Learn how to clean stove grates and drip pans on your gas stove with the four best methods. I’ve tested each one and there is one clear winner that requires absolutely nothing but letting them sit overnight. There is no scrubbing needed! The other three methods also work very well and are done in a short period of time. They do require a bit more elbow grease. Which one is best for you will depend on how dirty your stove grates and drip pans are, and how soon you need them to be cleaned.
My Story Learning How to Clean Stove Grates
I love my gorgeous gas stove but cleaning it has always been so frustrating for me. It is mind-boggling how filthy they become on a daily basis. Because my children do most of the cooking, stove cleaning happens at least once a day at my house. However, that cleaning does nothing for the build-up of grease and grime on the grates and drip pans. Those stovetop accessories get so disgusting and I was tired of using nasty oven cleaners on them.
After some research on how to clean stove grates and drip pans, I found a few sources online that swore by leaving your stove top accessories overnight in a sealed bag with some ammonia. Not submerged in it, just letting the fumes do the work. Instantly, I had a preference to try this method because I love using ammonia to get the grease off the cabinets above my stove. Plus, I had such great success using it to clean my crockpot! Not to mention it is cheap…..less than $1 for a big bottle!
Did It Work Easily?
I decided to give it a try with just one stove grate. I got a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and put about 1/2 C of ammonia in it. In went the test subject and I zipped the bag close. 10 hours later, I took a peek and I thought it had failed because it looked exactly the same. However, once I opened the bag and touched the grate, my hand came away covered in nasty black yuck! Yes, it was gross, but I knew instantly this was the magic I had been looking for! I used my sponge to simply wipe the surface of the grate then rinsed it clean. Yes, it was THAT easy.
This easy method is how to clean drip pans as well. Since I still had all the rest of the grates, plus the drip pans left, I used a garbage bag this time around with all of them inside. This time I used a couple of cups of ammonia. I knotted the bag on itself so it would be an air-tight closure and walked away. 10 hours later, my stove top grates and drip plates were as clean as the day I bought the stove. Not a single black mark on them! If yours are extra gross, you might need a bit more time but I promise you will not need to scrub. Cleaning stove grates and drip pans can now be an easy chore, which means I can outsource it to my kids!
Popular Methods for Cleaning Gas Stove Parts
I decided to give all four methods a try before declaring the ammonia method the winner. If I’m going to teach you how to clean stove grates, I better know for sure! Here are the other techniques I used, along with the pros and cons of each method. The details of how to use each method are listed further down in the article.
- Dishwasher – for obvious reasons, I was hopeful this technique would do well, and it did for the surface dirt and stains. It took off any food, dirt, and grease that was on the surface. However, if anything was baked on, it didn’t do a good job.
- Baking soda and vinegar – this technique worked really well but did require quite a lot of scrubbing to get the baked-on grease off the stove parts. Letting the paste sit long enough on the dirty stove grates and drip pans was essential to the success of this method.
- Sink – this basic method requires a long soak in hot soapy water but like using the dishwasher, did a very poor job getting off any of the baked-on grease and food. If you want to know how to clean stove grates and drip pans on a daily basis, this is the one to use.
- Ammonia – like the baking soda and vinegar method, using ammonia did an amazing job getting rid of the burnt grease. And unlike the scrubbing needed with that method, ammonia just requires time letting the fumes do the work for you.
How to Clean Stove Grates and Drip Pans with Ammonia
After all the tests, the overnight soak using ammonia was the clear winner for our experiment in how to clean stove grates. Here are the simple steps to success.
Time needed: 8 hours.
How to Clean Stove Grates and Drip Pans
- Use a gallon Ziplock bag or garbage bag
If you are cleaning just one or two grates, you can use a ziplock style bag but if you want to do all your stove pieces at once, grab that garbage bag.
- Add ammonia to the bag
If you are using a ziplock, use about a 1/2 cup of ammonia. If you are using a garbage bag, add around 2 cups.
