What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stove Cartridge Clean-up

I can on a Jenn-Air® customized slide-in range with cartridges so that I can change the stovetop features as desired.  I bought a special canning element to customize one of the coil cartridges.This time of year my stove takes a huge beating!  While I can year round usually at least once weekly this is the busiest of the canning season when I am canning oodles of tomato products.  That means the canners run two or three times a day. 

dirty stove cartridge
The problem with both boiling water bath (BWB) and pressure canner (PC) is both spew out water droplets over the stove surface.  The PC spits out water droplets but only until it comes to pressure whereas the BWB canner spits water droplets during the entire canning process.  These water droplets seem harmless but they turn into ugly black spots on the stove.  Compounding the problem is the splattering from various sauces cooking prior to being canned. 

As you can see the canning cartridge becomes quite unsightly.  Quite frankly I could leave it as is because the cartridge is only on the stove for canning so no one really sees it other than my husband or me but that's not the point.  I don't like it looking this grungy.  When I canned on a regular stovetop I had the same problem so I learned a few tricks to cleaning up after a canning session to keep the stovetop looking good.

cleaned stove cartridge
One of the best stovetop cleaners I've found is Bar Keepers Friend.  This cleanser comes in both powder and liquid form.  I like the liquid but they both work well and it is one of the best commercial cleansers I've found for stainless steel.  It's one of the very few commercial cleansers I buy.  This cleanser contains citric acid so it is quite effective on most surfaces including smoothtop stove surfaces.  A 13 oz bottle costs $4 so is a fraction of the cost of other smoothtop stove cleansers.

Pictured is the cleaned stove cartridge.  It's not perfect but it looks a lot better than after the canning session.  The majority of the cleaning was done simply by wiping on Bar Keepers Friend, letting it sit for a minute then rubbing.  Some small spots that remained were easily flicked off with the side of a paring knife tip.  Once the busiest of the canning is over I will take the canning element out, clean the drip pan well and clean up the rest of the cartridge.  Then I will be able to give the entire cartridge a good cleaning that will remove all of the spotting but for now it at least looks presentable.

Garden Gnome