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How to Clean Your Stovetop and Get Rid of Grease in Minutes

Updated: May 24, 2024

Still have last week's dinner splattered on your stovetop? Don't worry—here's how to get rid of that gross gunk in no time, according to cleaning experts.

Knowing how to clean a stovetop properly can save you time, energy and, frankly, sanity. Stoves see more than their share of kitchen messes, from boiled-over pasta water to oil splatters, and the average life span of this appliance is between 10 and 15 years. That’s a long time to have to cook on a greasy, stained or rusty burner, and leftover grime isn’t just an aesthetic issue. 

“Every time it heats up, it bakes on the last cooking grease, making it harder to clean,” says Pam Clyde, a professional cleaner and president of BritLin Cleaning, which has locations in Austin and Round Rock, Texas. For that reason alone, it’s best to clean the stovetop every time you use it. The more you clean it, the easier the cleaning process is because you won’t be dealing with layers of caked-on, baked-on food and spills,” she says. 

Cleaning pros know that there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it, and a lot depends on what kind of cooktop you have and what kinds of messes you’re dealing with. Once you know how to clean a stovetop the way the pros do, doing it on the regular will be a breeze. For that reason, Reader’s Digest spoke to experts who have collectively cleaned thousands of stovetops, including Clyde, Johnny Pallares, owner of De La Rosa House Cleaning in Arizona, and Cyrus Bedwyr, an oven-cleaning specialist at Fantastic Services, as well as Lynn Lindley, a senior scientist at Procter & Gamble who has more than 20 years of experience working with and developing cleaning products, to get the lowdown on the best and fastest way to degrease and clean any kind of stovetop. Here’s everything you need to know.

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About the experts

  • Pam Clyde has been a professional cleaner and the owner of Texas’s BritLin Cleaning since 2007. She received formal training from the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International and the International Sanitary Supply Association, and she’s worked with janitorial cleaning supply companies. 
  • Johnny Pallares is the president of his family’s cleaning business, De La Rosa House Cleaning, which has serviced homes in the greater Phoenix area since 2005, and the owner of DLR Commercial Cleaning.
  • Cyrus Bedwyr is an oven-cleaning specialist at Fantastic Services.
  • Lynn Lindley is a senior scientist at Procter & Gamble with more than 20 years of experience working with and developing cleaning products.

Why is it important to clean your stovetop?

Your stovetop sees a lot of traffic—and splatters. “Cleaning your stovetop is important because it is an area of your kitchen that is most prone to grease, food grime and bacteria buildup,” says Pallares.

That stuck-on gunk does more than look gross. Let it sit for too long, and it’ll be tough to remove all traces of the mess. “With time, these stains will become quite noticeable,” says Bedwyr.

It’s also important to disinfect your stovetop because it likely comes into regular contact with raw meats. If you don’t clean it, you risk spreading any bacteria found on those raw meats to the other food you’re cooking. And that could lead to food poisoning.

Plus, a dirty stovetop makes grease fires more likely. “A stovetop with large amounts of food and grease buildup can cause that leftover food to burn and can cause a kitchen fire,” says Pallares. Talk about a kitchen danger worth avoiding!

How often should you clean your stovetop?

“It is super important to clean the stovetop after every cooking session,” Clyde emphasizes. That’s not only for sanitary reasons but also because doing at least a quick wipe-down of the cooking surface will make the job easier in the long run and help prevent any lasting damage to the stovetop.

Plus, she says, if you wait too long to clean it, you may end up having to use harsh chemicals, such as oven cleaner, to loosen all the cooked-on food and spills.

While you may be able to wait a little longer on deep-cleaning elements like the oven knobs or cast-iron grates of a gas burner, it’s a good idea to give it a quick spray of degreaser and wipe down the cooking surface after every use to prevent grime from accumulating. Just make sure the stovetop is cool before you wipe it down.

How to clean a glass stovetop

Closeup of hand woman cleaning modern cooking glassValeriy_G/Getty Images

Knowing how to clean your stovetop is essential, especially if yours is glass. Bedwyr offers up the steps below to make your glass stovetop shine.

