Cooktop and Glass

How to Clean and Care for a Glass Top Stove Top

When it comes to kitchen appliances, nothing says modern and sleek like a beautiful new electric smooth top ceramic or glass top stove top. 

Frying pan on modern black glass electric stove, built in cooktop with ceramic top in white kitchen interior

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While it beats a coil element type cooktop in the style department, a glass top stove top requires a different kind of proactive care to keep it looking good while at the same time preventing discoloration and scratching.

What NOT to do

With glass top stove tops, it’s all about prevention. If you think of your cooktop as a delicate possession that requires your utmost protection, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Cast iron or stone cookware

Cast-iron skillets are heavy, and glass stovetops are extremely delicate. With cast iron, your number one concern should be cracking or damaging the glass with that heavy skillet.

If you are used to sliding pans back and forth over the burners while cooking, you will need to break that habit with your glass cook top. It’s tempting I know, but just don’t do it. Period. The bottom of these types of cookware can be rough, even gritty like sandpaper. Any movement on that cooktop can leave permanent scratches. Instead, use an aggressive stirring method to move around the contents of the pan.



Heavy pots

Do not drag heavy pots across a smooth top cooktop. Always lift to another area of the cooktop to reduce the risk of scratching.

Abrasive cleaners

Do not allow abrasive cleansers, Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty sponges (the green ones), scour pads (green) or metal scrubbers of any kind near the cooktop.

Spills

Do not allow spills to sit. Clean up any spills and boil-overs quickly. When cooking sugary substances, take care not to spill these on a smooth top cooktop. A sugar substance can discolor the cooktop, leaving yellowish areas on light-colored cook tops that are impossible to remove. Clean up all spills quickly.

Use a stool

Do not stand on top of the cooktop to reach something high up or place anything heavy on a smooth glass top stove top, even for a few minutes.

Utensils

Do not place stirring utensils on a warm cooktop while you cook. Food on these utensils can mark or burn the cooktop, leaving a mess that will require a lot of time and effort to clean.

Cooling

Do not place bakeware like casseroles, cookies sheets (from the oven) to cool on a smooth top cooktop. Place these items on a heatproof counter or cooling rack to cool.

How to clean

Here’s the rule: If you wouldn’t use it to clean your eyeglasses, don’t use it on your smooth top. Always reach for a microfiber cloth, blue Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch sponge, other soft sponge or cloth and a cream cleaning solution.

Commercial cream cleaners

Bar Keepers Friend now makes a Cooktop Cleaner (for a 13-ounce bottle) that gets rave reviews from manufacturers and smooth top owners as well.

Another highly recommended option is Cerama Bryte Cooktop Cleaner (for 28-ounces).

Scraper

You may need to use a scraper or razor blade to remove really tough burned-on substances. Please be careful! Using an inappropriate tool, or using the right tool incorrectly could add to the misery. Werxrite RetraGuard Scraper for glass and ceramic stovetops is the right tool. Read the instructions carefully.

Cleaning kit

If you have burned-on spots and difficult areas that you just can’t get clean, I suggest you invest in a Cerama Bryte Glass Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner Bundle. The kit includes cleaning pads, mini-razor scraper, and microfiber cloth—and specific instructions for how to get your cooktop back to its beautiful self. Check out the remarkable reviews.

Homemade cream cleaners

Option #1. Make a paste of 50/50 baking soda and Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Stir until smooth. Using a non-abrasive, soft sponge to work this cream in circles over the entire cooktop. When you’re done, rinse with a wet towel followed by a microfiber cloth to polish the glass surface.

Option #2.  This is for tough spots and any stuck-on food that spilled while cooking. Combine 1-cup water and 1-cup white vinegar in a spray bottle. Add 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well.

Once the cooktop has cooled, sprinkle baking soda directly on the tough spots. Spray the baking soda with the vinegar mixture. Wait until the baking soda stops fizzing and wipe clean with a very soft cloth or blue Scotch Brite Non-Scratch sponge (please don’t sneak in a green Scotch Brite because it will scratch the glass), using the texture of the powder to scour off the grease. This will not scratch the surface.

