When it comes to kitchen appliances, nothing says modern and sleek like a beautiful new smooth ceramic or glass stovetop. And nothing says “Oh, no!” louder than a burnt-on mess or ugly scratch!
While it beats a coil element type cooktop in the style department, a glass cooktop 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 stovetops, 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. If you intend to use any type of stone or cast iron cookware on a glass top, 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 cooktop. It’s tempting I know, but just don’t do it. Period.
The bottom of most 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.
Do not drag anything across a smooth top cooktop. Always lift to another area of the cooktop to reduce the risk of scratching.
Do not allow abrasive cleansers, Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty sponges (the green ones), scour pads (green), steel wool, or any other type of metal scrubbers of any kind near the cooktop. Instead, you want to use a non-scratch sponge or scour pad.
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 above the stove. And do not place anything heavy on a smooth glass top stovetop, even for a few minutes. Check your owner’s manual. Generally, range and cooktop glass cooking surfaces (radiant, induction, gas-on-glass) are tested for a maximum weight limit of 50lbs.
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.
Do not place casseroles or cookies sheets straight out of 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 glass cooktop. 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
Your glass cooktop represents a significant investment. Here are the two products I have personally tested and can highly recommend for your consideration:
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.
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
Make a paste of 50/50 baking soda and Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Stir until smooth. Using a non-abrasive soft sponge, 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.
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.
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 like new.
Apply a cream ceramic cooktop cleaner (see above) once the area cools. Using a soft scrubbing pad made for this purpose (the Cerama Bryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner Kit comes with 5 cleaning pads), rub 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.
It’s best to never allow your glass stovetop 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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