Helpful Tips & Information - Home Protection Plus

The Best Way to Clean Your Stove

Cleaning your stove regularly is not only safer and healthier for you and your family, but it also makes your stove run more efficiently and keep more accurate temperatures. To get the best performance out of your stove or cooktop, wipe down all burners and external surfaces every day, and clean the oven and cooking surfaces at least every month, more often if you use your stove frequently.

Here are step-by-step instructions for cleaning your stove monthly, by type of oven and cooktop.

Electric stove: Turn your oven to the hottest temperature available and let it run for five minutes, then turn it off and allow it to cool. This will burn off any debris or spills inside the oven. Once the oven is cool, use a damp cloth with either baking soda or grease-fighting dish detergent to clean off the racks, coils, drip pans, and all inner surfaces of the oven.

Next, lift up the top of the cooktop. Use a shop vac or handheld vacuum to suck out all debris and food stuck under the frame. Then wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth with grease-fighting dish detergent. If you have crusted-on spills or anything that has left a stain, make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and put the paste on the spill and let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe off.

Finally, use a damp cloth with grease-fighting dish detergent to wipe all outer surfaces of the stove, then use your shop vac or handheld vacuum to suck out any debris that may have fallen under or behind the stove.

Solid cooktop or induction burners: To clean a solid surface cooktop or induction cooktop, wipe off all debris, then wipe with a damp cloth with baking soda or grease-fighting dish detergent. If you have caked-on spills or stains, make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and apply that paste to the spills or stains and let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe off with a damp cloth with grease-fighting dish detergent.

Gas stove: Turn your oven on to the hottest temperature available and let it run for five minutes, then turn it off and allow it to cool. This will burn off any debris or spills inside the oven. Once the oven is cool, use a damp cloth with either baking soda or grease-fighting dish detergent to clean off the racks, drip pans, and all inner surfaces of the oven.

To clean the cooking surfaces, take off the grates and burner caps. If you can lift off the top of the cooktop, do that, and use your shop vac or handheld vacuum to suck out any debris or spilled food. Then use a damp cloth with grease-fighting dish detergent to wipe the surface of the stove and make sure the vents of the burners are free and clear. If you have crusted-on spills or anything that has left a stain, make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and 5902 Facebook Post Planogram 2021 put the paste on the spill and let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe off. Wipe off the grates and burner caps. If they have caked-on spills, soak them in a dish tub of hot water with baking soda and white vinegar added for 15 minutes or until you can easily scrub the caked-on food off. Once the grates and burner caps are clean, replace them.

Finally, use a damp cloth with grease-fighting dish detergent to wipe all outer surfaces of the stove, then use your shop vac or handheld vacuum to suck out any debris that may have fallen under or behind the stove.

With regular cleaning, your stove should look great and run more efficiently at a more accurate temperature. The more regularly you clean your stove, the fewer tough spills you’ll have to scrub.


Load Your Dishwasher This Way, Not That Way

It can be tempting to jam all your dishes into the dishwasher to fit in as many as possible, but that doesn’t make the best use of your dishwasher. When you load the dishwasher more carefully, your dishes will get cleaner and your dishwasher will run more efficiently and use less energy and water. These seven common loading errors are cost you efficiency and bigger water bills.

Load plates facing inward, not all in one direction. Load plates on the bottom rack in different sections facing inward toward the center of the dishwasher. This makes the best use of the spray coming from the center of the bottom of the dishwasher and gets your plates cleaner.

Put silverware into the silverware holder either up or down, so there’s space between them. It matters a lot less which way silverware is facing than it does that there’s enough room for spray to penetrate between individual pieces. You can make your own decision about knife blades sticking up or down, but then alternate other pieces around those so every piece of silverware is getting scrubbed by the spray.

Place larger utensils flat on the top rack, not jammed into the silverware holder. Yes, you’ll have to spread utensils out on the upper rack, but jamming them into the silverware holder guarantees they won’t get completely clean and it prevents your silverware from getting truly clean, too.

Load glassware upside down, on the top rack, next to the tines. Your mom may have told you to load glasses so that they’re over the tines of the top rack, but the manufacturer has spaced the tines so the glasses will get cleaner and not rattle around as much if you nestle them in next to the tines instead.

Put cereal bowls upside down, tiled, on either rack. Choose the rack for small cereal or ice cream bowls by which rack gives you the most room to tile the bowls so spray gets into each one. Better to put fewer bowls in a section and have them all get squeaky clean than jam them all in and have to run them again or wash them by hand.

If you tend to handwash large mixing bowls, you’re not alone, because when you put them in the dishwasher they need to go inverted in the center of the bottom rack, with nothing under them, so they get maximum spray but don’t completely block the spray to the rest of the dishwasher. If you have too many other small bowls and other items to load, you may not want to give the space to a large mixing bowl all by itself with nothing under it, but that’s the best way to actually get it clean.

Food container lids need to be loaded vertically in a rack so they don’t block the spray and fly around inside the dishwasher. Especially because container lids tend to be lightweight plastic, they can act as sails inside your dishwasher and fly around when they catch the spray, potentially even breaking your other dishes. Let them ride vertically, penned in by the tines of the racks, so they can get clean without turning into projectiles inside your dishwasher.

Change the way you load your dishwasher for efficiency instead of jamming as many dishes in as possible, and you make your dishwasher run better and get your dishes cleaner.


Laundry Pods vs. Strips

Similar to cleaning solutions, laundry detergents are continuously evolving for ease of use. Gone are the days when lifting a heavy container of liquid or powder is needed to accompany a load of dirty clothes. Today, pre-measured pods and even strips of dry detergent require nothing more than a simple toss in the dryer when you’re ready to wash. But which type of detergent is the best fit for you—pods or strips? Let’s compare.

Detergent Pods

  • Convenient and easy to use by tossing into the washer
  • More expensive per cycle than regular liquid detergent, but similar in price to strips
  • Uses water, and packaging may be heavy on plastic
  • Tempting and dangerous to small children
  • Widely available

Detergent Strips

  • Convenient and easy to use by just tossing into the washer
  • Can change amount of detergent cutting partial strips
  • Priced similarly to pods by load
  • Do not use water, and packaging is usually biodegradable cardboard
  • Must be kept dry or the box full of strips can stick together
  • Mostly available in eco-friendly brands
  • Available primarily in eco-friendly brands

Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference. Those who prefer well-known household brands are more likely to find their go-to manufacturers in the pod section. If you’re going green, detergent strips may be a better fit.

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