Cleaning Stove Burners & Grates using Ammonia (The best, easiest, cheapest way EVER.)

I’m going to change your life today.  (Well, your stove top at least.)

grease, stove, burners, clean, ammonia, no-scrub, best way
Don’t you judge me!  I cook.  A lot.

These were my stove burner/grates.
grease, dirt, stove grate, stove burner
Yep.  They were so bad that I am almost embarrassed to put a watermark on this photo.   You cook… oil and grease spatter… they get heated and reheated and then pretty soon you have a disgusting coating that will not. scrub. off. ever.

What to do…?  Stop. Scrubbing.

Remember ammonia?  Basic ammonia?   Take about 1/4 cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a large ziploc bag.  You only need a little amonia in the bag.  You are not trying to soak the burner… you just want to seal it up with the ammonia fumes.
DSCN4220
I leave it outside on a cookie sheet overnight.  (You can leave it inside, but I move it outside just in case the bag springs a leak or something.  Stinky.)  It is the fumes from the ammonia that dissolves all of the grease and hardened oil. You don’t need to soak it, it just needs to be sealed up with the ammonia fumes.

When it’s done sitting, it should wipe clean with a sponge.
clean

See how amazing?  It’s the same burner.  Easy peasy, no more greasy.
cleaning stove burners, grates
Why buy expensive cleaners and/or use a lot of elbow grease?  Cheap ammonia and 12 hours = totally clean.

What would you do with extra time and money…?

You. Are. Welcome.

*****Updated: Never, EVER mix ammonia with anything that has bleach in it.  It creates toxic fumes.  (In general, I suggest you don’t play chemist and try to mix ammonia with anything, period.)*****

Updated 3/6/13: The nice ladies at Made From Pinterest tried this out and were super happy with the results and had an extra tip or two in there as well.


Comments

    • Anthony says

      I tried it and it didn’t work for me even after scrubbing. The one doubt I had is that I was using an old, open bottle of Amonia. I will try again with a new bottle and see if that works.

    • Deborah says

      I tried this method on my burners. Oh my this is the greatest method to clean the burners off. My grates were so bad and I tried everything from soup to nuts. Then I tried the amounia in a bag. I left the grates in the bag for 24 hours and every grease stain came off with no elbow grease. Thank you its the best my stove has looked since I perchased my stove in 5 years and yes the grates look brand new and very shiny again thank you (02-19-15)

    • says

      Just pour a can of pepsi cola or coke or soak it in while still hot, result it works better than that chemical stuff

    • Vivienne says

      It’s scary to think that something people are ingesting into their bodies is capable of eating away baked on grime on one’s stove top. I think I’ll keep the chemicals on the outside of my body whenever possible.

  1. says

    I have tried this with my oven racks in my old stove but didn’t have much luck. I think mine were in worse shape (hanging head in embarrassment)
    Remember to never get ammonium with any products with bleach in them or you will have toxic fumes.

    • Lyn says

      I bought a stove that was terribly abused. I tried this and it did work a bit, but not very well. I ended up getting oven cleaner and spraying it on the grates, and using a wire brush to get in the crevices. The grates look like new now. I will try this however to keep them looking new.

    • Linda says

      Nothing could have been worse than my oven racks. I laid my racks on an old towel – in my bath tub. Just covered the racks with super hot water (combination of the hottest tap water and a kettle of boiling water)added 2 bottles of ammonia and a little dish soap. Let soak for several hours or overnight (Close your bathroom door). Then cleaned off crud with a cloth and a green scrubbie or tooth brush for the crevices. Most all came right off with just a gentle rub. If not – repeat.

  2. says

    well hot damn, I’m gonna try that! I so wish I just had a flat top stove and never had to worry about dang burners or the casings that hold them in.. they drive me crazy!! I’ll keep ya posted if I can get it to work for me!! Otherwise, you can visit Dallas again soon, right? You have better luck with products working than me.. or more patience.

  3. says

    Wow, that is one of the coolest cleaning tips I have seen in a LONG time! I cook quite a bit too, and my stove shows it! I keep thinking one of these days the black powder coating on my gas rings is going to come off from all the scrubbing. And, to some extent, I have given up. Now, do you have a wonder solution for Copper Pans? I have a nice set, well loved, they no looka so nice…….

    • says

      Vinegar and salt !!!! It’s an instant reaction right before your eyes!!! You don’t even have to scrub!! Rub it with a paper towel or sponge

    • Jessie says

      I use bar keepers friend, wet the bottom of the pan, sprinkle on the cleaner use the rough side of a sponge and it will clean up nice and shiny, make sure to dry real good. Hope this helps you

    • Joan says

      Tomato paste will clean copper pans. Wipe on a thin layer, let it sit 15 minutes, wipe off with a paper towel. Cheap and easy.

    • Sue says

      to clean copper, mix about a pint of apple cider vinegar and a good tablespoon of salt. Squirt onto copper and the gunk falls right off in front of your eyes!

    • Kristi says

      A powdered cleaner named “Bartenders friend ” is amazing on Copper, it’s in the same type of container as Comet. You will love it.
      Kristi

    • Kristi says

      A powdered cleaner named “Bartenders friend ” is amazing on Copper pots, it’s in the same type of container as Comet. You will love it.
      Kristi

    • Colleen says

      For copper pots, cover in tomato sauce, leave for an hour or so then wash off. Wipe a small section off first if it hasn’t fully worked leave on longer.

    • Patti says

      Salt and Vinegar for copper bottom pans. Pour vinegar over the bottom, sprinkle with salt and rub! It’s that easy!

  4. says

    This will work in a stove as well…a flat pan filled on the bottom and leave overnight(perhaps a bit longer in certain cases) and bingo! Wipes clean for me every time!

    • Pam says

      I’ve used this in the oven, too, & it works. I have a self-cleaning oven & directions tell you not to use oven cleaners due to the coating used on the oven surface. The self-cleaning does not always remove everything.

  5. says

    My burners a very big and black {stop it Connie, I know what you’re thinking} so they don’t look nasty but I could still get the grease off of them if I can find a bag big enough. Great tip!

  6. says

    I need away to get the burnt on black on the stove top around the burners ( caused by using pans bigger then the burner) I have tried everything . My stove is white so it looks awful.

