An easy cleaning tip for one of the worst jobs in the house!


My stove burners get absolutely disgusting. Sealing them up with a tiny bit of pure ammonia makes it possible to just wipe clean with a sponge.
an easy cleaning tip for one of the worst jobs in the house, appliances, cleaning tips
So easy to do this! You don't even need elbow grease!
an easy cleaning tip for one of the worst jobs in the house, appliances, cleaning tips
Ick! (I cook a lot... don't you judge me.) ;)
an easy cleaning tip for one of the worst jobs in the house, appliances, cleaning tips
Take the disgusting, yucky burner and seal it up in a big Ziploc-type bag with about 1/4 cup of ammonia and let it sit overnight.
an easy cleaning tip for one of the worst jobs in the house, appliances, cleaning tips
The same burner, 12 hours and no scrubbing later. Ammonia fumes have worked their magic. It's the fumes that dissolve the grease, not the ammonia itself.
Vivienne @ The V Spot

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

15 questions
  • Nancy
    on Dec 20, 2015

    Now my stove top grates are like cast iron pans and not sure if I can use Ammonia on the porous surface???

  • Karan Cartledge Jackson
    on Jan 15, 2016

    Will this work on aluminum drip pans?

  • Cheryl
    on Jan 16, 2016

    Thank you so much for this tip. I have these exact same burner grates, and after 19 years of cooking on them, the grime would not come off with my former cleaning methods. I tried your method and the burner grates look brand new. Do you have any suggestions for how long to clean the grime out of the drip pans?

    • Mother
      on May 8, 2016

      Patience is the answer. I leave mine in for 8+ hours.

  • Virginia Barbaro
    on Jan 19, 2016

    How do you dispose of the ammonia safely?

    • Tina
      on Apr 8, 2016

      According to ask.com, you should dilute with water (1:10 ammonia to water) and pour down sewer drain, nothing that will end up in surf ace water. Here is the address with detailed instructions:http://www.ask.com/home-garden/should-dispose-ammonia-f00065c7bcedaf93

    • Abu7745578
      on Jul 24, 2016

      I've used ammonia for cleaning floors, bathrooms and other areasthat need special attention and hav thrown the remaining water right down into the toilet. Never had a problem. Is this wrong to do? I've been married for 58 years and am an excellent housekeeper; enjoy a very clean house. Let me know. Interested.

    • Senior Chief
      on Mar 18, 2017

      As long as you do NOT have bleach in your toilet at the same time you should be fine. Bleach & ammonia make a VERY TOXIC gas when mixed & can explode if in a confined space like your toilet system! 🚽

  • Melissa Beiring Hill
    on Jan 24, 2016

    I tried this and it didn't work, I followed directions exactly. Any thoughts on what went wrong?

    • Cdeedrick
      on Feb 10, 2016

      I used easy off, sprayed my white burner wells, put them in plastic grocery bags and left them in the sink overnight. The baked on stuff was pretty easy to wash right off, but I did have to use steel wool pads here and there. Be sure and wear gloves.

    • Nancyann
      on Mar 23, 2016

      Cdeedrick, my dear, you didn't answer Melissa's question. It's possible that she did not lay the bagged burners with the ammonia with the dirtiest area submerged part way or the bag was not tightly sealed. This method does work, but I have found that not waiting too long between cleaning helps tremendously. Have a great day!

    • Bobbie Littlefield
      on Apr 10, 2016

      Drywall metal sanding squares work so well for most metal and ceramic cleanings. Get the highest number, use a dull pair of scissors to cut (will sharpen the scissors) and try them on hard water stains, stained metals, etc. Test a small area always first.

    • Mother
      on May 8, 2016

      I'd guess impatience ... you MUST leave them in for at least 8 hours if the grease is very burned on. But I cleaned my neigbbour's grillpan (broiler pan) which was so bad she thought she'd have to throw it out. It took a bit of scrubbing as well, but very little really.

    • Chris
      on Aug 31, 2016

      My only thought is that you didn't leave them long enough or your ammonia was diluted.

    • Debbie Oneal
      on Sep 28, 2016

      This works great, this is exactly what I use to clean my gas stove grates.

    • Swinnen Lisette
      on Nov 13, 2016

      I did this several times. it always works. One warning though. Don't leave the bag with metal grates longer than 24 hours. It will dull the metal. After 48 hours all the shiny is gone from the grates ! It helps when you can put the (black) bin bag in the sun.

    • Joyce C. Johnson
      on Jan 4, 2017

      I used this method on old cookie sheet. works great.

