Cleaning the hob.

Most of us are inspired to cook at least occasionally, but an unfortunate by-product of cooking is cleaning the hob which can be a bit of a nuisance.

So, it makes sense that a reliable routine can help you out whether you clean up immediately or whether you’ve left it a bit longer than you should…

Just like any part of the kitchen, or other expensive bits of kit, regular care can prolong the life of your cooker hob and keep it in good condition – but how often should you clean it?

Really, every day is optimum – or certainly every other day. Little and often should make it easier and as with most chores, doing it straight away after you’ve used it is often the best way. If your floors and surfaces are clean, and your other appliances are wiped, then a messy hob is going to spoil the look. Not to mention attracting unwanted guests of the flying or crawling kind.

Basically, the more frequently you do it, the less effort and time it will take.

So far so good, but how exactly should you clean it?

This depends on what type of hob you have – gas, electric, ceramic, induction (it’s always worth checking for any special instructions) – and how burnt on the food is.

A shop bought cleaner is a quick and easy solution as you just spray, rinse, and wipe with a cloth. They might use a specialised formula like a degreaser, a paste for more vigorous cleaning or even magic rubbers which combine the solution and the sponge in one.

Shop bought cleaning solutions with natural ingredients are becoming increasingly popular and there is a reasonable choice available, but actually, it’s quite easy to make your own.

For a ceramic or induction hob, a mixture of vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and a damp cloth can give great results and the ingredients are cheap and easy to come by. Simply spray the vinegar over the surface, sprinkle with plenty of bicarbonate of soda, cover with a warm, damp cloth and leave for about a quarter of an hour. As the ingredients mix, they should lift the bits from the surface and then you just wipe them up with the cloth.

If you haven’t got time to wait, then wipe up any loose food or bits with a damp cloth and rub any stubborn spots with a little vegetable oil in a circular motion, wiping up any excess when you’ve finished.

Cleaning a gas hob can be a little bit more complicated or time consuming because you need to dismantle the burners to get into any awkward places. So, you might as well wash the burners in soapy water, scrape off any burnt food if necessary, and clean out the fuel ports. After that it’s more or less the same process as with a ceramic hob.

And for a quick spot clean on a gas hob, make a bicarbonate of soda paste with water, rub it with a clean cloth then simply wipe clean.

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