How to Clean an Electric Stove Top

By Luna Regina | Updated
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Learning how to clean an electric stove top involves a certain amount of time, but our post will help you to succeed without sacrificing time.

Whether your cooktop is the ceramic glass or radiant coil type, neglecting to clean it right after it finishes cooking may result in heavy, burnt-on stains — the leading cause of cross-contamination, impaired performance, and unsafe operations.

If you think an accumulation of residue on your stovetop is harmless, consider how dangerous food bacteria, such as E.coli, hepatitis A, and salmonella, are. According to NIH, bacterial cross-contamination could lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, nausea, and loss of appetite. Even worse, it could be fatal to anyone with a weakened immune system. 

On a more pragmatic note, if soiled with built-up grease, the coil burners will not work at their most efficient. They may also create smoke, odors, or even flames during operation, putting your home in substantial danger. 

How to Clean an Electric Stove Top
(By Nguyen Ntk/HealthyKitchen101)

On a more pragmatic note, if soiled with built-up grease, the coil burners will not work at their most efficient. They may also create smoke, odors, or even flames during operation, putting your home in substantial danger. 

As such, whatever the case, your cooktop should be washed right after it finishes cooking. Fortunately, this task is easy to do, and we’ll show you how to complete it in the step-by-step guides below. 

Before You Start: Safety Notes 

1. Shut off the electric power source: Cleaning any electrical application with wet implements will potentially lead to short-circuiting, so make sure you disconnect the power supply prior to washing.

2. Wait for the surface to cool-off: The glass surface of the cooktop will retain heat for some time after the controls have been turned off. To avoid burn-related injuries, do not touch the surface unless you know it has cooled down completely. 

3. Avoid immersing the burners in any liquid: This helps to prevent damaged electrical components. 

4. Wash by hand: The drip pans may be cleaned in the dishwasher, but hand washing is highly recommended to prevent discoloration. 

5. Wear rubber gloves: Don't let any cleaning solution touch your skin as it may cause chemical burns. 

6. ​​Clean with caution: Be very careful to prevent any damage when touching the cooktop.

7. Pay attention to your children: Children should not carry out cleaning or any kind of cooktop user maintenance without careful supervision.

8. Do not clean a broken cooktop: If the cooktop should break or crack, cleaning solutions and spills may penetrate through into the electrics, increasing a risk of electric shock when cooking.  

How to Clean a Coil Electric Stovetop

Coil electric stovetops present quite a challenge to wash as the spiral structure makes it difficult to reach every nook and cranny of the spiral arms. For thorough cleaning, consider one of these methods:   

How to Clean a Coil Electric Stovetop
(By Universal Appliance Repair)

Cleaning with Dish Soap and Water 

Unless your stovetop is suffering from a significant build-up of grease and heavy, dried spills, it’s likely that a warm water and soapy mix will be sufficient to remove any residue.

Cleaning Coil Electric Stovetop with Dish Soap and Water
(By West Coast Chief Repair)

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • A sponge 
  • A cloth or paper towel

Step 1: Clean the Burners

Remove the burners from the stovetop, scrub them clean with a soapy sponge, then rinse off the soap with clean water. 

Clean Coil Electric Stovetop Burners
(By Joyful Abode)

If your coil burners are too tight to detach, we recommend you lift them an inch above the edge of the drip pan and then gently rock them back and forth until they release. 

Step 2: Clean the Drip Pans

Gently remove the drip pans and make sure to remove any food debris. Allow them to soak in soapy water for at least 15 minutes to loosen up any food residues within.

After that, rinse well with clean water. Should there be any stains remaining, take a soapy sponge and wipe down the pans firmly. 

Step 3: Clean underneath the Stovetop

Raise the front of the stovetop as far as it will go. Before you start to wipe the underside with a damp sponge, it is a good idea to suck up any dust and food debris with a mini hand vacuum. 

Clean underneath the Stovetop
(By Savor and Savvy)

Step 4: Clean the Stovetop Surface

Take a damp sponge and wash the surface thoroughly. Wipe down as often as you need before using a soft cloth or paper towels to dry it off. 

You can use a blade scraper or a putty knife to scrape off any dried-on grime, but be mindful that any utensils with a sharp edge could leave small scratch marks on your top. 

Step 5: Reassemble the stovetop

To avoid electric shock, make sure everything is completely dried off before your assembly begins. 