    • Linda says

      Try using NO FUMES oven cleaner. My spouse is a wreck in the kitchen and on the stove. My burners get so disgusting I wanna new stove. But I used the oven cleaner and wallah. It worked. May take a couple of times but it does. No scratches like Brillo and cleansers.
      Just make sure you donts spray the burners themselves. If you do may take while before gas gets thru. But I used a toothpick to unclog.

    • Leslie says

      Baking soda and peroxide. After 5 min. I’m scraping it with my finger nail. I can’t believe it.

    • billie says

      Carla…sprinkle water on your stove then sprinkle generously with baking soda. Let it dry overnight then wipe up the next day. That will clean just about anything off a stove top. Also i put my grates into the stove and run the self clean function. Cleans as well as the ammonia without the fumes!

  7. says

    I’ve been using this trick the last couple of years…works every time! I’m always amazed after I take them out of the ziploc bag and the grime slides right off! Definitely beats all of the elbow grease I have wasted over the years!

  8. says

    you may have just saved my teapot from trashcan banishment! i leave it on the stove 24-7 because we use it so much, and it’s as dirty as the burners. i’ll be giving it your magic ammonia treatment today! thanks so much for sharing. : )

    • Jill says

      I have black cast iron grates for my gas stove as well as the black drip pans underneath.
      It worked beautifully!
      Make sure they are thoroughly rinsed and dried before replacing on the stove top to avoid rust

  9. says

    Awesome, mine are so bad too & I have scrubbed & scrubbed, thanks so much! This looks wonderful =D I would love for you to link this up to My Favorite Things party! There’s a new one every Friday
    & be sure to check out my giveaway too! Stopping by from the Tip Me Tuesday party.
    Thanks
    ~Iffy~

    http://www.stayathomenation.blogspot.com

  10. brenda says

    Thanks! mine are horrible. Anyone have a suggestion for the stove top that;s just as bad-my husband blows up the kitchen when he cooks.

  11. says

    Wow! What a transformation! I wonder if I could somehow make it work for my flat glass rangetop. Maybe if i put a little condiment dish of ammonia in the middle of the burner and sealed in the fumes with press n seal. Though not sure what I would do at the end to avoid a fume filled house. hmmm. Thanks for linking up with DIY under $5!

    • says

      Put a thin coat of baking soda down and spray with hydrogen peroxide. Usew fingers to gently mix and coat every inch let stand an hour and wipe!

  12. says

    Thanks for the reminder that ammonia can work wonders, but thanks also for reminding all of us about the potential hazards.

  13. Anonymous says

    Can’t wait to try this! I am thinking I can clean the actual stovetop, too. Maybe create a “seal” with plastic wrap or foil or something. Hmm, the possibilities. Thanks for sharing!

    Elisa
    elisakoranda@aol.com

  14. says

    Oh my word. I have those same exact oven rings. I really appreciate the tip, and a picture of the jar of ammonia, (i had no idea what that was)!Found you on TT&J.

    I would love for you to link this up at my weekend Link Party, Once Upon a Weekend. This weekend is my first-ever party, and I am so hoping people will participate! :)

    Here’s the link if you’re interested:

    http://familyeverafter.blogspot.com/2011/07/once-upon-weekend-link-party-1.html

    Also, if you have a list of favorite link parties, I’d love to be included on Fridays. Thanks a ton!

  15. Jeannie says

    TO Good Time Charlie Re: Copper bottom pans; when I ran out of my copper cleaner my dh told me to use ketchup and salt and it worked beautifully. Also, like the other gal posted lemon & salt. Good Luck!!

    • karen says

      For cleaning copper bottoms of pans, my mom would get a cheap brand of tomatoes paste and wipe all over the copper,let sit for an hour or two till it looked a bit dry then washed off. She always had shiny clean copper with no fuss:)

  16. Jeannie says

    I forgot to mention this. I thought, then I googled to confirm that one should never get ammonia on aluminum as it will pit it.

  17. says

    I let mine soak for 24 hours yesterday and they came beautifully clean. I wish I’d read about the aluminum pitting. I sat my bags on my baking sheet and the ammonia ate the surface and turned it dark grey. Well, live and learn. Thanks for the clean burners.

  18. says

    Great tip! I have to try this! Any advice for getting the same nasty grease build-up off the actual stove? Ours gets gunky around the oven timer and we can NOT find a way to get it clean!

    • says

      I use Westley’s Bleche-Wite to clean around knobs, oven timer and back-splash of stove. It is a spray. It’s actually a whitewall/tire cleaner – can find in automotive areas in stores such as Walmart, etc. Works great!

    • says

      How do you clean stove’s black top? someone told me to use orange glow, made everything greasy. I have tried everything.

  19. says

    Awesome tip! I’ve found “plumber’s screen” (not sure of the brand of specific name, I just know of it as plumbers screen) on my burner pans works well after soaking in either vinegar or Dawn. It does take a little elbow grease but works well.
    I may have to try the amonia, but I’ll admit, I am a little chemical shy. Would anybody happen to know of any other tips that don’t require harsh chemicals? Your burners looked so great I might have to bite the bullet & take a leap, but I thought I’d ask. :0 )

  20. Connie says

    What about the new stoves without the tray thingies? The burners are sealed, but the stovetop looks just like the darn grates, and I’ve lost a lot of “finger skin” cleaning those things.

    thanks!

  21. Anonymous says

    This is the type of tip our mothers should have told us, but they didn’t listen to our grandmothers! Thanks a ton for sharing! I am going to use this on my grill racks once the summer is over!!

  22. says

    God Bless You!!!!! For years, I have tried the old fashioned elbow grease with Scouring pads to clean those darn grates! Now, thanks to you, I have a better way! I am going to try TODAY!!!!!

  23. says

    THANK YOU for this post. I tried this last weekend, sorta skeptical, and it has totally changed my life! I even bought a special ammonia container to let them all sit in overnight. Tip though – I found out that, letting it sit for 2 nights kinda defeats the purpose. You HAVE to do it the next morning or it’s a waste and you have to do it over. I seriously am going to try my pans now and am trying to think of other things I could use this trick on!

