However careful you are, cooking on a hob is messy. It releases an enormous amount of food particles into the air, and they’ll have to settle somewhere. The result is a steadily-building layer of grime.
In this article we’ll take a look at how, through regular cleaning, a cooker hob can be kept in immaculate condition. Electric hobs come in both ceramic and stainless-steel varieties, and each demands a slightly different technique. We’ll examine each in turn.
Cleaning a Ceramic Hob
To begin with, you’ll need to remove any burned-on food that might be attached to your hob. You can buy non-abrasive ceramic hob scrapers for just this purpose. It’s important to employ the right action here. You want to be coming from a low, acute angle rather than stabbing downwards, as the latter approach might damage the hob.
Next, you’ll want to use a cleaning fluid which is especially designed for ceramic hobs, and you’ll want to ensure that your hob has cooled down properly before you begin. Spray the cleaner over the hob and then allow it to soak up all of the grime. You won’t need to wait too long – just enough so that you can easily rub it away with a microfiber cloth. The grime should lift off easily.
If stubborn areas persist, then you might consider using something slightly more abrasive. A piece of scrunched-up newspaper might suffice – be sure to test it on a small area, and stop immediately if you notice any scratching.
Life’s too short to spend hours scrubbing away at old stains. For this reason, you’ll want to clean your hob regularly and quickly – and you’ll want to promptly address any spillages before they have a chance to harden and burn when you next use your hob.
Cleaning a Stainless-Steel Hob
When it comes to stainless-steel, it’s especially important that we use the right sort of cloth. A Brillo pad, or other wire-wool product, will irreversibly damage the surface of the steel. Use a soft, microfiber cloth instead.
Bicarbonate of soda is often used to clean stainless steel appliances. It’s effective, inexpensive, and gentle, too. The only downside is that it will remove any lettering that’s been printed onto the hob far more quickly than other, specialist oven cleaners. The substance is therefore best reserved for troublesome spots rather than the hob as a whole. Using a damp cloth, pick up a spot of bicarbonate of soda, and the offending stain should scrub away.
When it’s properly polished, stainless steel looks great. A coating of baby oil should help you to achieve the required lustre – take a little bit on some kitchen roll and rub it across the surface of the hob. This will remove any fingerprints, and ensure that any stains will be easily scrubbed up next time.
Acidic substances, like vinegar, fruit juice and pickles, should be removed from the surface of stainless steel as soon as possible, as they have a corrosive effect and will leave permanent marks if not promptly attended to.
Many hobs allow you to remove the hot-plates in order to more easily wash them. Since the plates themselves will put up with more abuse than the surrounding surface, and can be totally submerged in a sink for easy washing, it’s recommended that you do this.
There are some stains which, for one reason or another, require a unique approach.
Molten plastic can be extremely troublesome if allowed to cool. It may become almost impossible to remove – and leave a permanent mark when, using brute force, you do manage to detach it. Keep a glass scraper handy so that you can remove it while it’s still warm.
Certain foodstuffs will need to be removed with greater urgency than others. Caramel, for example, is incredibly difficult to remove once it’s cooled – since all of those sugars become sticky and tough when allowed to dry. If you’re cooking with sugars, be sure to clean up any spillages before they’ve had a chance to cool – this will save you time in the long run.
Looking for a new hob? Browse our full range of ceramic, electric, gas and induction hobs here.