We’re still spring cleaning in the kitchen, but some of it should be done more often. There’s some cleaning that’s more of an investment. It’ll keep your kitchen appliances in a proper running order–and it’s especially necessary to clean your stovetops and exhaust fans on a regular basis. Depending on the type of stovetop you have, the method you will use might vary. So make sure you consult the owner’s manual for suggested cleaning methods before you ruin your expensive investments. [photo via flickr]
Glass top or flat top ranges are becoming increasingly popular, and are definitely a sleek addition to any new kitchen. The smooth surface may make it easy to clean up spills, but items that requires a more vigorous scrubbing may be best done by using a specialty product–specifically, one created to prevent scratching and damaging the surface.
Apply the special cleaning product, which is usually thick and creamy, in a thin layer on the stovetop and allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean with a moist sponge or wet towel. If the stovetop doesn’t feel smooth after the first pass, it may be necessary to repeat the process until clean. If you wipe down your smooth top after cooking, it is most likely that a single application will be all that is needed.
If you have an electric stovetop, there are tons of traditional cleaners on the market that can cut through any grease and grime on your stovetop. Start by removing the knobs and soaking them in a bowl of warm, soapy water. Remove the electric burners and pull out the drip pans. Depending on their condition, you can either wash these in the sink, they might need to soak in hot soapy water for a while, or it might be time to just throw them out and buy some new ones.
Spray down the stove stop with a cleaner and wipe with a scrub pad, typically one with a slightly abrasive side to help remove any caked on food or goop. Repeat until everything has been cleaned. Replace the drip pans, plug the burners back in and put the knobs back on. The stove is now ready for the next adventure in cooking.
Kitchen exhaust fans serve a great purpose of removing smells from the kitchen, but they are not on the top of the list when it comes to cleaning. Most people probably never considered cleaning theirs. Before you do any type of work, you will need to turn off the electricity to the exhaust fan for your safety. Have a sink filled with hot water ready to place the filter in to help loosen the grease. It is recommended that one way to clean enough grease off to make a difference will require you to separate the filter from the frame and soak it in a mixture of hot water and ammonia to for an hour.
While the filter is soaking, mix together ammonia, baking soda and water to spray on the fan blades to clean them. This entire process is time consuming and will also need to be done at a time in which the windows can be opened so that you can have good ventilation. Once you have it cleaned, keeping a normal schedule of cleaning the filter and fan every few months will keep your exhaust fan running at its very best. But you’ll still have to clean it again someday…