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How to Clean an Oven Pilot Light

Meg Butler

While most people clean their gas stove regularly, the pilot light often gets overlooked. This is largely because the pilot light does not need cleaning as often as other parts of the oven. Several signs let you know that its time to pay the pilot light some attention -- if your burner keeps making a clicking sound even though the burner is lit, if your pilot light ignites but only produces a small yellow flame or if your pilot light ignites but keeps going out. If you notice any of these signs, try cleaning your pilot light before calling a service technician.

  1. Turn off the pilot light's gas supply. Turn the burner control knobs to the "Off" position. Turn the knob on your oven's gas supply valve to the right until you meet resistance to turn it off. The gas supply valve is located at the end of the gas supply line that comes out of the back of your stove in most units. If you cannot find your gas supply line, or are unsure of how to turn it off, contact your gas oven's installer or the manager of your building.

  2. Wait for the oven, burners and pilot light to return to room temperature.

  3. Remove the oven grates and the cooktop according to manufacturer instructions. Expose the pilot light.

  4. Place a paper towel directly underneath the pilot light's port -- the opening from which the flame comes -- to catch any debris. Insert a wire into the pilot light's port and scrape out any debris that may have accumulated inside of it.

  5. Soak a microfiber cloth in extremely hot water. Carefully wipe down the pilot light and exposed assembly. If there is caked-on debris, spray oven cleaner onto a clean microfiber cloth -- never directly spray the pilot light with any liquid -- and wipe it down. Leave it on for the manufacturer-recommended amount of time. Wipe the pilot light clean of any chemical residue with a rag soaked in hot water.

  6. Dry the pilot light with a hair dryer. Any residual moisture may prevent the pilot light from igniting.