How can I clean my stove burners?

I’ve been an apartment dweller for about seven years now (in various apartments and cities) and I always seem to have this problem. One, maybe two, of the burners work fine, while the others start smoking as soon as I turn them on. This isn’t usually a problem - I can use the ones that don’t smoke and cook for myself.

But, when I want to cook more than one dish at a time, I’ve got issues.

What’s the best way to clean these? They’re electric coil type burners. Can I pop them out of the stove and soak them in the sink for a while, followed by a good scrubbing? Should I not soak them? Am I going to destroy them by scrubbing them down?

I really want to make full and proper use of my stove, but I really don’t know how to stop the smoking, and don’t relish the idea of setting off the smoke detector.

I’ve used this method: Take the burners off and place them in the oven. Put a small metal container with some ammonia in the oven. Heat the oven at its lowest temperature (around 200) for about a half hour. Turn the oven off and let everything sit there for a few hours. Then gently scrub off the burners with warm water and detergent. Let them dry thoroughly before reinstalling them. It stinks, but it works! :smiley:

I got a trick from some people that cleaned appartments (for move out inspection) for a living. It is very close to what QED posted.

They said that they take every removable part off an oven for cleaning (all the racks, burners, etc) and stick them in a garbage bag. Add a cup of ammonia to the bag and tie it off. Toss bag in the yard to sit in the sun. By the time they were done with the rest of the cleaning, they just hosed off the parts in the bag and they were ready to go.

They swore that this worked well, even with some of the grubbiest ovens imaginable. I suspect they did see some pretty grubby appartments.

Ahhh, you’re in Dallas.

At the time, I was living in 29 Palms, CA… pretty much Mojave Desert central.

QED’s method would probably be the way to go in the winter time for sure.

I meant to mention that earlier.

Just toss them in the dishwasher. I have been cleaning mine that way for ten year, and have never had any problems