How to clean stove grates that are just a li'l too crusty

Keep those crumbs movin' along

Stovetop in a kitchen with gray tiles
(Image credit: Pam Clyde)

Cleaning your stove grates is an important part of keeping your kitchen looking clean and sparkling. After all, a clean stovetop is always preferable to a dirty one. Regular stove grate cleaning is also crucial for appliance maintenance because grease can ultimately clog your burners, shortening the life of your stovetop. 

Grease also travels. Put a pot or pan on top of a dirty burner and you've started a trail of debris that ends up not only at the bottom of your pots and pans but also on your countertop and possibly in your cabinets. Greasy build-up can also ruin or stain the bottom of your cookware. Plus, anything slimy-looking won't help you out when you're trying to clean your kitchen.

So, if you’ve been avoiding this task, know the solution is pretty easy. Here’s the best way to clean stove grates, according to a pro.

Good to know

Time: 1–2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Helpful hints: Cleaning stove grates can be a bit cumbersome, especially if you have a large stove, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you begin the cleaning process when the grates have cooled down from cooking because you don’t want to accidentally burn or injure yourself.

Here's what you'll need

How to clean stove grates

Step 1: Prep your sink

Pam Clyde, president of BritLin Cleaning in Austin Texas, shared the proper steps to get the job done. Start by filling the kitchen sink with hot soapy water. 

Step 2: Remove the grates and place them in the sink 

Ensure the grates have had plenty of time to cool if you've just cooked on them. Then, gently remove the grates from your stove top. Place them in the hot soapy water in your sink.

Step 3: Soak the grates

Once the grates are in your sink, let them soak for approximately one hour. This will help loosen up any crusted on spills or food and make it easier to clean the grates.

Step 4: Drain the sink and rinse your grates

After an hour is up, pull out the plug from your sink and drain the dirty water. Leave your grates in the sink then rinse them thoroughly with clean water. If you find your grates are still a little grimy, move on to step five. If they're clean, begin drying them.

Step 5: Tackle any tough stains or crusted-on food

There are some additional steps you can take if your grates are still looking dirty. “If your grates have stubborn stains that don't come off after soaking and scrubbing, you can try a couple of things,” explains Clyde. 

For example, you can more easily remove stubborn grease and bits of dried food with oven cleaners such as Easy-Off or Goo Gone. “It's also important that you wear a mask and gloves to prevent the fumes and chemicals from getting into your lungs and skin," she says.

If there is still stuck-on food after these methods, Cyde advises to carefully use a razor blade to gently scrape it off.

Step 6: Rinse, dry, and put them back

After you've tackled tougher stains, give your grates another rinse. Then, use a dish towel to dry of your stove grates. Once the water is wiped off, place them back onto your stovetop.


How do you clean greasy stove grates?

Cleaning greasy stove grates can be a little more work. “In extreme cases, oven cleaner may be needed to remove the built-up grease,” says Clyde. “If that's the case, it's important to let the oven cleaner sit on the grates for at least an hour.”

Alternatively, if you prefer more natural cleaning products or simply don’t have oven cleaners on hand, you can always try pouring baking soda on the greasy grates. Wait a few minutes for the baking soda to absorb the grease. Then pour white vinegar on it and let soak for an hour. Rinse off the solution with soap and water.

Can you clean your stove grates in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can clean stove grates in the dishwasher most of the time. This is also a fast, easy way to clean your stove grates regularly. Just be sure to give them a rinse first and remove any bits of food that can potentially clog your dishwasher. 

If you aren’t sure if your stove grates are dishwasher safe, it’s best to consult the owner’s manual. If you don’t have it because you rent your home or you weren’t the original purchaser of the appliance, don’t fret. The manufacturer likely has it online. Worst-case scenario, call customer service — they'll def have an answer. 

Amanda Lauren

Hi, I’m Amanda Lauren. I’m a design expert and interior stylist who writes for Real Homes, Forbes, Real Simple among other publications. I live in Los Angeles in the historic neighborhood of Hancock Park with my husband, and two dogs, Lulu and Milo. We also have a baby coming in spring 2023. I’m a big believer in finding beautiful things at all price points. There are so many places to find affordable things, you just have to look for them. If you don't find it at first, look harder!