The Most Important Reason Why You Should Never Clean Your Stove While It’s Hot

published Jan 16, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Have you ever been tempted to clean your stove while it’s still hot? Maybe it’s a fun challenge to see how quickly you can run a rag over a hot surface. Maybe you like to see the poof of steam upon contact. Whatever the case, you should really cool your jets and wait a minute (or 10). Here’s why.

Why You Shouldn’t Clean Your Stove While It’s Hot

First and foremost, wiping down your hot burner area can be harmful to your health — especially if you’re using any kind of cleaning solution. Under high heat, even the mildest of detergents can vaporize into the air you’re breathing. Even if you’re just using a rag or sponge, there are synthetic fibers or plastics that can burn or melt on contact and, again, get into the air and into your lungs.

Second to your health is the fact that cleaning your stove while it’s hot will make any cleaning products less effective. That’s because those high temperatures from your recently used stovetop cause the cleaning products to break down, going into the air and into your lungs, instead of working their miracles on your most valiant kitchen soldier.

In other words, not only are you risking breathing in potentially harmful toxins, but you’re also not getting your stove very clean. It’s a lose-lose.

So, When Should You Clean Your Stove?

Ideally, you’ll want to wait at least a few minutes for the area to cool before cleaning. A warm stove is fine (and may even help you with those burnt-on bits), but there’s really no rush. Take the time to be proud of the efforts you’ve put in to make a great meal — the creativity, the health benefits, the oohs and aahs you’ll be reveling in when your family takes their first bite! Now, that’s the pleasure you’re going for.