Home Maintenance Tip: Stove Maintenance and Safety
Posted on December 18, 2015

Even if you mainly use your stove to reheat food and don’t aspire to be a gourmet cook, you don’t want it to fail right before a big occasion. Maintaining your stove can help improve performance and extend its lifespan.

Cleaning Your Knobs and Dials: Use a non-abrasive cleaner or soap and water to remove food particles from the control panel. Abrasive cleaners or pads could wear off the burner identification. Do not spray or drip water or liquid cleaners into the control panel as it may cause damage to the electrical system. It is best to spray water or cleaners onto the cleaning rag.

Clean or Change Range Hood Filters: Range hood filters absorb grease and cooking odors. They should be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. Refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on cleaning and replacement.

Clean the Oven Interior: Spills and drips in an oven can smoke and catch on fire. Cleaning the oven interior on a regular basis is the best policy. Ideally, avoid spills and drips as much as possible and clean them as they occur. Self-cleaning ovens will heat the interior to a very high temperature incinerating food particles stuck to the oven. The process usually takes 2 to 4 hours. Prior to starting the self-cleaning process, take the racks out of the oven and use hot, soapy water to clean them. Never use a cleaning solution in a self-cleaning oven. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, use a commercial oven cleaner and follow the directions.

Clean the Stove Top: Use cook top cleaners for smooth electric stove tops and for gas stove tops made of porcelain coated steel. A razor blade can be carefully used for heavy spills. For a stainless steel stove top, use a heavy degreaser and non-abrasive pad. For a coil electric stove top, cover the drip pans in aluminum foil and change them periodically. Cleaning up spills and food particles as you go prevents more work later on.

Maintenance and safety go hand in hand. Follow these guidelines:

  • Check that the Anti-Tip Bracket is installed. These brackets are supposed to be installed on all stoves, but too often they are left off. Anti-tip brackets prevent the stove from tipping forward and causing injury to small children and adults.
  • Be careful when lifting pot lids. Escaping steam can cause serious burns to your hands or face if you are peeking in the pan as you lift the lid.
  • Prevent splattering hot oil by using a grease screen or lid. As well as leaving a mess on the stove, hot oil can lead to burns.
  • Turn pot handles to the side or back. Handles can be accidentally caught in loose clothing or knocked causing hot food or boiling water to spill.
  • Create a plan in the event of a fire. Prior to a fire, know exactly what you will do. Have a fire extinguisher nearby and an escape plan all thought out.

Following some basic maintenance and safety guidelines, your stove can last for many years and might be the last appliance you replace.

 

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