Drip pans on electric stoves can get really gross - here's how to clean your nasty drip pans, easily!


How to clean drip pans on an electric stove

My fiance tried to scrub my drip pans (those metal thingies under the stove burners on an electric stove) clean a while ago, but he gave up. The stuff was just too baked-on.

Girls like to “think smarter, not harder.” Have you ever seen the shirt that says, “Of course I don’t look busy. I did it right the first time.” Yeah.

So… I got to thinking there MUST be a way to get rid of the gunk easily. My fiance proved that soaking it in soapy water didn’t work, nor did scrubbing with a plastic brillo-pad type thing. I had an idea. Follow along to see if it worked. 😀

Step 1: Remove the drip pans. First you will need to remove the burners by lifting…

and pulling straight out (sideways) to unplug them.

Gross, huh?

Step two: Marvel at the grossness. This is also a good time to clean the surface of your stove.

Step three: Put the drip pans in the sink and spray each one with a lot of WD-40. Then leave the room, so you won’t get that lightheaded feeling. Unless that’s what you’re going for.

Step four: Do some laundry, browse around on Joyful Abode, and generally forget about the drip pans in your sink.

Step five: Try to cook dinner, but realize your stove is disassembled and there are WD-40-soaked drip pans in your sink. Scrub vigorously. Make sure you get all of the WD-40 off, so you don’t explode when you replace the drip pans and turn on your stove. Stand in awe of the joy of WD-40, which by the way is not a lubricant, but a solvent.

Step six: Really, make sure you get all the WD-40 off.

Step seven. Ooh, ahh.

Step eight: Put the drip pans back on the stove, and plug the burners back in.

I bet you can’t wait to clean your drip pans now. Right?

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  1. Krud Kutter worth trying from lowe ir home depot

  2. Instead of having to clean the drip pans, and under the stove top, I put heavy duty foil under the burners then I wrap each drip pan with foil. When they get dirty just replace the foil. Cheaper than buying new drip pans

  3. Why doesn’t manufacture’s make appliance easier to clean? I am 65 they haven’t change much as far being hard to clean in my life. Maybe we need all address this to our manufacture’s ? I think I do that right now ,have a nice day.

  4. Wondering if this idea will work on a gas stove too. Any ideas

  5. I’ve got 2 ways that I clean my drip pans. This first one is a VERY old method.

    1.) I get my largest roasting pan and fill it with hot water. Place on 2 burners and boil the water. I put the burners on high heat. Once the water boils, I place 2 tbsps. baking soda and 1-2 tbsps. dish detergent. BE CAREFUL because at this point, the water may boil over. So once the water boils, you can turn down the heat. Add 2 of your drip pans, and allow them to “cook” for 20-30 minutes. Then turn off the heat and using tongs, remove drip pans and place in the sink. It won’t take long for them to cool down. At this point, you can get scrubbing them clean. It really depends how dirty and greasy they are. I always apply some kinda homemade degreaser then scrub clean. This works great when my drip pans are really greasy and grimy.

    This is my new method. I combine a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and cream of tartar. I apply it with a pastry brush or sponge. Allow it to sit anywhere from 10-20 mins. Then scrub with a green scrubby or one of those brown wiry-like scrubbers. I used this method this past week on me and my oldest daughter’s drip pans. There was even a rust spot on one of mine and this mixture removed it. Me and my daughter’s drip pans are so clean, shiny, and bright, you’d think we just bought them from the store.

  6. This is why I want a smooth-top stove! lol Had one at our last home and sure do miss it. I read on another blog that soaking each one in a baggie with 1/4 cup of ammonia overnight works beautifully with no scrubbing. Set them outside overnight during the soaking process. Can’t wait to try!!!

    • Wouldn’t smooth be nice? But I love GAS stoves… and I don’t think there’s such a thing as a smooth-topped gas stove.

  7. Here are the steps for all you explosive fear mongers. paranoid? W-40…so what. Tr it 1st. Its cheap. like anything else – gasoline or oven cleaner…you get some news paper and a plastic bag head out doors and spray. let it set on the plastic and then start your scrubbing outside. wrap everything up when your done in the sheet of NP put in the plastic garbage bag and then throw it in the garbage bin tied up outside. next go get your vinegar which will gut through anything you baking soda or Cream of Tarter and scrub. If you want to do the Dawn it will cut through W-4 also. But I am with all of you who said run to the store or buy some from the management. They sell them to me for 4 bucks a piece. I keep the pretty ones out for display. I have the yucky ones in the bottom oven drawer for cooking.

