If you’ve updated your kitchen in recent years, you probably have a stove with a flat surface and no visible burners. A glass top stove is a pleasure to cook on and a joy to behold. When it’s clean, that is. Unfortunately, stovetops take a beating.
They become the repository for all kinds of foodstuffs, including hardened tomato sauce, splattered bacon, and nightmare messes such as vegetable oil mixed with eggs. The list goes on. Overflowed pasta water. Burnt-on sugar from candy making. Spilled cheesy soup.
And that’s not counting the mars and scratches you can get dragging your pans over the surface. Sometimes wiping with a damp sponge makes oopsies go away, but on other occasions, it just adds a little water to the mess.
In some ways, it’s easier to clean a glass top stove than the old-fashioned kind. For example, you don’t have to get in and scrub under the burners. But glass tops come with their own set of problems. While modern tops resist a lot of stains, they’re don’t repel everything.
They’re more fragile than metals and require more considerate care. The surfaces can get scratched. You might not notice a scratch on a metal stove, but it can ruin the appearance of a glass top. And when you’re cleaning, you can’t lean into them and apply a lot of force.
How To Keep Glass Top Stoves Clean
Stove glass tops are easier to clean if you don’t let them get marred or excessively dirty in the first place. There are a few ways to keep a routine cleaning problem from becoming a substantial one.
First, wipe up spills and splatters promptly. Use a damp sponge or a cloth. If parts of the surface are hot, you may have to wait for them to cool, but don’t wait until tomorrow. Even a top that looks clean may have invisible layers of grease. If you continue to cook, that grease can burn, bond to the surface, and leave a residue.
Next, clean frequently. Don’t let a little job morph into a huge one. Between those frequent cleanings, you can wipe with a microfiber cloth. Be careful what else you use that cloth pad for because it can pick up abrasives that will scratch your glass.
Also, use the right cookware. On your old stove with its raised burner, the pot or pan never came into contact with the stovetop. Now it does. Glass pots can scratch (and they conduct heat poorly, so they’re not great for other reasons). Cast iron also tends to scratch if you let it slide around, but I like cast iron cooking so much that I use it anyway. Just be careful.
Porcelain can bond to the surface if you cook at high temperatures. Stainless steel and heavy aluminum are the safest choices. In general, avoid high-temperature cooking, and don’t allow any pot or pan to boil itself empty. That lets the cookware get too hot and can leave dark stains on the smooth glass.
Don’t use any of the forbidden tools or cleaners on your glass top stove. That means no ammonia-based products like Windex. No heavily abrasive liquids or powders either. Avoid scouring pads, steel wool, and the abrasive side of a sponge. It’s okay to use a razor blade or a scraper that’s made for the job, to gently lift gunk from the surface. Hold it at a 45-degree angle.
Don’t use commercial cleaners on a stove when it’s hot. It’s okay to prise off the gunk with the aforementioned razor blade while the top is warm (it’s a good idea to wear an oven mitt!), but let the stove cool before breaking out the cleaning kit.
What should you use to clean your glass top? There are several good commercial products available, and if you’re leery of chemicals you can use an environmentally friendly cleaner. Or there are common household products that will take on the job.
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Commercial Glass Stove Top Cleaning Products
There are a few cleaners that pop to the top of everyone’s “best of” list, and one of them is Cerama Bryte Cooktop Cleaner. It’s also specifically recommended by some of the appliance manufacturers. It’s the mild yet tough abrasive that deals with difficult messes without scratching the surface. You can buy just the bottle, or you can get the kit that includes a scraper and a non-abrasive pad.
If you have built-up gunk or burnt-on food, don’t break your fingernail trying to lift it. Work it off with a razor blade or the Cerama scraper. It’s okay, even beneficial, to scrape while the top is hot (wear a mitt!), but before you use the cleaning solution, be sure the stovetop is cool. Shake the bottle well and pour a quarter-sized glob directly onto the cooktop. Rub it in with a dry paper towel, or, if you have the kit, use the Cerama cleaning pad. Buff out the surface with a soft cloth or a paper towel.
Although the cleaner is biodegradable and contains no phosphates, it does include citric acid and will irritate if you get it in your eyes. Also, don’t mix it with other household cleaning products. (Actually, don’t do that with any stovetop cleaner.)
If there’s gunk on the surface that you can’t get under with a razor, scraper, or fingernail, it’s almost certainly built-up grease. In that case, try Cerama Bryte Burnt-On Grease Remover. A product like this is a bacon lover’s best friend. Once you’ve rid your stove of the grease, then you’ll be good to go cleaning with the standard product.
