Unfortunately, as I have found out, stainless steel hobs are nowhere near as easy to clean as ceramic or induction alternatives.
Having cleaned my own stainless steel cooking appliances for the last eight years, I thought it would be useful to put this guide together to take you through the steps you need for cleaning a stainless steel hob, oven exterior and cooker hood and surround.
This is what I’ll cover in this guide on how to clean a stainless steel hob without scratching it:
- Stripping the hob down.
- Removing loose food and debris.
- Initial clean with soapy water.
- Further clean with multi-purpose spray (or stainless steel spray).
- Wipe off with a damp cloth.
- Dry off and polish with a kitchen towel.
- Wash any parts you have removed.
- Refit all removed parts.
Some of these steps can also be used to make any stainless steel appliance clean and shiny, more of that later.
What you will need before you start
Before you embark on your oven deep clean you will need the following items to hand to make cleaning a bit easier:
- Sink or bowl of hot soapy water for soaking oven parts and removing initial grease
- A scrubbing pad/Scourer – none abrasive (you don’t want any scratches)
- An old toothbrush for those difficult to reach areas
- Multi-purpose cloth
- Kitchen towels or other dry cloth to dry and buff up the surface
- Multi-purpose spray or specialist stainless steel spray. I have previously used the branded Stainless Steel spray Cif but have just recently switched to Sainsbury’s own brand spray which is 50% cheaper and works just as well. Just be careful if you are using any spray for the first time. Check a small area on the hob to ensure it doesn’t mark the surface. Please also check the manufacturers’ instructions for the time you need to leave the product on the hob and don’t exceed this as this may damage the appearance of your appliance. For example, with the Sainsbury’s spray, you leave on for just 30 seconds.
Right, now that you have your cleaning kit ready, on to the fun part.
Cleaning a stainless steel hob (without scratching it)
You probably have a stainless steel gas hob, in which case you will need to strip it down before deep cleaning (obviously don’t do this straight after cooking!)
- Strip down – remove the pan support sections and put these to soak in the sink or large bowl of water. Mine will not fit in the sink fully so I clean each side that is sat in the water and then turn them around to do the other side. Also, take off the burner caps from each hob and put these to soak in the hot soapy water. You’ll also probably have burner rings/bodies on each hob. If these will remove, take these off also and put to soak.
- Remove any loose food debris on top of the oven with a damp all-purpose cloth.
- Using the hot soapy water and Scouring pad give the hob, tiles and splashback an initial wash. This will start to lift the stubborn grease. There isn’t a need to scrub at this point, just a light rub to start the grease lifting. Then wipe over with a kitchen towel.
- Spray on the multi-purpose or stainless-steel cleaner (following the manufacturer’s instructions) and leave on for the time stated in the instructions. If any areas have burnt on marks, then spray more directly onto these as these will usually take more effort to shift.
- The spray can be wiped off with the damp cloth but for more stubborn stains you’re either going to have to rub harder or use the non-scratch scourer or brush (try on a hidden area first though as you don’t want to scratch your hob). Use the old toothbrush to get into any tricky areas. One word of caution, do not scrub the print around the control knobs as this may come off.
- Give the hob, tiles and splashback surfaces a final wipe off with the damp multi-purpose cloth
- I usually then dry off with a paper kitchen towel, but any dry, non-abrasive cloth would work well.
- Next, move onto the parts you removed. The pan supports should have had a decent soak by now, but they usually require a bit of scrubbing power to remove the cooking grime. I just use hot soapy water and a scourer or scrubbing brush for this. You should be okay with these as the pan supports generally do not mark but please check first.
- I give the burner caps a scrub with a non-abrasive scorer and dry them off straight away just in case they rust. I do the same for the burner rings that sit underneath and again dry them immediately.
- Finally put everything back together. Take care when refitting the burner rings and caps as these often need re-aligning into the correct position. On my Bosch hob, you can locate these easily. Turn the hobs on and just check everything is in working order.
Is there an easier way to clean the hob?
If you have a handheld steam cleaner, then this will most likely have an attachment for cleaning oven hobs and grills. This should help greatly. Especially with any burnt-on food and stubborn marks.
Another option for cleaning the pan supports is to use a pressure washer, but I feel this is more effort than it’s worth. I’ve tried this method but won’t be using it again!
It’s not always convenient, but if you clean the cooking spills off the hob shortly after cooking then it does prevent them from becoming burnt on and makes cleaning a lot easier. It’s also worthwhile cleaning the hob more frequently to avoid grease marks building up.
Cleaning the outside of a stainless steel oven and cooker hood
This part is much easier than the hob. The exterior of the oven can be cleaned with a multi-purpose cleaner although I use the special stainless cleaner spray, and it also works well on the glass door (externally) too. I don’t use any scourer or brush on the front of the oven just in case it marks the stainless steel.
A cooker extractor hood is a little bit harder to clean usually because of the position and it will likely have some grease build up on the surface no matter how frequently you clean it. Use my previous steps for the hob cleaning, involving soapy water and scourer to initially break down the grease. Followed by spraying either the multi-purpose cleaner or the stainless-steel cleaner and wiping with a damp cloth.
When it comes to cleaning the filters on the cooker hood, then it is best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, as each type of filter will be different. However, in a lot of cases, these can be taken out and washed.
Finally finish both the oven front and cooker hood off with a kitchen towel or even better a dry microfibre cloth to ‘buff’ and give the surface a nice finish.
Can I use natural products to clean my stainless steel hob and oven?
One of the favourite natural cleaning products is white vinegar and this can also be used to remove grease from stainless steel hobs. So instead of using the stainless steel spray or multi-purpose spray you can apply with a damp cloth, rinse then wipe off with a clean dry cloth.
To make it easier to apply then you can put the vinegar into an old spray bottle by cleaning it with warm water and then filling with white vinegar.
This option can smell the house out a little so if you are looking for an oven cleaner that is kinder to the environment but also smells nice try Ecover Oven and Hob Cleaner or Method Stainless steel cleaner which smells of apples Umm!
I also use the stainless steel cleaner on my kettle, toaster, coffeemaker, sink and taps plus handles on the kitchen cupboards and switch plates and they all come up nice, clean and shiny without much effort!