  8. The WD-40 works just fine. But you have to remember two things: #1) Do not wash it off before you scrub. #2) I had to spend about 2 minutes of HARD scrubbing with steel wool to get everything off. And maybe #3, wipe the pans off with paper towels, then throw away the towels and wash the pans out with a good grease cutting detergent.

  9. I used a DeWalt power drill with a soft steel bristled brush.
    Worked great. They look brand new!!

    • While I sit here with mine soaking in dawn and baking soda I read this! I’m going to my neighbors to find Drill attachments now!

  10. While it would be nice to have an easy fix for those gunky drip pans, I think I’d rather save myself the hassle and buy new ones. LOL It is much cheaper to buy new ones than to pay what the apartments would charge to replace them.

  11. For the record, it is NOT acceptable to use WD40 and rinse it down your sink. Good rule of thumb, harmful and flamable chemicals should by means go down your sink into the public water supply. Way to pollute folks. Good job. Use baking soda, cream of tartar or vinegar instead. All edible and do the job. If they do not work, then the drip pans are too far gone. Replace them and clean them up after each spill. If you get them the next day before you cook again, then you won’t burn it on permanently. Either way, please do not use freakin WD40 or oven cleaner and then rinse it down the sink… smh.

  12. Didn’t work. It was worth a try, though.

  13. I really appreciate this blog. – I came across it on Google today while having a VERY frustrating time deep cleaning my stove top. (I am STILL, after 2 years, cleaning my husband’s bachelor pad, and am just now able to get to the really deep cleaning stuff. You can imagine how bad it was in the whole house before I moved in just by how bad it is for me to clean the drip pans!) I also have found that using Cola (yes, Soda Pop) aluminum foil balls (Brillo pads work great too)works GREAT for cleaning the drip pans. The condition my drip pans were in though, they were beyond my ability to get more than the top layer of gunk off.

  14. This did not work for me. It was a waste of time actually. Maybe I’ll try the cream of tartar idea?

  15. I will have to try some of these ideas. Our lease is up in July and they want to charge us $50 to replace the pan drips if we don’t get them clean.

  16. ok so i’ve tried everything else nothing has worked. including hours of ‘elbow grease’ – so i figure why not try this. Currently soaking in the sink, will let you know in a few hours how it worked.

  17. seen all the blogs about cleaning drip pans, but what if you can’t even get the drip pan removed from the stove top to begin with?

  18. I had never heard of using WD-40, but I will try that, for I just buy new ones when mine get dirty, I hate any sort of stains on my drip pans.
    thanks for the info.

  19. last year we bought two electric stoves that we use on our kitchen, they are nice because they do not generate smoke -*`

  20. Hi, I came across your blog when doing googling how to clean drip pans. This sounds like a great idea, but where did you clean them to get the WD-40 off? Kitchen sink? Can you rinse it down the drain?


    • No, it should not be rinsed down the drain. Avoid it, this is a stupid idea. Vinegar and baking soda work just as well and if the burned on crap is too burnt on even for vinegar or baking soda, then replace them and try and keep them from getting that bad again with baking soda. Baking soda is also a wonderful stainless steal polish.

  21. That is an awesome idea Alice! Thanks for sharing.

  22. I did not have on hand any Brillo pads or many suggested items. I wanted to try something that would save my hands, without noxious or toxic cleaners – though my stove burner pans were atrocious. I boiled them in a big pot with a dollop of cascade and about 1/8 cup baking soda. Remove one every 15 minutes – scrape a little with wooden spoon and clean with srubby sponge, put back in boiling water. After about 4 times, even the worst blackened pan came clean.

