When cleaning your kitchen, you often deep clean the different appliances you use for food preparation, the utensils and dinnerware that must be sanitized daily, and the stove that cooks the food. However, most people tend to forget that cleaning stove drip pans is essential to maintaining safe and healthy kitchens.
In our guide, we'll show you how to clean stove drip pans properly and easily with just a few household items. You won't need any specialized equipment or cleaning solutions, and you'll be left with a grease-free stove that is ready to take on any cooking challenge you have.
What are Stove Drip Pans/Stove Burner Pans?
Stove drip pans are basins used to catch spills, food particles, and grease. Drip pans sit right under the burner, and catch any overflow that splatters out of pots and pans during cooking. Because of their purpose on the stove, drip pans tend to get particularly filthy. They may accumulate grease and oils over time which are not only unsightly, but can become a fire hazard.
Not all stove drip pans are detachable from the stove. In this case, you may need to clean stove drip pans right in place, carefully avoiding flooding the gas burner with cleaning solution. Cleaning stove drip pans will remove the food debris under the burners, which will prevent mold growth and bacteria as well.
How to Clean Stove Drip Pans
Step 1: Remove the Drip Pans
The first step is to remove the drip pans from the stove. Not all drip pans are removable, so for non-detachable drip pans, you may need to work over the stove to clean the drip pans. Once you remove the drip pans, drain off any grease buildup with a paper towel to remove the excess scum.
Step 2: Soak Drip Pans in Hot Water
Soak the drip pans in very hot water with a few drops of dish soap. Place the stove drip pans over the sink or in a large basin, and pour freshly-boiled water over the drip pans until they are fully submerged. This will clean stove drip pans by softening the burnt-on debris, making it easier to remove later on.
You may notice the water turning a murky color when cleaning stove drip pans. You can drain the water half-way, and pour more hot water over the stove drip pan. Clean non-detachable stovetop drip pans using a sponge or cloth soaked in hot soapy water, or use an oven cleaner to lift the dried grease away. Remove and rinse the soapy drip pans after 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda reacts to create a powerful stain remover, and is safe to use on a dirty stove drip pan, including electric stove drip pans. Clean drip pans with this solution by making a paste out of baking soda and white vinegar, then applying the paste directly on any remaining burnt bits.
Alternatively, you can use an oven cleaner to remove scum from dirty drip pans, but using baking soda and white vinegar is a food-safe option. Other options to remove scum from drip pans include using ammonia, which can be hazardous when inhaled or ingested.
Step 4: Let it Sit
Let the paste sit. The solution will work to clean drip pans by softening any remaining burnt particles, then lifting them away from the drip pan. Baking soda also adds an extra scrubbing boost, while vinegar works by breaking down oil residue. Leave the drip pans to soak for at least 15 to 30 minutes depending on the amount of grime.
After letting them sit, use a scrub brush to clean drip pans. You can also use a ball of crumpled aluminum foil or steel wool for particularly tough stains and spots. You should notice that the grime comes out easily. If not, let the drip pans soak in the baking soda paste for a longer period of time.
Step 5: Rinse the Drip Pans Clean, and Dry
After cleaning stove drip pans, rinse the burner pans, then wipe them dry with a paper towel before placing them back on the stove. Continue maintaining the cleanliness of your stove drip pans by deep cleaning them every week, or as needed.
Tips on Stove Cleaning and Maintenance
When cleaning your stove, you don't need any specialized tools or formulas to get the grime out. A simple, homemade mixture of baking soda and vinegar often does the trick to clean stoves. Here are some tips and tricks to maintain a clean, well-polished stovetop:
- Clean the stove after cooking; this will prevent food spills from hardening on the surface. of the stove.
- Use only food-safe cleaning solutions when working with appliances that handle food, including the stove and oven.
- Schedule stove and oven cleaning on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
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