The Absolute Easiest Way To Clean Stove Top Grates!

Get rid of that baked on grease once and for all! This is the absolute best way to clean stove top grates – and guess what? It only takes ONE step!

 

I found the best way to clean a stove top a while back, which even defeats all that baked-on gunk without much scrubbing, but it doesn’t work so well on the stove top grates. The grates on our stove are heavy cast iron, and anytime something bubbles over while cooking, it just bakes onto the grates and STICKS! Luckily, there is a super easy way to clean stove top grates, no scrubbing required…all you need is ammonia! Just put the grates into a baggie with some ammonia and let it sit overnight, and in the morning all that black gunk will rinse right off!

How to clean stove top grates without scrubbing, before and after

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The great thing about using ammonia for cleaning stove top grates is that it works REALLY well, and requires absolutely no scrubbing! The gunk just rinses off the next morning! Ammonia works great to clean the inside of your stove too; might as well clean both while you’re at it!

But if you’re worried about using such a strong chemical for cleaning, there are other ways to clean stove top grates using baking soda or vinegar. The only issue with those methods is that they require a lot of scrubbing because the chemical reaction between the cleaner and the baked-on gunk isn’t as strong. But it does work, if you prefer a more natural method!

How To Clean Stove Top Grates

  • Time spent doing stuff: 10 minutes
  • Time spent waiting around: 12 hours
  • Total project time: 10 minutes + overnight

Supplies

Safety Note: Ammonia is an extremely strong chemical, so be super careful when using it! It is definitely safe to use, but just use basic precautions and don’t get it in your eyes, etc. You can always wear gloves and/or a respirator when using it to protect your skin and lungs if you want to be extra careful. And NEVER mix ammonia with bleach or any bleach-based cleaning products; it will create a toxic vapor that can be lethal!

Instructions

Take one dirty stove top grate and put it into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. For most regular-sized burners, a gallon-sized bag should be big enough, but if your grates are oversized just put them in a kitchen trash bag.

Add 1/4 C to 1/2 C of ammonia to the bag, then seal it closed. (If you’re using a kitchen trash bag, just tie the bag closed).

Stove top grate soaking in ammonia in a plastic bag

You don’t need to immerse the grate in the ammonia; it’s the ammonia fumes that clean the stove top grates, not the actual liquid. Just make sure there’s some air in the bag when you close it up so the fumes can move around.

Repeat for all of your stove top grates, then set the bags aside overnight.

Clean stove top grate after soaking in ammonia overnight

In the morning you may see some condensation on the inside of the bag from the fumes floating around all night. Open the bag over the sink and dump out the contents (be careful, it’s going to be SUPER stinky from those fumes being trapped in the bag all night!) You may want to open some windows or do this outside to get some air circulating!

Then pick up the stove top grate and rinse it off under warm running water. You should see the flakes of black, burnt-on gunk rinsing right off! If your grates are super dirty you may want to rub them a bit with your fingers while holding them under the running water to help loosen the gunk.

If the gunk is really really stuck on there, you can use a scrubby sponge to loosen it, but you shouldn’t need to. My grates have never been cleaned before (as far as I know) and just rubbing a little with my fingers loosened up all the gunk!

All the gunk should rinse right off, and your stove top grates will be totally clean! Look how shiny they are!

Learn how to clean stove top grates without scrubbing

I couldn’t believe how clean my stove top grates were the next morning, and I didn’t have to actually “clean” anything! I just rinsed them off for a minute and they were totally clean!

How to clean stove top grates without scrubbing


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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Chris Webb says

    1 year ago

    This is magical! Thank you so much for posting it. I was thinking of ordering new grates but they are so pricey (about $70 each) when I came across this tips, so I decided to give it a try; it costs me $1.49 instead. I used HDX lemon scent ammonia from the local store. My grates (there are four of them) look like new overnight!!!

    I used an old plastic garbage container and put all four grates in it. Then I put the container inside a big lawn plastic bag, tied the bag tightly and left it in the yard overnight. In the morning, I rinsed the grates outside to clean the chemical and then continued in the kitchen sink with some scrubbing. My husband and I were amazed to see our “new” grates!!!

  2. Mary Miranda says

    1 year ago

    I save my gallon size bags for this purpose. I place the grate and small discs in each bag, put enough ammonia to cover grate. I place the grates in a small plastic pan.$ stores sell pans cheap. I leave them outside overnight. by morning, they are ready to clean, with little scrubbing. What a difference! Make sure to wear gloves!

  3. Eddie Gonzales, Sr. says

    1 year ago

    THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!! THANK YOU!!! My Ex was a slob and NEVER cleaned my grates. After one treatment, the majority of the gunk came off with very little trouble. Doing it one more time to get everything off.

  4. Jess says

    2 years ago

    My mother-in-law told me about this so I thought I’d try it. However it didn’t really do much for mine. It cleaned some off but I still had to scrub and there is still stuff on it. My bags also leaked from the seam at the bottom. I feel like the ammonia started to eat away the bag. Did I maybe do something wrong?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      1 year ago

      Hmm, bummer! It’s the fumes from the ammonia that does the cleaning and loosens all the gunk, not the liquid itself. So you could try pouring the ammonia onto a tray or cookie sheet and then put the whole tray into the bag; that will keep the ammonia from touching the bag. Then you just need to put something in the bag to set the grates on so they are lifted above the liquid, not sitting directly in it.

