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The right way to clean your cooktop — whichever type you have

What you should never use to clean a cooktop and when you need to call a pro.
by Karen B. Gibbs / / Source: TODAY
The man cleaning gas stove
Cleaning the stovetop doesn't have to be your least favorite chore.Getty Images stock

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Holiday cooking inevitably means a messy cooktop. Whether it’s gas, electric or even glass, it takes more than a halfhearted promise to really clean it one day.

TODAY Home asked Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid cleaning services, to share her expert tips for this kitchen chore. As a pro, she recommends cleaning stove tops immediately after cooking so it's before spills and splatters harden.

Follow her advice for your specific cooktop and you'll be ready for company all year long!

Gas cooktops

For starters, you should wipe grates with a damp microfiber cloth after every use. (Allow them to cool first, of course!)

microfiber cloths

Soak stovetop caps/burners in a sink of hot, soapy water for 10 minutes, then scrub with a clean microfiber cloth. If additional cleaning is needed, make a paste of baking soda and water and allow it to set for 30 minutes, then scrub clean.

For non-removable burner pans, wipe with a soapy cloth and, if needed, a paste of baking soda and water. Be wary of using abrasive scrubbing pads as they could scratch the pans.

When fuel ports become dirty and clogged, and automatic igniters lose their spark, Roberts recommends calling an appliance professional, since pros know how to safely and effectively remove debris on these delicate parts. They also know how to adjust burners so they burn with a blue flame. (Orange/yellow flames indicate poor combustion and require attention.)

Electric cooktops

Wipe coils with a damp microfiber cloth. If burned-on residue remains on the coils, burn it off by turning the heat on high. (This can get smoky, so turn on the exhaust fan, too.)

Clean reflector pans with a mild grease-busting dish detergent, such as Dawn, hot water and a microfiber cloth.

Dawn detergent

Check out the area under the cooktop for food and spills. Wipe the area clean with a damp sponge. Use soapy water if needed.

Glass cooktops

Allow the burner to completely cool before you do anything. Remove any debris from the burner with a silicone or plastic spatula. Roberts prefers spatulas for this task as they are flexible and safe. Single edge razor blades or anything else sharp may scratch the glass- top surface.

To remove burned-on food and stains, Roberts suggests using baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda directly over the stained area and add a bit of water to make a paste. Leave a warm, damp cloth on top of the spot and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then try to wipe the spot clean.

If the spot is really stubborn, add a few drops of distilled white vinegar to the baking soda. That should do the trick.

If you prefer to purchase a product to keep your glass stovetop clean and polished, consider liquid Bar Keepers Friend, which is available at most superstores and at Amazon.

Bar Keepers Friend

Warning: Some people use white eraser sponges for extremely tough burn marks. These do work, but Roberts advises that you use with caution as this substance is like microfine sandpaper and can scratch the surface if you’re not careful.

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