Range Cleaning & Maintenance 101

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In most homes, ranges, stoves, and ovens are the most in-demand kitchen appliance. Maintenance and safety procedures are essential for proper and safe operation, and to avoid costly repairs, so here are a few important money-and-time-saving tips for cleaning and maintaining one of your kitchen’s most relied upon appliances.

Range/Stove/Oven Cleaning Tips

Control Panel
Most range/oven control panels are glass and/or painted metal. You can safely use non-abrasive cleaners on these surfaces. Repair Clinic offers a wide selection of range/stove/oven cleaner and deodorizer parts.

When cleaning the control panel on your range or stovetop, we recommend using a light-duty cleaner or simply soap and water with a rag. Using abrasive pads or a harsh cleaning agent can wear off the decal indicators, which identify the knob controls for each burner. If these decals get worn off from overzealous cleaning, the whole control panel will require replacement. If this has already occurred, enter your model number at RepairClinic.com to find the recommended replacement for your model. Check out this popular All-Purpose Cleaner.

Note: Never spray cleaners directly onto the control panel. Instead, put some cleaner on a soft, damp rag, then wipe the surface.

Glass/Porcelain Cooktops and Glass Door Cleaning
Always clean glass and ceramic cooktops only with products made for this purpose–such as the glass cooktop cleaner we carry.

You can clean your glass oven windows with any oven glass cleaner but be careful not to clean glass surfaces that are hot!

You can clean any porcelain cooktop with a non-abrasive cleanser.

Note: Don’t pour the cleanser directly onto the cooktop. Instead, put some cleaner on a soft, damp rag, then wipe the surface.

Keeping the front panel, window, and outer door glass clean is important because it prevents spills from staining the panel or glass when it heats up during oven operation. Only clean the front after your range or oven has completely cooled.  For spills that are tough to remove from the panel, we recommend this Heavy-Duty Degreaser.

Smooth Electric Stove Tops
Smooth top ranges are great because they are a snap to clean if maintained properly. If a heavy spill occurs, use a Razor Scraper to remove large food deposits. The next step is to apply Cooktop Cleaner.  Let this sit and soak in for a few minutes, then use a scratch-free cleaning pad to remove the remaining residue. Finally, apply a coat of cooktop protectant to maintain that new stovetop appearance. We recommend this cleaning set because it includes a good cleaner, scratch-free pads, and a quality protectant.

Gas Stove Tops, Burner Bowls, & Grates
Some gas stove tops are made of glass or ceramic and can be cleaned exactly the same as an electric smooth top (see above). Metal tops should be cleaned with Heavy Duty Degreaser and a non-abrasive pad. The most important tip when cleaning gas stove tops is to not use too much water when cleaning, especially around the knobs. Tweet this. If water drips down into the holes where the knob shaft comes through, ignition switches can short out and cause problems with the sparking system. Grates and burner pans can be difficult to clean. However, before you buy new ones, you can try and clean them with this Grate Cleaner.

Solid Burner Element

Some stove/ranges have heating element burners that are solid metal–there’s no coil, and the stove/range isn’t glass or ceramic. You can clean these solid burners using our Solid Surface Element Cleaner. While this is not a cleaning product per se, it does an impressive job restoring solid burner elements to a near-new condition. It also helps protect burners against damage.
Solid Surface Element Cleaner

Beneath The Range
People tell us they avoid cleaning, maintenance, and repairs because they don’t want to move large appliances for fear of damaging their floors. Also, some people are concerned about power cords and gas lines connected to the rear of the stove. One tip for ranges is to fully remove the drawer, so you can clean the lower cabinet and floor. To remove the drawer, simply pull the drawer out toward you and then lift it near the front to disengage it from the tracks. Tweet this.

We use this handy Vacuum Attachment and Bristle Brush to clean beneath the range.

Self-Cleaning Ovens
If your oven is self-cleaning, consult the owner’s manual for instructions on how to use this feature. The self-cleaning feature works by heating the interior of the oven to a temperature so hot that it incinerates the residue inside the oven. Since the length of the process varies from model to model, you should carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the self-cleaning function. Be aware – if an electrical component is close to burning out, an intense cooking cycle like self-cleaning could finish it off. This is why we suggest that people do not run the self-cleaning cycle before a big cooking holiday like Thanksgiving when you really need your oven to be fully functioning.

Important: Never use a cleaning solution to clean the interior of a self-cleaning oven unless it is made specifically for self-cleaning ovens. The oven liner can absorb non-approved solutions or cleaner and burn during oven use. As a general rule, it’s not a good idea to use a spray cleaner to clean the interior of a self-cleaning oven, but always refer to the owner’s manual or contact the oven manufacturer for further information.

Non-Self-Cleaning Ovens
To clean a non-self-cleaning oven, use one of the many oven cleaners that are available at grocery and hardware stores. Simply remove the oven racks and spray oven cleaner directly onto the interior surface. Wipe with a clean rag.

Range/Stove/Oven Maintenance Tips

Repair Clinic.com’s maintenance tips include cleaning the cooktop and oven, replacing the drip bowls, using the self-clean function, and replacing the oven bulb as necessary to keep your range or stove working safely and efficiently.

Broiler Pan
The broiler pan that comes with the most range/ovens is porcelain-coated steel. Clean it with a non-abrasive cleanser. If you want to replace the broiler pan instead, we offer one called the Broiler Pan and Insert.

Burner Drip Pans (Bowls):
You usually need to replace the drip pans or bowls beneath the grates on a gas stove/range and beneath the heating element on an electric stove/range every 2 to 3 years. That’s because it’s usually not possible to clean them completely once they’re stained.

By entering the appliance’s full model number on the Repair Clinic.com website, you can locate the specific original manufacturer replacement bowls in the Shop-For-Parts section. Or you can purchase universal bowls from our Universal range/stove/oven Drip Bowl & Drip Pan Parts section.

Knob Care
You may be able to safely clean the knobs on your range/oven with a little dish detergent and a damp rag. But, if the numbers or lettering have worn away, you may need to replace the knobs.

As with the drip bowls, original manufacturer knobs can be found for your model by visiting RepairClinic.com’s Shop-For-Parts area and entering the full range/oven model number. We also offer universal knob sets that fit a wide variety of different ranges/ovens.

Light Bulbs
You can replace the light bulb(s) in your range/oven, though you may need to remove a glass covering or dome to reach it. Most interior oven lights require a universal 40 watt appliance bulb.

Find DIY repair help and replacement parts for your range with Repair Clinic

Repair Clinic’s free online repair help system will help you find the most likely causes of range problems as well as the correct, recommended replacement parts. The website also has model-specific how-to repair help information with 1,000+ expertly-produced videos.

For all of your DIY repair help needs, Repair Clinic has the replacement parts and know-how to fix your range, stove top, and oven quickly and successfully, as well as all of your other home appliances, outdoor power equipment, and heating and cooling products.

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