How to Clean Stove Drip Pans – Methods Tested

This post likely contains affiliate links which may earn me commissions should you click through them and take certain actions.

Oven stove tops. Notoriously known for getting disgusting, especially those stove drip pans that catch all the overflowing boiling water, accidentally spilt sauces and miscellaneous food debris. They get nasty and black far too quickly.

So, what is the best way to clean stove drip pans? Can you ever really get them sparkling like new, or should you just buy new ones and remember to cover them with aluminum foil this time?

Well, I was determined to find out! Today, I’m sharing a Pinterest Experiment. I searched Pinterest to find various methods on how to clean burner pans. I think you’ll be surprised with the results.

Get Your Drip Pans Clean!

Snag up a FREE printable instruction sheet on how to clean your drip pans four different ways PLUS receive additional tried and tested cleaning tips for all areas of your home when you subscribe!

Powered by ConvertKit

Experiment #1 – Clean Stove Drip Pans with Ammonia

This is definitely the cleaning experiment I was most interested in trying out. It seemed simple and cheap and the results online were always amazing (even for things like getting grills sparkling again). I had to buy ammonia at the store (it only cost a few dollars) since we didn’t have any on hand, but it is a relatively cheap way to clean stove drip pans, if it worked!

Tutorial on how to clean stove drip pans with ammonia. |

Use ammonia and Ziploc bags to clean stove burner drip pans. |

What you’ll need:

1. Dirty stove drip pan
2. Gallon-Sized Ziploc Bag
3. Ammonia
4. Measuring Cup
5. Scour Pad
6. Baking soda (optional)
7. Peroxide (optional)

How to clean stove drip pans with ammonia

1. Place dirty drip pan into a Ziploc bag.

2. Pour 1/4 cup ammonia into the bag.

3. Seal it shut.

4. Place it outside in the sun (one post said the sun helped vaporize the ammonia, which is what does the cleaning – the vapors).

Clean burner drip pans with ammonia - leave it in a bag outside for a day. |

5. Leave it outside overnight. I left mine outside for almost 24 hours. You don’t necessarily have to leave it outside, but ammonia stinks, and my bag did end up leaking, so I am thankful it was outside.

6. Bring it inside, hold your nose, and dump the ammonia out.

7. Wipe off the dirt and grim with a scour pad.

8. And voila! Clean!

9. Oops. If it didn’t get cleaned right away, one pin said she used a little baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on the tough parts. So, I tried that too for good measure. (It didn’t do anything.)

Did it work?

Cleaning stove drip pans with ammonia did NOT work for me. I don’t know if it’s because my burner pans are the cheapest of cheap apartment chrome drip pans and not ceramic ones like I found on the pin in question. I also don’t know if maybe I used too much ammonia or did something wrong there. All I know is that my burner pan still looked gross, extra step and all. They were better, but not sparkling.Tutorial on how to clean burner pans with ammonia - a before and after comparison. | whatsupfagans.comIt’s not a horrible idea, as ammonia is inexpensive, but it’s also a harsh chemical and very stinky and takes overnight to get it (ideally) sparkly. Also, don’t mix ammonia with an other chemicals, especially bleach!

Pinterest Experiment #2 – Clean Stove Drip Pans with Bar Keepers Friend

One of my friends told me about Bar Keepers Friend and that she loves using it to clean her pots and pans. In fact, I tested it out on one of my nasty pizza pans that my husband brought into our marriage five years ago that I have never seen shiny silver and Bar Keepers Friend had it shining again in about five minutes. Amazing, right? So, maybe it would clean my burner pans as awesomely too!Here's how to clean a stove burner's drip pan using Bar Keeper's Best Friend |

What you’ll need:

1. Dirty burner pan
2. Bar Keepers Friend (or Comet? Are they the same thing?)
3. Scour pad
4. Water
5. Spray bottle (optional)

How to clean stove drip pans with Bar Keepers Friend:

1. Get your dirty stove drip pan a little wet. A spray bottle might be helpful.

2. Sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend onto your pan, getting it all over it.

How to clean a burner pan with bar keeper's friend

3. Let it sit for 5+ minutes, especially if your burner pan is nasty, like mine.

4. Take your scour pad and scrub the burner pan aggressively!

5. Rinse with water.

6. Voila! You’re done!

Did it work?

Bar Keepers Friend did clean up some of the black nasty gunk that had built up on my stove drip pan. Unfortunately, it didn’t do the job all the way. It’s a simple way, and also not too expensive, but it just didn’t complete the job. But, it’s a great product!

