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Getting Burnt Food Off of Your Electric Stove’s Heat Coils

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You just made an amazing dinner, but as you're stirring the pot, something goes wrong, and the sauce boils over. The stove's heat coils are now stained with burnt food. Cleaning the burn as quickly as possible is very important because it can be a pain to remove if the sauce hardens. Not only that, but a dirty stovetop can lead to accidents.

Not only is this type of stain unsightly and difficult to clean, but it can also cause your electric stove to malfunction over time. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here's our step-by-step guide on how to clean burnt food off of electric stove coils.

Supplies That You'll Need

  • Mild dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Scrubby sponge
  • White vinegar in a spray bottle
  • Degreaser
  • Stovetop scraper
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic scrubbing pad

Remove Heating Coils from Your Stove

The first step is to remove the heating coils from your stove. This can be done by unscrewing them or pulling them out. If they are screwed in, use a screwdriver to loosen them. If they are pulled out, make sure that you have a secure place to set them down to avoid getting dirty.

Remove Heating Coils from Your Stove
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Use Dish Soap and Water to Clean the Coils

Use a cleaning cloth and a mixture of mild dish soap and water to remove any food residue. Next, you will use dish soap and water to clean off your electric heating coil. Mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water and pour it over the coils. Use a cleaning cloth or scrubby sponge to scrub them clean.

Use Dish Soap and Water to Clean the Coils
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Rinse them off with warm water when you are finished. A mild wipe down is very important because the heater coils cook off most food that comes into contact with them. Use dish soap and hot water mixture to clean any exposed reflector pans.

Remove Stuck on Food Using a Baking Soda Paste

If mild dish and water wouldn't remove stuck or burnt on food, try making a baking soda and water paste, and use it to gently scrub residue off of the electric heater coil. To get at those tough stains, you can add a scrubber sponge to your repertoire of cleaning materials. Heating coils are much stronger than you think, they won't scratch even if you use baking soda.

You can make a good DIY cleanser from one part water and three parts baking soda. Mix until you make a paste, then coat this over your coils for 15 minutes before spraying a bit of vinegar on top. When it stops making bubbling noises, wipe the burners clean and examine your electric heating coils.

Remove Heater Coils for Deep Cleaning

Most of the time, your electric stove burners need more than just a rub down, especially if the undersides of the coils are marked with food residue from past meals. You'll need to take off the burners to get those hard to reach places. Do this only after the oven is cool.

There are three ways to remove coils: unplugging the two prongs from the stove's socket fittings, squeezing them together to detach or unfasten the mounting collars, and moving coils aside. When in doubt, check the manufacturer's instructions.

Be careful while doing this, as you don't want to bend the prongs and render them useless. After that, clean the entire stovetop. Start by using your dish soap and water solution and wipe everything down. Never clean the coil by immersing it in water, as the liquid can damage the device's electric system. When the coils are done, don't forget your drip pans. When you're all finished, replug the prongs into their sockets.

Clean the Drip Pans

The drip pans are the most often forgotten part of stove cleaning, and they're probably the dirtiest. Not only do they collect all the food bits that fall off the stove, but they also tend to have oven grease baked onto them. 

Clean the Drip Pans
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If you don’t know how to clean stove drip pans, we have an easy guide for you. Start by removing them from the stove. Most drip pans will have either screws or clips holding them in place. If you can't remove the screws or clips, try spraying them with a bit of oven cleaner and wait a few minutes for it to work its magic.

Once the drip pans are free, give them a good scrubbing with your dish soap and water solution. You may need to use a brush to get all the gunk off them. If the drip pans are dirty, you can soak them in a tub of hot water for a few hours. Once they're clean, dry them off and put them back in place on the stove. Make sure the screws or clips are tight so that they don't fall off again.

Change Coils That Don't Work

Part of maintaining your electric stove might include replacing burners, not because they're dirty but because they don't work correctly. Replacing a problematic coil isn't that difficult. First, pull the stove from the wall and disengage the power cord. Never do this while electricity still runs through your stove. You also want your stovetop to look nice and cool, so wait an hour to ensure you'll not get burned.