Repeat as needed until you’ve taken care of any tough spots.



Remove discoloration

The natural oils and acids in food cooked on the stovetop can leave behind dark or light stains on the surface. Removing discoloration from a ceramic cooktop involves proper cleaning. Follow these steps to get your cooktop back to looking new.

Apply a cream ceramic cooktop cleaner (see above) once the area cools. Rub using a soft scrubbing pad made for this purpose (the Cerama Bryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner Kit comes with 5 cleaning pads), rubbing deep into the stain. The abrasive nature of a scrubbing pad that has been designed specifically for a glass cooktop helps release the stain to remove stubborn discoloration. Wipe the area with a wet paper towel or microfiber cloth.

Remove scratches

It’s best to never allow your glass top stove top to get scratched. Still, if you have scratches that are visible and visually annoying, you may be ready to bring out the big guns.

An automotive scratch remover (you won’t find anything better than Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound) is designed to remove scratches and leave a clear-coat, glasslike finish. Apply the automotive scratch-removing compound with a soft cloth, and buff the scratch gently. Allow the scratch remover to dry, and then wipe off the compound with a dry cloth.



Word to the wise

Always test any product or technique for any purpose for which you do not have previous experience in an inconspicuous place, first. Please.


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10 replies
  1. Tiffany says:

    I hate my glass cooktop. I’ve had a GE for 3 years. First, they are difficult to clean, food bakes on and it is very hard to remove. Second, everything scratches and discolors this surface. We are pretty careful not to put anything on the cooktop except the pot/pan being used to cook. But there are still scratches. Also, one of my burners malfunctioned and cost $400 to repair. None of the burners heat up very quickly and the surface stays hot for a very long time after. Time for a gas range, I think.

    Reply
  2. Pat Rosenthal says:

    We put foil down and now we have an area that is discolored any suggestions on how to remove it other than what was mentioned above? Those methods did not work

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Sorry to hear this Pat. I really don’t have an answer for this. My best guest is that the foil (heated?) has interacted with the surface of the glass creating some kind of reaction. My suggestion is to get in touch with the manufacturer’s customer service. Good luck!

      Reply
  3. Eric says:

    Our two biggest elements on our Samsung glass top range turns on and stays extremely hot, the heat does not adjust, can this be fixed?

    Reply
  4. Stefan Robert says:

    I had no clue a glass top oven would be so difficult to clean totally. Astounding that the business hasn’t sorted this out yet. That being said, I’m contemplating whether it is protected to put a piece of Aluminum Foil on top of the component, under the dish you are cooking in?

    Reply
  5. Patricia Weister says:

    Can you place a 7 qt. canning pot on these type burners
    without causing any damage. It is so heavy that it caused
    a concern.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Patricia … I suggest you consult the owner manual. If there is a weight issue you’ll find it there. Generally, I can guarantee that glass cooktops are manufactured in such a way to be very very durable. They are not made of window pain glass! The cooktop glass is tempered, tested, and certified in many ways both for weight and heat. I know it seems like the cooktop glass is delicate, but it is not. If your pot filled to the brim with liquid were able to break it, you can be sure it would not be on the market or it would warning signs emblazoned all over it. I have glass chairmats in my office. Each one is rated to handle 300 lbs sitting in a chair rolling around on it! All that to say, I would not be concerned at all. What SHOULD concern you is scratching it by dragging, say, a cast-iron skillet across it. And be careful to not drop a very heavy item on it. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  6. Rosie Muse says:

    I had no idea a glass top stove would be so hard to clean completely. Astonishing that the industry hasn’t figured this out yet. That being said, I’m wondering if it is safe to put a piece of Aluminum Foil on top of the element, under the pan you are cooking in? It would save so much clean up after a spaghetti dinner if the spills went onto the foil and not our stove. Any suggestions? Thanks, Rosie

    Reply

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