Update 2022: There’s lots of nonsense on social media about how a mixture of vinegar and baking soda will clean baking trays and other surfaces such as hobs. I tested it and it didn’t work at all:
Having spoken to an expert, I’ve since discovered that baking soda and vinegar fizz as they cancel each other out but they don’t do anything else.
That’s another internet myth debunked!
I don’t know about you but I always avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals on surfaces where food is cooked and prepared.
I’m convinced that even by following best practices and thoroughly rinsing the area, some of the chemicals will persist, hence my desire to try natural alternatives.
Hobs often get dirty from dried food and liquids which glue themselves to the surface.
This makes the hob much more difficult to clean and with extra scrubbing and elbow grease, there’s the added risk of scratching or damaging the surface.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s much easier to clean a hob if the food remnants are still moist and haven’t dried.
Below you’ll find our guide to cleaning a hob which we last updated in April 2022.
You have three options and with the first two, you won’t need any harsh chemicals.
1) The Natural Method
Vinegar is great for polishing and brightening up many surfaces including glass and ceramics.
Unfortunately, it isn’t the best degreaser and won’t shift those hard to remove stains.
There is one natural method that is guaranteed to work:
Orange or lemon juice is found in many commercial degreasing products and it works wonders, and it’s 100% natural.
Detergents are so effective at cleaning because they dissolve grease.
Combined with a microfibre cloth and you can easily clean any type of surface, including glass and ceramic.
Just follow the steps below.
As with the previous method, the key is to let the liquid soak into the food for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove any large loose bits of food.
- Dilute water and detergent (or citrus) into a sprayer and spray the surface with a thin layer of the mixture.
- Allow the hob to soak for at least 15 minutes so the grease dissolves and the food loosens up.
- Wipe away with a cloth or tissue and repeat as required.
- Finish by polishing with a microfibre cloth. Add vinegar to get a shiny finish.
3) The Best Ceramic Hob Cleaner
We’ve tested several methods and products over the last few months and while natural alternatives work well at fresh food, they struggle with burnt on old foodstuffs.
If you can’t get your oven hob clean with natural products, we recommend Hob Brite by Homecare.
This strong product will dissolve and loosen even the oldest and toughest burnt on greases and foods.
Hob Brite has fantastic reviews on Amazon:
This stuff is the best thing on the market to clean a ceramic hob, in my opinion. Really does remove all burnt on spillages etc…. I searched the high street and the local supermarkets for this and failed, a friend recommended this seller on amazon and within a couple of days of ordering my package arrived and I had a clean hob, thankyou. – Amazon Customer
Should You Use a Scraper?
I’ve used a scraper before on ceramic hobs without any problems but there’s always a concern that it could scratch the surface.
As a general rule of thumb, use scapers with care and only when needed.
There’s plenty of scratch-proof scrapers you can buy and none of them will break the bank.
Why Microfibre Cloths Work so Well
Microfibre cloths pick up more dirt than traditional cloth but they’re also soft, non-abrasive and won’t damage paintwork, glass or ceramics.
These cloths can also absorb up to eight times their weight so are great for mopping up spills and cleaning chemicals.
This article explains in more detail how microfibre cloths work.
You can purchase 12 microfibre cleaning clothes for less than a tenner and they last for months as they’re machine washable.