The Unconventional Tool I Use to Clean My Stovetop

updated Jan 23, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Cleaning my stovetop is one of my least favorite chores. It’s one that I know — I know — is so much easier if I just clean up spills and splatters as they happen. But somehow, I never seem to do it, and before I know it, I’ve got an unsightly stovetop that needs a full-on cleaning — and ASAP. I’m talking about cleaning the stovetop grates, soaking the knobs, wiping down the back panel, and of course, cleaning the stovetop itself.

I’ve found that the best cleaner for removing grease is really just dish soap and water. It’s simple, but effective and always on hand. I personally use The Unscented Company because, as the name indicates, it’s fragrance-free and biodegradable, and refills come in an eco-friendly 4-liter cardboard box.

But, before I reach for my sponge and my dish soap, I do one thing first — and it involves a slightly unconventional tool: My vacuum.

Why (and How) I Use My Vacuum to Clean My Stovetop

I always seem to end up with a stovetop littered with crumbs and dried rice bits and herbs and errant chunks of granola. Does this happen to you, too? Trying to clean the surface with soap and water, without first removing all the crumbs I can, is a bit like mopping your floors before sweeping — a recipe for soggy bits getting pushed all over the place.

To avoid this, I’ve found that the easiest and best way to get up as much as I can before tackling the greasy bits and the splatters is to vacuum my stovetop.

I use the brush attachment on my canister vacuum, but if you have a handheld vacuum (or a stick vacuum that converts to a handheld), those will work as well. I remove the grates, then run the brush over the stovetop a few times until there are no more removable crumbs. If I’m feeling ambitious, I might also use the opportunity to vacuum my baseboards or the spot behind the radiator that is a magnet for cat hair.

Once I’m done vacuuming, I attack the stovetop with dish soap, warm water, my sponge, and some elbow grease. It does the trick every single time.

Do you do this too? What smart tips and tricks do you have for cleaning your stovetop?