- Insert your stove grates and drip pans into the bag
Place your stovetop pieces in your bags and then seal them closed. You can simply knot the garbage bag tightly. The pieces do not need to be immersed in the ammonia. It is the fumes that do the cleaning, not contact with the cleaner.
- Let the stove top pieces sit overnight
The amount of time is dependent on how dirty your pieces are but the magic will work. I like to put mine in before going to bed and then give it overnight to work. 8-12 hours is best so just let them sit.
- Rinse off the grime
All you need to do is rinse away all that nasty black grease and grime with hot water. If there happens to be a spot or two that doesn’t rinse away, just hit them quickly with a scrubby pad.
- Dry the stove grates and drip pans
You can dry them with a towel, or simply let them air dry before reinstalling them on your stove.
Other Methods to Clean Stove Grates and Drip Pans
While using the no-scrub method is extremely easy and my favorite method, it does take a good chunk of time. Sometimes we don’t have the necessary time to let the stove grates and drip pans sit overnight. So, here are three other methods you can try when learning how to clean stove grates and drip pans.
How to Clean Stove Grates in the Dishwasher
This method works great for simple spills and messes on your stove grates and drip pans.
- Remove the grates from the stove and place them in the dishwasher.
- Set the dishwasher to the strongest wash cycle and use a dishwasher detergent that is specifically designed for cleaning grease and grime.
- After the wash cycle is complete, remove the grates from the dishwasher and inspect them for any remaining dirt or grime.
- If necessary, use a soft scrub brush or a toothbrush to gently scrub away any remaining residue.
- Rinse the grates thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining soap or debris.
- Dry before replacing them on the stovetop.
How to Clean Stove Grates in the Sink
This method works well for daily cleaning of stove grates and drip pans.
- Remove the grates and drip pans from the stove and place them in the sink.
- Fill the sink with very hot water and a small amount of dish soap.
- Scrub the grates and drip pans with a scrub brush or scrubby sponge to remove any food or grease.
- Rinse the grates and drip pans thoroughly with warm water and let them air dry or dry them with a towel.
- If the grates and drip pans are heavily soiled, you may need to soak them in hot water and dish soap for several hours before scrubbing them clean.
How to Clean Stove Grates with Vinegar and Baking Soda
This method performs well on baked-on grease and grime but requires quite a bit of scrubbing by hand.
- Start by removing the gas stove grates from the stove.
- In a small bowl, mix together equal parts vinegar and baking soda to create a thick paste.
- Using a sponge, generously apply the paste to the grates and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen any built-up grime.
- Using a scrub brush or scrubby sponge, scrub the grates thoroughly to remove any stuck-on grime and grease.
- Rinse the grates thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining paste and debris.
- Dry the grates with a clean towel and place them back on the stove.
How to Clean Stove Grates FAQs
Yes, Dawn dishwashing liquid does a great top removing grease and food residue from the surface of stove grates. If the grease is baked onto the stove grate, you will need to use either some ammonia or a paste of baking soda and vinegar to remove it.
The answer depends on if you define easy as the least amount of work, or the least amount of time. If you want the least amount of work, use the overnight ammonia method in an airtight container. The fumes will remove every last bit of grime without any scrubbing. If you want the least amount of time, use a paste of baking soda and vinegar to scrub away the build up of grime.
Looking for More Easy Cleaning Hacks?
If this cleaning tutorial for how to clean stove grates was just what you were looking for, be sure to check out these other great cleaning hacks. Go grab them now before you forget!
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Judy P says
Does the ammonia liquid actually have to come into contact with the surface of the grates or it is just the fumes that do the work?
Nope, just the fumes
Judy P says
Okay, if that’s the case couldn’t you just open the bottle and let the fumes do the cleaning and recap it afterwards. Or pour a half cup into a small bowl and recover that after cleaning by pouring back into the bottle? It may seem that I’m overly frugal but why pour it down the drain?
