Not sure how to regain a clean stove after all that Thanksgiving cooking? Cleaning stove tops can be a pain, but consider that dirty cooking surfaces don’t reflect heat as well, meaning that you waste energy and compromise performance when using a messy stove.
Instead, try these useful stove cleaning tips that have worked for me.
When cleaning a smooth top stove, first use a razor blade (yes, I’m serious) to gently scrape off any burnt on food residue. Sometimes smooth top stoves burners discolor with time, but I’ve found that Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works well to fade dark stains. Apply cooktop cleaner (which we sell for about $5 at all Warners’ Stellian stores) with a soft rag or paper towel for general cleaning. Cooktop cleaner also gives a nice, smooth finish to glass- and ceran-top stoves you can’t get from soap and water, sorry!
To clean a gas stove top — like I have at home — remove all grates and burner caps to the sink and simply use soap and water to clean. I scrub off all the food residue that ends up around the burners by sprinkling on some Barkeeper’s Friend and rubbing it off with a moistened towel. Again, the discolorations (I have a white stove) are removed by Magic Eraser and some elbow grease.
The most important tip I have for cleaning gas stoves, though, is properly replacing the now-clean burner caps, as misplacement could cause stove lighting issues.
This weekend, I broke down and cleaned the refrigerator. The condiment shelves alone took a half-hour, because of a combination of leaky bottles and cold temperatures. I used a rag and some Seventh Generation spray cleaner, but because the cold air sucks moisture from the spills, they were condensed and hardened and impossible.
There’s got to be a better way. Does anyone have good tips for a clean refrigerator to share in the comments? How often do you clean your refrigerator, or do you just religiously clean messes as they happen?
I would normally just sic ’em with some Bar Keepers Friend or Bonami, but not around my food. See other things to avoid (lifted from a major manufacturer’s site):
Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners such as window sprays, scouring cleansers, flammable fluids, cleaning waxes, concentrated detergents, bleaches or cleansers containing petroleum products on plastic parts, interior and door liners, or gaskets. Do not use paper towels, scouring pads, or other harsh cleaning tools.
Manufacturers say that most people don’t need to regularly clean their refrigerators’ condenser coils.
But, you should clean the condenser coils on refrigerators in greasy, dusty environments — and homes with “significant pet traffic” (which just sounds like a kitten parade, right?) — every two or three months.
What’s that? Cleaning stuff is a pain in the butt? Yeah, well so is replacing stuff. Regular maintenance not only ensures your refrigerator runs efficiently (aka for less money) but it will help it run for longer.
I’m betting it’s been about the suggested time span (times 10?) since you have cleared out what lies beneath, so here’s a refresher course:
1. Unplug refrigerator or disconnect power. (We don’t need any heroes, people.)
2. Take off the kick plate, or “grille.” How you do this depends on the configuration of your fridge (e.g. top freezer, side by side), but the “wiggle and pull” method seems pretty universal. For more help, consult your Use & Care manual or (do what I do and) ask a family member for help.
3. Clean the kick plate, the open area behind it and the front surface area using either a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment or, my sister’s favorite, a baby bottle brush duct-taped to a stretched-out coat hanger.
To avoid possible heat damage to your oven, we do not recommend using aluminum foil to line the bottom of your oven. Rather, we recommend that you place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on the oven rack beneath the pie or casserole you are baking. The foil should be only a few inches larger than the baking pan to allow for proper heat circulation. The foil will catch any drips before they reach the oven bottom.
There you go. Smart play on Reynolds part, right? Because you know people will end up getting rid of the sheet of foil and using a new one next time…