  24. pat says

    my mom was doing this 40 years ago she put them all in a trash bag out on the gravel driway along with the bbq grate

  25. says

    This is a great, economical trick that my grandmother used to employ! I soak my oven racks in humongous garbage bags to cut the crud! Works like a charm. :-)

  26. Mel says

    This is the BEST cleaning tip I ever got!!!! I left the burners over two nights and I couldn’t believe how easily all of the baked-on grease rinsed off!!!! Amazing!!!!

  27. says

    This worked! It was amazing! But man, that ammonia smells sooooooo disgusting. I gagged so many times while putting the ammonia in my baggies. I definitely kept it outside overnight. The smell was worth a clean stovetop!

  28. says

    Love this tip. You can actually use a garbage bag to do a big batch of things (the broiler pan and all the burner things). Even better, you can recycle the ammonia. Just put the ammonia in a cup, sealed inside the garbage bag with all the gunked up stuff. In the morning you have easy clean up and you can reuse what’s left of the ammonia in the cup.

  29. says

    This is the most helpful thing I’ve learned in a long time! (If I find out my mother knows this and never told me, there will be hell to pay.) I also used this method a few days ago to remove a bunch of gunk from several doorknobs I was about to spray paint. A quick pass with the sandpaper and they were ready to go!

    BTW, I spent the better part of last Sunday – the hottest day on record in Austin (112 degrees!) – inside reading your blog. Thanks for helping to keep me cool!

  30. Anonymous says

    Thanks for the tip! I saw it on FrugalGirls. I tried one grate last night to see if it worked. I still had to lightly scrub, but it really seemed to loosen the grease/etc. I always put them in the dishwasher and it never got them clean. Going to do the other 3 grates tonight!

  31. Kristina says

    Thanks for the tip!

    To clean glass/ceramic stove tops, use spray-on oven cleaner. It works AMAZINGLY well, but be sure to open lots of windows and put the kids & pets outside. It produces vicious fumes.

  32. says

    Amazing. Now I have to go buy ammonia and try this. I just hope that gallon Ziplocs are big enough for my burner grates, which are square instead of round.

  33. says

    A few people asked about if this works for uncoated cast iron grates…I didn’t see a response. I bought the ammonia, but now worry that I’ll ruin it. Anyone?
    *Great blog by the way, found it on pinterst*

  34. says

    I just did this over the weekend at my new house. I ended up letting it all sit for 4 days (busy moving and painting) and it was SUPER easy! I have long drip pants that each fit over 2 burners and put those in a garbage bag with ammonia and it also worked great. Thanks for the tip!!!

  35. Beckie says

    Just did this on one of my black grates. I can’t believe it, looks like new. So glad I stumbled across your blog. Thanks V!!!

  36. says

    Why not kill two birds with one stone and put them in the oven With the ammonia in a pan like someone suggested up above along with your grates. Clean both and skip the ziploc all together?! That’s what I think I would do if I had a gas stove. And for smooth tops there is a pintrest that is getting a lot of traffic with a liberal amount of baking soda and a slightly wrung out cloth with warm soapy water set on top for 15 minutes. She says it wipes right up without the toxins of oven cleaner like suggested above… Just sayin… Great tips on here that are new to me! Great post!!

  37. says

    Question…I’m sorry if you already answered, but there are so many posts! Can I use this method on my stainless steel cooktop and cast iron burner covers? Thanks!

  38. Anonymous says

    I see that in the picture you are using SUDSY ammonia. There is clear ammonia and sudsy ammonia. Sudsy is best for tough dirt; clear is better for things that you don’t want streak marks left on-like windows.

  39. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for this tip. I’m SO glad I stumbled upon it on Pinterest!

    I put both my double burner black grates in a garbage bag with ammonia overnight and they look the best I’ve EVER seen them. I couldn’t be more excited to have clean grates.

    I have tried so often to scrub them and soak them and put them through the dishwasher, but they never looked clean.

    But this tip – it was like magic! Barely any elbow grease required, which is the best part :)

  40. says

    YOU… are a genius! I have cleaned my burners with ammonia over night (covering with plastic wrap to avoid smell) but was mortified about doing the grates. I was so afraid they would be ruined!

    I’m off to go put my grates in baggies!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  41. says

    to clean your stovetop sprinkle baking soda liberally on the dirty spots . Let it sit ten minutes and then take a wet cloth with alittle soap in it and lay over the soda. Let it sit 30 min. or more then lift and scrub. might have to do more than once depending on how dirty. good luck

  42. Sharon C says

    I tried this today on my enamel covered burners! After many years of unsuccessful attempts at cleaning them with various methods, this one was/is by far the fastest,easiest and best method I have ever used!! My burners aren’t perfectly clean but they are WAY better than they have been in years!! I think I will use this method once a month now to make sure they continue to look nice now that I know how!! Thanks for the great tip

  43. Anonymous says

    Just found this on Pinterest. Could you do the same process for a nasty oven? Say, leave a cup inside the oven (turned off of course) overnight?

  44. says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I had already spent 2 hours scrubbing just half of the burner grates for my stove when my daughter remembered seeing a pin about this post and looked it up for me. I was so thrilled with how easy the grime wiped off the next morning.

  45. says

    i am going to try this!!! so simple…do you have a tip to get the burnt on grease off a glass stovetop? all the items sears recommended haven’t taken it off! thanks!

    • Cindy Pack says

      I clean my WHITE glass top stove (big mistake but it’s done) with the cleaner / polish they sell for this purpose. I also use a razor scraper which they recommended to get the worst spots off first, then the polish cleaner. Works like a charm. Wish I had my old stove back, though. This one is a nearly daily job!

  46. says

    I also cook a lot and have nasty burners. They are big grates and cover two burners though, so I wondered how I could do this. I put each grate in a tall kitchen garbage bag with 1/2 C ammonia and twisted and folded it under so it would seal. Then I put it out on the deck table in case it leaked. They aren’t perfect, but much better. And the kitchen garbage bags did leak, but it was outside, so I didn’t really care! Thanks so much!

  47. says

    I will try this. Currently we just use oven cleaner. We put the grates somewhere safe,spray and wait. (The grates are bake on enamel just like your oven interior.) This will break down the grease and crud easily. Then wipe clean. We have found that the fume-free oven cleaner does not work as well though. Here’s to less time scrubbing the stove.

