You may or may not be familiar with the term, but some people refer to electric stove burners as "stove eyes." Whether or not they actually resemble these body parts is in the eye of the beholder, but either way, stove top burners definitely need to be cleaned from time to time. Appliance manufacturers, like Whirlpool, recommend certain ways to clean the stove eyes, and it is always a good idea to check the manual before beginning any kind of maintenance work on your appliance.
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Cleaning Stove Eyes
Traditional electric stoves have coils, and glass ones have burners that are flush with their surfaces. For any type of stovetop, the most important first step is to ensure that the stovetop is turned off and that the burners are cooled. Then, you can proceed with cleaning the stove eyes.
If there are coils on the stove, they can be unplugged and lifted up and out. Then, you should take out the burner bowls, shake any debris into the trash and set the bowls aside. Wipe down the heating coils with a clean, dampened cloth and give them time to dry.
Burner Bowl Cleaning
Sometimes, the burner bowls on your stove are so old and/or dirty that they cannot be cleaned well and have to be replaced. To see what the cooktop's electric stove burner sizes are, it is best to check the manual. Then, you can order new ones that will fit properly. To clean burner bowls, begin by filling the sink with hot, soapy water and then soak the bowls. Allow them to soak for at least 20 minutes or longer if they are especially dirty.
Take the burner bowls out of the water and have a look. If you cannot clean them off completely with a scrub brush, try combining equal parts baking soda and liquid dish soap in a dish (about 1/2 cup of each). Coat the bowls with this mixture, working it in with a toothbrush. Let the bowls sit for 30 minutes or so and then wipe them off with a dampened rag. Rinse them and dry them thoroughly.
Using steel wool for cleaning is a popular method, but it can scratch the burner bowls. As such, you may wish to avoid these and other abrasive cleaning tools.
Glass Cooktop Burners
To clean Whirlpool glass cooktop eyes, first wipe down the stovetop with a damp cloth to remove any loose crumbs or residue. You can use a cooktop scraper to take off any cooked-on food but never use steel wool or anything abrasive. There are scrapers specifically made for this purpose; some experts also recommend using razor blades.
Add water to dishwashing liquid on a sponge and work it into a lather. Then, drip the soapy water onto the burners and cooktop. Allow this to sit for about 15 minutes and then keep wiping and rinsing out the sponge until all the soap is removed. Dry with a soft, clean towel.
You can also use a cleaner that is made specifically for a glass cooktop. This can be applied to the surface directly. Wipe off the product with a clean, soft cloth (microfiber is great for this). You can buff the glass cooktop with another clean, dry cloth until it shines.