As a smooth move for your kitchen, it’s hard to beat a glass cooktop. These flat cooking surfaces—actually a combination of glass and ceramic—provide more rapid and responsive heat control than conventional coils or burners. The seamless surface prevents errant food from falling into the appliance, and it can pitch in as extra counter space for prep and serving. Plus, although smooth stoves have been around since the early 1970s, their distinctly sleek appearance suits today’s modern décor. Glass cooktops are also easy to clean—if, that is, you swipe up spills in a timely manner.
Let grease, sauce, and sticky stuff like rice or pasta linger on your glass stovetop, and it can be a challenge to clean. What’s more, that appealing black of the surface makes crumbs, dust, smudges, and pet hair show up glaringly. Perhaps the biggest concern with glass cooktops is their vulnerability to scratches. Go at stuck-on messes too vigorously or with the wrong cleaning agents, you could damage the surface permanently.
Best Ways to Clean a Glass Stovetop
Follow the advice and techniques here to clean and protect your glass cooktop—and be flat-out pleased by the sparkle and shine!
Daily Cleaning Tips
- Read the manufacturer’s guide. While the cleaning methods detailed below make sense for flat cooktops, it’s always wise to first consult manufacturer’s care and cleaning instructions. Your cooktop may require certain products and/or methods and failing to follow instructions could void your warranty.
- Clean spills up quickly. Deal with spills as quickly as possible—as soon as you spy them, as long as the cooktop is cool enough to touch—and you’ll have no trouble keeping the surface clean. All it takes for daily maintenance and messy cooking mishaps is a mist of white vinegar and a swipe with a damp soft cloth.
- Wait for the stovetop to cool. We said it above, but we’ll say it again: Make sure the stovetop has cooled completely before cleaning. Cleanser exposed to heat could burn pits into the glass finish. Not too mention the ouch factor of touching a hot stovetop!
- Skip strong cleansers and rough scrubbers. It may seem logical to reach for glass cleaner, but the ammonia often present in such products could damage the flattop. Plus, chemical residue from commercial cleaners would likely be released into the air the next time you turn on the stove. So, stick with cheap, effective white vinegar and, to wipe, a microfiber cloth, old T-shirt rag, or soft sponge instead of potentially scratchy paper towels; scouring pads, scrub brushes, and steel wool are verboten, as they’re sure to leave scratches.
- Clean your cookware. We all focus on scouring inside pots and pans, but if cookware exterior has dirty or greasy bottoms, that will transfer to the stovetop. Wash and dry cookware bottoms before placing on the glass surface.
How to Clean Burnt-on Stains
Banish buildup. Busy schedules, hectic meal prep, holiday dinners—hey, neglected cooktops happen! When it does, break out the baking soda, a natural cleaner with a mild alkali to dissolve grease and a gentle abrasive that won’t scratch the glass. Pour a small amount of hot water on problem areas and sprinkle baking soda over the mess. Then cover with a hot, damp cloth and give it some dwell time—about 15 minutes for really stuck-on gunk. Then...
Employ elbow grease. Scrub with the towel, working in the basic soda to dissolve crud. Just remember, this is glass, and too much pressure could crack it. Rinse the towel with hot water as necessary, wring, and keep scrubbing till the baking soda is gone. Finish off with a spritz of vinegar and a damp cloth to remove any baking soda residue and bring back sparkle.
Scrape with care. Still notice stubborn burnt-on gunk in spots? Ease it off with a razor blade (preferably in a holder for control and safety). Mist the area lightly with vinegar, then aim the blade’s cutting edge at a 45-degree angle to the stovetop and carefully scrape off crud, working one small section at a time, with a light, even motion.
Deep clean regularly. Even if your cooktop looks clean, treat it to some TLC about once a month. Dampen the entire surface with water, sprinkle on a dusting of baking soda, and cover with a moist hot towel. Wait several minutes, scrub lightly to remove baking soda, and then give it a mist-and-wipe once-over with vinegar and a cloth. The result? Fresh-from-the-showroom sparkle.
Handle the haze. After years of use, a dark glass stovetop can develop a dull, whitish haze, usually around the burners. This isn’t dirt or a stain, but discoloration caused by accumulated tiny scratches. (These tend to occur due to moving cookware back and forth across the burner—so don’t!) There are various polishing powders on the market, such as Cameo and Bar Keepers Friend, designed to lift these surface scratches, but consult your model’s care instructions to see if these products are recommended.