How To Fix a Gas Stove Burner

Updated: Nov. 28, 2022

Gas stove burner not lighting? Fix it in 20 seconds or less using a paper clip.

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A few minutes






It's frustrating when the gas burners on your stove don't light every time. As an appliance technician, they're my favorite problem to fix. It's easy and takes less than 20 seconds.

Gas burners need three things to light quickly and reliably:

  • Oxygen, from the air;
  • Spark, from a clean igniter;
  • Gas, from the burner orifice.

When a gas burner clicks but doesn't light, the most common cause is a clogged gas burner orifice. That often happens after a pot boils over. Here's how to bust up the clog.

Tools Required

  • Abrasive sponge
  • Awl
  • Flashlight
  • Paper clip
  • Wire brush

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Remove Burner Grate

  • Lift off the gas stove burner grate and carefully set down on a towel on the counter.

Remove Burner GateCourtesy Scott Flint

Step 2

Remove and Clean Burner Cap

 Remove Burner CapCourtesy Scott Flint

Step 3

Clean Gas Burner Orifice

  • Using a flashlight, look down into the center of the burner.
  • Look for a shiny brass hexagon with a hole in the middle. This is the gas burner orifice.
  • Put a straightened paper clip or the tip of an awl into the gas burner orifice.
  • Gently twist the paper clip around a few revolutions to break up the clog.

Caution: Do not force the paper clip or awl into the gas burner orifice. You don’t want to enlarge the hole in the brass orifice. Making the hole bigger will result in too large of a flame. You simply want to loosen the clogged material.

Clean Gas Oriface With PaperclipCourtesy Scott Flint

Step 4

Put Back the Burner Cap

  • Place the cleaned burner cap back on. Make sure it sits perfectly flat on the burner. If it won’t sit flat, try turning it until it does.

Put Burner Cap Back OnCourtesy Scott Flint

Step 5

Put Back the Grate

  • Place the burner grate back on the burner.
Step 6

Test The Burner

  • Turn on the burner. You should have instant ignition and a stronger, more even flame. All the clog material broken up by the paper clip or awl will blow out with the gas pressure, allowing your gas range or stovetop burner to work like new.

Close-Up Of StoveAlex Biasiato/Getty Images