Clean gas ranges regularly to extend their lives and keep them in safe working condition. Always turn off the gas and let the range cool completely before cleaning or maintenance.
Take care of spills immediately to avoid food buildup, which is unsightly and a potential fire hazard. In most cases, soap and water suffices for cleaning range control panels. Never use abrasive pads or cleaners, as these can cause identifying decals to wear off. Do not use excessive amounts of water when cleaning around range knobs. Too much moisture can damage burner switches and spark ignition systems.
Remove burner grates and drip pans for thorough cleaning. To loosen hardened food, soak these parts in a mixture of baking soda and water. For another simple and effective cleaning solution, combine 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of white vinegar. To clear out food buildup in burner head holes, use a slender, wiry tool like a paper clip. Never use breakable tools that can snap and become stuck in holes.
Gas range flames should always burn blue at the base. Other flame colors indicate problems that need attention from certified technicians. When a burner doesn't light after it is turned on, turn off the burner and check the pilot first instead of lighting the burner at its base.