Today we have a small project, in that it doesn’t cover much in the way of space. However, this is a big job that many people put off doing. What job can be small and big at the same time? The stove and oven.
Most stoves only have a few elements to consider – the burners and pans, the surface, and the area with the knobs. Then the oven contains the racks, three walls, and the door. Regardless of what sort of stove top and oven combination you have, there are a few cleaning strategies to consider. So, let’s get started giving this hard-worker a fresh new look.
Before you dig in with cleansers and scrubbers, you have to know what sort of oven and stove top you are cleaning. You may want to grab your owner’s manual to double check if you are not sure.
Oven cleaning tips:
If you no longer have the owner’s manual, you can pretty much figure your oven fits into one of three categories: regular surface, continuous cleaning surface, and self cleaning surface. You’ll need to figure out which one you have before you decide what cleaner you can use.
If you have a regular (smooth) surface oven, you can use oven cleaners such as the foam spray-on type, if you wish. If you prefer to avoid the chemical cleaners, a good scrubbing with a mild soap and water, baking soda, or vinegar and water will get the job done. Use a small scrub brush if you need to loosen burned on grease, rinse with clear water or add a bit of vinegar to help cut the soap residue, too.
Continuous cleaning and self cleaning models have special surfaces that most manufacturers warn against using harsh cleaners on. Now, if your continuous cleaning oven has actually kept itself clean, you may only need to wipe the inside surfaces with a wet rag just to make it perfectly clean. These ovens may deposit a bit of ash or powder on the bottom and around the edges, so just wipe those up. If you have a large spill, you may want to soak it with a vinegar and baking soda paste, then wipe up with a clean rag.
If you use the self cleaning function on your oven, just be sure to wipe up the pile of ash and follow up with a clean rag soaked in vinegar and water to freshen the entire surface. Don’t forget to wash up the racks, broiler pan, and to wipe out any storage drawer you might have under the oven. And don’t forget to clean and shine the oven door, inside and out.
Stove top cleaning tips:
As for the stove top, there again you have many types to consider. If you have a gas stove, you would probably have burner “grates” to lift off and soak. Remove any drip pans under the burner grates and soak them in a sink of soapy water. If they are beyond repair (rusted, dented, stained) replace them. They are cheap enough and they make a real impact in the appearance of the stove top. Do not wrap aluminum foil around the pans under the burners. It looks sloppy and says “I’m hiding some terrible stuff from you” to the buyer. Buy new pans. If you can’t get the pans that match your stove, buy real aluminum liners made to put on top of your stove top’s drip pans.
Electric stoves may either have heating coils with drip pans underneath or they may be a smooth surface. Again, be sure to take apart as much as you can so you can clean everything carefully. If you have a smooth surface, be sure to choose a cleaner that is appropriate to avoid scratches. If you have stuck on food, it’s better to soak a few minutes than take the risk of scratching with a scrubber. You can usually remove an electric burner ‘coil’ from the stove top and wipe it off with a damp paper towel. Don’t soak them in the sink, just wipe them off.
Now give the entire stove surface a wipe down to remove any food splotches and grease. Shine up everything! Don’t forget that door front again. Wash the knobs, switches, dials and everything.
Stand back and take a look. If something doesn’t shine, clean it again. Your oven and stove top must be perfectly clean to keep potential buyers looking. Remember; buyers are looking for excuses not to buy your house. Don’t give them something as silly as a dirty stove as an excuse to walk away!