Before and After: Cleaning stove burner drip pans with Bar Keeper's Friend. |

Pinterest Experiment #3 – Clean Stove Drip Pans with WD-40

I happened to have some WD-40 already, so I was willing to give this pinterest find a try.

How to clean a drip pan with WD-40

What you’ll need:

1. Dirty burner pan
2. WD-40
3. Scour pad
4. Water
5. Dish soap

How to clean stove drip pans with WD-40:

1. Spray the burner pan liberally with WD-40.

How to clean burner pans with WD-40 |

2. Leave the room so you don’t get light headed. Wait about 20+ minutes.

3. Scrub vigorously with the scour pad.

4. Make sure to get all the WD-40 off (because apparently you could explode if you don’t?!). Use some dish soap and water to help you do this.

5. Viola! Clean pans!

Did it work?

Nope. Pretty much not at all. Using WD-40 was by far the worst way to clean my stove drip pans, and apparently dangerous if you don’t get it all off! The blogger that shared this tip had one of the cleanest burner pans I had ever seen before cleaning it. Mine was much nastier to start. So, I suppose if you just have a light crud problem on your stove drip pans you might be good to go. But, I would use one of these other methods first. They work much better.Before and After: Cleaning stove drip pans with WD-40 |

Pinterest Experiment #4 – Clean Stove Drip Pans with Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Essential Oils

Having just learned first hand about the power of essential oils (and receiving some free samples), and knowing that baking soda works well for cleaning ovens, and vinegar for cleaning pots (and many other things, I knew this pinterest find had some merit.

A tutorial on how to clean stove drip pans with baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils. It works! |

What you’ll need:

1. Dirty stove drip pan.
2. Baking Soda
3. White Vinegar
4. Orange essential oils (or other citrus oil)
5. Scour pad
6. Water
7. Spray Bottle

How to clean stove drip pans with baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils:

1. Sprinkle your dirty drip pan with baking soda. Coat it well.

Clean burner pan with baking soda and vinegar

2. Spray a 1:1 vinegar/water (although straight vinegar will work, but in either case, a spray bottle is helpful since the burner pans are curved) on the baking soda. Make it fizzle. You know it is working now!

Clean a burner pan with baking soda and vinegar and essential oils

3. Drop some orange essential oils on top (or add some to your spray bottle used in the previous step. I ending up doing both). It smells delicious!

4. Let it sit for 2+ hours.

5. It should have formed a good paste by now. If now, spritz again/pour vinegar on it, add more baking soda, etc.

6. Scrub with your scour pad and watch the crud come off.

7. Rinse with water.

8. Viola! A clean burner pan!

Did it work?

Yes. Actually, it worked the BEST of all the methods I tried, although never managed to get my pans perfectly sparkling. But, it was the method I used on the other stove burner drip pans after their failed attempts to do a good job. Plus, baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils are all natural green ways to clean stove burner’s drip pans! Baking soda and vinegar are inexpensive and you probably already have some in your home.

However, essential oils can be pricey to buy. I just happened to have a sample bottle I received a week ago to use. It made the whole process smell great, and I do think gave it a little extra cleaning power.Great tutorial on how to clean your burner drip pan with baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils! It works! |

So, what was the best way to clean burner pans?

A pinterest experiment - What really is the BEST way to clean stove drip pans? What methods work better than others? Come find out! |

Despite finding baking soda and vinegar to do the best job cleaning my burner pans, none of the four methods I found on Pinterest and tried for myself proved to get any of the drip pans completely silver and brand-new looking.

So, we’ll likely just buy new pans (coughing up $10+) before we leave our apartment so we won’t be dinged on our deposit.

My husband always did this in college. In fact, he even kept an extra clean, new set around specifically for cleaning checks! He would then remove them before anyone used them. I was just hoping to find the best way to clean burner pans inexpensively, so I wouldn’t have to replace them when I move, and so I could have clean pans whenever I actually felt like cleaning them. Perhaps the real problem is I just let them go for too long!

How do you get clean burner pans?

Get Your Drip Pans Clean!

Snag up a FREE printable instruction sheet on how to clean your drip pans four different ways PLUS receive additional tried and tested cleaning tips for all areas of your home when you subscribe!