  48. says

    Cleaning is a tough occupation. The process demands skill, tools and practices. Chemicals use in cleaning are not enough until you know about the soldierly you are using them on. Some specialized cleaning tactics are needed for carpet cleaning and cloth cleaning. So when you consider to do clean anything classy with no acquaintance then just think for a while if this would wreck your product.
    manchester city cleaners

  49. says

    Well it did clean them.. but it also ate the finish off of them.. so now they are grey on top of my black stove… I am sort of sad so wanted to be sure and share.. it does work but will clean everything off of them

    • peggy says

      Buy a can of bbq paint which is a mat finish and respray them. The heat will not hurt them.

  50. Anonymous says

    So you flush this down the drain ? ” the kitchen garbage bag did leak but I didn’t care because it was outside” ?!?!?
    This stuff is very very bad for the environment. frequent scrubbing should prevent grease getting burnt onto your stove and a bit of elbow grease should get rid of the rest .
    This article got an extra 100 people who would otherwise not have used ammonia to flush dozens of liters of amonia ( or as in the comment quoted above simply let it leak into their garden…
    I’m sure it gets the job done but that doesn’t mean it should be your method of choice …

    “However, fish and amphibians lack this mechanism, as they can usually eliminate ammonia from their bodies by direct excretion. Ammonia even at dilute concentrations is highly toxic to aquatic animals, and for this reason it is classified as dangerous for the environment.”

    http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm

    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/is-ammonia-safe-for-cleaning.html

    http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/green-cleaning

    • vivienne says

      Dude… no one is advocating the dumping of liters of ammonia down the drain. And I don’t know where you live, but our drains lead to a treatment plant, not directly to the ocean. Also, because you only need to use a little, (as opposed to gobs and gobs of other toxic, but ineffective cleaners) I think it’s actually BETTER for the environment.

  51. says

    Dude… no one is advocating the dumping of liters of ammonia down the drain. And I don’t know where you live, but our drains lead to a treatment plant, not directly to the ocean. Also, because you only need to use a little, (as opposed to gobs and gobs of other toxic, but ineffective cleaners) I think it’s actually BETTER for the environment.

  52. Anonymous says

    This looked like a GREAT idea, so I asked my sister, who is a chemical engineer, if she thought there would be any unanticipated side-effects. This is what she sent me: “Are your burners smooth/sealed like this lady’s or are yours more like cast iron (like Mom’s)? If they are sealed, I’d say go for it (with only slight reservations). If they aren’t sealed, I’d say this was likely to cause rust and corrode them, pronto!”

  53. Beth Ann Moore says

    I am so very relieved that I am not the only woman that has trouble keeping her stovetop clean! I have tried heavy duty oven cleaner and several other substances to try to clean the yuck off of it. Thank you so very much for passing on your great find to us! You are awesome!

  54. says

    Will this work on electric burners? the ones that are not covered by glass. I worry the ammonia will eat away at some part of the electric wires or conduits that gas burners do not have. thanks!

  55. says

    rzarector, I doubt that this trick would work on electric burners, as the heating element is in the coil. My burners are enamel coated and are for a gas stove.

    Sam Lesher, I had tried the put the grates in the self-cleaning oven trick with no success.

  56. Anonymous says

    I’ve googled searched for a way to do just this but came up empty. My burners look similar to yours except
    they’ve been scrubbed by an over-zealous person and some of the gray coating has already come off at the ends. I’m wondering if the ammonia would ruin them such that they’re non-functional.

    Any ideas?

    I guess I could just try one…but it seems they’re awfully hard/expensive to replace. Anybody know a good way to replace them?

    Thank you-
    Luci

  57. says

    After many years of hard work and minimal success, the stove now looks brand new with hardly any effort. Even the stuff that’s never come off is gone.
    Thank you!

  58. says

    tried this over the weekend and it worked a little bit, not entirely because we haven’t cleaned them in over 5 years. oops.

    question: what do you do with the ammonia afterwards????

    thanks!

  59. says

    I did this last night and wiped them down this morning and it worked perfectly! I used a scrub sponge to get in the corners (I have square burners) and it was super easy! Now I need to figure out how to clean the long rectangular grate- I don’t think there’s a Ziploc big enough!

  60. says

    Seriously? OK, I stopped over here because I hear tell you use branches in your projects, but this little tip is one I’ve been waiting about 30 years for. Just added ammonia to my shopping list.

    ~Bliss~

  61. says

    I am now the proud owner of a jug of ammonia, and my grates are now fuming in it. I didn’t read the 12 hour part first, so I may only do half the time and see how it works. I should of done this AFTER dinner, not in the middle of the day.

    ~Bliss~

  62. says

    Try this on the bbq grill: wrap the grate with a couple of sheets of newspaper, put it in a large trash bag, pour in a cup of ammonia (enough to saturate the newspaper) close it up leave overnight, hose it off and voila all of the grease and grime is gone. (use rubber gloves to peel off the newspaper)

  63. says

    I love this idea for a bad thing I work with to no good ending except sore fingers!!lol Anyway, i just signed up & I do want to ask a question…. Do you have a fix for the top of the stove? I really really need help with this one too! Thank you soooooo very much for what you do to help us all.
    Nae
    nananae@bellsouth.net

  64. says

    Thank you for this tip! I am still in the process but two burners are done. Looks like a new stove. Used the same ammonia and bag over and over.

  65. says

    This is great to know! But sadly I can’t have ammonia in the house or any where close to me it put me in the hospital because of my asthma every time! I had a doctor tell me asthma can be set off by ammonia. So if you have asthma PLEASE take extra care and be careful. Some asthmatics don’t have issues with ammonia but a great number do.

  66. says

    Ammonia is a great cleaning agent for organic stains on clothing as well. Works wonders to get blood stains out. For stubborn stains, pre-treat with ammonia. Then, throw about 1 cup in the laundry with your detergent (NO BLEACH). It also removes odors. Your clothes will not smell like ammonia. Been doing this for years, because my Mom told me about it. Helps whiten whites, but is color safe and a LOT cheaper than buying expensive additives.

  67. says

    This works wonders… I also placed ammonia on the cook surface because I have sealed burners. Placed cling wrap over the top to seal and left over night. Everything wiped off very easily!

