black glass cook top

How to Clean, Restore, and Care for a Glass Cooktop

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!

black glass cook top

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.

Heavy pots

Do not drag anything 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), 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.

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 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.

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 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:

 

 

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, 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 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.

Remove scratches

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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10 replies
  1. Mary Galvin says:

    I recently placed my crockpot on the surface of my glass top stove and plugged it in to cook my meal. The crockpot was sitting over one of the front eyes on the stovetop. Awhile later I began preparing another dish and turned on the eye behind the crockpot (I thought) to cook the second dish. Can you see where this is going? I actually turned on the eye under the crockpot. I left the room very soon after turning the eye on, so I didn’t notice that I had turned the wrong eye on. In a few minutes, I began to smell something burning and rushed into the kitchen to see that the electric cord to my crockpot was smoking at the point it was crossing the burning eye. I quickly unplugged the cord, turned off the burner and moved the position of the crockpot. Unfortunately, part of the cord had burned and melted on the eye of the stove. I was able to scrape some of the burned rubbery material off immediately, but not all of it. Is there a way to remove the rest of the mess? And, yes, I learned my lesson! Thanks for any suggestions.

    Reply
  2. Pepper says:

    I have a white cook top stove. I got sugar on it years ago while canning strawberry jam. I was able to get the the rough surface residue off. Even though I cleaned it immediately, the STAIN would NOT come out no matter what my husband or I have tried. The stain is actually inside the surface. You may think that sounds inaccurate, but it is indeed a fact. I think I need a CHEMIST to figure this problem out. I used only two burners that day so now keep each of them covered with white a decorative object when I am not using them. I don’t use the other two burners for fear of staining them also. I would be thrilled if someone/anyone could tell me what would actually seep into the stain and bleach it. (I do NOT want to change to a black top.) Thank you !

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Pepper … my first thought is that you need a “poultice” which is a paste of solvent such as hydrogen peroxide, acetone, mineral spirits or ammonia, mixed with kaolin, fuller’s earth, whiting, diatomaceous earth, powdered chalk, white molding plaster, or talc. The process is that you spread the poultice on the stain and leave it to sit as it actually penetrates the surface to pull out the stain. This is the way to remove stains from natural marble, granite and other stone. In that your stain seems to have penetrated the surface of the white surface (is it baked-on enamel?), this would be my first choice in attempting to remove the stain. I do not believe this would cause any harm in the least, but just might wor in the most. I suggest you do some research online to learn how to make and use a poultice that would be suitable for your situation.

      Reply
  3. Dorothy Thompson says:

    Another trick for cleaning baked on mess on a glass top is to apply a liberal amount of your cooktop cleaning cream to the affected area and place a piece of cling film over the cream. The cling film will prevent the cream from drying out and hardening and will allow the cream to soften the burned on material. Leave the cling film on for about 10 minutes then remove and cleaning should be much easier.

    Reply
  4. Laura P. says:

    I’ve been really happy with these cooktops for over a decade and actually find them very easy to keep up with. However, with my newest one, it always seems to have a greasiness to it that I can’t seem to clear away. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Blue dawn. It’s the best degreaser! I keep a spray bottle of about 90% water, 10% Blue Dawn handy. I spray my glass induction cooktop, use a BLUE Scotchbrite sponge circular motion to scrub it down, leave it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth. No rinsing required. Sparkler like a diamond in bright sunshine 🙂

      Reply
  5. Susan E Kemp says:

    Hi, I had read somewhere that you can’t can on a glass top stove. Something about the surface not getting hot enough to process the item being canned, or the jars. Is this true??

    Reply

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