Cleaning Stove Top Grates

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

I've tried scrubbing them with cleanser and steel wool and they just never seem to get clean.

Last night I decided to put one in a gallon size ziplock bag with pure amonia, ( I keep amonia in a spray bottle ), so I just sprayed into the bag so the grate was covered, zipped it up and let set overnight.

This morning I just used one of those heavy duty green scrubber pads, and with very little elbow grease, all the burned on stuff came right off. I now have another one soaking in the bag to clean this evening.

I've heard you can set a dish of amonia in your oven overnight to make cleaning easier, but it never worked that well for me. I guess the bag keeps the moisture in helping to dissolve the burned on grease.

Before picture:

Thumbnail by ginlyn
Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

After picture:

Thumbnail by ginlyn
Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Wow - thanks! I'll definitely try that. I have the gray grates, too

If/when I buy my next stove, I will go back to a no-nonsense stainless steel model with cast iron grates. I'm not looking for a status symbol, I just need a hard-working, easy-to-maintain gas stove that cleans up easily and lets me make huge pots of chili, soup, and/or plunk my 7-quart canning kettle on it without chipping the grates. Grrrrr.

I can't do anything about the chips in the enamel, but the stains drive me nuts and they are next-to-impossible to clean even with a box of SOS pads. I had all but given up on making them look decent again, so I'll try your advice this week.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

ginlyn, I've got my third grate soaking in a bag - the same one I've soaked the first two, and will soak the last one in later today. (Yes, I'm too cheap to use four bags and two bottles of ammonia to do them all at once, lolol.)

Other than the powerful ammonia aroma when I open the bag, I am astonished at how well it takes off the stuff I'd spend HOURS trying to scrub off otherwise. My stove thanks you, and I thank you for a great tip!

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

Terry, I used the same bag for all four grates too. Unless one was in a hurry to get all of them done at once, there's no need to waste bags.
I couldn't get over the fact that most of the grime came off just rubbing your finger over it. The worst of course, needed a little scrubbing, but not much.

I think, that if it doesn't work for anyone, it might be because they didn't let it set long enough, don't you?

Anyway, I'm glad you could use the tip..... Ginny

Ginlyn, thanks for the tip. I don't like using ammonia but I will try this on my oven grates. I have read to use that for your outdoor grill grates, but I never thought about the stove ones.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If you don't like ammonia, I think soaking them in a bag of some other strong cleaner will probably work too--the ammonia is extra strong so it may work a little better, but I bet you'd have good results with at least some other cleaners too.

Phoenix, MD(Zone 7a)

Can I do this with the heavy duty grates on this stove???

Thumbnail by magoobu
Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

wahhhh - that's like my old stove, that I didn't think I'd miss as much as I do ;o)

Seriously, I don't know - those are plain, uncoated cast iron grates, yes? If so, you might try a product made by Dawn called "Power Dissolver" (works great on outdoor grill grates, too.) It works good, but it just didn't have enough "ooomph" to get those blasted enamel grates clean like the ammonia did. But soaking cast iron in straight ammonia? I'd be a little afraid of creating a rust problem.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 8a)

Wow! I did this yesterday and it worked WONDERFUL! Now I need tips on how to clean a black stove with out getting streaks?? thanks! K~

oops spell error

This message was edited Oct 22, 2006 12:28 AM

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 8a)

Well' I pulled the book out for the gas range and what do ya know, there under cleaning was how to clean those silly grates. If I would have read the book 2 years ago I may have found that out sooner::)) Our front burner won't ignite, it's not clogged, not the igniter must be a wire. The stove top will sparkling clean tomorrow. Took the trays out, put them in with amonia too. Took the top off washed it with soap and water and took a diaper rag and shined it right up, looks great so far. Thanks for getting me started on this much needed cleaning job. Now all I have to do is turn on the self-cleaning oven and whew la, fin'eshd.

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

The amonia trick I read about in a book written by The Queen of Clean.

And when I bought my gas range for the downstairs kitchen at the Lake I chose the racks that are porcelain coated because the sales person told me it is ok for them to stay in the oven during the self clean cycle. So far it has worked fine. The regular stainless steel racks turn blue if you leave them in during self clean.

The grates over the burners are cast iron ~ but they are in 3 pieces and perfectly fit in my dishwasher.

Hope this helps


Las Vegas, NV(Zone 8a)

All my pieces are porcelain, looks so great, thanks guys!
PLEASE help me declutter!!!! Anyone around my area for rent???? K~

Saskatoon, Canada

Can you clean oven grates with the ammonia in a bag system or will it discolor the grates?

