Has your glass-top stove seen better days? Well, of course it has… stoves are for cooking, not display! But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it looking great. Just follow these tips (and avoid anything that might actually make your stove look worse in the long run).
An ounce of prevention
It’s important to know how to clean a glass-top stove, but first, let’s delve into preventing any serious issues that could require serious cleaning. Glass-top stoves aren’t really “delicate,” per se, but they do come with a set of concerns you won’t have with traditional models.
First, be careful with your cookware. Never slide or rotate pots and pans, as this may cause scratching. Also avoid copper or aluminum-based pots, as they can cause irreversible discoloration. Be especially careful when using cast iron. It may have a slightly uneven surface that can make scratching more likely (it’s also really heavy and easy to burn yourself, so be careful that you don’t drop it).
Any messes or spillover you do have should generally be addressed as soon as possible, and immediately if it’s got sugar in the mix. Leaving any spill on your stove for a prolonged period of time could cause the food to harden, which it will continue to do each time the stove is used until it’s cleaned, eventually resulting in scratches, discoloration or even cracking of your stovetop. Sugary substances cause particular issues because they can cause pitting in a glass-top stove.
When you’re cooking, keep a thick, damp rag handy to clean up these types of spills without burning yourself (just be careful!). You can also use a silicone (not plastic) spatula or wooden spoon to gently scrape spills off a hot surface onto a cool surface where you can clean them safely (but only do this if it’s absolutely necessary). For spills involving sugar-based liquids, scraping may be required before the spill can cool and set.
What you should never do!
A lot of you have probably been using window cleaner to wipe down and polish your glass-top. Another popular how-to site even suggested this was fine. Stop! While your stove may look nice and shiny when you’re done, over time, the ammonia many of these products contain can lead to discoloration. This affects some brands more than others, but the University of Nebraska’s study was pretty clear that ammonia on a glass-top is a no-no. In fact, steer clear of anything acidic (like vinegar).
But that’s not the only thing you should never use on your glass-top. Also avoid these offenders.
- Abrasive cleaners (like Comet)
- Steel wool or scouring pads
How to clean your glass-top stove the right way
Since we’re assuming you’ve cleaned any major spills up immediately, wait until your glass-top has cooled to the point where it’s comfortable to touch. We’d recommend cleaning the stove last during your kitchen-cleaning routine to give it plenty of time.
Use either the scraper that came with your stove or any type of scraper with a long, flat razor suitable for windows to get rid of any additional cooked-on food. Hold it at between a 30- and 45-degree angle to avoid scratching and apply even pressure that isn’t too firm.
We recommend using actual glass-top stove cleaning solution (one approved by the manufacturer is best) at least once a week. It’s specially formulated to help prevent scratching and keeps the surface of your stove slick and stain-resistant. But a solution of warm, slightly soapy water can also be used.
Wipe down the entire surface of the stove. If you’re using the cleaning solution, continue wiping and buffing in a circular motion until you no longer see telltale white streaks. If you’re using soap and water, clean the surface thoroughly, and then wipe it down with a wet cloth to remove the soap. Use a dry cloth to dry it (if it’s streaky, a dab of cleaning solution will help).
If you have a particularly stubborn, dried-on stain, you can, as a last resort, use a solution of warm water (1 teaspoon) and baking soda (2 teaspoons). If it’s seriously stubborn, you can also use a vinegar-soaked paper towel (though that should be your last resort before deciding to live with the baked-on food). If you need to disinfect your stovetop, anti-bacterial soap in a solution of water will work.