You could try it Judy but even though the fumes do the work, the grease and grime still falls into the ammonia. Plus, the strength of the fumes dissipates over time
This looks fabulous. My gas cooktop has what I think are cast iron-type grates. I wonder if it would work on that. What are your grates made of?
Mine are cast iron and they are perfectly clean now
WOULD AMMONIA CLEAN THE OVEN? if so, how and how much do you use? Thanks, Thanks.
I guess in theory, yes Jeretta but I’ve never tried it
Put a cup you don’t use or any small container into the warm oven. (Warm, not hot) and close the door. I do it after dinner and dishes and next morning all it needs,is a wipe, including the grates and,trays!
Oops, with ammonia
If yours look like hers, and are heavy – they’re cast iron.
Boy, I know what you mean about these grates – seemed like one of the worst purchases I had ever made – they seem to get dirtier faster than the older gas stoves.
I’m going to try this! But, I guess it will be a weekly chore 🙁
Thanks for the tip and the trial – I was worried they’d discolor.
Lucille Tillman says
It’s a great idea and seems to be very efficient. I haven’t used ammonia and my stove top is never clean enough. May be I should try 🙂 Thank you for sharing this helpful info!
You are welcome Lucille!
How would you clean stove tops that will not fit in gallon size baggies? My grates are one big piece for each vertical section of the stone.
Hi Natalie! You could easily use a garbage bag. Just twist it tight so the fumes do not escape the bag. They do all the work!
Beverly Sheldon says
Will the cast iron grates get discolored, never did this before, new stove,,,
Howdy Beverly! I have cast iron grates that have a enamel on the outside and they don’t discolor at all. Those pictures are my actual grates before and after so you can see for yourself that they did not change color.
Is it strong ammonia or household ammonia?
I just used regular household ammonia Ashley
Isn’t ammonia dangerous? I’ve been scared to try it. What precautions do i need to take when using it? Household with baby, cats. Do i need to wear gloves. A mask?
Hey Katrina! Thanks for your question. Ammonia is an ingredient that is in most of your household cleaning solutions. Where it can be dangerous is if it is mixed with bleach, so keep the two far away from each other. You do not need gloves or a mask but if you feel it would make you more comfortable, do it.
Anita Williams says
PLEASE wear gloves AND a mask.
Is there a way of doing it without ammonia? Or is there a dupe for it for those who can’t stand tje smell of it?
Hey Tiarna! It isn’t my favorite smell either but it is the ammonia vapors which are trapped in the bag that do the cleaning. Is there someone else in the house that can set it up for you? Once the bag is closed, you don’t smell it at all.
Lynn Barlow says
Put them outside!
I did the amonia thing with my cast iron grates, still dirty after first try overnight. Did it a second time left them for 2 days just opened one of the bags, amonia smell still very strong , grates still not clean & am trying to wire brush them clean. Any suggestions? Thank you.
Hey there Sandy! Are your cast iron grates enameled? I’m not sure this process will work on one that are just straight cast iron.
Sharon Webb says
I am truly amazed at how well this worked!!! NO scrubbing or elbow grease required – just a couple of really burned on spots to rub off and rinse!! Thank you for his tip!! Would this work on the oven racks also?
Hey there Sharon! I’m so glad you had wonderful results. I think it will work for your racks. Just use a big garbage bag.
We also have the large (3) grates. If we put each in their own large garbage bag, how much ammonia do we put in each bag and do we pour it in the bag directly or put it in a cup inside the bag?
Hey there Cathy! You can put them all together in one bag and pour the ammonia directly into the bag. I would use a couple cups. The key would be to close the bags super tight. Tie the top in a knot because it is the fumes that will be doing all the hard work for you.
Mark Fierro says
Doses the ammonia need to be 100 % or will the weaker 10% stuff work ?
