Cleaning a grimy cooktop with Jill of All Trades

This week, our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn, shows us how to clean the burned-on grease off the gas cooktop in our kitchen set. It was actually a viewer who noticed it, and said that hers looked the same and asked if Jill could figure out a way to clean it. 

Two thoughts: 1. Yes, of course, Jill will tackle it! 2. Ummm… it was bad enough that viewers noticed it??? Embarrassing!!

No worries! Jill of All Trades is on it! 

Jill tried numerous combinations of all of her favorites, including rubbing alcohol (because it cuts grease and grime), olive oil (because sometimes oil cuts oil), vinegar (because it cleans almost anything), Barkeeper's Friend cleanser (because it's amazing), baking soda (because it cuts through lots of grime), and Borax (also amazing for lots of tough cleaning jobs).

Plus, she tried a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a Scotchbrite scrubber. She had varying amounts of success.

Here's the combo that worked the best, WITHOUT scratching the stainless steel cooktop: vinegar + baking soda + the blue "scratchless" Scotchbrite scrubber.

First, Jill soaked a couple of paper towels in vinegar and laid it over the grime and let it sit for a while. The longer you can leave it there, the better, says Jill. But even several minutes is helpful. It helps to start breaking down the grime.

After that sits for a while, give a generous sprinkle of baking soda to the area and make sort of a paste with the vinegar. Then, start scrubbing with the blue Scotchbrite.  

You'll be shocked how fast it starts coming off. You might have to scrub a bit at some of the tougher spots, but it should all come off.  

For the toughest spots you might have to wipe away the loosened grime and start again with fresh baking soda and vinegar, and just keep going.  

It might take a bit of elbow grease, but it's easier than you think (and, Jill says, strangely addictive, once you start to see results).

That's it!! Jill cautions you to make sure you're using the blue "scratchless" scrubby pads if you're worried about not damaging or scratching the surface you're cleaning. If you don't care about that, any of them will do.

Another viewer wrote in to say that while you're at it, give the little ceramic igniter on the gas burner a quick cleaning, too. He says it'll ensure that it ignites properly every time.

There you have it! A tidy, better-looking cooktop, thanks to Jill of All Trades!


To watch Jill take you through the process, click on the video player above.