Environmentally Friendly Glass Stovetop Cleaners
a. HAUS Naturals
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Our favorite all-natural, chemical-free cleaner brand is HAUS Naturals which includes an awesome, beautifully scented, powerful streak-free glass cleaner.
Seriously, try any HAUS cleaning agents and you’ll be impressed… all without chemicals in your home.
SeigeClean Glass & Ceramic Stovetop Cleaner is all-natural, organic, and eco-friendly. SiegeClean is a family business that makes a variety of consumer products, all designed to be safe for their family, their customers, and the environment. This product, concocted with earth-friendly ingredients, purports to remove grease as well as baked and burned on food without harming the cooktop.
As with all cleaners, make sure the surface is cool before you start. The manufacturer recommends wearing lightweight rubber gloves, which I find odd because other allegedly harsher products don’t. Perhaps it’s from an abundance of caution. Shake the bottle and pour directly onto the surface. Scrub it in with either a damp towel or sponge. Then remove it with another damp towel or sponge, and use another towel to dry it.
If there’s a heavier stain, soak the area with water for 10 minutes before you use the cleaner. Repeat the cleaning process if the top doesn’t get clean enough the first time.
Heavy Duty Cleaner
Wouldn’t you like to have a product where you could spray it on, walk away, and be done? So would I, but nothing works quite that way. However, if you want the cleaner to do the lion’s share of the work rather than your arms, or if you have an especially difficult mess to deal with, consider Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner & Polisher: Heavy Duty.
Weiman’s products share the top spots on the review lists with Cerama, and this is Weiman’s heavy hitter, the one they recommend when “your glass stovetop needs a little extra love.”
As always, allow the cooking surface to clean before using it. Give the bottle a vigorous shake and apply the cleaner directly to the surface. If you have the cleaning kit, scrub it in with the Weiman cleaning pad. Otherwise, just use a paper towel. Buff it out with another paper towel to give it a shine.
This product has been called “the bomb.” Consumers have had success going after the most hardened stains. It’s a polisher as well as a cleaner and is designed to bring a tired, dulled surface back to shiny life.
DIY Stove Top Cleaning
Don’t like using chemicals? If you prefer a home-grown solution, here are some tips for using vinegar and baking soda to work on stains that are dirty, dirtier, and dirtiest.
Even if you do prefer commercial products, you still might want to take a look at these ideas. You can use the baking-soda-and-towel method to soften things up before you use the store-bought product. Sort of like pounding the stovetop with artillery before you send in the troops.
Daily DIY Cleaning
For this, you’ll need a spray bottle of distilled white vinegar and a cloth. Microfiber is best. As always, work with a cool stovetop. Just mist the surface with the vinegar, wipe it with the microfiber then use a dry cloth or paper towel to buff out any streaks. This may not deal with a significant mess, but if done regularly it will lengthen the time between more vigorous cleanings.
DIY Cleaning for Dirtier Tops
For this job bring in the baking soda along with the vinegar. In addition to the vinegar spray bottle, have a bucket (or sinkful) of hot water on the ready. You’ll also need a clean, dry towel as large as your stovetop.
Spray the cool stove top with vinegar, then sprinkle on a generous quantity of baking soda. Dip your towel in the hot water and ring it out. Lay the towel over the stovetop, baking soda, and vinegar. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Pull the towel off and wipe away the vinegar and baking soda with a microfiber cloth. Spritz with more vinegar and use a clean microfiber cloth to buff out streaks.
DIY Cleaning for Even Dirtier Tops
If you have burnt-on rings or built-up gunk that just won’t go away, it may be time to move to the razor blade method. First, check the stove manufacturer’s instructions. If they say not to use a razor blade, buy a scraper specifically made for stovetops.
On a cool stovetop, spritz the target areas with vinegar. It will soften whatever you’re trying to lift. If you wish, go a step further and apply the wet towel method described above and then squirt on more vinegar. Scrape gently with the razor blade. Hold it straight so you don’t gouge the top with its corners. Lightly scrape at the debris until it breaks loose. Wipe away the residue with a microfiber cloth.
Tools for Cleaning a Glass Top Stove
If you buy a cleaner kit, such as the Cerama or Weiman, you’ll already have most of the tools you need. Just add the cloth or towels. For most cleaners, any kind of cloth will do but microfiber works best. Just don’t use your nice microfiber cloth on a hot stove. An ordinary razor blade can take the place of a scraper. If you’re going to use a scraper, use one from a kit or buy one specifically made for stovetops.
Remember the no-nos: ammonia, scouring pads, steel wool, anything excessively abrasive. And always have plenty of towels on hand. You may find yourself repeating the cleaning process, and it’s nice not to worry about running out.