    • Patti
      on Jan 6, 2017

      Put your items in a plastic garbage bag along with a few ammonia-soaked paper towels. Since it's the ammonia FUMES/gas and not the liquid that does the work you need to seal the bag so no fumes escape. I put the whole thing outside and rinse it off the next day with the garden hose. Dispose of the used bag & paper towels in the trash. If your items are extremely gunky (for whatever reason) you may need to do a little scrubbing when rinsing them off...or even subject them to another 'treatment' of the ammonia fume sauna. Don't give up - it really DOES work !👍🏻

  • Kathy
    on Apr 10, 2016

    How do you clean oven racks?

    • Kathy
      on Apr 29, 2016

      Any answers yet?

    • Mother
      on May 8, 2016

      Same way. Seal them in a bag. You don't need more than 1/4 cup of ammonia because it's a fumes that do the work. But leave them at least 12 hours, then you can just wipe them down. Well, sometimes you have to give stubborn bits a rub with a scrunchie, but it does come off easily. Leave the bag in the bath overnight. I use a large black rubbish bag sealed with a tag, and do mine about once every six months or so. (But I don't roast much meat in the oven.)

    • Nancy
      on May 8, 2016

      After putting racks in the bag and leave sit, I take them outside and spray them off with the garden hose

    • Judy
      on Jun 17, 2016

      I use dishwashing detergent. I put the grills in the bathtub and leave them over night. I use about 3 cups of detergent and hot water.

    • Sco11780796
      on Oct 26, 2016

      I just cleaned the grates in my oven by following the instructions on this site posted by another blogger. Put two towels in the bottom of your bathtub so the grates don't scratch the tub. Close the drain tight. Lay grates on top of the towels. Fill tub with the hottest water you can run from the faucet. Pour in 1/2 cup of original blue Dawn dish soap and add 6 unused dryer sheets to the water. Allow grates to soak overnight. In the morning you can clean all the gunk off the grates with a scrubbie pad (scotchbrite etc.) and your grates will look like new.

    • Patti
      on Dec 19, 2016

      I clean grates from the oven, the Weber charcoal grill, the grates on top of the stove, etc. by putting the item/s in a large garbage bag along with a couple/few paper towels soaked with ammonia and seal the bag. Leave it all outside overnight & rinse it all off with the garden hose. Easy peasy 😉

    • Jart57
      on Jan 5, 2017

      Put in the oven self-cleaning oven. No extra work required. Pots and pans too.

    • Glenda
      on Mar 19, 2017

      My instructions advise against leaving racks in the oven as the cleaning process dulls the shine.

  • Abu7745578
    on Jul 24, 2016

    Have you actually tried this? And will it work on a pot that food burned on the bottom? I'm very interested. I don't like replacing the burners that come with the stove as the quality isn't the same. Excited about this treatment.

    • Chris
      on Aug 31, 2016

      It might depend on what the pot is made out of. Copper bottoms might react to the ammonia, but other pots should be ok. You can also do this with oven racks, just put them into a large garbage bag and seal it. I recommend setting it outside though because of the fumes. If you have corningware with burnt grease use a paste of baking soda and water and scrub off with a sponge. This does take some elbow grease though.

    • Chris
      on Aug 31, 2016

      I'd be interested in your results!

    • Victoria Genereux
      on Oct 15, 2016

      I have had a burnt pot and fry pan I soaked it with water, dish soap, and a dryer sheet over night. wow easy cleanup next day.

    • Jeane shaw
      on Jan 4, 2017

      I have done this with my gas stove burners and it worked! I did have to scrub a few small spots but easily cleaned up like new.

    • Charlene Rose
      on Jan 5, 2017

      I've done this and it's amazingy! Did gas stove burners and a pot burned on the outside. The grease/grime just wiped off. But do outside, fumes are bad.

    • Charlene Rose
      on Jan 5, 2017

      I've done this and it's amazingy! Did gas stove burners and a pot burned on the outside. The grease/grime just wiped off. But do outside, fumes are bad.

    • Jart57
      on Jan 5, 2017

      I put all mine in the oven when using clean mode. It hasn't ruined anything and no extra work just wipe with damp cloth.

    • Mary
      on Mar 18, 2017

      I do the same thing when I am cleaning my oven. I place the burners in the oven and set the cleaning mode. Voila, clean as new.

    • Sheenaireland
      on Mar 19, 2017

      Does anyone have tips on how to clean the enamal top of gas stove. I've tried vinegar and baking soda, etc. but there are some stubborn black burn marks that won't come off. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Sharon Norum
      on Mar 22, 2017

      hi Sheena, the best cleaner i've found is made by whirlpool called cooktop cleaner and it's specifically for glass, ceramic and porcelain stove tops. it's a polish that with a little bit of elbow grease removes all burnt on food marks from my glass top

    • Joyce
      on Jun 9, 2017

      Try Bar Keepers friend it is the best of the best !
    • Lynn
      on Jul 18, 2017

