- Wipe down the range top. A clean surface prevents scratches and stops acidic food from eating away at the appliance finish.
- Clean up thoroughly after a boil over. If necessary, unclog burner ports on a gas range with a straight pin. Don’t use a toothpick, which can break off in a port.
Four Times a Year (at least)
- Run self-cleaning cycle after removing racks (they discolor at high temperature). Clean around the door and its gasket first – These areas often don’t receive enough heat to thoroughly burn off grease and splatters. To cut down on smoke during cleaning, sweep out crumbs. The minimum duration of the cycle should be two and a half hours; some manufacturers recommend three or more. The self=cleaning cycle, which costs around $1 to run, burns off residue with an automatic 850°F setting. After the cycle has completed and the oven has cooled, wipe out ashes with a clean wet rag run the self-cleaning cycle at night, when kids won’t get near the hot stove and you won’t notice the odor as much.
Once a Year
- Inspect the oven-door gasket. It should be soft and pliable. If it is hard, it may leak heat, which taxes the element in electric ovens and affects the performance of the oven. What’s more, it will cost you energy dollars. If yours is held on with screws and clips, replace it. Most, however, require disassembling the oven door to replace the gasket – you might want to call a technician for this.
- In a gas range, inspect the pilot flame. The flame should be a sharp blue cone 1/4 to 3/8 in. high.