How to clean a stainless steel stove top — a 7-step guide to a shiny cooktop

The heat is on

High angle view of woman making a pan-toasted turkey sandwich
(Image credit: Grace Cary / Getty images)

You'll want to know how to clean stove tops, whether you work with an electric or gas stove as they can get grimy quickly. We'll show you the best way to get the most stubborn bits to surrender and stop hanging onto your stove, whether it was caused by stir-fries, sauces, scrambled eggs, or spaghetti.

Maintaining stainless steel surfaces isn't difficult, but it can't be done half-heartedly. Nope, it needs a little planning, order, and a handful of cleaning supplies that you've got under the sink and in your food cabinets to ensure you don't scratch or damage the metal.

Good to know

Time: About 30 minutes

Difficulty level: Easy

Helpful hint: Make sure you purchase the right cleaning solutions and cloths. The wrong tools and supplies can lead to a super scratched-up stovetop. No thanks!

Here's what you'll need

1. Remove and rinse all items on the stove

First, let everything cool down. Then, to begin cleaning your stainless steel stovetop, you'll want to remove the pan support grates, burners, and rings and leave them to soak in a kitchen sink full of hot, soapy water.

2. Spray the stove with detergent

Use one of the best stainless steel cleaners (we're fans of Bar Keepers Friend multipurpose cooktop cleaner) or wipe a cream cleanser on with a clean cloth. Leave for at least two minutes to loosen any burnt food or other grime.

3. Remove the detergent

Remove the cleaning solution using a microfiber or other non-abrasive cloth. It doesn’t have to be microfiber, but should definitely be soft — nothing that will scratch the stovetop.

WARNING: To avoid scratches, you'll want to clean in the direction of the grain, so do your due diligence and check this before beginning any buffing action!

4. Spot clean nooks, crannies, and corners

Use a toothbrush to clean any hard-to-reach places your cloth can’t access and to remove any stubborn food debris. Investing in a multipack from Amazon means you can clean every part of your kitchen — they're particularly useful for reviving your tea kettle and cleaning burnt-on breadcrumbs off of your toaster.

To put it simply, most small kitchen appliances with benefit from being brushed with this bristled bathroom accessory!

5. Dry the cooktop area

Buff dry with a clean polishing cloth. These cloths are usually used to clean jewelry made from solid metals like gold, so you can rest assured they'll be gentle enough to clean your cooktop.

6. Spot clean the stove accessories

Clean any remaining dirt from the burners, rings, and grates that are soaking in the sink using a non-scratch scrubbing sponge. Dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth before replacing them.

7. Add extra shine with oil

For an added high shine you can wipe a very small amount of coconut oil over the top of your stove with a paper towel. This final step will make it sparkle. Some say you can use baby oil, but we prefer using an eco-friendly cleaning supply as it feels more natural than a petroleum-based product.

Use the rest of this food-safe cooking oil in recipes like stir-fries. Then, if you do make a mess with wok-fried noodles, you can clean any mess again by repeating steps one through seven!

How do I get brown stains off my stainless steel cooktop?

Using baking soda and dish soap can help to remove brown stains and acrid deposits on this food preparation surface. Create a thick paste using these two products (half a cup of baking soda with a squirt or two of dish soap). To apply, use a microfiber cleaning cloth and rub gently in the direction of the grain. Rinse with warm water and dry with another clean rag.

Highly-rated products to clean stainless steel

Christina Chrysostomou
Acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket. I'm the in-house appliances expert and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.