      I've never had black, burned-on grease that DIDN'T come off with baking soda paste (baking soda and enough water to make a paste. And believe me, I've had some very stubborn areas when I procrastinated on cleanup and they continued to be cooked on. And I cleaned burner grates that had NEVER been cleaned (were like that when I moved in) come completely clean when soaked for about an hour in a dishpan with water and about 1 or 2 cups of ammonia. I used a brush to scrub them a bit to remove residue.
    • Debbie ToddColeman
      on Aug 16, 2017




      Thanks I will try this ........
  • Kay11876575
    on Jan 4, 2017

    Would this method work on cast iron stove grates? Thanks

    • Bobbi Jo Edwards
      on Jan 4, 2017

      Should work,my granny used this to clean and old nasty iron skillet,the crud just fell off and then she reseasoned it. Works awesome

    • Senior Chief
      on Mar 18, 2017

      Never used this on cast iron, but should work but you'll need to reseason like your cast iron skillet. I do this process to clean oven shelves. Working OUTSIDE in fresh air, put shelves in large trash bag (black if you have one) with about half a bottle of ammonia & place outside in the sun. Leave for several hours or over night. Remove & wipe down. Should be very easy to do & look almost new!

    • Andi Risley
      on Mar 18, 2017

      I did this with barbecue grates but had problems sealing those darned garbage bags!

    • Sue Dettmer
      on Sep 3, 2017

      works well on oven racks.....overnight in garage and then easy clean up next day.
  • Elsa Morales
    on Jul 18, 2017

    Does ammonia work well on stovetop? i need something that won't scratch or strip paint off?
    • Nick Massal
      on May 19, 2018

      The problem is the fumes. If you can seal it in a bag with no leaks it will work. I have used the heavy duty black trash bags. I lay it on the black top early in the day, place all the items in it, add a cup or two of ammonia, seal the bag and let the sun heat the bag for the rest of the day! Next morning open the bag (Be careful of the fumes!!) remove and clean the items!

  • Bob
    on Sep 13, 2017

    what is the best way to clean up a dirty oven
  • Brenda Keilbart
    on Sep 19, 2017

    My burner covers will not fit in a zip loc bag, they go front to back to cover two burners. Any suggestions to use this process on those? Thanks Brenda
    • Joan
      on Sep 20, 2017

      head over to the grocery and get the larger size bag. this will come in handy when you do your stove again

    • Aj
      on Sep 24, 2017

      I have hose same type of burner crates and the larger bags don’t fit either. :/ wastebaaket size garbage bags or litter size bags should work that’s what I m going to try.. I Just wish they could seal..
    • Mohunter
      on Oct 25, 2017

      I've used a kitchen garbage bag, and sealed up the open end, worked well, just be careful, they are thin and could tear if you don't support the burner when moving it around.
    • Patty Eiler Cline
      on May 10, 2018

      Being a military family, you move alot, and you have to pass an cleaning inspection. The guy who was going to our inspection,gave me this cleaning method almost 38 years ago. We had gas ranges. He said to remove the oven door, they usually just pull up, take the burner grates off, remove the bottom sheet of the oven, again it just pulled up, take the broiler pans and the drawer, and put in 2 heavey duty black garbage bags, pour a whole gallon of ammonia, & tie it up. He suggested putting outside on patio. Leave over nite. When you open , be cautious of the fumes. We just hosed them off, and they loked brand new.

    • Kng33452835
      on May 19, 2018

      I bought a plastic container that I only use to clean my grates. I have grates that cover two burners too. Works great.

  • Haw32920968
    on May 19, 2018

    Does the ammonia take off the enamel paint on your stove burner?

  • Jac32984966
    on May 20, 2018

    Would it be safer to leave them out on driveway in sun all day ???

    • Kate Garrett
      on Jun 8, 2018

      the gentle heat of the sun rarely hurts a cleaning project, and it can reduce odor in the house as you full and empty the bag, but it isn't a safety issue unless someone in your home has a respitory problem.


      The fumes can irritate asthma, COPD. emphasima, fragense sensitivity, or any condition requiring supplimental oxygen. Infants and the elderly sometimes have lungs that are merely weak and can be irritated as well. Without any of these underlying conditions, amonia is safe, but stinky

  • Caroline Bick
    on Jul 28, 2018

    can you use this for oven racks as well please

    • Lori Johnson
      on Nov 2, 2018

      I was thinking the same too, but somehow I don't think a Ziploc bag of any size, would work. I wonder if a lawn and leaf bag might though. They're heavy duty and could be put outside in a garage or shed overnight. I'm tempted to try it with my whole oven door. It's gross. I have a gas stove. An old one.

  • Diana Renouf
    on Nov 5, 2018

    Can you use ammonia on a dirty oven?

Join the conversation

2 of 581 comments
  • Jan23398679
    on Jun 19, 2017

    Once you get them clean put ion some good old fashioned car wax makes cleaning them so much easier
  • Claire Brackett
    on Nov 25, 2018

    I wash was them in the dishwasher from time to time!

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