There is really only one thing you can do for stoves in the way of
preventive maintenance--KEEP THEM CLEAN!
I guess I should expound on that a little and make an article out of
that sentence, somehow. On electric stoves the wires often run
under the drip pans and often when drip pans get really dirty,
people just throw them out and do without. Wires get crisp, the
insulation breaks, and shorts occur. Bad idea.
Spills, both on top and inside the oven clean easily, if they don't bake
on forever. Pumice stone is excellent for stains inside your oven--
if it is a smooth porcelain surface, not a rough continuous clean
surface, (which is really NEVER clean). For all oven, or heavy
top surface cleaning, other than aluminum surfaces which will be
stained by this product, use a janitorial supply non-aerosol oven
and grille cleaner, with gloves. It is much cheaper and less fuming than
the aerosol from the supermarket. It costs about $12/gallon, which
can be diluted 1:1 with water and sprayed on. This industrial type
cleaner will last you 20 times longer than 1 $3-$4 can of spray.
Installing new drip pans for burner top areas occasionally
will save you from hours of scrubbing, but in between not letting them
get really bad is best. If your gas stove "spiders" (the pot holding grates)
get VERY greasy, soak overnight in a plastic pail of water w/ a can of
crystal DRANO. This is very caustic, so use great caution and never
get on your skin. Your grates will be like new next day.
Oven racks can be cleaned w/ pumice stone also. If you have
scratched/stained areas around burners on gas stoves without separate
drip pans, or above pilots between burners, use a paste of Comet with
oven and griddle cleaner, leave it on overnight and remove with water the
next day (wear gloves!). Will be best possible without replacing whole top.
Knobs have to be cleaned with gentle soaking in soapy water- again this
best if done regularly. Try not to remove markings/numbers. New
ones also available for most models. burners which don't light off pilots or sparkers generally have
lighting holes on side closest to pilot or sparker plugged up.
Clean with a stiff fine wire and try not to spill food on them.
The actual burner tops, often aluminum, should NOT be cleaned
with oven and griddle cleaner, but can be done with a bench-mounted
wire whell, or a drill-mounted round wire brush, or even steel wool or
On electric stoves try not to spill things onto the actual coils,
especially things which will melt on--like plastic bags, paint,
etc. Replace or have replaced the woven door gaskets on self-
cleaning ovens if/when the wire mesh shows through--they get very
hot during the clean cycle and the gaskets keep that heat away
If you have very old GE stoves with pushbutton controls, keep
buttons clean and regularly cycle through all positions to keep
them from sticking. On rotary knobs that is generally not a
Not really much else to say. To reiterate-- KEEP IT CLEAN.
Good Housekeeping to you all.
Contributed by: Dave, the Appliance Wizard
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