I conducted a comparison test of two different ways to clean electric range burner drip pans. One method used no-heat-needed oven cleaner. The other method was washing with baking soda and a blue scrub sponge. Below is a video demonstration of the test. The test notes, including pros and cons of each method, are below the video link. I hope this helps you decide which method is right for you.
Comparison Test: Two Ways to Clean Stove Drip Pans
The following covers details of a comparison test I conducted of two ways to clean electric stove drip pans.
Method 1: Scrub with baking soda and blue scrub sponge
Two electric stove drip pans were washed with dish detergent in warm water to remove any loose debris. They were then sprinkled liberally with baking soda and scrubbed with the rough side of a damp blue scrub sponge. The pans were rewashed in soapy water and dried with a towel.
Results: Most, but not all, of the food debris was removed with some effort of using the scrub sponge and a toothbrush in the tight crevices of the pans. It was difficult, if not impossible, to remove all of the debris that was in the tight folds of the drip pans.
To test if the oven cleaner would further remove residue that the baking soda would not, the one pan that still had some residue on it was sprayed with oven cleaner and returned to the garage. It was allowed to treat for 5-1/2 hours. (Note: The instructions on the can say to allow the spray to treat the oven cavity for 2 hours or overnight, so this timeframe was in between the recommended treatment times.)
Result: The oven cleaner did remove the small amount of remaining food stains from the tight crevices of the drip pan. The pan was cleaned in the same manner as in Method #2 below. No effort was needed to remove the remaining stains from the drip pan when the oven cleaner was used.
* No harsh chemicals were involved.
* The baking soda and scrub sponge removed all of the residue from the drip pans, except where scrubbing was extremely difficult, in the tight crevices of the pan.
* Baking soda is safe and effective.
* This method is very inexpensive.
* This method involves something already available (baking soda and a scrub sponge) in most kitchens.
* It took some scrubbing action to remove the debris, so there is some work involved.
* It takes a little time to clean the pans this way, depending upon how dirty the drip pans are.
* This method may not remove everything from the pans, especially in tight crevices.
* It is very hard to scrub in crevices of the drip pans. The toothbrush worked a little better than the sponge since the bristles reached into the folds of the pan, but still did not remove everything. Perhaps another type of brush or tool would have done a better job.
Method 2: Spraying drip pans with no-heat-needed oven cleaner
Two electric stove drip pans were sprayed with no-heat-needed oven cleaner. They were placed on newspaper and left overnight in a garage. The next day, they were rinsed with warm water and lightly scrubbed with the rough side of a damp blue scrub sponge. The pans were then washed in warm soapy water and dried with a towel.
Results: All of the food debris rinsed off the drip pans with little to no scrubbing effort needed. Other than chips and mars in the finish of the drip pans, they looked as clean as if they were new.
* This method is extremely easy. Just spray and let the pans sit overnight, followed by a light scrubbing the next day.
* This removed all residue from the pans.
* Very little effort was needed to clean the pans.
* This method required very little time.
* No hard scrubbing was needed to remove the food debris.
* This method involves a harsh, potentially harmful chemical.
* To be safe, it’s helpful to spray and leave the drip pans in a garage or on a porch (outside of the house).
* Gloves may be needed with this method if you have sensitive skin.
* You may need to take precautions not to breathe in the fumes.
* The oven cleaner may not be something you have readily available.
* The oven cleaner releases harmful chemicals into the environment.
* This method is a bit more costly than Method #1.
Both methods produced very satisfactory results. The use of the oven cleaner provided the easiest and most effective way to remove food debris from the drip pans with little effort. However, the downside of using harsh chemicals may not make it the best choice for all people.
The baking soda method offers a very effective alternative, with a cost-savings advantage plus a less harmful chemical being used in the process. If using the baking soda method, to prevent buildup in the tight crevices of the drip pans, it would be advantageous to clean the drip pans on a regular basis, helping to prevent permanent staining and hard crusting of debris on the pans. With that, the cleaning results would be excellent and even more comparable to that of using the oven cleaner.
Overall winner on effectiveness and ease of use: Method #2, No-heat-needed oven cleaner
A VERY close runner-up: Method #1, Scrubbing with baking soda and the scratchy side of a blue scrub sponge.