Then, remove the prongs of the coil from the mounting block. You should be able to pull the burner right from the receptacle under the stove's cooktop. Next, take the new coil and fasten it into the receptacle: Re-affix drip pans or any other of the stove's elements. Make sure you know how to replace the baking coil in an electric oven before changing your coil as you may damage your heater coil if you have no idea on what you’re doing.

Use a Degreasing Cleanser

Try using a degreasing cleanser if the old coil is stained with burnt food. Be sure to read all of the manufacturer's instructions before starting this project – coils come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you're uncomfortable with this task, call a professional to help you out.

After applying the cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes. Consult the bottle to see what works best with the cleaner you've chosen. Next, wash everything with a hot water and soap combination, administering it with a sponge or a rag.

Use Heat

If the coil is particularly dirty and the degreasing cleaner didn't work wonders, you can try to use heat to your advantage. Turn on the element and let it heat up for a few minutes. Once it's hot, take a wet rag and start scrubbing. Be careful not to burn yourself!

Turn off the element after you're finished, and let the stove cool down. Now, it's time to test if your hard work paid off. Get a pot or pan and place it on the coil. If everything is clean, your food shouldn't stick.

Use Tinfoil

If your coils are really dirty and you don't want to use heat, you can use Tinfoil. This is a foil-like material designed to protect your pots and pans from sticking to the coil. It comes in a roll, is easy to use, and is reusable. Aluminum foil, the kitchen staple for cooking and wrapping up food, has more uses than you might think.

Aluminum foil is great at scrubbing food build-up off of your grill grates safely. You can also use aluminum foil to line your burners to keep stains minimum. This prevents drips from hardening into your stovetop. If you decide to do this, make sure to swap them out when they get dirty.

Use a Magic Eraser

This household cleaning staple is good at removing burnt-on food. Wet the eraser and scrub the offending food until it's gone. Soak it in vinegar. Pour white vinegar over the area where the food is stuck. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub it off with a sponge or scouring pad.

The eraser contains melamine foam, which uses formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. This makes it an amazing stain remover because it can perform like fine sandpaper, essentially lifting the stains from the object. Don't use the eraser on anything that is polished or easily scratched, like stainless steel, as it can wear away these materials.

Reinstall the Heater Coils

Gently plug the prongs onto the heater coils back in their socket links on the cooker. Be careful not to bend the prongs. Once plugged in, push the coils back into place. They may be a tight fit, so use caution not to pinch your fingers.

Maintain the Burners

For regular maintenance of electric stove heater coils,  be sure to clean the burners. This will help keep them functioning and looking new. Burner caps can also be removed for a more thorough cleaning. With the burner caps off, use a toothbrush to get into all nooks and crannies. Failing to maintain your electric stove heater coil might be the reason why your oven won’t heat up, so make sure you keep it clean all the time.

FAQs on How to Clean Burnt Electric Stove Top

Can you soak electric stove burners?

No, it's not advisable. Just hand wash the coils with the methods outlined above, and you should be good to go.

Are electric stove coils replaceable?

Yes, they are. However, it's best to contact the manufacturer or an authorized service technician to do this for you.

Can you put electric stove coils in a dishwasher?

It's not recommended to put electric stove coils in a dishwasher to damage them.

Final Thought on How to Get Burnt Food Off of Your Electric Stove's Heat Coils

When cleaning your electric stovetop, it's important to know how to clean burnt food off the heat coils. This can be a bit tricky, but you can get them looking good as new with a little patience. With the methods outlined above, you should be able to get all of the burnt food off of your stove's heat coils in no time!

 

 

Ben James

Ben James

Ben is an experienced content writer with a passion for kitchen remodeling. He loves writing about latest kitchen designs & trends so that he can educate our readers make the best decisions possible when it comes to kitchens.

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