Gas stoves have some advantages over electric cooktops when it comes to cooking meals. Experienced cooks like the precise control offered by stoves with a gas range and some cooks refuse to cook with anything else. However, gas stoves can lose their effectiveness when the ports on their burners become clogged and interfere with the gas flow. A clogged gas burner will give off a weak flame or, in some cases, no flame at all if the burner is badly soiled. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to clean gas burners.
How Often to Clean Your Stove's Gas Burners
A gas stove system is remarkably simple and trouble-free. In fact, difficulties arise only when the flow of gas becomes hindered, which is often caused by food residue that spills over the sides of pots and pans and clogs the ports around the burner heads. If left unattended, this food residue can become quite hard and difficult to remove. The best rule of thumb is to clean gas burners whenever the flame becomes irregular or exhibits a yellow color. Barring that, cleaning the burners once a month is probably sufficient. There is some variation in how manufacturers recommend cleaning the burner heads on a gas stove, but the following materials and steps will work for most stoves.
Cleaning Gas Stove Burners and Caps
If you have a cooktop with a pilot light, you’ll need to shut off the gas valve first. Gas burners have a removable ceramic cap that diffuses the flames. Beneath the caps, the burner head sits atop the gas tube. Remove the caps and the burner heads by carefully lifting them straight up. Avoid damaging the ignition electrode if you have one.
Soak the burner heads and caps in soap and warm water for 30 minutes. Scrub buildup from the burner heads and caps using a non-abrasive scrub pad and an old toothbrush. If the port openings are clogged, use a paper clip to clear them. Be careful not to damage the metal.
Caring for the Surface
Initially, you want to wipe down the surface to make sure that you remove all unstuck debris. Get it off of there so you know what you are working with. Then, using a wet, soapy sponge (NOT the scrubbing side) gently begin wiping down the surface. You may need smaller rags to find your way into crevices. Or, sometimes a soft toothbrush will be beneficial. Note: Do not use any other type of toothbrush than soft or you may risk scratching the surface.
If you find you have areas that are heavily soiled with stuck-on debris, here’s what you can do. Wet a cloth and place it in the microwave for 30-seconds. Then, place the steamy wet cloth over the stuck-on debris and let it sit for a few minutes. This will loosen what is stuck, allowing you to wipe it off much easier.
Once your surface is clean, wipe it down with a dry cloth. Then, replace your burner tops and grates.
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