How to Clean Gas Burners

Close-up of a gas stove burner

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Gas burners have some advantages over electric cooktops when it comes to cooking meals. There are many cooking enthusiasts who refuse to cook with anything other than gas. Gas burners are most effective when those tiny little holes that the flames come out of aren't clogged. A clogged gas burner will give off a weak flame, or in some cases, no flame at all. Learn all about how to keep your gas burner clean and operational.

Read the Manufacturer's Instructions

Knowing what kind of care is best for your appliance will go a long way in protecting your investment. A product manual for your cooktop will help you know which areas are safe to remove for cleaning, making your job a much easier one. The manual may even suggest recommended cleaning products (or products or ingredients to avoid). This can be a good starting point in figuring out how to clean and unclog your burners.

Gather Materials to Clean Gas Burners

While some elements may differ, there are a few everyday items that are helpful in cleaning your cooktop. Gather them ahead of time so you are prepared.

Unclog the Burner

Using a straight pin or an opened paper clip, carefully unclog each small port of the gas burner. If you have an older cooktop with a standing pilot light, you'll need to shut off the gas valve before you begin. Burners can be clogged by grease, spills, and food that has overflowed on the stovetop. Cleaning the burners and removing any blockages will restore the function of your gas burners.

Exercise Caution

Don't try to dig around too deeply in the portholes. You are simply trying to unclog them. Never use a toothpick because there is a risk that the wooden pick will break and further clog the gas burner. Often the blockage is from grease or a thin layer of food. A cleaning rag with hot water and a small amount of dish soap is usually all that is needed to remove a blockage.

Remove Parts to Soak

Remove all the parts of the burner and cooktop that can be removed. Soak them in a sink of hot water mixed with dish soap while you clean the rest of the burner surfaces. For tough, greasy buildup, use a paste of 1 part water and 1 part baking soda. Gently scrub the removable parts of your gas burner. Rinse them thoroughly.

Wipe With a Damp Cloth

To keep water from entering the gas burner, use a cloth that is damp without being wet. Never spray any type of cleaner directly onto the burner. It's also not a good idea to use a ton of water. A slightly damp cloth is usually all that is needed to get the burners nice and clean.

Relight the Pilot Light

Shine up any spots that need it on the burners. Remove any crumbs or pieces that may have come loose as you cleaned. Following the manufacturer's instructions, relight the pilot light. Wash and dry the remaining parts and replace them. Your burners will be ready to make something delicious.