  68. says

    I did this a couple months ago and it really works! I was ready to throw my grates away and replace them they was so bad and would not come clean for anything! Great tip for sure! :)

  69. says

    HI LADIES(and guys)This is an awesome tip!!! My “grates” were not the best when I moved into my home, and I hate cleaning generally, but that being my resolution this year I am getting better. BUT I did have to scrub a little (not sure if it was because it was that dirty OR I was rinsing as I was wiping) but still this tip made the cleaning so much faster and easier than before. I literally would only “deep” clean them twice a year because I had to scrub so hard. Now I am going to do this once a month and I can bet my “scrubbing” will come to a halt all together! All in all I loved this tip it helped my kitchen start to look prettier and prettier (for a late 70’s early 80’s dingy galley kitchen)

  70. says

    AHHHH Reading thru the previous posts. maybe next time i grab soem amonia I will get “sudsy” see if that helps a little more. If not I am still impressed with the ease I had getting them as clean as they are@!

  71. says

    Hi Vivienne!

    I tried your ammonia cleaning tip and my stove burners are looking wayyyy cleaner! LOL You can see my before and after pictures on my website.

    I must warn you, my stove burners/grates were just so DIRTY, thanks to years and years of neglect. But the ammonia got rid of majority of the grime 😀

    Thanks so much for sharing this great tip!

    Judy

    http://cleaningjunkie.com

  72. says

    This is such a great tip. I can’t wait to try it. Do you know if you can also do it with the burner base and the burner cap (the things that go over the igniter)? Those get really nasty too.

  73. says

    This is the BEST idea that I have learned from Pinterest. I have told all my friends and WE all LOVE this idea. It works. I have tried it over 5 times. Get a Trash bag if you have super big grates. My girlfriend did it and says our friendship is stronger than ever because of this GREAT idea. Thanks would never be enough :) God Bless you and your Family <3

  74. says

    Been doing this for years ! Learned this as a Navy wife.. Had to have the white glove test whenever we left from one base housing to the next… great stuff !!

  75. says

    How about cast iron grates with no enamel on them? Worth a try, I suppose… Then what about leaving a dish of ammonia in the oven overnight for the emameled surfaces in there? Anyone tried that? I worry about the heating elements.

  76. says

    i’d forgotten about this! I remember Heloise or someone (my mom, maybe?) used to swear by it.
    I’m moving in a month and so thankful for your reminder of how to clean them the easy way, so our landlord won’t charge me for new grates!!

    • vivienne says

      I have heard that combinations of vinegar and baking soda are good. If you read through these comments there are several suggestions that might be helpful.

  77. Stacey says

    Wow your grates look brand spanking new. I really hope this tip works as good for me. Thank u so much.

  78. Matt Edler says

    Great tip! I was able to clean my *non-removeable* black stove-top by soaking rags in ammonia and laying across the surface. Then I taped a trash bag over the top to contain the fumes. Baked on stain came off with a paper towel the next morning. Some of these stains were from spray on non-stick oil which I thought would never come off (short of using a jack hammer). Thanks for the info!

  79. HK Dukes says

    I’ve been using this for 50+ years, but neglect the burners for long periods of time in between. The last time it took off a great deal of gunk and softened the rest so I stuck them in the dishwasher to finish the job – WRONG! Gummy stuff all over. My granddaughter said, “Well Gram, that wasn’t such a good idea.” Instead, use the same ammonia for a second or third time.

  80. Kitty Newton says

    I guess my mom was anal about things, but I was taught to wash them after every meal or at least wipe them off. I dont have a gas stove so it may be different in that it makes more of a mess….and also, I buy that purple degreaser from the automotive area, you can get a big gal of it well it was about 5 or 6 bucks the last time I bought it, it goes along way…and spray that on too…that stuff is amazing. I also use that on clothes, like around the neck and any grease spots on the clothes. Best stuff I have ever found, but be sure to wear gloves or be VERY careful because it pulls the oil out of your skin and will make it crack!

  81. Judy says

    So how about putting a dish of ammonia in the oven part and putting all of the burners on the shelves? Wouldn’t that clean the oven portion as well as the burners??

  82. Mary F says

    I wanted to share that you can also clean your outdoor grill with this technique. Enclose the entire grill in a very large garbage bag. Close all the vents, top and bottom, put a bowl of ammonia on the grate, close the top and twist-tie the bag shut. Let the grill sit in the sun all day. Be careful when you open the bag/grill top because of the fumes. Remove the bowl and blast the entire grill with the hose. Ta-Da! Clean!

  83. David_NJ says

    When I bought my house, the stove was a mess. Disgusting I was looking for places to actually buy replacement grills. I found this website I gotta tell you I was very hesitant on this idea. I figured ok it’s gonna cost me a couple of bucks either way try this trick or buy new. Let me tell you this works absolutely 100% . My grates/grills where so bad I let them soak for about a week. I then took them out of the bags and cleaned with someones tip of using tinfoil to get the real stains off, and much to my surprise this tip works. They Look brand new. I posted pictures on my Facebook page and none of my friends believed this trick actually worked till they saw the pictures. — Try it !!! All it’s gonna cost is maybe 5 bucks, and some time. Thanks for this great tip !!! You saved me about 200 dollars to replace them.

  84. Elle Joraco says

    Can you use this method to clean the… I don’t know what they’re called, the bowl-like things that sit under the burners, that come out?

  85. jeff says

    For double burners too large for ziplocks, either in-oven or a large garbage bag will do also.

    Or if you need to defunkify a trash can too, uee that, and put a trash bag over the top of the can containing the burners and ammonia.

  86. Cat says

    I have some ammonia but thought I’d try the salt and vinegar suggestion. Yup – works just fine. Thought I’d try it in my stainless steel kitchen sink – super shiny now! And all natural.

  87. Kate says

    Thank-you! It worked so well.

    For those that asked about the stainless steel oven grills etc. I pop them into my laundry tub, fill with hot tap water and pop in some Napisan oxiaction. Let them soak overnight. If it’s really baked on (like months of baking), you may need to scrub a little with a brush but they come out nice and shinny. (Note: this is only for stainless steel.

