Let’s be honest. All the blogs and videos out there show these AMAZING before and after pictures. The dirtiest, grimiest pan, now sparkling clean! And all of the forums I visited, everyone would say “Oh just put “this” on there – oh put “that” on there – it’ll come right off!” While that may be true for grease, if you have an old rental like mine that has years and years of burns on the surfaces, AND if you cook as much as I do, then let me give you the benefit of a disclaimer: Your Stove Will Not be Perfect (at least not right away). The goal of this blog is to teach you how to CLEAN your stove/oven. This will get 99% of the gunk off. For severe burns, that’s another story, and for my situation where part of the stove is literally worn off – you just have to deal. BUT, like I said, this will help you get it CLEAN.
As you know, this blog is about yuppie problems. Eating well, saving money, and overall advice for those of us attempting to live a healthy life in an urban area while working 10-12 hours Monday through Friday. As most of you probably also know, rentals in urban areas are often out of date and many of them have these older style electric stoves. So, if you, too, have been putting off cleaning that old electric stove – or if you’ve tried and it just HASN’T WORKED – do not fear, and read on.
Cleaning these old stoves is WAY easier than you would imagine. There is actually, literally, no excuse why we don’t clean them every single day. NO EXCUSES! IT’S SO EASY!
Step 1) Lift up your burner and pull. It is literally plugged into your stove (Get it? Electric? Haa haaaa).
Step 2) Pop out your drip pans and put them in your sink. Fill your sink with hot soapy water and let them soak for 20-30 minutes.
Step 3) Pop open the hood of your stove, and prop it up with the wire stand underneath. A lot of people don’t know this, but many electric stove tops pop up just like the hood of a car! It will reveal a wonderful world of grease and grime, so I hope you’re excited.
Step 4) Make your paste! I used Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide the first round of cleaning, and then I used Baking Soda and Distilled White Vinegar the second time. I don’t know if one worked better than the other, I personally think that either one would work.
Step 5) Using a sponge (that you probably will want to throw away after this), spread the paste all over your stove surface and on the surfaces of the oven.
You will see the mixture begin turning from pure white, to a brownish color as seen above- that is the grease lifting up to the surface!!
Step 6) After letting the baking soda sit for 30 – 60 minutes (In my case, I let it sit over night, and then the second time, I did it in the morning and had it sit all day), grab a dish scraper and begin scraping off the grease. Do this while scrubbing with some steel wool SOS pads as well (available everywhere)
After scrubbing and scraping, it’s going to be pretty disgusting, so I put some water in a bowl and then rinsed the suds and grease off with the sponge. At that point it was pretty watery – so afterwards I dried it off with a microfiber cloth and some paper towels. (Disclaimer, the microfiber cloth got DISGUSTING and I would not use it again unless I had an outdoor space I could ring it out at. I also went through a whole package of paper towels. We were definitely in the big leagues here.
At this point I would also like to point out that my nails were not chipped at all, and I had been scrubbing for hours and NOT wearing no chip. Just a side note of how awesome and perfect I am.
I repeated these steps on the drip pans as well. I soaked the drip pans, and then coated them with a baking soda/vinegar mix, and would scrub it with steel wool. I did that twice, letting them sit overnight/during the work day BOTH TIMES.
I have to say – the baking soda mixture did MAD WORK. I think if my pans/stove/oven weren’t so disgusting and such a level 10 code red, it would have been fine with one cleaning.
I still have some rust on the drip pans that honestly just won’t come off – and it looks like my stove is actually peeling from years of wear and tear – but it is now shiny, and clean, and doesn’t smell when I cook! A major improvement, with a great all natural cleaning solution. Hope this post helps you be less intimidated to clean your stove and oven!