Clean a Stove

Your stove or oven hob can easily get dirty from spillages and bits of food. The stains left over can be hard to remove and sometimes require specialist cleaning sprays to help. The same tips can apply when cleaning your oven.


  1. Disconnect the electricity and turn off the gas, since you will be moving the stove around.
  2. Remove all the pieces you can remove from the stove – drip pans, racks, gas burners (do not do this with electric burners), knobs, and handles and take them outside (or the bathroom if you don’t have an outside area). Place all these items in the large heavy duty garbage bag you can find, pour in one gallon of ammonia, then seal the bag and let it sit for 24 hours (in the bathtub if indoors).
  3. Find a good quality oven cleaner and don’t forget to buy a new set of rubber gloves. Cover the floor underneath the stove with layers of newspaper. Read the cleaner instructions carefully, and apply as the manufacturer directed.
  4. After allowing the cleaner to sit for the recommended time, get a sponge and bucket of warm water. Wear the gloves, and wipe the stove from the back to the front (wear old clothes and something to cover your hair). Rinse the sponge well between wipes. Use the oven cleaner with a scrub pad (and rubber gloves) to remove the formerly mentioned baked on crud under the stove top. Use a good quality degreaser product (like Simple Green) to remove any residue left. For stubborn spots, spray until soaked and leave until later.
  5. Next day, prepare the bucket with more warm, soapy water (Simple Green). Carefully open the garbage bag from yesterday with all the components (rubber gloves, again). Remove the smaller pieces first, and wash in the bucket with a scouring pad. Grease should just fall off. Rinse in clear water, and let dry. If any plastic pieces appear dulled by the process, spray on a little Armor All or similar product, allow it to dry and buff it out. The racks may be a little tougher, but perseverance will pay off.
  6. Reassemble the stove and reconnect the power (and gas). Again, wipe down any residue and check to make sure the burners and oven work. It probably looks better than it did when you leased the place, and should make an impression on your landlord and get you back a couple of hundred dollars.
  7. Finished.


  • When you first use the oven after this, it might smell like oven cleaner. A good way to counter this is to let the oven run on a low heat with the door open for about an hour. Shut it off, and let it cool down - door still open - for another hour. Give it a brief wash with a damp sponge, let it dry off, and it should be smell-free.
  • Some substitute baking soda for oven cleaner with success. Here, the key is to apply a fairly thick layer of baking soda to the carbon-laden surfaces you wish to clean—close to a quarter-inch of baking soda. Then, moisten the baking soda with water (preferably using a spray bottle). Continue moistening the baking soda periodically over a day or two. Wipe the surfaces at the end, or, as some recommend, spray vinegar on the baking soda and then wipe the surfaces; wipe with a soapy rag—like when using regular oven cleaner.
  • Use the foil under the stove top (where the nastiest crud seems to form from spills), and line the oven bottom. Be careful not to contact heating elements, igniters, or other electrical components. Check periodically and replace as necessary.
  • Cleaning your gas or electric stove is much easier if you took steps when you first moved into your new place. The best investment you can make is to buy a wide roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Remove the drip pans under the burners, and cover each with the foil before you ever use them. There are liners made for this purpose, but the aluminum foil covers much better, and cheaper to replace. Drip pans are fairly standard and cheap to replace.
  • Clean the hob regularly and without leaving a stain for too long.


  • Never mix ammonia with chlorine bleach.
  • Read all labels before use, especially the warnings, cautions, and recommended protective wear.
  • Use rubber gloves and eye protection with all chemicals.
  • Avoid using cloths and cleaning tools that are likely to scratch the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Large, heavy duty garbage bag
  • One gallon of ammonia
  • High quality oven cleaner
  • New set of rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Newspaper
  • Sponge
  • bucket of warm water (refill twice)
  • Old clothes, apron and something to cover your hair
  • Scrub pad
  • Good quality degreaser product (like Simple Green)
  • Armor All or similar product
  • Wide roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Use a face mask, especially if you have any kind of breathing problems.

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