What's the Cause of Stovetop Discoloration and How Do I Get Rid of It?

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Q: I've been living in a new apartment for about six months. When we moved in, our white gas stovetop was impeccable. After using the stove, a brown discoloration started to appear under the most used burners. At first I was able to clean the discoloration using household cleaners (409 All Purpose or Windex Touch Ups) and a scrubbing pad. After a good clean, the stovetop will remain white for a while, but about once a week I have to repeat the process to remove the discoloration, regardless of whether or not any food/grease/oil gets down below the pan. And the discoloration is getting worse and becoming harder to clean.

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My questions is a two parter: First, what is causing the discoloration? Is it the cleaner or pan reacting to the flame? And second, what is the best way to clean it and prevent it from happening so often? I keep a clean kitchen, and this has been driving me crazy. Thank you!

Sent by Matt J

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(Image credits: Matt J)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.