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

catka, are you talking about your oven racks?
I haven't cleaned anything with the amonia except my burner grates.

My oven racks are stainless steel and really need a good cleaning so I suppose I'll need to use a garbage bag for them.
Hopefully they won't discolor, but if they do at least I know they'll be clean.

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Hello folks,

Funny I should find this thread, I just spent about half an hour
looking at a variety of stove burner covers. Round, square, rectangle,
ceramic, metal, porcelain and more.

Not to cover up dirty grates as much as they make your stovetop look

No, I don't work for them, know them or have any idea who they are. :-)
But a very nice selection worth checking out. They sell on Ebay, too.

Arlington, MA

Ok, I have a really dumb question...?

My stove top grates are not grey in color like the one in the photo but are black.
Is it ok to use on mine as well.

Not only are mine a different color but it also looks like a different kind of iron (or whatever they are made of).
As you can see, I am totally new to this and domestic goddess...I am not...LOL!

I am assuming since I will be using the amonia, when I take it out of the bag, I need to rinse the grates really well?
Just use clear lukewarm water to rinse?

A wonderful tip that I can't wait to try! I get sooo discouraged cleaning the stove in general but this tip sounds great! I am going to try it soon!

This message was edited Nov 16, 2006 3:09 AM

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

Since I've only cleaned mine, which are enamel coated, I wouldn't know how well the amonia would work on another finish. You might try a little spot first.
And yes, I just rinsed them off under running water using one of those green scrubber things in case there was a stubborn spot, but all the grime came off.
Good Luck...

N.C. Mts., NC(Zone 6b)

Ginlyn I cleaned mine too. Put one in the freezer bag with enough amonia to cover the grate. Put them on the back porch and let them sit overnight. I did one each night for 4 nights.
I didn't know there was so much crud on them. BTW, I used the same 1/2 gallon of amonia for all of them. I guess if you have a big bag, you could clean them all at one time.

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

Liz, did you really use a half gal of amonia ? I just put some into an empty windex spray bottle and sprayed into the freezer bag after putting the grate in. There probably was a quarter of an inch laying in the bag. Each time I put another grate in I sprayed some more.
I bet I didn't use a cup total. I made sure the top part of the grate was laying in the liquid.
I think the fumes did a lot of the work too.

Savannah, GA(Zone 8b)

would this work on stainless steel grill grates?

N.C. Mts., NC(Zone 6b)

Ginlyn, I thought it had to cover them, so that is what I did. Anyway they are clean. next time I will try your way.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

clutterjunky, if yours are cast-iron (like an old-fashioned cast-iron skillet), I'm not sure I'd try this technique on them....that's what I had on my last range, and (confession time) I don't think I ever cleaned least not with anything harsh. Ran 'em through the dishwasher occasionally if something had boiled over and made a big mess, but they never showed the burn marks or crusted-on junk like these enameled ones do.

Arlington, MA

Thanks to those who answered my questions directly. I will need to have my husband look at what the grates are made of. They definitely look different from the photos posted. It must be iron of some sort???
See what my husband says. I'll keep everyone posted and if I try something besides amonia, I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks again!

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

The book on my new range says my cast iron grate can be put right in the self clean oven. I do it every time I self clean.
They also are designed to fit in my dishwasher. They go in there . . . every big cooking job. Seems to me dish washing soap is harsher than amonia.


Phoenix, AZ(Zone 10b)

I just finished cleaning my first grate using the amonia method. I could not believe how easy it was to get it almost totally clean. I used a kitchen sponge with a "scrubbie" on the back. I have NEVER been able to get my grates really clean before and had largely given up. My grates won't fit in a gallon-size zip-lock bag, but fit nicely in an oven bag with a twist tie (the kind you can roast meat in). I left the grate in the bag with a little bit of amonia overnight (I don't have amonia in a spray bottle so I just poured some in).

Savannah, GA(Zone 8b)

After spraying my s.s. grill grates with "Dawn Power Dissolver", I left them in the sink to soak and thought I would catch up on DG. Wow, it is amazing that I went right to these post. I already called my dh and told him to stop at the store on his way home and get more Dawn. If mine don't come clean, I will use the amonia.

What great tips.
Will let you know if the dawn works.

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Hello everyone,

You've done it to me. You convinced me to buy ammonia today. I have
a spray bottle all ready and will try this later on this evening.

On a side note, several of us in the chat room were discussing use of
ammonia, when someone mentioned their father had a terrible run-in with
bleach mixed with ammonia. Apparently it makes a toxic gas and is NOT
a good pairing.

I realize many may already know this, and some would never mix the
two, but if it reaches one person, well, you get the idea.

