Unless you rely solely on your microwave oven for dinner every night, the chances are that you use your cooktop or range pretty frequently. When you spill on your range, of course, you'll make sure to clean it up immediately (otherwise you could cause a short!). Even if you clean up every spill, you'll still want to do routine deep cleaning and maintenance on your range, especially if you have a home warranty plan. Home warranties cover ranges as long as they fail from normal wear and tear and are properly maintained. If you want to see how to clean the rest of your oven, go to our post about Cleaning your Oven to Extend its Lifespan.
Clean your filters
The first step in cleaning the range of your oven is to clean your filters. The filters trap grease, smoke and food smells from your cooking and vent them outside of your home. So, if you haven't cleaned your filters lately, chances are they are exceptionally greasy. The longer you go without cleaning out your range's filters, the less effective they are at trapping grease and smoke. Luckily, there's a simple solution to cleaning them.
1. Remove your filters
Most ovens have filters above the cooktop and they are simple to remove.
The oven that was used for this example had two different filters. One was above the range, on the underside of the microwave and popped out easily. The second one, which was much dirtier than the first, was inside of the cooktop.
2. Boil hot water
Make sure the pan is large enough for your filters to fit inside. If the pan is too small, you can boil each side of the filter.
3. Slowly add 1/2 cup of baking soda, one tablespoon at a time
Adding too much at one time can make the baking soda fizz. You can add some dish soap as well, if your filters are especially dirty.
4. Put the filters in the boiling water
Let the filters boil for about 10 minutes. (Beware! This will start to smell up your house!) Flip the filters if they don't all fit in the pan at once.
5. Scrub with brush
Get the remaining grease off with a scrub brush in the sink.
There you have it! Cleaned filters. Put the filters back into the range and dispose of the greasy water that you have accumulated properly. (Remember, grease shouldn't go down your pipes!) We threw ours away in a large bottle. If there is grease on your pan, you will be able to get it off with a quick rinse of water and dish soap.
Clean your cooktop
Cleaning your cooktop immediately when you spill is the best way to make sure your home warranty will cover your range. Putting some salt directly on a spill when it occurs can help to absorb moisture and make it easier to clean up. If you're trying to clean an already dirty cooktop, here are some suggestions:
Take the burners off of the cooktop to clean them. Never submerge burners in water. Instead, clean them using a damp cloth. Clean the drip pans in the dishwasher, or if you've burnt on spilled food, soak them in a mixture of baking soda and water for at least 8 hours, to get the food particles off of them.
First, remove the covers off of the burners. Wash them in the sink with some dish soap and water. Clean the burners using a towel dipped in vinegar. Don't spray cleaner directly on the burners.
Home Warranties and Your Range or Cooktop
Most home warranty plans cover ranges and cooktops provided it is working properly when the contract is put into effect, and are maintained properly. You can learn more about what Landmark Home Warranty covers by downloading a brochure for your state, or by getting a free quote for your home.