A Clean, Sparkling Cooktop--Is That Possible?

Updated on August 12, 2010
N.M. asks from San Jose, CA
19 answers

I so want my appliances to look new again. My stove and oven door, especially the areas around the knobs, and even my microwave door, have this ever-present layer of some kind of grease. It just doesn't come off with regular cleaning. And I don't want to try every product in the store to find the right one.

What do you mamas use for cleaning these greasy areas of the kitchen? Have you found something that really works? Is it even possible to have things looking like new again?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

My mom used baking soda on mine while she was babysitting the other day and I noticed it immediately when I walked in. I couldn't believe how great my oven & microwave looked and asked her what she used. Plain ol' baking soda....who knew....

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My appliances are stainless and black. I have found that Fantastic works wonders! It doesnt scratch, takes off grease and leaves everything shiny.

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answers from Seattle on

For stainless steel (or just about anything, really) use Bon Ami. It's just like comet except that it doesn't scratch... and it erradicates all grease that isn't brown/burnt on grease. For burnt on grease you either need alcohol + heat (see below), or a special super toxic chemical I can't remember the name of. It's similar to liquid plumber.

For regular cleanup, however, I just use Clorox Greenworks.

Ditto... the knobs of every stove I've used pull off.

For microwavs (or burnt on grease)... it's time to sacrifice the booze. Alcohol breaks down grease. What to do is to zap a small bowl with gin/vodka or everclear (if it's legal in your state, it's the best since it's almost pure) until it's about 1/2 empty and then scrub scrub scrub. Be careful not to breath the fumes. This also works on baking dishes and pots and pans. The alcohol has to be boiling hot, so you either have to have them on the burner or in the oven. Again... be careful not to breathe the fumes (or you get very very drunk). This process (using alcohol) is called "deglazing", it's a common cooking technique that is underutilized in cleaning. Instead of soaking overnight after baking/broiling I just deglaze it instead.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi N.,

I use a natural product called Melamagic. It contains a natural solvent and it cuts through the grease and leaves things sparkling. It's primary ingredient is high grade tea tree oil. Tea tree oil itself can clean but most brands on the market are not a high enough grade to keep from taking the finish off. If you're interested I can get you some more information on it.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stockton on

Barkeeper's Friend or Bon Ami scouring powders both guaranteed not to scratch but polish everything well. Gets burnt/ stuck on brown/black stuff off your cooktop - I've used it on stainless and white enamel & my mom has a halogen glass cooktop - she swears by the stuff. Also Great for getting the cloudy residue out of your pots & pans after you burn rice or beans - maybe I'm the only one that needs that!
An orange oil based degreaser works well for tile & countertops and smells nice - some brands are safe for your cabinets too.
Pull the stove/oven knobs off and run 'em through the dishwasher to get gunk off. Run the screens from you exhaust fan through the dishwasher too instead of replacing them - I also put the plastic cover from the hood light in on the top rack. put a little extra detergent and run on pots & pans setting - Voila!

Plain old Windex cleans stainless steel with no streaks - but you must get REAL Windex - the generic stuff doesn't work as well. Use an old cotton tea towel - not terry cloth or paper towels or a ChamWow! for no lint.
Also - plain white vinegar and table salt mixed into a paste will scrub almost anything safely - use a non-scratch scrubbing pad like Scotch Brite soaked in HOT water. The mixture is a little stinky when it hits metal to me but I've even used it to polish a copper teapot with excellent results.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

tough and tender from Melaleuca works great and is safe for the environment and your family... you can use that stuff on all kinds of things.. I absolutely love it!!! My stainless steel and appliances always are sparkly after I use that stuff on them.



answers from San Francisco on

409, or Simple Green work for me.
Hot water can also do a lot by itself--especially if you wipe before things dry on.
Do you use cooking spray frequently, or fry things in oil? Those can cause oil to spray into the air and settle around the kitchen.
A natural method I have also tried is to sprinkle salt and use a half lemon to scrub with the salt (like a scrub brush). It actually works pretty well, and smells good, and if you happen to have a lemon tree that that could be a good option for you.


answers from Washington DC on

If you can take the knobs off - baking soda and vinegar work well.

I love Clorox Clean up and the 409 Kitchen cleaner seem to cut through grease well as well.



answers from Sacramento on

I don't know if it's possible to make it look like new again, but I use Simple Green to get the grease off my appliances. The less you dilute the better a degreaser. Plus it's great for cleaning just about anything in the house! And it's safe to use around food areas (tables, counters, etc.).



answers from Washington DC on

I mix hot water , liquid castile soap and a dash of amonia in a spray bottle and clean my kitchen surfaceses with it. Cheap and cheerful and it works.



answers from Portland on

I agree with Riley; Bon Ami is great stuff. Rubbing alcohol on a rag eats up most greasy grime – I've never tried heating it first. I also use a paste of baking soda and water and let it sit on built-up or burned-on spots. It really helps cut the grease, and sometimes cleanup is just an easy wipe afterward.



answers from Denver on

magic eraser for the cook top-

not sure what sort of surface your appliances have-

but- I love windex for my stainless steel (sounds odd- but works) use a microfiber cloth)

try the magic eraser for the grease spots too- just don't use it on stainless surfaces or stone.



answers from Norfolk on

Magic Erasers! Wet them, wring them out and go. I do not know what they are made of but they have a microdermabrasion effect and cut through the crud. Just make sure your cooktop is completely cool. Other than that, I use Clorox clean-up wipes on everything - so easy and good on anything greasy.

Please be careful using any combination of alchohol and heat. Alchohol is highly flammable.



answers from Chicago on

I love Lysol Kitchen and Bath for grease, as well as Dr. Bronner's All In One Soap. Both work awesome with a sponge and some hot water!



answers from Indianapolis on

I haven't found anything that makes them look new, but a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has helped. We have a ceramic cooktop, and it's always dirty no matter what we use or how much we scrape it with a razor blade as recommended.

We also have hard water, so there's always a scale on something.

Bleach in our cast iron sink has been great (with the Magic Eraser) as well as on our white refrigerator. For the gunk on the microwave/stove door, I found a Clorox/Lysol wipe followed by a dry paper towel cleans it really well without any streaks.

Hope that helps.



answers from Chicago on

I found that the green Spic n' Span works good on getting rid of that greasy film. I use a wet microfiber cloth to clean and then a dry one to polish. It works pretty well.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi N.-

What I normally do when I clean my stovetop is that I pull the nobs off and wash them with ajax and soap, dry them off and then put them back. Also, after using my stove I have amonia in a spray bottle and that takes everyhting off. I couldn't live without it!! That is all that use to clean my kitchen and bathrooms.


answers from Dallas on

My cooktop is Kitchen-Aid, solid white ceran.

I faithfully use the Cerama Bryte from Home Depot EVERY time I use the cooktop. Cerama Bryte also has these little yellow cleaning pads (found next to the cooktop cleaner) and those are my best friend.

I've seen my cooktop after my 15 yr old used it and thought there would be no way it would ever be bright white again and these products have worked magic for me.

I use the Magic Eraser for microwave, oven and toaster oven.



answers from San Francisco on

I had to respond because I saw bleach and ammonia recommended seperately - don't mix! I use 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup castile soap (e.g. Dr. Bronners available at Whole Foods) and 10 drops of tea tree essential oil (optional). It makes a thick paste and the baking soda scrubs the grease. Good luck!

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