Ammonia + Bleach = BAD

Karen Marie

I'm sold too!

Hey WUVIE! I'm eating the cookies you passed out. They're all ending up in my rear.

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

good reminder, Wuvie

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

This method works, no doubt about it. But after witnessing other people having the same serious problems with porcelain-coated grates, I think I'm ready to throw in the towel and get a new range for two reasons:

a) we're re-doing cabinetry and countertops around the range, so it's the right time to switch to a slide-in model with a continuous grate system. (Lack of counterspace is a huge issue in my kitchen, and more models are featuring continuous grates, which will be a nice way to have full use of the cooktop surface area); and

b) my grates are disentegrating so badly I will have to buy a new range before we sell (still a few years down the road most likely) and I might as well get some good out of this investment instead of making-do until I buy a new one just in time to please a would-be-buyer.

But lemme tell ya, one of the first things I look at on every model is the grates. Anything other than cast iron, I move on - it doesn't matter how pretty it is, how many other bells and whistles it has that I want - if it doesn't have cast iron grates, it gets scratched off my short list.

I'm really surprised this issue has apparently not surfaced with Consumer Reports. I bought back into their month-by-month subscription so I could check out their recommendations for this and a new washer/dryer (when it rains, it pours.) Bottom line with Consumer Reports - no to the KitchenAid I was eyeing, as they seem to have higher-than-average repairs; I'm now leaning towards a Frigidaire with a convection oven.

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

You are right; I love the cast iron on my new range.

Mobile, AL

I'm trying to clean my stove for resale. Everything looks great
except for the stainless grill where the oven vents. This is a slide-in
range where the oven vents from a small grate behind the burners.
The grill is attached to the porcelain stovetop.

The center of the grill is blackened. I've been rubbing on WD-40 for
days. It softens up the burned bits and the sides have cleaned up
nicely. But the center is still a blackened eyesore.

Do you think it would work to put an ammonia-soaked rag over it, then cover that with a garbage bag?

Savannah, GA(Zone 8b)

Have you tried the Dawn Power disolver? IT is very strong and worked well on my grill grates.
I have to admit the ammonia is much less expensive and probably about as effective. Do you have a pilot light? It wouldn't be safe to use if there is a flame nearby.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I've used the Dawn Power Dissolver and I like it for our outdoor gas grill grates (which are also porcelain), but I didn't find it to be very effective on the range grates. My stove is pilotless (I think that's the right word anyway - the burners have an elecronic ignition)

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I think all i have is "sudsy amonia" will that do the trick too?

and funny - as i was cleaning my stove top just yesterday, i was thinking -- how the heck do i get these clean??
and now i just stumbled into this forum. very cool.


Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

Terese, I think the sudsy amonia would work just as well. I haven't cleaned mine since August, and need to do it again soon.
I guess the only way to have a clean stove all the time is to never cook. Ginny

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Ginny -- i say that everytime i have to clean the stove... i mean, no one else ever cleans it.

Saint Paul, MN


Thanks for all the great notes above...I have cast iron grates on my stove top, and after reading the thread here, did a little more research. I found buried on the Viking site a description of how they recommend cleaning the grates. I followed it today, and it worked amazingly well. Here's what I did:

1. Get yourself one can of Easy-Off oven cleaner, rubber gloves, and a bucket large enough to hold the grates. The instructions on the site call for newspaper to set the grates on, but I opted for the bucket.

2. Get outside....the fumes from the Easy-Off are mildy toxic and very irritating, so you dont want to breath them

3. Put on the gloves, then spray each grate, one at a time with the Easy-Off. When they are well coated, set them in the bucket (or on the news paper.....make sure you are on cement, not black-top if you chose not to use a bucket or other container)

4. Let them site for a couple hours

5. Now for the fun part! Bring the grates inside (the fumes are gone) and rinse in a large sink or laundry tub. Once the initial rinse is done, lightly scrub each grate with a long bristle brush or the blue or white scotch -bite pad.

6. Dry

7. Look at your grates in amazement at how clean and new they look! If there are a few burn spots remaining, repeat the soak and rinse steps.

8. Now, you can put them back on the stove and be done, or, if you are really a clean freak, carry on to step 9

9. Place grates in oven at 200 degrees for 30 min

10. remove grates from oven one at a time, and lightly coat with mineral oil

11. Let cool, and use a clean dry cloth to remove any excess oil. You have now successfully re-seasoned your grates! Put the grates back on the stove

12. partake in an adult beverage or other indulgance of your choice and gaze proudly at your sparkling range!

Hope this helps,


Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Very cool, thanks!

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