Hi Mark! I just buy the general cleaning ammonia at the store and I am not sure what the strength percentage is.
Thomas Roberge says
Thanks for the tutorial. But please help me that i tried to clean my cast iron grates, after leaving it over night and rinse in the morning it has know white marks on top
Hi Thomas! I’ve never had that experience before with my grates. My only thought is if your cast iron grates are enameled or not.
My grates will not fit in a ziplock bag. One grate civets two burners. Any ideas on soaking them.
Hi Linda! Just use a garbage bag and tie the bag into knot at the top. I actually use this method when I am cleaning all of my grates at the same time 🙂
Do people not read all the an swears and question s. I am amazed at some of the questions
Thanks Judy 🙂 I often ask myself the same question…..
Put them all in the oven and turn on the oven cleaner, they come out perfect! Just whipe them down and they look like new
Awesome tip Sheri! Thanks for sharing
Margaret M says
Does ammonia also work on the oven racks and the broiler pan?
Hey there Margaret! You bet it does. Just put them into a garbage bag and tie the bag air tight with the ammonia inside.
Unfortunately I don’t have drip pans. The grates sit right on the stove top. Any suggestions on how to get the same cooked on mess off of the stove top? Of course it’s all right near where the flame comes out. Not sure what I can use. Thanks!
Hi Nicole! Man, that really does stink. You can still try ammonia but it will take some scrubbing for sure. Let it sit for a bit after applying it.
I want to give this a try but how do I figure out if my cast iron grates are enamled or not?
Hi Ashley! They will have a shiny sheen to them.
I have soak my grated over 24 hours. Just moved in to dirty apt. They have very think black grease burnt from not cleaning —-ever so I’ve soak 2 at a time in mop bucket with 3 bottles of ammonia still all of this black burn to grease is not coming off. 2 days before trying this is used easy off oven cleaner! With each process a little is coming off. I’ve also used a razor blade to scrape. They are bad should the bucket be in garbage bag ? Is it the fumes or the actual ammonia????
Hi Cheryl! It is the fumes so whatever you are soaking them in, it needs to be airtight and you shouldn’t submerge them in the ammonia. Good luck!
Laurie Cullen says
I used ammonia and a gallon ziplock bag for my normal-size gas stove grates. But I wanted to avoid poking a hole in the bag and having ammonia leak out so I poured about 1/2 cup (maybe more) in a disposable aluminum pie pan, put that in the bag and carefully stacked the grates on top of the pie pan. Worked like a charm. And the pie pan did not collapse. but my stove grates are not huge and heavy. As above, the gunk and crud just fell away after sitting overnight with the concentrated ammonia fumes. I then took a scrubber sponge and went over everything again, just to get the last bits of baked-on gunk off. Who knew just plain old cheap ammonia could be so powerful?
Glad it worked so well for you Laurie! One of my favorite tips
Chris Hudson says
Cleaning lady sprays a bit of oven off on them and they come out spotless
gas stove. will that hurt them?
Hey Chris! No, that won’t hurt them. The main chemical in oven cleaner is ammonia. Can you send your cleaning lady over to my place please?
Rose C says
I tried this
Put my grades in a garbage bag with 1 cup of ammonia, tied the bag put it outside overnight and NOTHING came clean. Would the outside temperature have something to do with the outcome? It was probably around 40 degrees that night. Thank you
Hi Rose! I don’t think the temperature would make a difference. Were your grates raw cast iron or were they glazed cast iron? I know this is magic on glazed cast iron grates.
Cindy Okusako says
What color is the glazed cast iron?
I guess it could be any color Cindy but generally it is black. You an tell your cast iron grates are glazed because they have a shiny coating on them. I hope this helps!
Can you tell me how you clean your cabinets with ammonia?
Hi Crystal! I make a 50/50 mixture with ammonia and water, then spray it on, let it sit for about 5 minutes and wipe it off with warm water.
are your cabinets wood??