  88. Thea says

    I have an electric stove and the drip pans under the burners get gross and stained over time. I there something that can bring them back to life?

  89. says

    I tried this on my gas stove, and had… mixed results. Left them overnight, each burner in a different bag. The ammonia definitely softened some of the more recent crud on the burners, but I still had to use quite a bit of elbow grease to get everything off. I’m wondering if letting it sit overnight in vinegar might do the same thing with a slightly less potent smell.

  90. LaVenda says

    Would this work for stainless cookie sheets? I have gunky backed on oils and sprays that have discolor end them

  91. Roopa says

    Vivienne,

    What an absolute lifesaver !!! I tried scrubbing them with all sorts of sprays and scrub pads, did nothing to the greasy burner grill. And then we bought the ammonia, did the same, ziplock bags, left them overnight + a few more hours for good measure and then it looked like magic, when the grease came off !!! It was super exciting – my husband said power of science over brawns !!!

    thank you so so much !!!!

  92. says

    Very best cleaning trick that I have heard in years. Now I won’t have to be so frustrated in not being able to get the grates clean. THANKS!!!!

  93. Michiele says

    I use a small amount in a glass and sit in my over overnight and it wipes clean the next day. No spray, no spatter. Also works on your gas grill the same way. Amazing!

  94. Emily says

    Our cast-iron burners are unfortunately too big for any ziplock bag. I have a plastic tub I could possibly fit them into (they’re long, covering 2 burners each across the stovetop,) but not sure what kind of seal I could create to keep the fumes in to do their work. :(

    • Dagmar says

      Emily you can use a garbage bag or plastic container (those to store clothe in). I have those big stove covers too and will try it in a garbage bag.

  95. Andie says

    This is the second pinterest link that lead me to cleaning with Ammonia. And with respect and kindness, you should not be breathing in Ammonia, not be dipping your hands in ammonia. Not mixing it with bleach (with creates fumes that will kill you) is not quite enough in my opinion. If you are using straight ammonia- you need to be taking more precautions then not mixing it with bleach. Here is a link stating the hazards of Ammonia. Please be careful with this substance, just because it is frugal … not a reason to use it: http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=2

    Use with caution!

    • vivienne says

      Thank you for your comment, Andie. If you read the post and its instructions you will see that I recommend keeping the ammonia outside overnight, never ever mixing it with bleach and being very careful with it.

    • vivienne says

      You do NOT need to soak the grates in ammonia. You only need a little ammonia. It is the fumes that loosen the grease and grime.

  96. Christine B. says

    I see a lot of people asking what to do with the ammonia after use. How about using a shallow dish with an airtight seal, leave the ammonia IN the dish in the bag, remove then cover and store for the next use? No sense dumping it out…just sayin’…
    Now to try this on MY oven! Whoo hoo!

    • vivienne says

      Hi, thanks for your comment, but I am not sure how to handle it for an electric stove. Good luck!

    • Melanie says

      I am in an identical situation, so my dilemma is identical to yours. I was pondering my circumstance when I happened onto your posting / question. What I am going to try is to pour some Ammonia (which I use almost exclusively for my household-cleaning needs in any event; the GOOD NEWS about Ammonia is that its foul ODOR dissipates pretty quickly) into a GALLON freezer bag, “encase” the burner in the bag, and close it as best as I can. Since it’s the Ammonia FUMES that are claimed to cause the cleaning, this SHOULD work (although it might take a bit longer, on account of the fact that the bag will never be totally closed). I MIGHT try this with Lemon Ammonia (which doesn’t smell as bad as the “regular” stuff), but NOT with the “Sudsy” stuff.

    • Melanie says

      I, too, have unremovable electric stove burners. And I was pondering how to inorporate this solution into my circumstance when I happened onto your posting / question. What I am going to try is to pour some Ammonia (which I use almost exclusively for my household-cleaning needs in any event; the GOOD NEWS about Ammonia is that its foul ODOR dissipates pretty quickly) into a GALLON freezer bag, “encase” the burner in the bag, close it as best as I can, and let it stand overnight. Since it’s the Ammonia FUMES that are claimed to cause the cleaning, this SHOULD work (although it might take a bit longer, on account of the fact that the bag will never be totally closed). I MIGHT try this with Lemon Ammonia (which doesn’t smell as bad as the “regular” stuff), but NOT with the “Sudsy” stuff. I’m thinking that even if it only “half-way works” this way, I’m still ahead of the game.

  97. Lorraine Castellon-Rowe says

    I love you!! You just made my day!! I’ve been soaking and scrubbing these darn burner covers for 3 days now. NOTHING is getting them clean. Was thinking of getting new ones. WOO HOO!! Now I’ll save money and time like you said. Can’t wait to try this!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

    • vivienne says

      Sorry, Tina. I don’t know the answer to that. There are a lot of comments here, with lots of discussion about cleaning methods.

  98. Don't Try!!!!!!! says

    Amonia is extremely caustic. I tried this tip to clean my burner grates and had a asthma attack. Ive never used straight ammonia before and would never again. I followed the instructions and left the grates soaking over night, and to be honest, I still had to scrub them after. The ammonia fumes were very noxious. Risking my health for clean burner grates is not worth it. Don’t try this!!!!!!

  99. Erin says

    I have Paula Dean pans that have turned black on the bottom, would the ammonia clean those? They are the pretty red color and I would hate to ruin them.

  100. Kathy W says

    I spray my gas stove top with Ammonia and cover with Saran Wrap. Leave overnight and wipe all the cooked on grease and stuff off. If there is a tough place then it is easily removed with a plastic scrubber. Love this.

  101. Kathy W says

    I also use a dish pan and put them in instead of a bag. I cover it with aluminum foil and let sit overnight. Use sprayer on sink and spray most off without even wiping off…Then hit the tough ones with a dish clothe or non-scratching scrubber.

  102. Vera says

    I can’t believe it; it worked.

    I was making a huge pot of split pea soup for a soup kitchen (think green sludge) and I accidentally left it cooking on high instead of low. There was spatter everywhere and my stove grate was black. I had tried: oven cleaner, cleanser, special grease dissolver from Italy, Oxiclean, Simple Green, dishwater soap and WD40 (someone told me it that it reconstitutes the grease)…and it was still basically black matte in appearance.

