4 Simple Steps to a Glass Cooktop That's So Clean it Sparkles
The sleek, professional look of a glass cooktop adds minimalist sophistication to your kitchen, but like all glass surfaces, it's delicate to clean. "It's important to clean a glass stovetop with care to prevent scratching or discoloring the cooking surface," confirms James Connor, vice president of operations for Molly Maid. Ahead, Connor, along with Warren Weiss of Scrub! Residential Cleaning in Philadelphia, and David Flax of Window Genie, reveal how to keep your stovetop sparkling clean no matter what.
Remove burnt, caked-on food.
Deep cleaning your glass cooktop begins with removing any burnt, caked-on food, from last night's spaghetti sauce to this morning's pancake batter. After your burners have cooled, spray the stovetop with a multi-purpose cleaner or use pantry staples like baking soda or vinegar. "Sprinkle baking soda directly onto the stovetop and use a clean, damp microfiber cloth to scrub the spot clean," says Connor. "If the spot is really stubborn, add a few drops of distilled vinegar to the baking soda, which should completely clean it." Then release as much of the loosened spills as possible with a silicone or plastic spatula. "This is a great tool, because it's flexible and safe," says Connor, "rather than using a single-edge razor blade or anything sharp that may scratch the glass surface."
Once your cooktop is free of most of its larger messes, use a glass-specific product, like Weiman's Stove Top Cleaner ($7.28, amazon.com), suggests Weiss, to cleanse and polish. "Work the polish into the entire surface, pushing down harder on any trouble spots," instructs Weiss. "You can add a bit of water if you have a large surface area. Then use a dry towel to dry off the area and buff the surface. Since it's glass, it should look perfectly smooth and shiny after it's cleaned."
Avoid harsh cleansers.
Truly difficult stains may tempt homeowners to use more abrasive products—but use caution, says Connor, who recommends a milder product like liquid Bar Keepers Friend ($4.95, williams-sonoma.com). "Some people use the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers ($14.98, amazon.com) for extremely tough burn marks," he says, "but this substance is like a micro-fine sandpaper and can scratch the surface if you're not careful." Flax also warns against using acidic products, which can damage your stovetop over time. "When cleaning any glass surface—stovetop, mirror, table, or window—it's important to never let acidic cleaners sit," he says. "Many people are hesitant to use harsh chemicals near food prep surfaces, so if you're using mild or natural cleaners such as a mixture that contains vinegar or lemon juice, it's important to fully rinse the area and wipe dry with a microfiber towel. Acidic solutions have the ability to etch glass over time which can dull and weaken it."
Attack the worst spills right away.
Two types of stains are especially difficult to remove from a glass stovetop and should be cleaned up immediately. "Leaving a sugary spill to solidify on your glass cooktop is one of the worst things you can do," says Connor. "The other is to accidentally set a plastic container on the cooking surface while it's still hot, melting the plastic in the process." If you're facing either of these situations, Connor recommends turning off the stove, donning your oven mitts, and using a spatula to clean up as much of the spill as you can while it's still pliant (careful: it will still be hot). "Leave any remaining stuck-on debris until the cooking surface cools completely," he says. "Your quick response should eliminate the debris before it has a chance to get any worse."
Keep it clean.
Instead of putting out the effort for occasional deep cleans, the experts recommend cleaning your glass stovetop regularly and mopping up drips and splashes before they harden. "When you're cooking, try to wipe up any spills before they dry," says Weiss. "Once they dry, it makes the entire cleaning process much more difficult." Connor recommends a simple daily cleaning routine: Spray glass cleaner or white vinegar, or apply a cream specifically formulated for stovetops to your surface; wipe it with a non-abrasive microfiber cloth (or a paper towel); and use a second clean cloth to buff the glass. "With a little effort on a daily basis," he says, "you can keep your glass cooktop looking like new with less frequent deep cleaning required."