Posted by: Jennifer Tai | April 7, 2006

Cleaning your electric burners

Finally, after THREE MONTHS of living here, I stumbled upon how to remove my electric stove burners and clean and line them with foil!

We use gas stoves in Malaysia so this was a real challenge, and since I feared embarassing myself so much by asking other mommies how to clean my own damn stove, I decided to the very best thing that's ever happened to Johnny-Come-Lately cooks like me: Google.

Well, I didn't really get what I needed but some articles seemed to hint that the darn things COULD be removed. And so, armed with this bit of knowledge, I went to my stove (which was beginning to smell from the bits of sauce/food stuck on the metal plate beneath the coil) and voila! I did it!

Ain't that ridiculous? Told you I was a N00B Cook!

Anyway, for those as N00B as me, you want to lift up the metal dish, NOT THE COIL. I believe most electric stoves let you do that.

To get old burnt stains/grease off, soak your metal dishes in bleach or baking soda for a bit.

To do away with these sorts of cleaning exercises in the future, line the dish with aluminium foil, like so:

Using a flat screwdriver, slip it under the metal dish and gently lift it. The metal prongs of the coil go into 'ports' where the electricty comes from to heat it, so make sure you don't break them. In any case, they aren't THAT easy to break.

See how clean and shiny my stove is now. Yay!



  1. Only us mothers would find it fulfilling to let others know the great conquests of cleaning our stoves!! Anyway, it looks wonderful and congrats!!

  2. Exactly, Angie! To think a few mths ago I wldnt have bothered (I was working). Now, I’m the consumate housekeeper!

  3. It is so fantastic to find women who love being able to fix things for themselves!! I have always had gas burners, but my husband and I have recently moved into a place that has an electric stove. I make a tremendous mess in the kitchen, and he keeps telling me that he will show me how to “fix” the mess on the stove (by removing the burners, etc.)

    Well, just when I became certain that he had no idea how to do this, I found this website/exchange. I LOVE when he comes home and I have hooked up (And purchased all the materials for) surround sound!!

    Thank you so much, Ladies.

    BTW, I have also recently moved from NYC to San Francisco. Anyone else here on the West Coast?

  4. Help!
    We have just moved. Our “new” old house has a cooktop from 1967. I have tried pulling on the electric coils to remove them. They don’t budge. Am I missing something? I’ve had electric coils in the past, and this was how I removed them. Thanks- Robin

    • you may have ’tilt lock surface units’ instead of ‘plug in surface units’ i was having your problem w my new apartment for the last six months screaming at my coils ‘why won’t you just come out!?’ like the other electric ranges i’ve had… come to find out- mine DONT come out… i have tilt locks. if you can lift your coil up from one end and let go without it going back down because it just kind of props up there you have em. you’ll have to just scrub around them…

      and don’t let them sit too long- metal corrodes and after scrubbing at mine i’ve found they’re now full of teeeeny holes full of black stuff. i’m going to have to replace mine and i have no idea yet how i’ll install them once i get them since my DANG COILS won’t come out…

      i still yell at them. good luck!

  5. Have u tried pulling them sideways?

  6. […] 2. Those electric coils on your electric stove can be removed and cleaned. You can also buy the metal ‘drip bowls’ (aka the metal thingie underneath the coil) from most major supermarkets if you can’t be bothered to scrub them or if they’re too far gone. […]

  7. i love that stove!

  8. If you want to get rid of greasy smell in the oven, after roasting while the oven still hot, put some lemon or orange peel in. It will keep the oven fresh for your next use.

  9. The electric coils put straight out. The drip pans can be cleaned easily by placing them on newspapers and spraying with Easy Off stove cleaner — let them sit for a few hours then wash in soapy water. You might have to use a little Brillo, also.

  10. thank all of you ladies for you ideas. after a while though the trays have to be replaced.

  11. I got to this page when I was looking for a way to clean my stove top…I just moved to a new house and I am stuck with an electric stove…but couldn’s see the pics… I would really love to line my stovetop with foil, that was what I did with my old gas stove.. could you please send the pics to my email? And for the record… I love my gas stove

  12. I grew up with a gas stove and a woodstove to cook in/on. I got to my first apartment and found an electric stove. I had no idea you could just pull out the coils! I always try to bend them up a little and scrub what parts of the tray I can reach…Thanks for enlightening me!

  13. Thanks for the info on how to remove the coils on the electric stove. How do I clean these coils? What kind of product can I use? I’m afraid I’ll ruin them and they won’t work if I use the wrong product.

  14. Hi, i just moved into my very first apartment for college and have the worst roommate ever…she cooks more of a mess than actually food….anyway now our dishes under our coils are a crime. Very nasty! I can’t stand not knowing how to remove them so that they can be cleaned. I’ve tried about everything i can think of…but i have never cleaned a stove before. Help would be amazing…my eyes are starting to smoke up when we cook 😦 help!! lol. thanks -Krista

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