Cleaning Your Gas Stove and Oven
Regular cleaning of your gas stove will keep it looking as good as the day you bought it, but you need to be careful about the cleaning products you use. Many commercial cleansers and abrasives will cause discoloration and can scratch some surfaces. Follow these guidelines to care for and clean your stove or oven without damaging it.
Note: Before cleaning any gas stove or oven surface, be sure the unit is off and completely cooled. Steam burns can occur from wiping a hot surface with a wet cloth or sponge.
Surface Burners and Burner Box
Most newer gas stove models have sealed stove top burners. This means they are completely sealed off from the burner box (area of the stove top below the metal cook top). Sealed burners should never be removed by home owners—it's a job only for professionals during installation and service. Sealed burners also mean that food and spills cannot spill into the burner box, so removing the burners is not necessary in order to clean this type of stove top. If you have an older model stove with a lift-up cook top, follow your manufacturer's instructions for opening the surface before cleaning.
Regular cleaning of spills will lessen your cleaning work load later. Wipe your stove top after each use when it has cooled, and clean messy burners with dish soap and a plastic scouring pad. Stubborn cooked-on spills can be cleaned with a mild abrasive cleanser and a cloth, or make a paste from baking soda and water for a mild homemade alternative. Wash any removable burner grates in a sink full of warm, soapy dishwater with a plastic scouring pad. Rinse all parts with warm, clear water and dry.
Be careful to avoid the gas ports on your burners. If they should become plugged with debris, poke the ports clean with a toothpick or straight pin, or brush gently with a soft-bristled brush. For pilot-less stoves, check the port and area below the igniter wire and clear it as well. Debris left under the igniter can keep the gas burner from lighting.
Clean the solid cook top surface with soapy water. Avoid abrasives and harsh chemicals as they can damage the surface of stove top finishes like porcelain enamel. Rubbing alcohol and household ammonia diluted with water (1:1 ratio) are other good stove top cleansers that will leave it shining.
Remove control knobs and wash them in warm, soapy water. For clocks and display areas, wipe with a damp cloth and dry. If you are cleaning the display with glass cleaner, spray it first on a cloth rather than directly on to the surface to avoid cleaner seeping inside the mechanisms. Replace controls after they are cleaned and turn each one on briefly to ensure they’re in the right place.
The oven door on nearly all ovens is removable for easier cleaning. Avoid soaking the door or window with excessive amounts of water; it can seep inside and cause staining or discoloration. Wash the door and window with soap and water and rinse with clear water. Again, use glass cleaner only if sprayed on a cloth first. Do not use abrasive pads, powdered cleaners, or steel wool on glass and enamel, or the surfaces will be scratched.
Mild abrasive cleaners and plastic pads can be used inside the oven, but metal scouring pads will scratch the oven's surface so they should be avoided. Any commercial oven cleaners should be used according to manufacturer's instructions.
Acidic spills (like tomato and milk bases) should be wiped up as soon as possible to prevent discoloration of the porcelain. To absorb a spill when it is hot, pour salt on it and wipe it up when the oven has cooled. A mildly abrasive baking soda and water paste can be used for tough messes in the oven, too.
Remove oven racks and clean them in warm, soapy water. Baked-on food can be cleaned using mild abrasive cleansers or a soap-filled scouring pad. Rinse and dry the racks before returning them to the oven. For easier oven rack cleaning, soak and wash them in the bathtub—they fit much better than in a kitchen sink.
Spills and drips from fat, grease, and acidic foods like tomatoes should be wiped up immediately using a paper towel to keep your trim and finishes from discoloring.
Metal trim can be cleaned with glass cleaners or mild cleansers like soap and water. Abrasives or cleaners made for oven interiors should not be used. Plastic trim pieces are best cleaned with a glass cleaner on a soft cloth. Any abrasives and harsh cleansers can cause pitting and discoloration to oven surfaces and should not be used.
For a good, general, all-around cleanser for your gas stove and oven, just use the classic warm, soapy water, and avoid anything that is very caustic or abrasive. Baking soda and water pastes are good back-up, mild abrasives. When using any commercial cleansers, always read the manufacturer's directions to be sure how to use it properly and on which surfaces it is safe. Consistent care and cleaning of your gas stove top and oven will keep your appliance looking shiny and new.