Cleaning with Baking Soda and White Vinegar

Cleaning Electric Stove Top with Baking Soda and Vinegar
(By Nguyen Ntk/HealthyKitchen101)

The power of baking soda and white vinegar should deal with any tough stains that can’t be removed with a mix of dish soap and warm water.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda 
  • White vinegar
  • A sponge 
  • Two cloths 
  • Warm water 

Step 1: Make a Paste of Baking Soda and Water

 Mix three parts of dry baking soda with one part of water to create a paste-like consistency. 

Step 2: Clean the Burners

Take out the burners by lightly lifting and pulling them straight away from the receptacle. Apply the paste to each burner and wait for 15 minutes before using a damp sponge to scrub away any stains. 

After that, rinse well with clean water. 

Step 3: Clean the Drip Pans

Pull out the drip pans to remove any stuck-on crumbs. After soaking them in vinegar for 30 minutes, apply the paste and let it sit for ten more minutes. 

Finish the process by rubbing vigorously until all the stubborn residues come off.

Step 4: Clean underneath the Stovetop

Lift the front of the stovetop up and spread the paste on the underside. Wait for at least an hour to make it easier to wipe away any dirt and persistent residues. To avoid water marks, dry the surface well with a clean cloth or paper towels. 

Step 5: Clean the Stovetop Surface

Sprinkle baking soda on the surface and then spritz lightly with vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 30-45 minutes or more, depending on how dirty your cooktop is.  

 Wipe the mixture off with a damp sponge. For a sparkling shine, buff the surface dry with a soft cloth or paper towels. 

Step 5: Reassemble the Stovetop

To minimize the chance of injury, you should read and follow all the safety messages in the user guide and on your appliance prior to reassembly. 

Cleaning with Cleaners

If consistently used, abrasive cleaners may cause discoloration to the cooktop, making the surface look slightly dull. To preserve its sparkling appearance, it’s best to use a specialized cleaner for your cooktop. Make sure you follow the label instructions on the cleaning product thoroughly. 

What You’ll Need 

  • Cleaner of your choice 
  • Cloths or paper towels 
  • A sponge 
  • Dish soapy 
  • Warm water 

Step 1: Clean the Burners

Detach the burners and spray the cleaner all over them. Wait for a few minutes before wiping the solution off with paper towels or a damp cloth. 

Be aware that improper removal may result in damaged heating elements. When you lift out the burners, do so gently.   

Step 2: Clean the Drip Pans

Remove the drip pans and empty out any food crumbs. Immerse them in soapy water for 15 mins then squirt them liberally with cleaning spray. Let them sit for a few more minutes and wipe the solution off with a towel or damp cloth.

Step 3: Clean underneath the Stovetop

Prop up the front of your stovetop, use a mini vacuum to tackle any food debris and then thoroughly wash the underside with a sponge soaked in cleaning solution.

 Don’t forget to polish the area using a clean soft cloth. 

Step 4: Clean the Stovetop Surface

Spray the cleaning solution all over the surface. Once you think all the stains have been loosened, dry the area with a clean dry cloth or paper towels.  

Step 5: Reassemble the Stovetop

Be sure that all parts have remained undamaged during the cleaning process. Do not operate the cooktop if there is anything unusual unless you have consulted a qualified technician.

How to Clean a Glass Electric Stove Top

Cleaning glass stove tops doesn’t require as much elbow grease as coil burners, but there are certain things you should pay attention to that may help to prevent damage to the original smooth finish. 

Cleaning with Dish Soap and Water 

How to Clean a Glass Electric Stove Top
(By Nguyen Ntk/HealthyKitchen101)

Firstly, you should remove any stains immediately after you finish cooking. If left to dry on the glass surface, they may be difficult to remove or, even worse, cause lasting damage. 

What You’ll Need 

  • Dish soap 
  • Warm water 
  • A microfiber cloth 
  • Paper towels
  • A new sharp razor scraper

Step 1: Clear the Surface of Food Debris 

Remove any visible food crumbs from the glass-top stove with paper towels or a mini vacuum. To avoid scratching the smooth surface, do not use steel wool or wire brushes.  

Step 2: Deep Clean with Soapy Water 

Dampen a cloth with soapy water and use it to rub off any grease. Typically, most light to moderate stains will be removed in this fashion. 

