I have an electric stove in my apartment. I also have limited cooking skills. Combine that lack of skills with my tendency to be clumsy, and you won’t be surprised that cooking messes are plentiful, and sometimes I am lax in cleaning them thoroughly and with urgency.
Enter my poor, neglected drip pans. During my occasional bursts of seasonal cleaning energy I have removed these saucers from the stove for a good scrubbing. But after several attempts at scrubbing one particularly cruddy drip pan, an impartial party had to tell me to give it up.
“Oh, that’s rust,” she said, peering over my shoulder at the offending drip pan. “That is past the point of cleaning.”
I must have looked truly panicked about what to do next, so she said the magic words: “You can just buy replacements.”
It was exactly what I needed to hear, knowing I was a few months out from departing this particular apartment and feeling less than optimistic about getting my security deposit back.
If this situation sounds familiar, do I have great news for you: A set of new drip pans will cost you less than $20. They’re easy to get in hardware stores or online. Before you shop, check the maker of your range and how many of each size you’ll need (cheat sheet: Small burners typically need six-inch drip pans, and large burners need 20cm ones). If you’re nervous about buying the wrong kind, take one of your pans with you to the store.
My stove has three small burners and one big ones, so I had to buy a set of pans that contained three small pans and two large ones, perhaps because drip pan manufacturers know that one large burner is where all the action happens, and you might need a spare.
Simply dropping in a new bunch of drip pans has my stove top looking mighty fresh after years of neglect. This is one case where a cleaning hack could not save my kitchen, but spending a few bucks quickly solved the issue. Just buy yourself some new drip pans and take a moment to admire your stove. And then remember to clean up your messes in a timely fashion.