So first, I have to apologize to those of you who have electric stoves, 'cause these first couple tips won't necessarily apply to you. Well, maybe the second one if you have the traditional heating coils instead of a glass or ceramic top. And of course, glass tops are so easy to clean you don't really need hacks, right? Right? But stay tuned, because there's a third tip that will work for electric stoves, too!
So first up, to clean the burner grates on a gas stove, remove them, and place them in a plastic bag along with 1/4 - 1/2 c of ammonia. Seal up the bag and leave them overnight or longer. I've heard placing them in the sun helps (because it's the fumes from the ammonia that do the work). When time's up, remove the grates from the bag and wipe them clean. Yes, it really is that easy! I've heard this method works on oven racks as well (use a large garbage bag for oven racks).
Again, pour 1/4-1/2 cup of ammonia into the drip pans/wells of the burners, and cover the whole thing with plastic wrap to seal in the vapors. Let it sit for 12-24 hours, then wipe clean. Or scrub clean. Or...well...scrub clean...enough. Vivienne used Press'n Seal Glad Wrap, but I just used regular old plastic wrap--I just made sure to press it down along all the edges. And it worked! Just like Vivienne, mine's not perfect, but it is a whole lot better than it was before.
Next I cleaned the filters on our exhaust fan. It had never occurred to me to clean those suckers, but when you think about everything that goes on on a stove, it makes sense that they might get a bit gunky. I used this method from One Good Thing by Jillee. Basically, you stick the filters in some boiling water to which you've added baking soda. I don't think the baking soda is even strictly necessary, since it's mostly grease on the filter, and everything that isn't grease is glued in place by grease, so just the hot water ought to do it. If you don't have a pot big enough to submerge your filter, do one half, then turn it over and do the other. Scrub with a stiff brush, if you must, but I didn't find that to be necessary.
And did it work? Well, the first time Hubby turned on the stove hood exhaust fan after I had cleaned the filters, he said, "whoa! What happened? This thing really sucks!" By which he meant that the fan was doing its job, sucking up and exhausting cooking vapors. So yes, it worked, and the difference was noticeable.
That's all for now. More cleaning hacks coming up next week!