  5. judyr says

    2 years ago

    you said you used on cast iron stove top grates? Those look like porcelain. Wont amonia hurt the cast iron?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      2 years ago

      Yep, they are coated with porcelain but cast iron underneath. But even if you have raw cast iron grates, you can still clean them this way! The only thing I would say is for any pure cast iron products, you don’t want to submerge them in liquid of any kind because it can lead to rust. Luckily it’s the ammonia fumes that do the hard work for this tip, so if you’re worried about it you can put the grates in a bag and set them on top of something else to hold them up out of the small amount of liquid at the bottom of the bag. But I just stuck mine in the bag and left them and they were fine, even the areas where the porcelain coating was worn off and the cast iron was directly touching the ammonia all night.

      Also though, cleaning cast iron in any way can remove the “patina” built up over years of cooking on it, so if you’re worried that stuff will start sticking or want to prevent rust, try seasoning the cast iron after cleaning it: https://www.practicallyfunctional.com/clean-season-rusty-cast-iron-skillet/

      • Lorrie Cadena says

        10 months ago

        This didn’t work for me very well. My grates are long, 2 grates together times 3. I put them in a black trash bags outside but my grates ripped the bag open at the bottom. Help!

        • Jessi Wohlwend says

          5 months ago

          Ugh bummer, can you try putting the bags in place before adding the grates? Like if you set the bags outside somewhere, then put the grates in carefully, then just fill with ammonia so you don’t have to carry the bags or move them once the grates are in.

  6. fred says

    2 years ago

    it really worked but I needed 24hrs and a little brass wire brush from harbor freight to make it perfect

  7. Mary Ann says

    2 years ago

    Are the grates you cleaned enameled iron? They look very shiney like they may have a coating. Mine do not so I’m looking for a way to clean unfinished grates.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      1 year ago

      They are enameled but this method works for unfinished grates as well! The only important thing for unfinished grates is that you never want to submerge cast iron in liquid of any kind because it can lead to rust. For this method that’s ok because it’s the ammonia fumes that does the cleaning, not the liquid itself. So just be sure to set the grates on top of something inside the bag to keep the grates up above the liquid and your unfinished grates should be just fine!

      The only other thing is that cleaning cast iron in any way can remove the “patina” built up over years of cooking on it, so if you’re worried that stuff will start sticking or want to prevent rust, try seasoning the cast iron grates after cleaning them: https://www.practicallyfunctional.com/clean-season-rusty-cast-iron-skillet/

  8. Sandy says

    2 years ago

    How do I clean the round disks that are above where the gas comes out on top of my stove? Will ammonia in a zip lock bag work on them, too?

    Thanks!

  9. Sally says

    3 years ago

    What am I doing wrong? The ammonia causes my gallon zipper bags to leak.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      3 years ago

      Uh oh… are the bags leaking from the zipper or from the actual edges of the bag itself? I haven’t had any issues with the bags leaking from the bag itself, just the closure a few times when I didn’t get it all the way closed correctly. You can also try large kitchen trash bags and just tie the top closed, then leave the bags upright so the tie is at the top and the liquid doesn’t actually touch the knot.

      • Rose says

        2 years ago

        So do you fill bag to cover grates or just spray on grates and close up

        • Jessi Wohlwend says

          1 year ago

          It’s the fumes from the ammonia that does the cleaning, so you need to put the liquid and the grates into a bag and close the bag up to trap the fumes. It doesn’t really matter if the ammonia is on the grates or not if you have enameled steel grates, but if your grates are cast iron you want to make sure not to get any liquid on them or it can lead to rust. To be safe you can always set the grates on something inside the bag to raise them up out of the liquid at the bottom of the bag.

      • scott s says

        2 years ago

        Hi, your article refers to cleaning cast iron grates but your photos show enameled steel grates. Have you used this method on cast iron pieces before? thanks

        • Jessi Wohlwend says

          1 year ago

          Yep they are enameled but this method works for unfinished cast iron grates as well. Just like for cast iron pans, the important thing for cleaning cast iron grates is that you never want to submerge them in liquid of any kind because it can lead to rust. But for this that’s ok because it’s the ammonia fumes that does the cleaning, not the liquid itself. So just be sure to set the grates on top of something inside the bag to keep the grates up above the liquid and your cast iron grates should be just fine!

          The only other thing is that cleaning cast iron in any way can remove the “patina” built up over years of cooking on it, so if you’re worried that stuff will start sticking or want to prevent rust, try seasoning the cast iron grates after cleaning them: https://www.practicallyfunctional.com/clean-season-rusty-cast-iron-skillet/

  10. Darrene says

    3 years ago

    Great idea, can’t wait to try it. When I freeze something in these large bags and later use them,I’d like to wash them and reuse. They never can be clean enough to use again. But, they could be used for cleaning stove grates!

  11. Linda Dunn says

    10 months ago

    How do I dispose the bags with the ammonia in it?

  12. Jessi Wohlwend says

    5 months ago

    Ammonia is a strong chemical, but it’s not hazardous waste. You can dispose of it in your sink or toilet, though you want to dilute it and run a bunch of water down the drain after it just to be sure it’s all the way flushed down the drain. One exception is if you have a septic system though; you don’t want to put ammonia down the drain if you have a septic system. Instead, you can neutralize the ammonia by mixing up equal parts of baking soda, dry sand, and cat litter. Then pour the ammonia into that mixture and it will absorb and neutralize it. Then you can just throw it away in the trash.

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