How to Clean a Camp Stove

There are many reasons why it is always better to have a clean camping stove. It will work better and be safer to use than a dirty one, and you’ll get better fuel efficiency and flame control with a clean stove. Regular cleaning can help fight rust and corrosion. Your camping stove requires regular cleaning for the best performance and to also ensure your food is safe to eat.

Before you begin, you will need to remove the propane line from your stove and all connections to the regulator and propane cylinder. Once you have done that, you can start cleaning your camp stove.

how to clean a camp stove

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Camping Stove?

It is best to clean your stove on a regular basis. If left uncleaned, food spillovers will become hard and difficult to remove and of course, the dirt will clog the holes and openings around the perimeter of the burners and cut off proper flame control. Eventually, your stove will become a hassle and unsafe to use — you definitely don’t want to spoil your camping trip.

How to Clean the Outside of Your Camping Stove

You will basically clean the outside and top every time after use. The exterior of the case can be cleaned with soap, water, and a cloth, or with wipes, and be left to dry after cleaning. An old toothbrush is also a handy tool to clean the holes of the burner.

Cleaning the Inside of the Camping Stove

To clean the inside of your stove, you will need to lift off the cooking grate. Clean the cooking grate with soap and water then rinse it in clean running water. Put it aside to dry. Then remove the drip pan and clean it with soap and warm water, rinse it in clean water and put it aside to dry.

Most messes on the inside can be cleaned up with a wipe of dish soap and warm water. For bigger messes, there are a few ways to clean your camping stove thoroughly.

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Tackling Nasty Boil-Over Messes

For boil-over messes, you will need to remove the burners as follows: Remove the screw from the center of each burner of your stove and take off the burner rings and bowl. For that, you are going to need a middle-range size flat screwdriver. Check between the burner rings for grime build up. If there is any dirt between the rings, clean it off with a nylon brush and make sure to fit the rings back in the right order that they were removed and put back tightly together.

Check the manifold for any food or fluid spills. Remove the cover and use warm water and dish soap to remove any buildup, and rinse it with clean water. It is also an excellent option to soak the burner rings and bowl in soapy water to loosen up the hardened debris on it. You may want to use a needle or paper clip to unclog the holes of the burner but don’t poke too hard in the holes. You want to unclog them not make them larger.

Use a high-pressure hose to clean off any heavy grease or dirt buildup inside the stove case or under the burners. Don’t use any heavy-duty cleaners such as oven or engine cleaner, as it can damage the paint and metal on your camping stove. If you do not have a high-pressure hose you can use a nylon brush to clean off stubborn grime and grease.

Post-Cleaning Care of Your Camp Stove

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your camping stove, turn it upside down to dry. Make sure any water is completely removed from inside the camping stove. If not, it can cause rust and even affect the flow of fuel to the stove burner. When all the parts are completely dry, reassemble the drip pans, burner heads, caps, and grills. Connect the propane cylinder and line, and test burners.

Final Thoughts

A clean camp stove leads to a happy camper. For health, as well as safety reasons, it’s best to make sure that you clean your camping stove as often as it needs it. It may take some time, but is worth the effort. When it comes down to the questions of how to clean a camp stove, the rule of thumb is to clean the gas burners whenever the flame becomes irregular or exhibits a yellow color. Cleaning the burners once a month is probably sufficient. It all depends on how regularly you go camping.


Beau is an electrical engineer with a knack for DIY repair and construction. When he's not tinkering with his projects he's on the road travelling and enjoying an exciting lifestyle with his young family.

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Your camp stove is an essential part of your camping gear. Cooking delicious, healthy meals keeps you going well you explore the great outdoors.  But making dinner can be messy with boiling over and burnt on spills.  Learn to clean the inside and the outside of your camp stove and how often you should clean your camp stove.