How to clean gas stove burner heads safely

Gas stoves are common in several households, and many professional chefs swear by them since gas burners are more effective and easier to control when cooking meals at a precise temperature.

However, gas burners can become weak over time due to clogged ports or dirty burners. To ensure that your gas stove is continuously operating at the top of its game, it’s important to give a proper cleaning to your burners now and again.

removing gas stove burner head
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How your gas burner works

Gas burners operate by receiving an air-gas mixture that is sent through the main gas line. Gas stoves typically have a gas valve that attaches a line to the stove and sends the air-gas mixture to each burner.

Older burners have a pilot light, while newer gas burners have a small spark pilot located on the side of each burner. The burner itself is a small ceramic disk with holes that allows the air-gas mixture to flow through. When the spark or pilot is lit, the gas ignites and flows through the burner’s holes. The airflow is then controlled via a knob on the front of the stove, allowing you to generate more or less flame as needed.

cleaning gas stove burner head
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How often should you clean a gas burner?

Typically, you can expect to clean your gas burner once a year. Many people choose to clean their burners when they clean the interior of their oven. However, a good measure for cleaning your burners would be when you notice the flame getting weaker. A weak flame is a good indication that the ports or burners are clogged and need cleaning.

Below are the steps you need to take to clean a gas stove burner properly. Take your time and refer to your owner’s manual when necessary.

What you’ll need:

  • Old toothbrush
  • Non-abrasive scrubbing pad
  • Dish soap
  • Dry towel
  • Baking soda
  • Paper clip

Read the manual/instructions

Before you start, it’s always a good idea to reference your owner’s manual. If you don’t have the manual that came with your cooktop, you can always download a manual online via the manufacturer’s site. The manual will give you recommendations on tools, cleaning procedures, and other materials needed to clean your stovetop safely.

Shut off the gas

Before you begin removing the burner caps, you should be sure to shut off the gas. A valve will be nearby, connecting your stove to the main gas line. Turn the valve to close off the gas connection before moving on. Also, be sure your stovetop and burners are completely cooled before you begin cleaning.

Remove the burner caps

Next, you’ll remove the ceramic burner caps. They should pop off easily as they are only on to diffuse the flames.

Remove the burner heads

Beneath the burner cap is a burner head. When removing the head, be sure to lift straight up. Be firm but gentle when removing so as not to damage the venturi tube beneath. The tube underneath connects to the main gas line in the stove, and damage could prevent the stovetop from functioning properly.

Soak and scrub the removed parts

Place the removed parts (burners and caps) in a bowl of warm water and dish soap. Allow the parts to soak for approximately 30 minutes.

Once they’ve soaked for about half an hour, pull them out one by one and scrub them with the old toothbrush to clear away debris. For debris that does not get removed by the toothbrush, use a straightened paper clip to unclog the holes in the head and cap. Be careful not to damage the metal of the burner head as you clean.

You can also create a paste of one part water to one part baking soda to help remove stuck-on debris. Use a gentle scrubbing pad to work the paste onto the burner parts and rinse thoroughly under running water.

Reassemble and test the burners

After you’ve washed and rinsed all of your burner parts, pat them dry with a towel and set them aside. Let them air dry until they are entirely free of water.

Reassemble your burner heads and caps by popping them back into their initial positions. Turn on your gas valve and light your burners to ensure that they are functioning normally.

Cleaning your gas stove burners is not as daunting as it looks. Take your time and be thorough with your cleaning process. Always ensure that your components are well rinsed and free of soap or debris before drying. Additionally, if you notice any discoloration, check to make sure that your burners are on correctly, are completely dried, and free of any soap remnants. If done correctly, you’ll be left with clean burners that are ready to fire up for your next meal.

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