I hate cleaning. I really hate cleaning my stove. I did post a picture once before admitting how nasty my stovetop tends to get before I attack it. Now granted, that was after a jam making boil over so it was particularly nasty. But long story short, I have never been able to get the cooked on, crusty, black, charred coating completely off my burner grates or my drip pans. Not even close. I scrub my fingers to the bone, I soak, I soap, I scrub some more, I try baking soda and vinegar; nothing helps. So when I saw a method on pinterest to get the charcoal and grease off enameled stove tops without working your scrubbies through your finger tips, I jumped at it. I already had the ammonia up on a high shelf and it's super cheap anyway.
Now fair warning, ammonia is potent stuff, it will knock you on your butt if you stick your nose in it. Do this outside and seal it well. And NEVER EVER mix ammonia with any bleach containing products. Ammonia + bleach = potential chlorine gas = you dead or seriously injured. Ammonia on its own however, is a very effective cleaner. And it is the fumes that do most of the work here.
So what you do is stick your grates and drip pan if you have one, in either a gallon zip if you want to do them separately, or in a garbage bag. Add a few tablespoons of ammonia for a ziploc bag and a quarter cup or so for the garbage bag and twist it off very tightly. You don't want those fumes to escape.
I added closer to a cup since I was doing so many seriously crusted pieces. There was only a quarter cup left in the morning. Now let it all sit (outside) overnight to let those fumes loosen up all the junk. Next morning or so, take out a piece at a time and go at it with a nylon scrubbie. What the scrubber doesn't easily slough off, a finger nail will quickly dislodge.
So. Did it work?
Well, I can definitely say I'm happy. This was only one treatment. And the stuff came off so easily, my fingers looked at me sideways as if to ask why I hadn't done it this way all the other times. I did the worst side first, the dirty side you see there is currently taking its turn in the fume bath. So if you are tired of burned on food incrustations that won't come clean and you are up to braving a little ammonia fumes, try this method for your enameled stove tops and grates. I understand for the actual top, you can wet a rag with a little ammonia and leave it on a stubborn spot for 30 minutes to loosen it up. I have one spot I may have to try that on. I'm just so stoked to get my drip pans all clean!