Cleaning drip pans is a dreaded task for most cooks. Learn our easy method for how to clean stove drip pans naturally without harsh chemicals. Your stove’s burner pans will be looking great in no time.
When Your Electric Stove Burners are a Hot Mess
This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it method of cleaning your electric stove drip pans. It does require elbow grease. As you can see from the picture, I was working with some fairly messy stove burners. Roll your sleeves up and follow our step-by-step instructions for cleaning drip pans.
Supplies to Clean Stove Drip Pans
Baking Soda. This simple baking ingredient is one of the most powerful all-natural cleaning agents you will find. You can use it to make several different cleaning solutions for tasks just like this one.
Dish Soap. Gentle, basic dish soap is a wonderful cleaning solution for breaking up grease and loosening up gunk.
Scrubby Sponge. Or you can use a steel wool pad. I actually scrubbed with a crocheted dish scrubby. You will have way better results using the tough side of a regular dish sponge or maybe even steel wool.
Plastic Bags. I used old Ziplock bags, but you can use any kind of baggy or even plastic bags from the grocery store. Use what you have!
Optional Supplies for Messy Stovetop Burners
Vinegar. Sometimes a little extra oomph is needed for these hard-to-clean areas of our home. Vinegar works wonderfully as a pre-soak to clean stubborn messes. If our more mild and virtually smell-free method below doesn’t work, consider adding a vinegar soak to step two before moving on to the cleaning paste.
Step One: Remove the burners themselves first. You may need to twist them out of the sockets. If you have different sizes of burners, make sure you pay attention to where each one belongs. Set these aside where they will not get wet.
Next, lift out those pesky drip pans and shake them into the sink or into a garbage bag to get rid of any loose gunk. This is the easy part! Use a stiff brush to loosen the gross stuff if needed.
Step Two: Spray down the stove drip pans. You’ll be surprised at just how much gunk a strong stream of water can remove on its own. It helps if your faucet has a powerful spray so you can blast the gunk away.
If the stuff caked on your drip pans is almost, but not quite loose after you spray it down, you might soak it for ten minutes or so just to make more headway before moving on to the next step.
🧽 Making the Homemade Cleaning Paste
Step Three: Combine dish soap and baking soda in a 1:1 ratio in a small bowl. Mix the ingredients for your homemade cleaning paste together until it creates a frosting-like consistency with a slightly foamy texture. Here’s what you should see when you have everything all mixed up.
Step Four: Apply the mixture to your drip pans. This is a great time to be generous. When I say generous, I mean slather it on. Don’t be shy about this.
Next, give it all a scrub down for a few seconds to loosen things up. Work the cleaning solution into all that grease really well.
I scrubbed for 30 seconds or so on the ones that were in especially bad shape. Don’t be afraid to use a stiff brush or scrubby sponge if you need to. And work those elbows.
⏳ Let the Stove Burners Soak
Step Five: Transfer the drip pans to Ziploc bags so they’re out of the way and aren’t messing up your counters. Let them sit for an hour or more soaking in the cleaning paste you made.
If you don’t want to waste the expensive Ziplock bags on this, just use the plastic bags from the grocery store. I had some Ziplocks I had used for freezing meals that would have been thrown out, so it made for an easy choice.
📍 While You Are At It – Clean Underneath the Stovetop
There’s no better time than now to lift up that “hood” and clean the area under your stovetop. You might have to fiddle with the release mechanism to figure out how to lift the stovetop up.
Sometimes they just lift straight up. Sometimes, the top might just be stuck from excess gunk so you have to pull hard or spray the crack with your favorite all-purpose cleaner and let it soak for a minute. Trust me, we’ve moved into more than one house where that was the case.
Sometimes, there is a release mechanism along the front lip of the stovetop, or along the edge of the part where the control panel is. Every brand is different so if you can’t figure it out a quick google search of your make and model instruction manual should help.
Most electric stovetops have some way to pull the cooktop up and get to the stuff that falls down in. Again, a little soap and water does the job just fine. No harsh chemicals are necessary.
🧽 Finish Cleaning Your Drip Pans
Step Six: Once you’ve waited at least thirty minutes, remove the soaking drip pans from those bags and scrub away. I didn’t get a picture of this step, but here’s the result.
I’m happy with the results. They aren’t in like-new condition but don’t you agree that the after looks much better than the before? Huge improvement in my eyes, and I didn’t have to use Ammonia and kill brain cells to clean my burner pans and make a tremendous improvement.
If you’re looking for an easy and natural method for cleaning your drip pans, I highly recommend you give this a try.
How do I remove my drip pans?
First, you need to remove the burners themselves, which is usually just a matter of pulling the connection loose or possibly twisting the connection and then pulling. Place these on the side. At this point, you should be able to just lift your drip pans right out.
Depending on your oven model you may need to lift the stovetop cover to remove the drip pans. This is usually done by simply lifting straight up on the edges of the cooktop.
Can I put my drip pans in the dishwasher?
Yes! If your metal drip pans are only lightly soiled, throwing them in the dishwasher is an easy way to give them a quick touch-up and remove any fresh grease.
Can I clean my drip pans with ammonia?
Yes. Yes, you can. But you may also burn your nose hairs off — it’s a pretty dangerous chemical. I prefer to get my home mostly clean without dangerous chemicals over having a sparkly “clean” home that’s been doused in dangerous chemicals. That’s why I came up with this more natural method for cleaning drip pans with just dish soap and baking soda.
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