  23. That is an awesome idea Alice! Thanks for sharing.

  24. That is an awesome idea Alice! Thanks for sharing.

  25. I did not have on hand any Brillo pads or many suggested items. I wanted to try something that would save my hands, without noxious or toxic cleaners – though my stove burner pans were atrocious. I boiled them in a big pot with a dollop of cascade and about 1/8 cup baking soda. Remove one every 15 minutes – scrape a little with wooden spoon and clean with srubby sponge, put back in boiling water. After about 4 times, even the worst blackened pan came clean.

    • Alice, I came across this looking for ideas to clean my burners, I tried baking soda, vinegar and dish soap, ammonia in a bag with them didn’t do much, then tried in the sink with water, which worked ok, lots of elbow grease, and still left some stuff, didn’t do anything at all for one of them. I just tried your tip, but did dawn dish soap boiling with the baking soda, I took them out after 10th min, one is new looking, didn’t even have to scrub, the other 2 including the one that the ammonia did nothing for are mostly clean, put them back in cause I don’t want to scrub, and switched the clean burner pan to heat tge pot and am now doing the last one. It’s amaizing.

      • Sarah, your version is MIRACULOUS! Really awful, tough, baked-on stuff came off WITHOUT scrubbing!! Thank you! Dawn + 1/8 cup baking soda.

  26. Yup, vinegar is pretty magical stuff — though cleaning is about the only thing that I use white vinegar for:-) This suggestion, using cream of tartar, is from a book that PBS was giving away as a pledge incentive a few years ago, something like “How to clean everything” or “Household tips” or some such title. Works really well. Don’t know the reason why….


  27. Good tip Dawn. I just used my regular dishsoap… I haven’t tried that Dawn stuff yet. Might soon though. i’m most out of my regular stuff.

    Breadbox, isn’t vinegar just awesome for so many things? I haven’t heard of mixing it with cream of tartar though. Good stuff!

    Yayanana, now she knows, just in case she ever has drip pans again. 😉

  28. You didn’t learn this from your mother. I’ll bet she wishes she had known about this tip when she had drip pans.

  29. Something else worth trying, not as greasily noxious as wd40 is a combination of white vinegar and cream of tartar; mixed in a ratio so as to form a thick paste: spread it on, leave it, and most crud will just wash off.
    Oh, but be sure to buy your c of t at a bulk spice place, for $5 a pound or so instead of $2 an ounce in those tiny bottles in the store!


  30. Since the WD-40 is so greasy, the best thing to wash THAT off, might be Dawn Direct Foam dish soap (the kind where you only wet the sponge and use the foam on the greasy item).. works GREAT for the greasiest of messes.

  31. What was the WD-40 for on the battery, Jessica? That would make me pretty paranoid too!

    Mrs.Dragon… I wonder if the WD40 would’ve worked there. Guess we’ll never know!

    Katie, I guess if nothing else works (including this) you could buy new ones. But I agree that throwing stuff away all the time isn’t the best thing… and if a can of WD40 can help, you may as well try it before you buy new ones.

  32. You can get a brand spanking new set for less than 20 bucks….I do not advocate throwing things away all the time, but if you rent and they are nasty — ask for new ones or buy your own.

    My new house has the ceramic cooktop and I am worried about keeping it clean too. Guess I will figure it out when I get there.

  33. Ryan and I were just using WD-40 around a car battery the other day. We were also a little paranoid… at least with a stove there is nothing to explode BUT the WD-40, so it would probably burn off quickly…

  34. Oh, I wish I had known about that in our last apartment. Those things were so filthy from years of use that we were NEVER able to get them totally clean. I bet this would have worked wonders!

  35. Lisa, I washed them and dried them a bunch of times because I was paranoid about it. I didn’t explode though, so it must’ve worked!

    mub, I agree about those flat ones looking dirty easily… but they’re sooo easy to clean I wouldn’t mind wiping them down every day!

    Wendy, please do let me know if you try it out. I think the foil lining thing always looks odd…

  36. Wow, I can’t wait to see if that works for me. I can’t ever get the really baked on stuff off and I hate lining them with foil!!

  37. If I recall correctly, oven cleaner works wonderfully too!

    I have a flat top ceramic stove, which sounds lovely at first when you think “yay no more cleaning drip pans” until you realize that even BREATHING near it makes it look dirty *L*

  38. How clever! I’m not sure I trust myself to *really* get rid of all of the WD40, though 😉

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