HOMESTEAD HELPERS: Cleaning Stove

 

Vintage Kleenoff Jelly ad via alsis35 on Flickr.

Do you know that there is a way to clean your stove without any chemicals?  I  learned a trade secret form a trendy housecleaning service that kept this little nifty trick “under wraps.”

She told me the following story. They had been hired to clean an upscale kitchen. The owner was dismayed because she could never get the unsightly burned on black spots off her stove  that inevitably happen to all of us when cooking. Try as she may, even with certain chemical cleaners, nothing did the trick. However, this cleaning company got these ugly back spots off with one simple device–a glass scraper! All you have to do is get one (or a razor if you can be careful) and you can just flick the spot off in one simple move! It won’t scratch or harm the surface of the stove.

Well, there was one pleased and shocked customer who could not believe her eyes and begged for the secret, which, of course, was kept hidden from her. It also really works well for any hard to remove spots both inside and out of the stove. No more “black freckled” stove tops or hard to remove black gook inside! I try to never be without one and, for me,  is the only way to clean a stove.

We also use a little baking soda for keeping the stove top clean.  Works great, too !

Good bye, chemical stove cleaners– hello, glass scraper!

Comments(23)

  1. Leslie says:

    Thanks for the great tips!!! Vinegar and water in a spray bottle also works great for the stovetop. 4 parts vinegar to 1 part water.

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Vinegar is a great non toxic cleaner… an essential cleaning agent on our homestead too!

      • Nebraska Dave says:

        Is it the white vinegar that you use for cleaning?

        • Anais Dervaes says:

          white vinegar and baking soda are excellent cheap and non toxic cleaners

          • Leslie says:

            I agree Anais. I use white vinegar and baking soda as they are both gentle on the environment.

            Nebraska Dave, give it a try and let us know what you think. When you are spraying the vinegar make sure you have air flow as it is pretty strong. It won’t harm you, its just a little strong smelling.

  2. Anita says:

    Where did you get your glass scraper? Thanks for the tip – I will be doing deep cleaning on my stove in Jan.

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Local hardware store 😉

    • Nebraska Dave says:

      Anita, glass scrapers can be purchased at any home improvement store such as Lowes, Home Depot, or Menards. They can be found in paint section. Painters use them to scrape paint off glass.

      • Anita says:

        Thank you, obviously I do not do much painting. I did not connect it with a paint scraper.

  3. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, first of all thank you for sharing the family history. I knew that you had spent some time in New Zealand and then moved to Florida and finally California. Your stroll through the family history put all the parts together. The pioneer spirit was instilled in your family at an early age and seems to have captured your lives. Who would have thought that from such humble beginnings such a world wide influence would be developed. Even with the notoriety, your family has still kept the down home local family on the block attitude. In my opinion you all are pretty remarkable folks.

    Now on to the stove cleaning. Sometimes the most simple things can be solutions to every day problems. I found this stove cleaning method on your site some time ago but haven’t tried it yet. My tired old 1960s stove certainly has some burned on black spots to test the method. I had thought about sand paper but this method sounds even better. The new self cleaning stoves are nothing more than extremely high heat that turns the burned on crust to ash which then can be simply wiped out. I would imagine that could be a high energy consumption method but it does seem better than harsh chemicals. Unfortunately, my old stove doesn’t have that option.

    Have a great New Year. Here’s hoping for a great gardening year in 2012.

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Thanks for the handy stove cleaning tip. Happy new year to you and yours!

  4. Chris V says:

    Anais, This is a great tip! I was oven cleaner challenged 🙂

    I use straight baking soda with a damp sponge/cloth to get stains out of my teacups/teapots. It will also work with coffee stains. Also I use a concoction of baking soda/vinegar (any) and a smidge of castille soap to clean soap scum in the bathroom tub/sinks, faucets, kitchen sink ~ just eyeball the amounts to make a thick paste. Makes everything sparkle. A leftover halved lemon and a sprinkle of salt to disinfect my cutting boards with a clean wipedown from a clean cloth (may need to rinse it out a few times).

    Leslie, thanks for the ratio tip for an added vinegar cleaner.

  5. Kj says:

    Hi Anais,
    We use baking soda and vinegar as our main go to cleaning products. Bon Ami is also great for stainless steel kitchen sinks. For hard water stains on the inside of our pots I put in a slice of orange peel that I have gently twisted to get the essential oil to the surface of the peel, put it in the pot, cover with water and put it on the top of our woodstove for a several hours or as long as needed. I then rinse out the pot using a non-steel pot scrapper and our pots are sparkly and look brand new! Plus the smell from the orange peel is lovely too.

  6. Lori from PA says:

    We have an Amish non-electronic ignition propane stove that is black enamel. Over the years, the stove top area, especially around the burners, becomes dull while the rest of the stove remains shiny. We have not found this to be a cleanliness problem, so much as a gloss-wear issue. So whenever I finish greasing a pan with a paper towel and olive oil, I just re-use the oily towel to lightly polish the stove top, and it always comes up like new.

  7. Erica says:

    We use baking soda and vinegar for most of our cleaning too. I use baking soda to clean the bath tub but I have never been able to get a rust stain out near the tap. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Erica, not sure what you mean about the rust stain near the tap. If it is on the porcelain part of the tub, use an ordinary pumice stone and it will come right out. We have used a pumice stone to get rid of rust stains in the toilet under the rim and elsewhere whenever they happened to appear. Works great!

      • Anais Dervaes says:

        Forgot to add: If the rust stain is treated with white vinegar on a paper or cloth towel overnight, it will disappear, too. May take several applications, depending. Sometimes it is hard for us to use the vinegar method due to where the rust is and the length of time it takes so we find the pumice stone faster.

        • Erica says:

          Thanks Anais. I will try this. The stain is on the porcelain.

  8. C.B. Brumby says:

    A single edge razor blade works great as well.

  9. Leslie says:

    I’ll bet a paint scraper would be good to clean a pizza stone. A friend of mine uses some sort of scraper that came with hers and it is very well seasoned.

  10. Sarah says:

    I use baking soda and vinegar, along with castile soap, to clean just about everything, but I’d love to know if anyone has any safe, non-toxic options for cleaning an oven.

    Thank you Anais, for always being willing to share your life. It is an inspiration, and very appreciated!

  11. Myles says:

    How is this a secret? It’s simply something you didn’t know. Ha ha. Been using a scraper for ages.

  12. Mrs. GV says:

    Thank you so much for this tip! I have tried everything around the most-used eye on my stove–baking soda, vinegar, etc. plus tons and tons of elbow grease and nothing was working. The glass scraper made such a big difference!

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