Metro-East Living

The cheap and easy way to clean your stove and sink

My sink post-cleaning. Does baking soda work better than Comet or Ajax? Possibly.
My sink post-cleaning. Does baking soda work better than Comet or Ajax? Possibly.

I am a little obsessed with my kitchen sink and stovetop. The first is stainless and the second is black. Trust me, if I ever get a do-over, they’re both gone. Why? Because keeping them looking good is driving me nuts.

Yes, I know, I should get over it. But, I can’t, so I’m constantly in search of ways to keep them sparkling — without spending any money.

Part of the problem with the sink is that it’s gigantic and not the highest quality metal. Each side of the two-sided sink is big enough to bathe a baby in. I love its practicality, but it takes up a lot of noticeable real estate in my kitchen, so I want it looking good!

The stove is another matter. I should never have chosen black; the surface never quite looks streak-free and has burners that I can’t seem to keep grunge-free, despite scrubbings.

So, when I came across an article at called “The 11 Most Popular Kitchen-Related Cleaning Hacks on Pinterest Right Now,” it included easy, cheap ways to clean the sink and stovetop burners.

According to, all you have to do is to place each stove burner in a plastic zipper bag. Add enough ammonia to cover the burner and seal the bag. After just 24 hours, effortlessly, the burners are shiny and clean. (You’ll need to buy extra ammonia to fill all the bags — and lay them in your sink overnight to be on the safe side.)

Stovetop? Apply ammonia on the burnt areas and leave it to act overnight. The next day, clean it with a wet sponge. (I have found that drying afterward with a microfiber cloth helps cut down on the streakiness.)

I haven’t done the burners yet, but I did follow the advice on to clean the sink: I sprinkled baking soda around the sink and added warm water to form a paste. I then used my kitchen scrubbie to clean. I let the paste dry, then I wiped it off with a wet cloth. Looked pretty sparkly to me.

I then followed instructions to completely dry the sink, sprinkling a tablespoon of flour (I used whole-wheat because it was the first canister I grabbed) and polishing with a cloth. Rinse and dry. Perhaps a bit more sparkly and the many, many tiny scratches were a little less noticeable.

I didn’t do the final step, using a few drops of baby or olive oil on a cloth to make the sink shine. Since I always clean my sink with soap and water when I’m finished cooking, this seemed kind of redundant.

Did this method work better than using the handy-dandy can of Comet I buy at the dollar store? Possibly.

I’ll keep you posted about how the burners turn out. And, if you have any cheap secrets you use, let me know.

Contact me at, 618-239-2664 and follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.