When you’re cooking (at least, if you cook like I do) things can get a little messy. And the thing that gets the brunt of the mess is your stove, specifically your stove grates. Most stove grates you’ll see are covered with gunk and old food that stuck around from last week’s dinner (again, at least mine do.)

With this little hack, you can have perfectly spotless stove grates in just a matter of hours. This trick is simple, cost efficient and can even be done overnight, so you don’t have to worry about it! And when you’re done, it’ll look like you got a brand new stove top.

To get started, all you need are some Ziploc baggies and regular household ammonia. Both of those are relatively inexpensive and available at just about any nearby store. Bottom line: if you don’t already have these common products hanging around the house for this DIY, they’re easy and cheap to pick up anywhere.

Remove your greasy grates and put each one in its own Ziploc bag. Fill the bag with ammonia and flip the bag so the grates are facing down; this will get all the ammonia to pool around the worst of the grime and food and help to take it off easily.

But, let’s face it, it’s not just the top of your stove grates that see the worst of your cooking conundrums. Your entire grate is probably caked in something or other, at the very least, it’s probably a little dingy or rusty just from growing older.

Well, don’t worry about filling the bags to cover the whole grate (you don’t want to waste ammonia!), you only need to make a small pool in the bottom. While direct contact will help the thicker parts dissolve more quickly, the ammonia fumes will also play a big part in cleaning the grate, so the entire thing does not have to be submerged.

Let the bags sit overnight. When you take them out in the morning, you’ll see that all the grime has fallen off the grates and is swimming in the bottom of the bag. Gross, we know, but much less gross than having that gunk on your stove top!

Remove the grates from the bags and scrub them well with soap and water – cooking with ammonia-soaked grates is not suggested. But once the grates have been scrubbed and dried, they’re perfectly safe to put back on the stove top and use as normal.

You should find that all the grime and food gunk that was really caked onto your metal grates have completely been melted off. You should also notice that the overall quality of the stove top has improved; your grates should be shinier and have less of a foggy look to them, giving them a like-new appearance. You can rest easy, too, knowing that the ammonia disinfected your stove top, not just making look clean but ACTUALLY cleaning of it of potentially hazardous bacteria.

Try this trick once a month or so to keep your stove grates consistently clean.

What do you think of this handy household trick? Do you use another method to get your stove grates clean? Share your ideas in the comments section below.