Powered by ConvertKit

Follow my Cleaning Board on Pinterest for more great cleaning tips!
Also, be sure to check out my other cleaning posts!:

How to clean your oven greenly with baking soda. Great tutorial with before and after pictures! It really works! |
How to clean your copper pots bottoms with vinegar
A comparison of 11 popular methods of removing crayon marks from walls! So glad I found this! |
In only 5 minutes, and one ingredient, your dirty nasty pans can be shiny again! | whatsupfagans.com50+ Cleaning Tips and Tricks to deep clean every room in your home! This is an awesome list to help with spring cleaning! |

How to Remove Pee Stains from your mattress, and remove the smell!

Get Your Home Clean!

Subscribe & receive this Editable Household Chore list for free! Customize it how you want and get your cleaning on a schedule that best fits your family.

Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Carola says

    You can make orange (or any citrus fruit for that matter) infused vinegar by soaking the peels in plain old vinegar for a couple of weeks. Same delicious smell, but super cheap!

  2. says

    Thank’s for doing the “dirty” work 🙂 I need to give mine a good scrubbing & it’s great to know what is actually going to work. I’m going to give the last one a try!

  3. says

    Do you have any tips on cleaning the glass flat top stove top?
    Pinning. Thanks for linking up w/ the Bloggers Brags Weekly Pinterest Party

    • says

      I don’t because I have NEVER had one! I had a gas range growing up and then electric burners in college/married life. Sorry! But, thanks for sharing and commenting.

  4. says

    Loved this! I’ve tried a few of these but usually use baking soda. Like yours, mine rarely come all the way clean. I suppose if I had time to wipe them down every night it wouldn’t be a problem, but let’s face it, who has time for that? Glad to see and share your results, Katelyn.

  5. PADMA says

    hey! can we skip the essential oils in the baking soda+ white vinegar. I saw in a site that someone used the ammonia trick.and then to remove the toughest stains remaining used hydrogen peroxide+baking u think it will work

  6. Liz says

    I’ve got cheap drip pans too! And my husband also just kept new ones for cleaning checks. I tried the ammonia and it didn’t get the shiny look back like it promised, but it actually made it worse. Thank you for showing true results and other suggestions for cleaning them! I’m going to try it now.

  7. says

    I don’t see the previous comment I had made here, or maybe I forget to leave one! Anywase, I found that this method got some of my drip pans really clean and some of them not so clean. But, the baking soda worked way better than any other method I’ve tried. The truth is they were a mess, especially the front left one…which I now know that I use way more than the other ones.

  8. says

    Thank you for the instructions on cleaning the stove drip pans. I’m having a headache on how to clean my stove pans which i don’t used for a long time.
    I followed your steps to used Ammonia, but need to be very careful on this not reached out by children since it is hazardous. And i would totally say that it really works!!
    Thank you again.

  9. Sandra Gibbs says

    I have been using oven cleaner for years, does a better job than all your experiments. Natural stuff is good, but in my opinion, it doesn’t do the job. I spray and leave on overnight or I heat pans a little and spray on and leave for an hour.

  10. trena says

    If you get the yellow can of easy off and spray them and sit them out in the sun for about 2 to 3 hour while there are hangout in the sun clean the rest of your house then bring them in and just wipe clean

  11. sue says

    I love all of your hints but the ammonia tip used to clean the drip pans does work. I have a Jenn-Air stove top and for 22 years have never been able to clean the grill and grates. I have tried Brillo and the baked on grease just sat there. My friend told me about using ammonia. I put the stove pieces in a plastic bag with a 1/4 cup of ammonia in another cup in the bag. After 24 hours I was not satisfied, so I sat it out for another 24 hours and voila!!! 22 years of baked on junk GONE. I am in the process of doing the rest of the pieces as I write this. I have never seen anything like this before. Please try it again and just do it a little while longer.

    • says

      Thanks Sue! I REALLY wanted it to work better for me. I have used it for things like the racks in my oven with great results, but I think the drip pans may be just that cheap where it may not work perfectly if they are really bad (which the one I cleaned in this post was). I’m glad it has worked so well for you!

