I’ve always preferred gas stoves to electric or induction. Perhaps it’s illogical as electric do seem easier to use. It’s probably primal – I like the idea of using fire to cook, like our ancestors always did.
One thing is for sure – electric stoves are much easier to clean. You just wipe them down!
Cleaning gas stoves doesn’t need to be that difficult though. Once you’ve read this guide you’ll be wondering what all the fuss is about! I’ve put together three methods: super easy, fairly easy and the most thorough way. Which you use depends on your stove and how long it has been since you last cleaned it.
Prepare The Stove
Before you can do anything, you must prepare your stove – this step applies for all the methods.
Switch Off & Cool Down
Turn off your stove, ideally at the mains – there should be a little switch near it. Mine looks a bit like a light switch, except it’s red and has the word cooker. It’s better to turn it off as the sparkers use a very high voltage.
Let your stove cool down if you have been using it recently.
Take it apart
Lift the grills off the stove and then – stop! Before you start taking apart the burners – are you confident you can put them back together again? My stove has two pieces for each burner. On top is a cap, then underneath the burner itself. It’s pretty simple to put together.
However if you’re not sure, then, for the first burner, take a photo of each step. When you put it together again, just reverse the photos to get a ready made photo instruction set. You only need to do this on one as they are built the same.
Take off everything you can easily lift up. You shouldn’t need any tools or excessive force. Anything screwed in place should stay where it is. If it is too hard, that piece probably shouldn’t come off! If in doubt, as always consult the instructions – they are on the internet if you’ve lost them!
As you take it apart, note where the sparkers are. These are two little metal rods, sometimes partly coated in plastic. They are close to each other and will be close to a point where the gas comes out. Since these are electric, I would be extra careful with them. Don’t cover them with chemicals and make sure they are dry before turning on the stove. I doubt you will have a problem – I never have. Better safe than sorry though…
Wipe your stove down with a damp cloth, and remove any large pieces of food or dirt.
The Super Easy Gas Stove Clean – The Dishwasher Method
First, check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if you can put the pieces in the dishwasher.
1. Stick everything you removed in the dishwasher and turn it on.
2. While you’re waiting, wipe down the stove top itself with a soapy sponge, then a wet sponge.
3. Dry everything then put it all back together
This is the easiest way, but it’s not for everyone. This isn’t as thorough as some of the methods below, it might not get rid of every discoloration or mark. Finally, you might need something heavier duty if you’ve left it a long time.
Of course you can always pop some pieces, like the grills, in the dishwasher, and use one of the below methods for the rest.
Fairly Easy – Vinegar Soak and Soap wash
What you will need
- A large container to fit the parts in
- A toothbrush
- Oven / Stove Cleaner Spray Bottle
How you do it
This is the method I normally use. It’s not 100%, as it doesn’t remove every discoloration, but it works for me. After taking apart the pieces, I put them all to soak in a 50% vinegar, 50% water solution and leave them there for at least half an hour. Some pieces don’t fit (like the grills) so I don’t put them in. These pieces clean easily anyway and if you put anything in the dishwasher it should be the grills. Alternatively, you can simply wipe them down.
I spray the stovetop with an oven cleaner spray bottle, then I wipe it down, wearing gloves. I use a toothbrush to get into the hard to reach places.
I take all the burner parts out of the vinegar and rinse them. Then I scrub them, again using a toothbrush where needed. At this point I’ll normally use detergent and water.
When I’ve finished, I make sure everything is completely dry and put it all back together.
The Most Thorough Way
What you will need
- Everything from the Fairly Easy way
- Baking Powder (also called Sodium Bicarbonate, or Bicarbonate of Sodium)
How you do it
I rarely do this as it’s a bit much, but, if you want your stove to look as good as new, then I recommend it.
Do everything from the fairly easy way, apart from putting it back together. This should get rid of most of the dirt and grease, but not all the discoloration.
Now you need to scrub all the discolorations with the baking powder paste. Don’t rinse it off with water! Scrub well and leave it there.
When you’ve finished, use your 50% water 50% vinegar solution to gently rinse off the baking soda paste. You should see plenty of bubbling, this is the vinegar and baking soda reacting. Do your rinsing carefully over the sink. This can get messy if you aren’t careful. (Vinegar is an acid, baking soda is an alkali, so they react when combined. You can have a lot of fun with this.)
Once the bubbling stops, scrub off any remaining baking soda. If there is a discoloration left, rinse and repeat.
- Use lemon juice instead of vinegar; they are both acidic.
- Use baking powder instead of baking soda and vinegar. The baking powder has bicarbonate of soda and an acid in it, so the vinegar isn’t needed, rinse it off with water instead.
- If you have time, wipe and dry down the stove immediately after use. this will stop grease hardening, and help stop any oxidisation.
- When soaking the parts in vinegar, consider soaking them in a closed jiffy bag overnight.
I’ve written about what I found works for me, but then I don’t worry about a bit of discoloration. The color of my stove means it doesn’t show anyway, the important part is that it is clean.
The best way of finding something that works for you is to try the different methods. It’s always a balance between effort and results – experiment a little until you are happy.