How To Clean Electric Stove Burners

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

Does your pot frequently runneth over? If you're part of the regularly-sets-off-the-smoke-alarm-while-cooking-dinner club, chance are your stove burners are in desperate need of attention. Whether it's your fault, or the previous tenants', the burners aren't going to clean themselves.

Or are they? Well, yes, and no. You can set your burners to high, remove any pots or pans, and let them burn off any caked-on food for a few minutes- but this technique can only go so far. To get a really good, deep-down, clean-clean, you'll need to actually remove the burners from the stove and use some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

What You Need


  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water


  • Dish rag


1. 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. 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. 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. Make sure the burners are completely dry before you try to replace them.

Edited from an original post by Taryn Williford published on October 29, 2010

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(Image credits: Ashley Poskin)