    I put in in a trash bag with a bowl of ammonia overnight in my basement (it was freezing outside and I wasn’t sure if that might hinder the process) and most of it wiped off with a bit of scrubbing today.

    I’m a convert!

    • vivienne says

      Sorry Pam, I don’t know. However, if you read through the comments here, I think it’s been discussed before.

  103. says

    This does not work as easy as you say. I did this last night and STILL had to SCRUB my stains off!!! It’s not just “wiping them off” like you say. Plus the ammonia is VERY strong and can be extremely dangerous. Think twice before attempting it.

    • vivienne says

      Jeanette, I am sorry that you had difficulty with this. It has worked brilliantly for most people, including myself. Perhaps you used too much ammonia. You only need a little bit. It is the fumes that build up in the sealed bag that do the trick.

  104. Melissa says

    Have my large grates in a garbage bag right now…if this works, I’m going to use ammonia to get a few spots on stove top that will not scrub clean no matter what I use, under the burners and under where the grates go. Have some plastic left over from winterizing windows, will use that and duct tape to seal in the stove top overnight with some ammonia.

  105. Valerie says

    This did not work for me. My burners are also medium to light gray, so it’s evident when they’re clean or not. I put one in a Ziploc bag with the appropriate amount of ammonia and left it overnight and into the afternoon. Maybe *some* of the baked on gunk came off, but it would’ve been easier to scub it off myself than to go through this routine. I tried it with a second burner and the same thing happened– there’s no way they looked clean and new as shown in these photos.

    • Vivienne says

      Hi Valerie, I am sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. It works great for me and for many other people. Perhaps your ammonia was old? I don’t know. Good luck.

  106. Carol says

    Hi there! I have used this trick with pans and cookie sheets, but seeing this post, I wondered if this was safe too use on my black cast iron burner grates. Any thoughts?

    • Carol says

      Oh and to Lydia’s question above, I use a lawn and leaf bag outside overnight with some of my big cookie sheets.

  107. Marisa says

    Very pleased with the results. Almost all of the grease wiped right off! I scrubbed some of the more stubborn areas but overall I am satisfied with the job!

    • Vivienne says

      There is a lot of discussion about this in the comments. I believe some people were having success with larger garbage bags.

  108. Kim Robinson says

    I’ve tried this and it is unbelievable how it works but I did mine on a hot sunny day between the heat and the ammonia it comes right off I had to do just a little scrubbing but nothing hard. I also left it outside over night just remember to have plenty ventilation when opening the bag cause it is quit potent.

  109. Ryan says

    WARNING!!!!!
    Please take it seriously when the writer says to not mix the ammonia with any other chemical. My dad mixed ammonia with bleach once in an attempt to get rid of mold buildup in my parents bathroom. Mixing those two chemicals nearly killed him (it makes cyanide gas).

  110. Leon E Lewis says

    I don’t mean to quibble, but the headline mentions stove burners and grates. However, only grates are pictured in the article,and it makes no further mention of “burners”…which are frequently not removable and therefore cannot be sealed inside plastic bags. Was additional guidance unintentionally omitted?

  111. Glenda says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this sister!!

    Thanks to you, no more walking by my stove top letting out a depressing sigh from the bottomless pit of brillo pad hell.

    I confess my burners look like the “before” photos from your place. I cook, I can foods, I make herbal remedies, I am the mad scientist from the black and white movies in my kitchen having a freakin’ good time admiring the outcome only to turn around and say “holy crap!” at the mess I’ve made.

    I seriously couldn’t believe your picture and Welcome description at the top of this page. I about fell over. Not only do we look alike but we’re so much alike!

    I HATE the moment the biscuits pop open! It’s self inflicted because I’m to lazy to make them from scratch and mine would never come out layered and buttery the way that Pillsbury doughboy who wears nothing but a hat/scarf/smile does.

    I wield a Bruce Lee attitude until a spider comes scurrying out of nowhere or I just happen on to one suspended somewhere inside or out.

    I’m the thrift store queen but you better be courting me with Charmin or come not near me.

    Heights suck! Nuf said. I hate flying on planes. Spiraling to the ground with screaming strangers is so unappealing.

    Nice to meet you and can’t wait to explore your awesome site! Thanks again for the stove burner rescue!!

    God bless and keep you and yours safe always!

  112. janet says

    I put stove top pot stands and other baking trays that need extra cleaning in the oven when I am using auto-clean selection. They come out extremely clean.

  113. Maria Perez says

    I tried I’m sorry I didn’t remember to take pics of my before grills but I’m not going to lie they were really nasty and about five yrs of burnt charcoal grease n I used this idea and it works but I had to use a capper scrubbing pad and it worked miracles IMG_1037.JPG

  114. carol l says

    I have used this method for years on my oven racks. I put them in a trash bag, take them outside, and then add ammonia and seal the bag. You get nice clean shiny racks again.

  115. Donald Sinyard says

    works great on oven racks too. Secure the racks in a plastic garbage bag with the ammonia overnite and in the morning they will wipe clean with a paper towel.

  116. Brooke says

    Hi, your burners are for a gas stove, right? Would this also work on burners/grates for an electric stove?

    • Laura says

      I would also like to know this!! Will it work on electric burners? Or, more importantly for me at least, WILL IT WORK ON DRIP PANS?! Mine are abhorrent!

    • Vivienne says

      Hi Laura, I think this will work on drip pans if they have the enamel coating on them, but I don’t think this will work on electric burners as I don’t think they have the same enamel-ish coating that the gas burners do. There is lots of discussion about this in the comments. Maybe find a bit of info in the thread?

    • Vivienne says

      Hi Brooke, I don’t think this will work on electric burners as I don’t think they have the same enamel-ish coating that the gas burners do.

