Having a stainless steel stove top is nothing uncommon for households as they are not only very useful but also look sophisticated and elegant. However, the latter part of the statement is only true when the stove is kept clean and shiny.
The reasons for keeping a clean stove top are not only for aesthetic purposes but also for hygiene causes. A stovetop is where you cook your food and this must be done in a clean area. Besides, stainless steel if allowed to stain with food spills and grime can lose its shine.
Moreover, keeping it wet can cause rust on the stovetop. There are a multitude of other things that can happen if the stove is not handled with care, such as impact damage, scratches, and burn marks. Thus, you should always regularly clean your stainless steel stove top.
How to Clean a Stainless Steel Stove?
Anytime you use your stainless steel stove, it is impossible to not spill some of the food being cooked onto the stovetop. But that is perfectly alright, as long as you clean it.
There can be three possible scenarios in the context of cleaning a stove made of stainless steel. They are regular cleaning, removing burn stains, and cleaning extremely stubborn stains.
All of the three have been discussed below.
Regular Cleaning of Stainless Steel Stovetop
At the very first it should be stated that chemical-based cleaners are better not used for daily cleaning. They are abrasive and can cause the steel surface to fade into a non-lustrous texture. It can also cause rashes on your hands if you do not wear gloves.
Rather, use any soap that can remove grease such as dish soap. Additionally, try to use a product that cancels out the smell of the grime that may accumulate on the stovetop. Here is how you can clean your stainless steel stovetop:
- Dilute a mild dish soap with some warm water and wet a sponge with it.
- Using the sponge, gently scrub on the stainless steel stove top in the direction of its grain.
- To determine the direction of the grain, you may have to look a bit closely as there is no fixed direction in which the striated grains are oriented.
- Use the sponge to get all the grease out of the micro-grooved grains on the steel.
- Now wipe off all the soap and froth with a damp towel. Repeat this until most of the moisture is gone.
- Use a dry towel to wipe it off completely.
It is wise to follow the grain pattern while cleaning a stainless steel stove because grease and grime from the cooking accumulate inside the microscopic grooves and with them, they decrease the luster of the metal.
Using abrasive materials to clean stainless steel stovetops can also damage the grain pattern and affect the aesthetic quality of the appliance.
A good way to ensure that the steel continues to look flawless and shiny even after lengthy usage is to polish it regularly. There are several products you make use of in this regard. Stainless steel polish, Lemon oil, or a Silicone-based spray are the most commonly used ones.
Spray the product on the stovetop and with a lint-free or microfiber cloth, wipe in the direction of the grain pattern to ensure the polish reaches the grooves. Using polish once on a regularly cleaned stainless steel stove is sure to restore the shine in no time.
Removing Burn Stains from Stainless Steel Stovetop
An intense cooking session involving multiple dishes can result in burn stains around the burner area of your stainless steel stovetop. There is really nothing you can do to prevent this as fire is a corrosive element and leaves a darkish mark on stainless steel.
This stain can be hard to remove if you allow it to settle so make it a point to deal with the very day it appears. There are three ways in which you can clean burnt stainless steel stovetop.
If you want an inexpensive solution without buying any special cleaning products then a few lemons are all you need.
- Mix some lukewarm water, juice from a whole lemon, and some liquid soap in a bowl and stir it until bubbles show.
- Use a cloth to transfer the solution onto the burnt area.
- Along with a cloth soaked in the lemon juice mix, let the solution marinate on the stains for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the lemon juice to loosen the debris on the stain.
- After that time has elapsed, use the soaked cloth to scrub off the burn stains.
- The stains should come off. Now use another clean cloth to scoop up the residue solution and wipe the stove clean.
Oil with Vinegar
If the burn stains are stubborn and do not come off with the above solution, then here is another effective solution for you.
- In a bowl, mix four parts vinegar with 2 parts oil. The oil can be a simple carrier oil like coconut oil or light cooking oil like sunflower oil or olive oil.
- Spray or pour this mixture on top of the burnt area.
- With a microfiber cloth, scrub off the stain.
- The oil residue can now be cleaned with dish soap.
However, this method should not be used for stainless steel stovetops that have an oleophobic coating. Oleophobic coats are done to prevent materials from accumulating any type of oil. This should be stated in the instruction manual of the stovetop so make sure to give it a read before proceeding with this method.
Baking Soda Paste
If nothing else works, then this surely will because a baking soda paste is a very versatile homemade cleaning solution for many surfaces including stainless steel.
- Mix four parts of baking soda with one part of water and two parts of dish soap. Adding water is not mandatory but the dish soap should not be skipped if you want effective results.
- Mixture the three together. The consistency should be that of a paste.
- Lather the burnt area generously with this paste and let it marinate with the stains and loosen up the debris in it.
- With an oil toothbrush or a nylon cleaning tool, start scraping off the burn stains along with the paste. Make sure to follow the direction of the grain.
- Repeat the process until all of the stain is gone.
- Wipe the whole thing off with a microfiber cloth.
Since baking soda can be a harsh cleaning agent, it might take away the shine of the stainless steel. But you can easily restore it using some polish.
Dealing with Stubborn Stains
Coking food in oil will cause splashes all over the stove. This is especially true if you are frying stuff. But oil is not nearly as difficult to remove as coffee stains, melted sugar, syrup, residue from greasy food, etc.
These cannot be removed by simply cleaning the stovetop with dish soap or detergent and baking soda. You may have to try a combination of the methods provided above to get an effective result.
- Carefully consult the instruction manual for recommendations on suitable cleaning products. If you get lucky, you will be able to find a prescribed list of such products and what situations to use them in.
- Start the cleaning process with warm water and mild detergent or dish soap. Let the solution marinate on the stained area. Then wash it away.
- It is unlikely that the stain is gone, so it is time to move on to the baking soda paste treatment. Lather the paste all over the stain and scrape the area with a non-abrasive material such as a silicone spatula.
- Use a microfiber rug to scoop up the residue debris and baking soda paste.
Burnt sugar or melted sugar stains need separate treatment as the sugar particles settle onto the stainless steel very stubbornly.
- Allow the stove to cool down.
- Lather the area with hot water. Since the stove itself cannot be soaked, take a cloth soaked in hot water and let it sit on the stained portion of the stovetop.
- Get some hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and pour it on top of the stain without wiping the hot water. Let it sit that way for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take a dry cloth and wipe the whole thing away along with the sugar stain marks.
There might be concerns about H2O2 causing discoloration to stainless steel but once again you are recommended to check the product manual to find out what type of stainless steel is your stovetop made of. Certain grades of stainless steel do not react readily with Hydrogen Peroxide. You can read about the compatibility of H2O2 with various metals here.
In any case, if you do notice any discoloration then it may be because of harsh chemical cleaners as well. Therefore, natural cleaners are preferred over chemical ones.
While you are on the quest to discover the best way of safely cleaning a stainless steel stove, it is also important to be mindful of your own safety along with the appliances’.
Always wait for the stove to cool down before applying any of the above prescribed methods. Additionally, always protect your hands with rubber gloves while scrubbing the stovetop or applying soap or cleaning paste.
Do not use any ammonia-based cleaners as they are too abrasive and will not only cause discoloration to the steel surface but also will leave a very pungent smell that is quite unhygienic.