How to Clean Cast Iron Burner Grates


Kim asked: How do I clean and remove spots from my burner grates? I have a Viking stove with six burners. The burner grates are very large, cast iron grates. No matter how much I clean them, the stove still looks funky to me because of the dirty, spotty look of the grates. I need help!

The simplest and most effective method for cleaning burner grates also works on cast iron burners. Follow these steps and your stove will look like new in no time!

You Will Need:

  • Ammonia
  • Plastic bag (large enough for the burner grate to fit in)
  • Water
  • Scrubbing pad
  • Dry towel

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Remove each burner grate and place each one in a plastic bag.
  2. Add a cup of ammonia to each bag, then top off with enough water to cover the entire grate when it’s lying flat.
  3. Tie the bag shut so the ammonia and water cannot leak out. Using Ziploc bags will make this much easier.
  4. Allow the grates to sit in the ammonia and water mixture overnight.
  5. Open each bag the next day and carefully dispose of the ammonia solution according to label directions. A clean sink or bath tub is a great spot for this.
  6. Scrub any remaining spots with the scrubbing pad. They should come off easily.
  7. Rinse well with water.
  8. Dry with a towel.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If you have a self-cleaning oven, try placing the grates in the oven while running the cleaning cycle. The burners should come out clean.
  • Follow safety precautions on the ammonia bottle label. Avoid breathing in fumes and keep the area well ventilated.


  1. Julie says:

    FYI: In several places in my user manual, it says DO NOT PUT BURNER GRATES IN THE OVEN DURING SELF CLEANING!! My salesman told me I COULD do this, but I am following the manufacturer’s guidelines!

  2. Margaret says:

    I’m glad to have located this information on the stove burner covers and I’m going to try it tonight before I start packing and cleaning some more. I’m in the process of moving my friend. I also found out you can use white toothpaste and clean up burn scourges on a countertop? I will see if these helpful hints work. God knows I need them to be true. Well, got to try my Luck! Tired in Stow, Oh ME. God Bless!!

  3. Edna says:

    Would this work for the actual grates? Can I put them inside the oven while cleaning the oven? Should I soak them in ammonia?

  4. Diane says:

    I have a GE range with cast iron grates. I forgot that they could NOT go in the self-cleaning oven. Oops! Had to replace the 16 silicone feet on them. Still, they looked horrible and chalky. I sanded them lightly by hand with 220 grit sandpaper, wiped them with a damp paper towel, and then applied a VERY THIN coat of avocado oil all over. (I used about eight drops all told and applied it with paper towel, so very little remained on the grates. I guess you could wipe it on with one finger and then wipe off as much as possible if that were easier.) They look brand new! I worried that the oil would burn or make them sticky, but it has not. By-the-way, GE told me to soak them in ammonia to clean them.

  5. Martine says:

    I put mine in the oven and they did the same thing as Diane’s did. The rubber pads burned and the grates came out chalky and looking like hell. Hubby was rather horrified when I showed him! Thanks for your help Diane! Here’s some more info if anyone else finds themselves in our position. :0
    My cooktop is the GE Sealed Gas Cooktop #JGP970SEK2SS
    Range Burner Grate Pad: Part# WB02T10461; Mine cost $1.99 each and $7 shipping

  6. Niki says:

    I put some ammonia in a plastic bowl, about 2 tbsp. Put both of my grates in a garbage bag, put the bowl in, tied the bag, left overnight, then rinsed it off; they were as new. :-)

  7. Emily says:

    Are you concerned about residual ammonia and the toxic fumes that might come from it, especially near a heat source? I’m a little nervous about using ammonia in my home. Thanks for any further info.

  8. Nancy says:

    My manual states: “NOTE: Do not clean the grates in a self-cleaning oven.”

  9. Melba jr. says:

    Whenever I use a scrubbing pad on my cast iron grates, bits of it get caught in the texture of the cast iron. Same thing with towels, paper towels and lint free towels.
    How am I supposed to use these items without leaving lint from them?

  10. D Smith says:

    This is confusing. I buy lots of old cast iron skillets, griddles and I always strip them in a self cleaning oven and then I season them. Works beautifully. We are getting a new stove today and my hubby insisted on the cast iron griddle and grill and now I’m worried. Either these are cast iron or they are not. Have they treated the iron with something that makes it less functional. A’one know?

  11. Melanie says:

    Melba Jr.,
    Try using a cloth that has a flat weave instead; a t-shirt might be a good choice, or any similarly woven type of cloth. Also, it may help to smooth out the surface of your grates a bit more with a metal scraper or wire brush like a grill brush.

  12. Chant says:

    What do you do if your grates are way too big to fit in a bag?

  13. Melanie says:

    Try using the larger 50 gallon plastic trash bags. If the grates are commercial size and too large for that, putting a plastic trash bag over each side of the grate might work and tape them together in the middle. Another option might be to wrap them in a plastic sheet (painter’s tarp) or plastic tablecloth and taping the sides of the sheet together.

  14. Janie says:

    Thank you for the information regarding cleaning my large iron grates, but how do I clean the stainless under the grates and around the burners?

  15. Melanie says:

    Those parts can just be cleaned as regular stainless steel. Use the information in the article How to Clean Stainless Steel. If there are any scorch marks on it, use the article How to Remove Scorch Marks from Stainless Steel.

  16. Chris says:

    I have a gas cooker which became dirty; I had them cleaned. The burner part has gone rusty. Is there anything you know of that can paint them? They would need to be fire-proof.

  17. Melanie says:

    The rust just needs to be cleaned off. You can use the methods in this article: How to Remove Rust from Cast Iron Pans.

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