft bristled brush to remove stubborn, stuck-on food.

  5. Ensure the burners and burner caps are thoroughly dried. 

  6. Replace the burner caps. Make sure to install them properly according to your owner’s manual.

  7. Replace the cooking grates.

If your gas cooktop grates or caps are looking worse for wear, they may need to be replaced. 

How to clean stove burners on a glass cooktop

Cleaning your glass cooktop frequently is the best way to maintain the heating elements. Still, spills happen – if you need to remove cooked-on grime from your glass heating elements, Whirlpool recommends the affresh® cooktop cleaner. Best of all, Affresh is the number one recommended brand for your Whirlpool® appliance. Can’t find your Affresh Cooktop Cleaner? Use the following steps instead:

A person lifts up metal cooking grates to wipe the surface underneath.
  1. If you have recently used the stovetop for cooking first allow the stovetop to cool completely.

  2. Wipe the cooktop down with a damp cloth to remove crumbs, splashes or other residue.

  3. Use a cooktop scraper to remove cooked-on food from the cooktop.

  4. Apply cooktop cleaner and wait until it dries. 

  5. Wipe up the cooktop cleaner using a soft, damp cloth. If stubborn stains remain, remove them with the cooktop scraper.

  6. Buff the cooktop with a paper towel.

Cleaning your cooktop may not be fun, but it’s crucial to its performance. If you’re looking for a new electric cooktop that’s easier to clean, check out our selection of electric glass top ranges and cooktops, including our induction cooktops, to find the right model for you home.

How to clean coil-style electric stove burners

While some electric stovetops are made of glass, others feature a coil burner design. If your stovetop features coils, you can use these steps to clean your electric stove burners:

  1. If you have recently used the stovetop for cooking, first ensure the stovetop and burners have completely cooled. Then unplug and remove the heating coils. If you cannot remove the coils, you should be able to lift them up to better access and remove the burner bowls located underneath the coils if your cooktop is equipped with them. Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions.

  2. If your cooktop features burner bowls, remove them from the cooktop. If you have removed your burner bowls, soak them in hot, soapy water for at least 20 minutes.

  3. While the burner bowls are soaking (if applicable), wipe down the heating coils with a soft, damp cloth. Then dry them with a towel or set them aside to dry.

  4. Wash the burner bowls, if applicable, then rinse and dry them.

  5. Once everything is completely dry, replace the burner bowls (if applicable) and plug in or lower the burner coils.