Does your pot frequently runneth over? Are your stove burners caked with spots from former tenants? Do you set off the smoke alarm before you even begin to cook? It might be time to give those stove burners a good cleaning. Here's how.
1. Remove them.
Wait for the burners to completely cool (we can't stress this enough!), then remove them from the stove top. Most should slide out with a gentle tug and lift from the connection point, but if you have questions, refer to your manual (or find your stove's manual on Manuals Online).
2. Rinse them with soap and water
Using a cloth and a bit of mild dish soap and water, rinse any residue from the burner coils. Take care not to get any part of the the electrical connection wet, and don't submerge any part of the burners.
3. Use baking soda paste for tough spots.
If there's any cooked-on food residue that won't come off with the soap-and-water mixture, use this method: Make a paste from baking soda and water, then apply it to the tough spot. Give it about 20 minutes to sit, then scrub and rinse the burner.
4. Let them dry thoroughly.
Make sure the burners are completely dry before you try to replace them.
(Images: Flickr user SullyT64 Photography under license from Creative Commons, Flickr user dawnie cakes under license from Creative Commons)