One of my pet peeves is seeing my grungy burner drip pans and knowing I have to make a trip to the store and shell out $14 for four drip pans. I first clean them the best way I can but eventually, they look horrible and I have to pay for new ones. I have been doing this several times a year.
Until today that is. I’ve heard about cleaning the burners with household ammonia but the fumes always got to me and I never could do it for long. The trick is to let the fumes work for you, not against you. And this takes a bit of time, so it is a project for when you won’t be cooking on the stove top for about a day.
You’ll need these simple three supplies:
That’s right. Some ammonia, a gallon zip lock bag for each drip pan and a Scotch bright sponge with a non stick pad on the back. If you can’t find them locally, Amazon.com has these supplies available online.
These were my burners before I started:
I use two main burners the most often but all of them were bad. These were the worst two (right side of the stove front and back.)
I placed each of the burners in a large gallon zip lock bag, and added 1/4 cup of ammonia to each bag, and then sealed the bag. I left them for about 24 hours. When I opened up the first bag, I was VERY disappointed. This is what I saw:
Not a lot of difference, right? I almost tossed it in the trash can in disgust. But then I took my scotch bright pad and wiped over it. The dirtiest spots needed the scourer but not with any real elbow grease. The lighter spots just wiped off with the sponge. I was amazed.
This is the burner drip pan after wiping and a bit of scouring:
Totally amazing! I simply could not believe it. Three of the four cleaned up extremely easily. The worst one took a bit more scouring but it was still night and day compared to the work that I put into cleaning them on previous attempts and that was because the burner drip pan had been previously cleaned with steel wool, so the surface had been damaged and gave the gunk a key to hold on to. I’ll probably replace it so that the ammonia will work more easily on it next time.
My stove top after is like night and day from the before picture above.
And a close up of the drip pans:
I know it is hard to believe, but try it and see for yourself. I will update this article once I have cleaned them a few times to see how easily it is after they’ve been cleaned several times. The ease with which they cleaned up makes me believe I may not be shelling out for new burner drip pans in future!
Total cost to me was about $1.25. Far cry from $14 for four burner drip pans!
NOTES on the cleaning process:
- These burners were new and had never been cleaned before.
- Subsequent cleaning worked okay but not as well as the first time especially in the drip area.
- The dirtier the pans are, the more you may need to scrub, so I would recommend doing this fairly often, so as not to get them too dirty
- If you use a metal scourer, it will leave grooves in the metal which will make subsequent cleaning far less effective.
So my recommendation is to do the cleaning fairly often, and if they pans have been cleaned and scoured previously and are really dirty, it is time to get a new set, as this will not work well. But for the first cleaning on moderate dirt, even baked on, it worked just as I showed above.
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