Supplies you’ll need

  • A bowl
  • Dish soap
  • Microfiber towels (big enough for the entire stovetop)
  • Baking soda
  • Nonabrasive scrubbing pad


  1. Wait until your glass stovetop is cold.
  2. Fill a bowl with warm to hot water and a few drops of dish soap. Mix well.
  3. Submerge an entire microfiber towel into the sudsy mixture; wait until it becomes saturated.
  4. Add a thick layer of baking soda over your stovetop.
  5. Remove the towel from the soapy water and wring it out.
  6. Lay the towel over the baking soda and let it sit for around 30 minutes.
  7. Once time is up, scrub the stovetop in a circular motion using a nonabrasive scrubbing pad.
  8. Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to remove the remaining water or baking soda residue from the stovetop.

Pro tip: Wait for the appliance to cool down before you begin. Never clean a hot stovetop, as doing so may cause pitting in the surface.

How to deep-clean a glass stovetop

gloved hand using razor blade to scrape off burnt on foodTMB Studio

If food has burned onto the surface of your glass cooktop, you may need to scrape it off using a razor blade tool. Just be careful to follow the experts’ tips below to ensure you’re using the razor blade scraper properly—and not damaging the glass surface.

Supplies you’ll need


  1. Wait until your glass stovetop is cold.
  2. Spray the stain with white vinegar and allow it to sit for a minute or two.
  3. Holding the razor blade as close to parallel to the cooking surface as you can get, gently scrape until the residue lifts.
  4. Use a nonabrasive sponge to remove the rest of the residue.
  5. When all the residue is gone, wipe the cooking surface with a clean, damp sponge and then dry with a microfiber towel.

How to clean a gas stovetop

Cleaning in the kitchen gas stone with foam and spongealfexe/Getty Images

If you have a gas stovetop, you’re likely familiar with the parts: the caps that cover the burners, the knobs that control the heat flow, and the grates you place your pots and pans on. All these—as well as the stovetop itself—deserve regular cleanings.

And don’t try to cheat by cleaning the stovetop through the grates. You need to remove the grates to get to (and properly clean) the stovetop below. Remove the burner caps while you’re at it—they’re subject to spills and could use a cleaning. Ready to begin? Make like the pros and follow the process below.

Supplies you’ll need

  • Cloth
  • Degreasing dish soap
  • Nonabrasive sponge


  1. Make sure the stovetop is cool and the burners are off before cleaning.
  2. Remove the cast-iron grates and burner covers.
  3. Wipe down the stovetop with a damp cloth to remove any spills and crumbs.
  4. Scrub the cooktop with a nonabrasive sponge dipped in soapy water. A dish soap like Dawn will help cut through the grease.
  5. Wipe the surface with a rinsed sponge to remove any soap residue.
  6. Dry the stovetop with a clean cloth, and replace the burner heads.

How to clean gas grates

cleaning oven grates in a sinkTMB studio

Like oven grates, the grates over your stove can collect a lot of gunk, from oil splatters and spills to caked-on food. To make your stove last longer, be sure to clean them after use.

Supplies you’ll need

  • Degreasing dish soap
  • Mildly abrasive scrubbing pad


  1. Make sure the cast-iron grates are cool to the touch before handling.
  2. Fill the kitchen sink (or a plastic bucket that can accommodate the grates) with hot water. Add a few spritzes of a degreasing soap, such as Dawn.
  3. Place the dirty grates into the sink and soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Using a mildly abrasive scrubbing pad or the abrasive side of a sponge, scrub the grates to remove any residue.
  5. Rinse the grates with clean water and dry them thoroughly (cast iron can rust) before placing them back on the stovetop.

Pro tip: If your grates are extra dirty, Clyde recommends spraying them with oven cleaner before scrubbing. Make sure you only use this spray in a well-ventilated area and according to the package directions. Then rinse and dry as instructed above.

How to clean gas burners

The caps that sit atop your burners are essential—they help the stove distribute heat evenly. But they can get dirty as you cook and food, grease and other debris spill onto them. To keep your stove in working order, follow the experts’ tips for cleaning your burner caps.

Supplies you’ll need

  • Degreasing dish soap
  • Mildly abrasive scrubbing pad


  1. Let the burners cool before handling.
  2. Fill the kitchen sink (or a plastic tub) with hot water.
  3. Add a few spritzes of a degreasing dishwashing detergent.
  4. Place the burner caps into the sink and soak them for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Using a mildly abrasive scrubbing pad or the scrubby side of a sponge, clean the parts to remove any residue.
  6. Rinse with clean water and dry well before replacing them on the stovetop.

