Rainy Day Edition
I make a effort, each night after doing the dishes to get my stove cleaned up -- at least the big spills on top. But, even wiping it up every night, once in a while I look at the stove and think "Eeewww, dirty!" So today's To-Do Tidbit is how to deal with the dirty stove on a regular basis. It's a great task for a rainy day.
I recommend that you do as I do and at least wipes up spills on the stove every time you cook. But, once a month (or so), fill the sink with hot ammonia water or hot water with Mr. Clean or Lysol or something else that cuts grease (straight ammonia is your best bang for your buck -- just don't mix it with anything else lest you knock yourself out with noxious gases). Drop the stove knobs and grates (I use a gas stove) into the water. Basically get anything that comes off the stovetop.
Let them soak for a good hour and the built-on food and grease should wipe off pretty easily. While you're waiting, take a sponge and some soapy water, some non-abrasive cleanser if you're messy like me, and give the top and front a good cleaning -- in all those spots you can't get to with the knobs on. Because I have a stainless stove, I cheat and use Weiman's wipes. I use the stainless variety any time I clean the stainless, and I use the stovetop variety, too, for daily cleaning -- they are my one cleaning splurge. I don't go through them very fast because it's just the stove, after all. But, for your once-a-month you probably need something more heavy duty than a wipe. After you get all the surfaces spic and span (don't forget to clean the glass window, too) drain the water out of the sink and scrub off any stuck-on food from the grates, drip pans (whichever you have) and knobs.
Rinse and set them on a towel to dry (if you have cast-iron grates use an old towel because they might leave black marks on your towels). When they are all dry replace the parts to the stove.