Kitchn Love Letters

I Cleaned My Stove Grates with Oven Cleaner and They Look Amazing

published Jun 9, 2022
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Credit: Jennifer Chase

Whether it’s overflowing spaghetti sauce or splattering grease from fried eggs, my stovetop is under constant attack. Thankfully, I’m pretty good about keeping the stovetop itself clean. My stove grates are a different story — and recently I decided they needed a TLC.

To tackle the caked-on grime, I decided to try oven cleaner. You’ve probably used oven cleaner to break down stuck-on gunk inside your oven — but did you know that’s not the only place you can put this heavy-duty cleaner to work? Last year, Kitchn experimented with four different methods for deep-cleaning dirty stove grates, and Easy Off — the same kind you use inside your oven — stood out above the rest. 

Kitchn’s tester explained, “While other methods were successful in getting the burners to wipe clean, Easy Off actually removed and stripped the super-tough burnt-on grease splatters with hardly any effort from me at all, making the burner look brand new.” I was convinced and decided to give it a try.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
My stove grates could use some love.

Duplicating the process on my own dirty grates, I first wiped off any dry food bits from the grates and removed them from the stovetop. Then, I grabbed my gloves and took them outside in the backyard to spray them down. You could certainly do this inside, but proper ventilation is always key when you’re using oven cleaner, which 1) gets smelly, and 2) may result in adverse health effects if used repeatedly overtime. If you choose to spray inside, be sure to turn on your vents and open any kitchen windows.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Apparently, the key to sparkling stove grates is letting them sit — so I followed the showdown method and waited a full 40 minutes before touching them again. In the meantime, I filled a small bucket with soap and water and brought it outside along with a few clean rags. When the time was up, I wiped the foam off with the rag and cleaned the grates off with soap and water to remove all traces of oven cleaner

The results? Well, they don’t call this stuff Easy Off for nothing. Full disclosure: My grates weren’t as dirty as they could have been, thanks to the professional cleaner who comes to my house a few times a month. That said, I’ve been cooking a lot more lately, and the grates were definitely greasy, with a few burned-on bits here and there. 

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Good as new!

All of the grease and grime wiped off like a dream — with zero elbow grease. I scrubbed the remainder of the foam off with my soapy water mixture and a clean rag, and the grates looked almost as great as they did last year, when it was first installed. I would have been shocked, but I knew the showdown — which involves a rigorous testing process — doesn’t lie!

As for me and Easy Off? I’m generally not a big fan of using strong-smelling chemicals, so I probably won’t be using it every week — but I do plan to keep it on hand for maintenance. I like the idea of rehabbing my stove grates every few months as needed, especially if I can go outside.

Have you ever tried oven cleaner to clean your dirty stovetop grates? Tell us in the comments below.