How To Clean a Coleman Stove

How To Clean a Coleman Stove

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Coleman stoves require proper cleaning. You can clean the stoves after every use. Deep cleaning is also required in case of dirt, boil-over, and cooking oil buildup.

Coleman recommends cleaning propane stoves thoroughly, even by removing the burners. Liquid fuel Coleman stoves are only hand-washed without removing the burners. Be careful to avoid misplacing burner rings when removed from liquid fuel Coleman stoves.


Both propane and liquid fuel Coleman stoves need to be efficiently cleaned. Check out the multi-step process and tips below.

How To Clean a Coleman Stove

When Should You Clean a Coleman Camping Stove?

When you see a blue flame with a yellow tip, you know your stove is nice and clean! You may start to consider cleaning it if the flame is all yellow with soot and carbon deposits. 

How To Clean a Coleman Stove

Before you start the cleaning process, turn off the stove and allow enough time for both the stove and the griddle to become completely cool.

You can read more about how to clean a Coleman stove in the official manual (5461 series).

Prepare for the clean

You’ll want to make sure the stove and griddle have been allowed to cool down.

Then, you will have to remove the propane tank and then the regulator.

For the final step of the prep, you can lift off the griddle as well as the pot support.

Start cleaning the stove after every use

It’s always best to clean off all food and cooking residue to avoid grime buildup and burners that are out of order and can’t even sustain a fire.

Soap and water are the minimum requirements to clean the stoves after every use. Coleman stoves are always hand-washed, even if power washing can be an option on propane stoves with removed burners.

Clean the stove using warm water and soap

A mix of liquid soap and warm water in a bucket is the perfect cost-effective cleaning solution for camping stove cleaning. Coldwater might not be as efficient at clearing thick grease that’s made its way to the stoves.

Rinsing is always required. A stainless steel surface will always have visible soap drying marks on it if you forget to rinse it after cleaning it with soap and water. Rising doesn’t require warm water. Cold water will be just as good at this stage.

Consider using baking soda

Baking soda is one of the low-impact homemade cleaning solutions. You can use baking soda to remove some of the most stubborn buildups on the camping stove.

Baking soda removes almost all types of food buildup from stainless steel. You can use a hard sponge to deal with dry food residue and dry grease on the stove.

Vinegar and water are also efficient

Vinegar is another handy cleaning solution that people already have in their homes. A mix of water and vinegar can be used to remove all dust, oil, and dry food from the surface of the Coleman stove.

Vinegar doesn’t corrode stainless steel which makes it an efficient long-term camping stove cleaner that’s also highly affordable.

Bristle brushes are good to clean burners

You might not be able to completely remove buildup only using sponges. This is the main reason you need some type of brush. An old toothbrush can be an efficient solution for getting into the corners and next to the burners.

Make sure not to use excessive force when pushing the toothbrush down. Small surface-level scratches are often created by toothbrushes. A soft toothbrush or an old toothbrush is less likely to scratch the camping stove.

Clean the knobs

Knobs are sometimes overlooked during the cooking process. But they are as important as the rest of the stove. Soap and water can be used to clean knobs.

A sprayer might be a handy solution for all of the vertical surfaces or the side panels of the camping stove. Spraying the surface first then makes it easier for the knobs to be cleaned using a sponge. Grease is typical on knobs as it gets in contact with the hands the most while cooking. This is why vinegar might be a better option for the knobs compared to the rest of the camping stove.

Consider using a pressure washer

Dry food, grease, and layers of buildup are sometimes even harder to remove from a Coleman camping stove. In these conditions, the first action that comes to mind is to use a scrubber. But many metal scrubbers damage the surface of the camping stove.

Pressure washers are the ideal option in this case, but only when using a propane Coleman camping stove as it can be taken apart.

Let the stove dry

Drying the camping stove is a crucial operation, sometimes overlooked. In rare cases, improper drying can even make the burners work inaccurately. This is why you need to let the stove dry out in the sun for a few hours.

Drying is ideally going to be based on an upside-down position to remove all water particles inside of the stove. The inner parts of the burner take longer to dry. Make sure to leave the stove dry a bit longer than you think necessary for the water inside to evaporate completely.

Always store it in a clean bag

Storing Coleman camping stoves is as important as cleaning them. Dust buildup or other grime can make its way onto the stoves while camping or while in storage.

Once dry, it’s best to place the stoves in a bag. This bag keeps it clean for a long time. It also allows easy transportation from camp to house whenever the stove is dirty. It prevents buildup and food residue from making its way onto other camping equipment or into your car.

How not to clean a Coleman stove

There are a few cleaners that aren’t recommended for steel camping stoves, such as stoves made by Coleman. It’s best to know what to avoid.

Avoid using abrasive stove cleaners

Stove cleaners are generally highly potent. At times, there are too potent for a small camping stove. It’s best to avoid heavy-duty stove cleaners that contain abrasive scrubbers.

Cleaners made with chemicals or abrasive scrubbers aren’t going to be ideal for a small camping stove. You can prioritize baking soda and vinegar over other cleaners as these are natural.

Simple dish soap and water mixture should be enough to get rid of grease, especially if you clean your Coleman camping stove after every use.


Cleaning a Coleman camping stove requires an extra step. First, make sure you stove and griddle have been allowed to cool down. You will have to remove the propane tank and then the regulator. Then, you can lift off the griddle as well as the support for the pot.

Now, you can access all the nooks and crannies. Coleman stoves can be cleaned with soap and water. This simple mix works if you clean the stove after every use. Dry food residue buildup normally requires a bit more time to let the wet surface soak. Give the process an extra 5 minutes, and you will find that the grime wipes off easily, even if you don’t clean the stove after every use.

In time, the practice of cleaning the stove after every camping experience becomes a habit. Coleman has a clear user manual for each of its stoves where it recommends proper cleaning after every use.

You’ll want to avoid other strong cleaners that aren’t recommended by Coleman. If they are abrasive, and that can damage the surface of the cleaner.

Coleman also recommends keeping the stoves in clean bags. This prevents dirt and dust buildup in the burners. They work efficiently only when clear of all dirt, food, and dust buildup.

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