  12. Linda W. says

    Just came across your pin. I think your conclusion about cheap material is set on. The reason ammonia doesn’t really work is it isn’t just baked on gunk, but they are also corroded, which can’t be fixed. Years ago I inherited a grody stove from the previous homeowner (who is closely related so shall remain nameless). Mary Ellen of cleaning tips fame had a great grease cleaning tip which was to have a spray bottle of the following in equal parts – water ammonia and baking soda. This stove was beyond just bad drip pans, the entire underside looked like the worst burned on oven looks (did you know you can lift the top of your stove and clean under the entire top?). I lifted that sucker, sprayed away and spent the next oh, probably 4 hours scrubbing, wiping, spraying & repeating. But guess what? It looked brand new when I was finished. What is on the surface under the top? ENAMEL. You can scrub and scrub that and there is little or no damage from being aggressive. So, the material you use with ammonia makes a difference too. BTW I’m going to start following your board!

  13. Patty M says

    I use ammonia and bar keepers, and on the really stubborn, hard to reach spots, a mini wire brush works wonders!

  14. says

    Cleaning stove drip pans with ammonia is very easy. I always clean my drip pans this way. It is true that baking soda doesn`t stink as ammonia. But in my opinion ammonia is the best cleaner. If you put some drops essential oil on the clean drip pan it will sparkle like new one. Greetings!

  15. Nikki says

    Um, I think you should do your next experiments on my dirty apartment! Haha. But seriously, you’re awesome for doing this. Saved me a lot of time and frustration, I’m sure.
    I’ve also read that cream of tartar works (instead of baking soda, I think) with vinegar. More expensive, but may be worth a try?
    Also love the idea of extra burner pans. I may have to remember that for all future renting.
    Thanks again!

  16. Alicia Cohen says

    Very interesting post! Actually I tried to clean a few times with baking soda, but I guess I didn’t know how exactly to use it. It didn’t give me the results I expected. I will try your idea to mix it with vinegar. Best regards

  17. Jamie says

    Spray on oven cleaner works the best! I too had tried many methods but then just started trying things in the cupboard. Woohoo. Something finally worked.

  18. Janie Norman says

    Cleaning the stove drip pans is a hard job no matter with what or how you clean them. May be that is the reason why mine are so dirty. 🙂 I feel motivated to finally pay some more attention to my oven and clean it as good as possible. I am planning to start with the stove drip pans and I am happy to find your post! Thank you for the tips! 🙂

    • Kim H. says

      Nevermind! I asked a Home Depot rep and baking soda removes chrome plating. She said that if I use steel wool on the blackened pan it will be silver again. 🙂

  19. CoyAxx says

    You mentioned helping ppl save (precious & incredibly valuable) time, which for me is almost always the deciding factor. I have wasted enough time trying to get drip pans looking brand new again. Now i just buy new ones at the Dollar Tree ($1.00). Another option is the ready made foil inserts. I also no longer try to clean shower liners ($1 at the Dollar Tree), mini blinds ($4), and i pay the shop to do my oil changes. -first time here. enjoyed your post, thx!

    • says

      Oh, I didn’t know you could buy drip pans from the Dollar Tree! Nice! However, I have to let you know that it is SO easy to fix mini blinds! Don’t waste your $4! You can buy one replacement blind, and spend 15 minutes (shorter time than going to the store) every time a blind gets slate broken and fix them, with the extra slats from the one your replaced. I wrote a post about how to do that –

      • Matthew says


        I love the thought put into this kind of experiment and I love that you tried some (at least to me) non-obvious solutions like WD-40.

        I would love to see this experiment continued though and I feel it could be made definitive if you ran another one. You figured out Vinegar+Baking Soda+Essential Oil does the best job right? This is a mixture of a bunch of stuff including (as you’ve mentioned) rather expensive essential oils. This begs the question, who’s the real hero here?

        The next time your drip pans get dirty, try: baking soda alone, vinegar alone, baking soda + vinegar, and then maybe water with the essential oils for the last one? I’m only curious about this because in chemistry class back in high school I remember baking soda and vinegar together make water and carbon dioxide, neither of which seem like great cleaners on their own.

        Great post, hope you see this even though it’s years later haha.

        • says

          Well, I am glad you liked my experiment! Ha. I actually intend to try spray Oven Cleaner here very soon on mine, as they are terrible at the moment… Other people have suggested just putting them in your oven when you do an oven cleaning.

  20. Linda says

    Thanks for doing this article! I hate that I can’t get my drip pans looking like shiny new. Here’s another use for the baking soda + vinegar elixir: Cleaning the oven window glass.

    Make that same paste mixture and let it sit a while. Rub a little and all that baked on gunk comes right off. I was visiting my bachelor brother and did this trick on his toaster oven glass and it looked like new. When he saw it his mouth literally dropped open😳


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *