How to Clean an Electric Stovetop

by Team HomeServe
Close up of very dirty ceramic kitchen stove in kitchen

Cleaning an Electric Stovetop at a Glance

  • Step 1: Turn off power to stove
  • Step 2: Wipe surface
  • Step 3: Scrape surface
  • Step 4: Apply cleaner
  • Step 5: Buff stovetop

Electric is the most common type of stove in the U.S. — which means millions of people are struggling with how to clean a dirty stovetop, not just you. Whether your stovetop is coiled or smooth, it can accumulate a surprising amount of food, grease and debris. Smooth stovetops are especially prone to pitting and hard-to-remove stains.

This May Also Interest You: Should You Use Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Feature — and If So, How?Note: A combined stove-and-oven unit is called a range. This guide doesn't focus on separate cooktops; “stove” or “stovetop” refers to your range’s stove.

Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to cleaning yours.

Safety for Cleaning an Electric Stovetop

Cut the power to your stove before cleaning it. You don’t want to accidentally burn yourself or put yourself at risk of electric shock. To protect yourself, either unplug your stove from the wall or turn your home's breaker box off.

To turn your stove off from the breaker box, figure out which circuit your stove runs on and flip the breaker off. If you can't nail down which switch corresponds to your stove, you can turn your home's entire electricity supply off. You can do this by flipping the large switch above all the smaller switches in your breaker box.

You may need to move your stove away from the wall to unplug it. Here are a few steps to follow so you don’t damage your floor:

1. Find a clean wooden board that's at least one-quarter inch thick. You'll also need a crowbar, a few scrap pieces of laminate flooring and some cardboard or a towel.

2. Remove oven racks and the bottom drawer to lighten the load. Take off any other removable parts you can find within reason.

3. Before breaking out the crowbar, ask someone to assist you in lifting the range. If you’re on your own, stick the tip of the rounded end of your crowbar under a structurally solid area of the stove. Place your board under the crowbar's curve. Pull down on the crowbar to lift the stove.

4. Place the laminate scraps under the front two legs and carefully set the stove back down.

5. Pull the range out from the wall until you can reach the plug. You can leave your stove out while you are cleaning it. You could use this opportunity to clean around and under your stove.

Close up of a hand with yellow protective gloves cleaning induction cooktop with green microfiber cloth -------------------------------------------

How to Clean Your Electric Stovetop with Ceramic or Glass Cleaner

Ceramic and glass cleaners are high-powered household cleaning products made specifically for cleaning flattop stoves. Usually, these products come in kits. The contents of the kit will vary, but most include a coarse sponge or two, a specialized cleaning solution and a straight-edged scraping tool. You can assemble your own cooktop cleaning kit with basic household cleaning supplies in addition to ceramic or glass cleaner. Get some paper towels or washcloths, too.

1. Wipe Down the Surface

First, brush off leftover food, dust and other debris from the stove. Then, use a wet paper towel or washcloth to remove anything that's stuck to the surface. Your cleaning product will loosen anything you can’t get off with a little elbow grease.

2. Scrape Off Burnt-On Spills

For this step, it’s best to use scrapers made specifically for cleaning stovetops. Many have angled metal edges that limit scratches without sacrificing cleaning power. Try to avoid using any makeshift scrapers that have a knife-sharp edge, as they can scratch your stove’s surface.

Hold the scraper at a low angle, more parallel to the stovetop than perpendicular to it. To avoid scratching, don't exceed a 45-degree angle.

3. Apply the Cleaner

Typically, you won't need more than a few sprays' worth of solution. Spread it over the stovetop and wait 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Rinse and Shine

Leaving cleaning solution on your stove too long could eat into the surface, so you’ll want to rinse it off before it causes permanent damage.

Spray water on the surface and soak up the cleaning solution with washcloths or paper towels. Rinsing an extra time or two can’t hurt.

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How to Clean Your Electric Stovetop the Natural Way

For this method, you can substitute vinegar and baking soda for the ceramic cleaner.

1. Start With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Wipe the surface, then spray white vinegar on it. Cover that with a layer of baking soda.

2. Wet Towel

Lay a wet towel over the vinegar and baking soda, then let it sit for 15 minutes. The towel will soak up most of the vinegar and baking soda. After 15 minutes, wipe off as much of the mixture as you can.

3. Scrape Away

Use a scraper to lift dirt and grease from the surface. After scraping away any stubborn spots, apply another coat of vinegar.

4. Polish

Remove the vinegar by buffing the cooktop with a microfiber cloth. You might need to polish for 10 minutes or more. Buff until you've reached your desired shine.

How to Clean Electric Stove Top Burners

Electric stove burners can be cleaned as described above. Since heat can cause debris to cake on even stronger on your stove’s burners, repeat this stove-cleaning cycle at least twice. Try using salt to help scrub debris from your burners.

Since we’re all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.