How to clean cast iron stove grates to make them look brand new

Cast iron stove grates
Cast iron stove grates (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cleaning cast iron stove grates is essential for keeping your stove and kitchen clean. Unless you have a cleaning fairy, you’ll probably need to know how to get them looking like new.

If you cook regularly, your cast iron stove grates will quickly become covered in caked-in food caused by spilt food and splatters from pans. If they’re not properly cleaned, over time, you’ll be left with an unsightly build-up of grease and grime.

Unfortunately, that greasy residue can dull the overall appearance of your grates, making your stove look far from brand new. But don’t fear. Cleaning your cast iron stove grates isn’t as time-consuming as you may fear, and it’s simple to do. So, to get the sparkle back into your stove, follow our top tips on how to clean cast iron stove grates to make them look as good as the first time you used them.

Do you have electric? Check out how to clean a glass stove. Also, if you want to keep the glass looking good, you'll also want to read how to prevent scratches on your glass stove.

How to clean cast iron stove grates with soapy water

1. First, allow the burners to cool completely before removing the cast iron grates. Place in an empty sink or tub. 

2. Fill the sink with hot water until they cover the grates, and add some dish soap into the water. Allow the cast iron grates to soak in the soapy solution for around 10-15 minutes. This will allow the soap to get to work in lifting and cutting through the grease or stuck-on food on the grates. 

Removing iron stove grate

Removing iron stove grate (Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Then, use a non-metal, soft bristled brush, pad or sponge to scrub away at and remove any food residue or grease on the grates. Ensure to get into all the crevices and awkward places to get rid of dirt. 

4. Once the grates are all free from grime, rinse with warm water until there are no traces of soap. Dry thoroughly with a clean cloth before putting them back on top of the stove.

TIP: Cast iron grates can easily get worn down if using the wrong cleaning materials. Avoid using abrasive, metallic scouring pads or harsh cleaning substances like ammonia.

Soapy water

Soapy water (Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to clean cast iron stove grates with baking soda

1. First, mix three parts baking soda to one part water to create a thick paste. 

2. Take a soft, bristled brush or cloth to coat the cast iron grates with the paste, making sure to get into all the crevices and awkward spots. 

3. Leave to sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow the baking soda to get to work in lifting off any greasy residue. 

4. Next, use a soft scrub brush or toothbrush to remove caked on residue before rinsing off thoroughly in warm water. Finally, wipe down the grates with a soft, clean cloth.

Baking soda and water in glass

Baking soda and water in glass (Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to clean cast iron stove grates with white vinegar 

1. First, mix one part of distilled white vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle.  White vinegar is a popular, natural cleaning product along with baking soda. If you want to know why, check out what makes baking soda and vinegar so good at cleaning. 

2. Next, spray the solution over your grates and leave it to sit for 15 minutes before wiping thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.

If you want a nicer smell, you can add a few drops of essential oil, but there are ways on how to clean with vinegar without the smell.  

White vinegar and spray bottle

White vinegar and spray bottle (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Do you need to season cast iron stove grates? 

Similar to knowing how to season a cast iron skillet, you would need to season your cast iron stove grates to prevent rust. After they have been cleaned, apply a light coating of cooking oil on the bottom of the grates. Next, bake the grate at 350°F for about 30 to 40 minutes. 

To keep your kitchen looking shiny and new, check out our guides on how to clean a microwave, how to clean an oven, how to clean a garbage disposal, and how to clean stainless steel appliances. Want to give your stovetop an upgrade? Invisible stovetops look like the next big thing — check out the benefits and drawbacks. 

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!