How to clean an electric coil stovetop

electric coil stove topTMB studio

Before glass cooktops, electric coil cooktops were the norm. These stoves feature burners made with an electric element embedded in a flat metal coil and individual drip pans that sit beneath each. All these components can make cleaning your electric stovetop a little tricky.

Fortunately, most of the parts are removable for easier cleaning, says Lindley. She advises checking the appliance manual for instructions on how to remove those parts for your specific appliance model in case they differ from what is listed below. Then follow these steps to get everything as clean as it can be:

Supplies you’ll need

  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Bowl of warm water
  • Nonabrasive cloth or sponge


  1. Make sure the coils are completely cool to the touch.
  2. Shut off the power to your stovetop by unplugging the appliance or cutting the power from the breaker box.
  3. Remove the coils and drip pans, and clean them according to the directions below.
  4. Lift up the cooktop (most models allow for this, but check your manual) and wipe down the surface below with warm, soapy water.
  5. Close the cooktop.
  6. Make sure the drip pans and coils are completely dry, then return them to the stovetop using your appliance manual instructions to reinstall.

How to clean electric coils

Unless your coils are especially dirty, you can probably get away with simply wiping them down. But before you begin, heed the experts’ warning: Do not submerge the heating elements in water.

Supplies you’ll need

  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Nonabrasive cloth or sponge


  1. Wet a cloth with warm, soapy water. Wring it out until it’s damp, not dripping wet.
  2. Use the damp cloth to remove any food residue from the coils.
  3. Identify where the coils connect to the stovetop, then gently tilt and pull the coil out of the opening in the drip pan.
  4. Set aside the coils to dry while you clean the drip pans.

How to clean electric stove drip pans

Think of your stove’s drip pans as grease and grime catchers. Removing them—and getting rid of the crumbs, spills and oil splatters that live inside—is a must. Here’s how to do that:

Supplies you’ll need

  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Nonabrasive cloth or sponge
  • Paper towel or soft cloth


  1. Remove each drip pan by lifting it out.
  2. Add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to a bowl of warm water, dip a nonabrasive sponge in and squeeze the sponge until suds form. (If you’re using a spray detergent like Dawn Powerwash, spray it directly onto the surface and wipe with a wet sponge.)
  3. Wipe down the drip pan. Test on an inconspicuous area first.
  4. Remove the remaining grease and excess soap with a damp paper towel or soft, reusable cloth until no suds remain.
  5. Dry the surface with a paper towel or soft, dry cloth.
  6. For more stubborn grime, soak the drip pans in the detergent-and-water solution, allowing the suds to work on the surface for a few minutes before you begin scrubbing.

Supplies you shouldn’t use to clean your stovetop

Regardless of whether your stovetop is made of glass, ceramic, enamel or stainless steel, it can get scratched and damaged if you use the wrong products. To avoid harming your stovetop, never use abrasive products. That goes for cleaning cloths, sponges and cleansers.

You can get a stovetop clean with nonabrasive cloths or sponges and a gentle but effective degreasing cleanser, Lindley says. Dawn Platinum EZ-Squeeze and Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray are both effective because they break down grease while staying gentle enough to not cause damage to the surface.

How to keep your stovetop clean

dirty gas stove top. woman preparing to clean kitchenMila Naumova/Getty Images

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping your stovetop in good shape, so be sure to add this task to your cleaning schedule. “A quick daily clean goes a long way in keeping a happy and healthy kitchen,” Pallares says. “I also recommend checking the edges of your stove and cleaning there. This area is missed frequently, and old food and grease can easily build up in there.”

Why trust us

At Reader’s Digest, we’re committed to producing high-quality content by writers with expertise and experience in their field in consultation with relevant, qualified experts. For this piece, we relied on reputable primary sources, including professional cleaners and oven-cleaning specialists. Then Ann Russell, TikTok’s “cleaning auntie” and the author of How to Clean Everything, gave it a rigorous review to ensure that all information is accurate and offers the best possible advice to readers. We verified all facts and data and backed them with credible sourcing, and we will revisit them over time to ensure they remain accurate and up to date. Read more about our team, our contributors and our editorial policies.