Can You Put Cast Iron Stove Grates In The Dishwasher?

Matthew Mountain
by Matthew Mountain

Cast iron stove grates are found in many homes and businesses these days. Often, when you’re cooking something—like boiling pasta—water will run over a pot and onto the stove grates, and when this happens repeatedly the grates can become dirty. Also, there are some things—like bacon for example—that will splatter no matter how hard you try to avoid this.

If you use your stove frequently, stove grate cleaning will be an inevitability. And if you have a dishwasher nearby, you may be wondering if cleaning the grates in the dishwasher is possible; that would sure be convenient, right? In this article, proper stove grate cleaning will be outlined, and the main question, “Can you put stove grates in the dishwasher?” will also be answered.

Avoid cleaning burner grates in the dishwasher. Burner grates are made of cast iron and a black porcelain coat finish, which is not dishwasher safe. The only dishwasher-safe grates and caps are ones that have an enamel coating on the bottom. If rust has built up due to water, remove the rust with fine steel wool, a mild cleaning solution, and a non-scratch sponge like Scotch-Brite.

Do You Need a Maid Service?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Washing Cast Iron Grates in the Dishwasher

Washing cast iron grates in the dishwasher may seem like a convenient option, but unfortunately, it’s one that isn’t possible if you want to protect your grates. You shouldn’t put burner grates in the dishwasher for a few reasons:

  • If they’re left in the dishwasher and soak for too long, they can get rusted.
  • If they’re not dried thoroughly, this could also lead to rusting.
  • The dishwasher may not be capable of holding the grates, and attempting to wash them could damage the system.

In general, you shouldn’t put any part of an oven or cooktop in the dishwasher, and you should avoid using an oven’s self-cleaning function as well. There are a few things you can do to clean your stove grates, and these methods will be discussed in the sections below.

How to Properly Clean Stove Grates

Cast iron grates are bulky and heavy, but if you know how to clean them the right way, doing so isn’t that difficult. These grates should be washed regularly with hot, soapy water, and once they’ve been thoroughly washed, all you need to do is rinse them off and then dry them; then they can be placed back on the stove or range.

Cleaning Stove Caps

When it comes to burner caps, these can be soaked in a vinegar-water mix. This will remove the black discoloration without scrubbing. And if you have brass burner caps, you can use Brasso or Bar Keepers Friend to make the caps shiny again. You’ll need a little bit of elbow grease for this, and you should keep in mind that the cap’s radial brushing appearance could be altered.

What to Do About Burned-On Soil

If there’s burned on soil, you’ll have to soak the grates and caps in a solution that contains liquid cleanser. After the soaking is complete, you should scrub the grates with a non-metallic, soap-filled pad.

Next, you should put the grates and caps in a sealed bag or covered container. In this bag/container, there should be a 1/4th cup of ammonia. Let the grates sit for three hours. Afterward, the soil should be removed. Now all you have to do is rinse the grates, dry them, and put them back on the stove or range.

What Happens When You Put It In The Dishwasher

Another Stove Grate Cleaning Method

This is a simple stove grate cleaning method. You first need to apply lukewarm water and dishwasher detergent to the grates, as doing so will remove the initial film. Next, you need to make a thick, baking soda-water paste cleaner.

Once the paste is complete, you just need to coat the grates in the paste; let this stand for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes has passed, begin to remove the softened food residue off the grates with a scrub brush. Once they’ve been thoroughly scrubbed, rinse off the grates, dry them, and then put them back on the stove.

Do You Need a Maid Service?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

What You Should Know About Oven Self-Cleaning

If your oven has a self-cleaning function, you may be tempted to use this to clean the grates. Before doing so, you should consult your oven’s manual to see how self-cleaning is supposed to be executed.

If there’s no mention of self-cleaning in your owners manual, then you need to avoid cleaning the grates with the oven. If your grates are fitted with rubber bumpers or pads on the bottom, then cleaning with the oven’s self-cleaning function will most likely be possible. Just make sure you place the grates over the racks and never on the oven’s floor.

Related Guide

Matthew Mountain
Matthew Mountain

Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.

More by Matthew Mountain