EASY Way to Clean Stove Burners & Grill Grates!

March 9, 2015 32 Comments | Disclosure

Wipe your grill grates and stove burners clean! No scrubbing!

ammonia collage

I was talking with a friend recently about how she had tried everything to clean the gunk off of her gas stove burners and NOTHING was working. Then she tried using household ammonia. When she shared her awesome results with me, I knew I needed to test it out myself and share it with everyone!

I picked up a 64-fl oz (2 qt) jug of ammonia at my local Walmart for only $1.12. (By the way, we have tons of Walmart coupon deals you might want to snag while you’re there!) Don’t want to run to Walmart? Snag some this deal on amazon

cleaning gas stove with ammonia

We found that it worked best to double-bag the stove burners in resealable gallon-sized bags (Ziploc Coupons). Add about 1/4 cup of household ammonia in with each burner. Seal the bags. Then put those into a garbage bag and used a rubber band to seal it (Hefty Coupons). You want to seal the ammonia fumes in there and let those fumes break up all of the food gunk. The fumes clean it, not the liquid.

putting gas stove in garbage bag

The grill grates were too big for a gallon bag, so we just doubled up on the garbage bags, added about 1 cup of ammonia, and tried to seal it up well.

cleaning with ammonia

Let it sit outside in the bags overnight, or for about 12-24 hours. It is possible that the ammonia will leak out of the bags, so it is best to let it sit outside and on a surface that will not be damaged from the ammonia. We decided to move the bags to the concrete patio after taking the pictures.

cleaning grill grate

Then, carefully remove the items from the bags, dispose of the ammonia properly (see below) and you should be able to wipe all that gunk off easily with a sponge (Sponge Coupons). That’s right, JUST wipe. No scrubbing! If it doesn’t wipe clean easily, you can try doing this process another time and that should do the trick. Then just rinse the grates and/or burners in a sink to remove the any remaining ammonia and you’re good to go!

This is definitely my go-to way of cleaning grill grates and stove top burners from now on!

grill grate collage

For safety precautions, wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when working with ammonia. You don’t want it to splash up into your eyes! The Poison Control Center recommends disposing your ammonia down a sink where there is plenty of ventilation, such as a garage sink. If  you do not have a garage sink, they recommend opening a window near the sink you are using for 10-15 minutes.

Household ammonia cleaning solutions usually have between 5 -10% ammonia. If you store and use the proper safety precautions with household ammonia, it can be used WITHOUT any toxic effects. By rinsing your items thoroughly after using this cleaning method, all of the ammonia can and will be removed.

clean grill stove

Thanks, The V Spot & Made From Pinterest for sharing this awesome method!
Thank you to my friends, Sarah and Esther!

Click to see a collection of frugal DIY household cleaning recipesSee our tried and true DIY household cleaner recipes!


  1. I just throw my burners for my stove in the diswasher. I will have to try my grill grate with this or in the dishwasher, until now, it has been a lot of elbow grease. Thanks!

    • Melanie says:

      Yes, you should definitely try it. It was so easy!

      • Do you know if this would work on or damage the grates on a Viking range? They don’t have that “porcelain” type shiny coating. Mine are not caked with gunk, however they have grease spots and discoloration. Anyone try this on a “flat finish” grate?

        • I personally don’t know about if it will help much with grease spots and discoloration. I know the ammonia fumes are really good are getting food gunk off though. I’ve even cleaned the inside of my oven with a similar technique. I’m thinking that the finish of the grates won’t make much of a difference and maybe it would be worth a try. You could always try contacting Viking first though if you are concerned about it.

  2. Wow! I am telling everyone about this amazing technique! My last burner covers (the flat ones) were so bad that I had to buy new ones – $40! I tried EVERYTHING to get that junk off of them.

    The first time I put everything (covers and grills) into a garbage bag and put it in the driveway for about 12 hours. It leaked, but it worked a little. We were going away for the weekend so just for the heck of it, I put the flat covers in a ziploc and left them in the kitchen sink for 4 days. When I came home, I could see the brown liquid in the bag and all I had to do was rinse the covers and they were like new! I am so excited! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  3. Tara Tooley says:

    Do we really need 2 bags? I have my stove top grates in the sink with a sealed zip lock. No fumes.

    • We found that some of our Ziploc bags started to leak a little. And the more fumes you hold in there, the more effective it is. So, it isn’t necessary to double-bag it, just a recommendation.

  4. This is a really useful tip! While it’s often stated that ammonia fumes are quite pungent, and that people should put a mask and gloves on while working with it, I’ve never seen someone put said fumes to such great use! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Crystal says:

    Could you also do this with your racks from the oven?

  6. Valerie says:

    This is awesome for really gunky grates, I inherited gross ones when I moved in and was never able to clean them in my dishwasher or using old fashioned elbow grease–it was that bad. This is my second time doing it and I went all in and put all 4 of the grates in a trash bag. Next time, I will just do two in a bag. The top two grates will need another round in the ammonia. I do have shiny ones and they haven’t lost that shine– I can actually SEE the shine now! Lastly, I can’t imagine what the smell of 100% ammonia would be if we only get a 5-10% now. Yikes. Thanks again for sharing.

  7. Is it okay to put it outside while it is winter here?

    • I think so! I had to search to see if household ammonia freezes or not; looks like the freezing point of a 10% ammonia solution is 18 degrees Fahrenheit, 2% would be closer to 32 degrees. So just make sure it isn’t super cold outside!

  8. Do you know if it works on cast iron grates?

  9. Do you have to leave them for 12 hours???

    • You can certainly try leaving it for less time. If the grime doesn’t come off easily, you may need to do another treatment.

  10. Barbara Sawyer-Koch says:

    Would the ammonia work on a ceramic stove top? I am thinking of dousing a rag with ammonia, laying it over the baked on gunk and covering with plastic wrap taped to the clean surface surrounding the gunk. Are there better ways to get at the stove top?

    Does the ammonia work on gas stove top burner covers in bags as well?

    • Lori Tillman says:

      I’m not sure about the cooktop, but it definitely works for gas stove grates/covers. It is amazing. Remember, it’s the fumes, not the liquid ammonia, so you have to trap those fumes.

    • Kimberly Delgado says:

      I do something like that. I soak strips of paper towels in ammonia and wrap it around the burners where the stains seem to accumulate. Then I seal it over with foil and leave it overnight. This method has worked really well for me and my stove is always spotless.

  11. I have a gas range, but my burners are gray (hate it!). I was going to purchase some new black ones, but I think i’ll give this is a go first. Thanks!

  12. Got busy and cleaned my once beautiful gas range last night to get ready for fall – baking soda pastes and hot water and 2 plus hours of elbow work didn’t cut it ugh – knew there had to be a better way to clean those grates and I found the easy answer right here – God Bless You! The ammonia is on the shopping list for round 2 of end of summer cleaning, thank you!

  13. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! I will try it now in the weekend! My grills are in horrible condition! Thanks! <3

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