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Tips for Cleaning Resistive Electric Stove Burner Coils

If you have a stove that uses the flat, black, tried-and-true electric burner coils, proper care and maintenance keeps them working reliably and safely. Here are some tips for maintaining your electric burner coils.

Resistive Coils Need Regular Cleaning

Resistive coil is the technical name for a black coil stovetop element. An insulating sheath encases the electrical wire that creates the heat in the element. Metal drip bowls sit under the stovetop elements to catch food debris and cooking spills.

For the best performance and looks from your burner coils, routinely clean both the stovetop elements and their drip pans. Spilled food accumulates on burners and inside drip pans, then becomes baked on the surfaces of these components when the burner produces heat.

Burning food debris and spills on your burners and drip pans can make your kitchen smell bad or cause your fire alarm to go off due to the smoke created from the burn. Small pieces of food in the drip pan or spilled grease may even catch fire when stovetop elements are heated.

Cooking equipment is the top cause of home fires and personal injuries from fires. Always keep your stovetop clear of spills and debris to make your kitchen safer.

Resistive Coils Are Easy to Clean

Never, ever clean electric stovetop burners while the coils are still hot. Always wait for the coils to completely cool before removing the coils from the stovetop for cleaning.

Most resistive coils are easily detachable from the stovetop. The coils plug into a type of socket. In most cases, you simply unplug the burner to pull it off the stove. If you’re unsure how to unplug your stove elements, consult with your appliance manual.

Remember when cleaning the elements to never get the plug end wet, and never submerge any part of the element in water. The only part of the burner that should be exposed to wet materials is the black coil itself and the metal supports underneath the coils.

Start by wiping the coil with a damp cloth to remove surface debris from the element. If food stains are stubborn, try wetting the cloth with a small amount of soapy water.

If that doesn’t do the trick, use a paste of baking soda and water to scrub away the dirty spots.

  • Use a wet cloth to completely wipe away cleaning materials.
  • Never use strong chemicals on stovetops, since harsh cleaners can contaminate food.
  • Only plug elements back into the stovetop when they’re completely dry.
  • Be careful handling the element prongs so they don’t break or bend.

Next, clean your drip pans. Some drip pans include a hole through which the plug goes, so the burner must be detached before you remove the drip pans. Some drip pans are not removable.

Clean dirty drip pans using the same methods described above. If your drip pans are scorched, some scorch spots may never be removed. Replace the drip pans to make your stove look new and fresh again.

Resistive Coils Burn Out and Fail for Several Reasons

If one or more of your burner coils is not working at all or is working improperly, several possible causes for the problem exist.

Some issues that cause burner failure include:

  • Power issues to stove
  • Improper wiring
  • Charred or degraded wiring to elements
  • Loose wires
  • Bad internal fuse
  • Burnt-out coil
  • Dirty or clogged plug terminal

Your appliance repair service can inspect and correct stovetop element problems for you. If you need brand new elements or terminals, your appliance professional can order and replace them for you, too.

When your stove burners won’t work correctly in the Columbus, Ohio, area, contact Capital City Appliance Service, Inc., right away to get to the bottom of your cooking woes. We repair and service all major brands of home stoves and ovens.

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