Deep Clean Electric Stove Top with Soapy Water 
(By Nguyen Ntk/HealthyKitchen101)

Step 3: Remove Tough Stains 

If there are any heavy, burnt-on stains, use the scraper to carefully remove them. Make sure to hold the scraper at a 45° angle against the glass cooktop to prevent scratches, pitting and abrasions. 

Step 4: Rinse Well 

Rinse with a wet cloth until your stove top is free from stains and soapy water.

Step 5: Buff Dry

Polish the surface until it looks like new with a clean cloth or paper towels.  

Cleaning with Baking Soda and White Vinegar 

For surfaces with burned-on or heavy stains, baking soda and white vinegar make great cleaning solutions. A cooktop scraper is also recommended to ensure optimum results. 

What You’ll Need 

  • Baking soda 
  • Vinegar  
  • Warm water 
  • A microfiber cloth or paper towel

A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Remove all Visible Food Crumbs from the Glass Surface

Take a soft cloth to wipe away any dust, crumbs, and stains. You can also use a portable vacuum to remove any remaining debris on the glass-top stove. 

Step 2: Cover the Surface with a Layer of Dry Baking Soda and White Vinegar

Sprinkle baking soda all over the smooth surface. After that, spray vinegar on top, which will create a fizzy chemical reaction.

Electric Stove Top with a Layer of Dry Baking Soda and White Vinegar
(By Nguyen Ntk/HealthyKitchen101)

If there’s a need to dissolve any nasty odors or remove more stubborn stains, let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.  

Step 3: Rub away Stains

Use a damp towel to wipe away any light stains. For more difficult baked-on stains, gently scrape the surface with a razor sharp scraper.

Rub away Stains Electric Stove Top
(By Nguyen Ntk/HealthyKitchen101)

Step 4: Restore the Cooktop’s Shining Appearance

Wipe down the surface with a damp microfiber cloth, paying extra attention to any areas still retaining traces of stain removal powder. Dry well with a cloth or paper towels. 

Cleaning with Commercial Cleaners

Using abrasive cleaners and heavy-duty scourers like dish towels or sponges is not advisable as they may cause scratching and discoloration. To remove tough stains, you’ll need a scraper or something equivalent, but be careful when using this tool as it can be potentially hazardous if misused. 

What You’ll Need 

  • Non-abrasive cleaner of your choice 
  • Warm water 
  • Two microfiber cloths or paper towels
  • A new sharp razor scraper 

Step 1: Treat with Specialized Cleaning Agent

Wet the stove top with a damp cloth. Cover the surface completely with cleaning liquid and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. 

Step 2: Rinse with Clean Water 

Wash off all the cleaning liquid residue with a wet cloth. 

Step 3: Tackle Stubborn Stains 

When you’re done with light stains, scrape off any more persistent stains and vacuum up any pieces of debris. You can also wipe off the loose pieces using paper towels.

Step 5:  Make the Surface Sparkle

Grab a clean, dry cloth to buff dry the glass-top stove, revitalizing its sparkling finish. 

Cleaning Sugary Spillovers 

As the spillovers of sugary substances like jellies, fudge, or candy syrups can cause pitting of the glass surface, it’s essential to wash them off immediately, even if the cooktop is still hot.  

What You’ll Need 

  • A new razor sharp scraper 
  • A cloth or paper towels 
  • Non-abrasive cleaner (Optional)

Step 1: Shut Off All Controls

Immediately turn off the cooktop and disconnect the plug from the mains power socket. 

Step 2: Remove the Spillovers

Hold a blade scraper at a 45° angle against the glass surface and scrape the stain or spill away to a cool area. To avoid burn-related injuries, make sure you are wearing a pair of gloves. 

It’s also a good idea to spread a few drops of cleaning liquid on any areas with burned-on residue and then rinse well with clean water. However, as some cleaning products can emit poisonous fumes if used on a hot surface, it’s advisable to take extreme caution.  

Step 3: Buff the Surface Clean

Wipe off the residue with a dry cloth or paper towels. Avoid using a wet cloth to prevent steam burns. Make sure the appliance is entirely dry before using it again.

Conclusion 

So those are our recommendations on how to clean an electric stove top thoroughly. Once you have the right methods, you can prevent potential health risks, and prepare meals more safely. In the long run, it will save you money on new cooktops, too. 

Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen.

Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it.

Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.

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