  117. sheri says

    Id like to share my tip that ive been doing for years. I actually tried it out of necessity due to a shoulder injury and the inability to use my dominate arm for any sort of scrubbing. Th8s one i feel is much much easiier and everything is done in the same bag . So heres my tip. (I didnt read everyones comments so dont know if its been nentioned)
    I take all four burners place them in a 13 gallon either trash bag. i put in one at a time Spraying each one once there are in the bag with Non fumed easy off oven spray. Seal it up using a twist tie. You can also put the oven racks in the same bag sprying each one after they are in as well. I leave it on my kitchen counter over night. Ive never had a leak or any smell what so ever. In the morning ALL THAT GRIME just wipes right off!! No elbow grease needed. You may need a green scotch bright or what i have is the cheap brand equivalant. But this is the easiest and no smell to speak of at all. Shining like brand new in minutes!!! The only cost is a tiny amount for the Easy Off spray. They also have bbq easy off if yours is extremely bad. But this is my solution for people who cant stand amonia and dont want to scrub all day. Its the greatest tip ive ever discovered.

  118. Jean says

    Any advice for cleaning hard
    Anodised Calaphan pot? (Misspelling ?)
    The outside has a white film-splotches on it.
    The pot is black and I would love to restore it
    To the original way it looked. Thanks!!!
    Also my stainless teapot has all kinds of discoloration
    That I can’t get off ! Thanks!!!

    • Vivienne says

      Sorry Jean, but I don’t know. There is a lot of information about various other cleaning methods in the comments. Perhaps you can find the answer in there?

  119. Linda Royal says

    I noticed you say to use ammonia on these range grates. But the pic shows Sudsy Ammania. There is a difference. I have been trying for a couple of years to locate a supplier of sudsy ammonia in my area. Albertsons used to carry it bug they stopped and said they can’t get it anymore. Any clues besides ordering online? I used to use a lot of it like a bottle every few months or so. Would love your feedback. Thanks

    • Vivienne says

      Hi Linda, I did not know there was a difference and unfortunately don’t know where to buy it. However, people have been using this method with whatever ammonia they have and it works.

  120. Marivel Rodriguez says

    I’m such a neat freak,I clean mine each night before going to bed, if I ever get lazy and forget for a couple of weeks I’ll definately try this,great tip!

  121. Linda says

    Well I couldn’t wait to try using the ammonia in the trash bag for my oven racks after years of scrubbing these down. I let them soak for 9 hours and when I took them out, the grease came off easily with a little elbow grease – however, the ammonia took the chrome finish off of the racks where there was no grease. I saw nothing but raves about this method. It was only after I ruined my racks and did another check that I found one comment from one other person who had the same result. I don’t know if I did something wrong or if my oven racks were inferior and more susceptible to the ammonia. Bummed!

  122. arica says

    I have the exact same burners! I wish I knew about this years ago, i have always been embarrassed about my burners, i clean them, but they never look nice, unless I spent hours soaking and scrubbing them. I did this method last night and today I took them out of the bag with a little skepticism, but am delighted to say that it actually works. My burners look great and now I don’t have to let them go until I have hours to stand at the kichen sick.

  123. Michelle says

    For my cast iron grates, I just pop them into the oven when I am using the self cleaning option. After it has cooled a bit I just have to give them as quick wipe to get off the ash that is left and they are perfectly clean. (and no effort from me). Much easier than dealing with any chemicals

  124. D says

    This works well but for tougher stains try the same technique using spray on oven cleaner. Any brand works very well! Simply spray on place in a bag, seal and wait. For your oven trays or stove grates you can spray and place inside of a clean garbage bag and seal. I also have cleaned the barbeque grates this way! Overnight is the simplest way I have found as the cleaner works while I sleep.

  125. Theresa Lirette says

    How can I get this to work, or will it work on my stovetop? You know the inserts under the burners on an electric stove and that grimy ring under them? I can’t get that ring clean for anything and I can’t really scrub it with just anything for fear of scratching it. It just won’t come clean. Thanks

  126. Theresa Lirette says

    Hi, can this be used for the top of an electric stove? You know those pans that sit under the burners and the grimy ring on the stovetop under the edge of it? I absolutely cannot get this off of my stovetop. And I don’t want to scratch my stove and I’ve tried everything. Thanks

  127. robin peppin says

    i used to clean my oven that way. it was wonderful. i got it from my mother. but since the recession products have not only gotten smaller in size & volume, & tripled in price, but lower in quality. & name brands have disappeared from shelves. i can only find market brands of ammonia & i have tried 3 times to no avail. i have rentals & it saved me so much work, but now i’m using a spray cleaner & i’m not a happy camper. i do have ammonia & i will try it.

  128. robin peppin says

    i would like to add another tip for ammonia. i have two cats, they like my soft furniture, & leave their ‘mark’, fur smells…so i make a dilution of ammonia & water, say i part ammonia to 3 parts water roughly, & take rags & dip & ring & wipe the the furniture & am amazed at all the dirt that fills my water! i dump the water frequently. it is work & can probably be done better, but it leaves my furniture clean & smelling great.

  129. says

    Larger bags can be found in stores like Gander Mountain,and any sport, fishing,hunting and camping store and possibly in the big stores that sell camping equipment.

  130. says

    Brilliant tip! I didn’t want to write until I’ve tried it, last night I did and it worked like a charm. It’s so effortless and just great, I recommend!

  131. Vicki McNickle says

    Best cleaning tip ever! Have owned this stove for nearly 30 years, and. Have not had it this clean in almot 25 years! Thank tou for the great tip!

Trackbacks

  1. […] 20. Stop Scrubbing Stove Burners & Grates- Use Ammonia!  Remember basic ammonia?   Take about 1/4 cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a large ziploc bag.  You only need a little amonia in the bag.  You are not trying to soak the burner… you just want to seal it up with the ammonia fumes.  Leave it outside on a cookie sheet overnight. It is the fumes from the ammonia that dissolves all of the grease and hardened oil. When it’s done sitting, it should wipe clean with a sponge. The V Spot […]

  2. […] If you ignore them, the stove burners and the grates can end up looking disgusting and nobody wants that in their kitchen. So what can you do? It’s simple actually. Clean the stove with ammonia. Take ¼ cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a plastic bag. Let it sit overnight and then it should wipe clean with a sponge.{found on thevspotblog}. […]

  3. […] If you ignore them, the stove burners and the grates can end up looking disgusting and nobody wants that in their kitchen. So what can you do? It’s simple actually. Clean the stove with ammonia. Take ¼ cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a plastic bag. Let it sit overnight and then it should wipe clean with a sponge.{found on thevspotblog}. […]

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