If you haven’t cleaned your stove top recently, you may have yelled this recently while in the middle of making dinner. I know I have. I’m sure our neighbors harbor a grudge over how many times our smoke detector goes off.
I wasn’t very interested in cooking or cleaning when I was growing up, so when I moved into my first apartment, I basically knew nothing. I was definitely frustrated that I hadn’t asked my mom to teach me this stuff, because it’s kind of important. Instead, I had to call her several times with desperate questions, or resort to a Google search if she wasn’t available.
Sometimes, like this week, I got lucky and found something out by myself.
In particular, it was about cleaning my stove top. I’m not talking about the glass top kinds, because if you’re lucky enough to have one of those, you probably don’t have to worry about burned on food causing the fire alarm to go off.
What I already knew, was that you have to pull out the coils and remove the bowls in order to clean them.
I’m sure there are plenty of different cleaning solutions for getting burned on food off your stove elements, but I’ve always used regular baking soda. It’s easy to use, cheap, and you don’t have to deal with any chemical smells. It does require some elbow grease, though, so be prepared to work those muscles! For a tougher mess, you can use some vinegar with it. The chemical reaction between them is great for clearing out clogged sink drains and breaking down mildly difficult messes.
So that’s what I already knew how to do. What I was left with was a messy stove top and four holes that I didn’t know how to clean, like so.
Getting to this point was so frustrating. I just thought to myself, “Why can’t you just lift this thing up like a car hood? Then it would be so much easier to clean!”
Turns out, YOU CAN! Dangit!
Anyone who’s cleaned a stove like this before, you probably already knew this, but I had no idea! So anyway, for those of you like me who didn’t know this, the entire top panel of your stove should just raise up like it’s on a hinge, and then the poles on either side will hold the entire thing up once they’re lifted into position. Just like a freakin’ car hood.
I didn’t use any special cleaner for this section either. I just work with dish soap and baking soda. Before closing the lid, I made sure to wipe the whole area dry. Not sure if it was necessary, but I didn’t want any lingering hard water to cause an issue. Wiping down the top of the lid is fairly self explanatory, as well, same basic principle.
Once you’ve cleaned the lid and scraped out the bowls, it’s time to put it all back in. The coils (which I wipe down, too) fit back into the slots that they came out of. I always make sure to put the same coils in the same slots when I’m done. I’m not sure if this is necessary either, but it seem like a good idea.
Once it’s all back together! Voila! You’re ready to make dinner again without having to wave a newspaper at the smoke detector!
Pro-tip: Once you’ve gone through all the trouble to clean your stove out really well, try to avoid making something that can overflow and mess it up all over again. At least wait a few weeks. Prior experience, people.
Well, I’m off to go clean my stove AGAIN! What seemingly simple cleaning tricks did it take you forever to figure out?