Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

We've all got them. I'm about to share mine. Ready? Well, wait. First let me explain some. You know how I like to talk. My friend Tamara and her husband Jean have begun a wine tasting party business until they open their own wine shop. (Go see and shop or book a party here.) So a couple weekends ago, Derek and I hosted a wine tasting party. It was much fun, but of course with having people over comes the scurry and flurry of housekeeping. I do it every day, but there are always those hot spots and nooks and crannies. And flat surfaces. And the floor. And, and, and.

Things were looking good-really good if I may say so. Better than it's looked since before kids for sure. Since we moved in maybe! The clutter was gone, things looked crisp and clean. But my thoughts and critical eye brought me to the kitchen. My dreaded stove. I love how my stove, a Maytag, works, but years ago my dad was here and was saying how he liked the neat lines and colors and the like in the house, and just as those words left his mouth, he saw my stove. And he laughed. "That's hysterical!" he said. "NO IT'S NOT! Don't laugh at my gross stove!" I shrieked! Ugh, embarrassed all over the place. (Remember that dad? No? See, yet another parenting moment forever etched in my brain! ;P)

I've done everything to this stove to try to clean it. Oven cleaner, Bar Keeper's Friend, SOS pads, all sorts of grease cutters, vinegar and baking soda scrubs and soaks, butter knife scraping...all to no avail. I think my father in law even tried once when they were here watching the girls. I was pleased that he couldn't clean them either. I'd throw them in the dishwasher and try to calm my agitation, saying they were surface clean at least. But oh, those burners and trays!

We looked at buying replacement parts, but it was over $200 or something silly. That money can be spent in much better ways. :) Then one day, on my knitting website of all places, I received a tip:
Boil the burners in water with a dryer sheet.

What? That's crazy! But what was there to lose? I've done everything else but sandblast the things (which was on the list of possibilities). So, here. Here's proof of my dirty little secret (ugh, and I'm embarrassed, but this tip is too good not to share all over the place):

I know. Look at that. SO gross. So I took the burners and put them in my roaster. Covered them with water and added a dryer sheet and set it to boil. I let it go for about 20-30 minutes, then let them cool in the water until I could touch them. I took a butter knife and all the grody things came right off! I also used a scrubby (the mesh bags that lemons come in). I think the results will speak for themselves.




Look at that! It feels like a brand new stove. So much better now and I don't have to cringe when I walk in to the kitchen. Or anyone else for that matter.

Now, one word of warning. The dryer sheet boiling away isn't the most pleasant of smells. It can really irritate your throat and eyes. Wait for a nice day when windows can be open, and don't stand over it while it's boiling away. Oh, and don't burn yourself! That's two words of warning I suppose.

So that's it. My dirty little secret. This decade at least. Really, that's it. (Dude, my parents read my blog, yo. ;)


  1. Wow!
    Sounds almost incomprehensible - what DO people throw into their dryers?!?

    I'm glad it worked for your stove though - I will try to remember, as I don't own a dryer ;-)

  2. Oh my word! That is a fascinating thing!!!! I have a flat top stove, but I think this would have helped with my old stove. The fabric softener sheet must soften the junk. GREAT idea!!

  3. What a great tip!!!! Thanks so much.

  4. Wow! That is incredible. Thanks for sharing! I need to pick up some dryer sheets, apparently.

  5. Thanks for sharing. I am going to have to try that one.

  6. I had the same problem but I had an epiphany and put them in the oven when I cleaned it and they came out really clean that way too.

  7. Great tip! Have flat-top stove now but will definitely pass this along.