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Splatter is more or less inevitable when cooking. Think of how pasta sauce bubbles, leaving red streaks and spots on your stovetop. If you're the type of person who cannot stand even the tiniest food stain on their cooking surfaces, then keeping your stovetop spotless may be a priority. This may be particularly true for those who have a stove with a glass surface, where even a small food splatter can be an eyesore.
Maintaining a glass stovetop is slightly different from keeping an electric or gas range clean. For the latter, you may need to replace drip pans and burner grates regularly. But keeping a glass stovetop squeaky clean requires different protocols and cleaning products. But don't worry, there a few simple tips and tricks that you can follow that use natural products to keep your glass stovetop shining like new. Read on to find out what they are. But first, what is a glass stovetop, exactly?
What is a glass stovetop?
Glass vs. electric
Like the traditional electric stovetop, a glass stovetop is powered by electricity, transferring heat from the heated surface to the cookware. Electric stovetops, with heating elements exposed, differ from glass stovetops in their appearance. The former has its heating coils exposed. The latter has metal heating elements embedded below a smooth surface made with a blend of glass and ceramic.
While an induction stovetop may look similar to a glass stovetop, it has different heating elements. An induction stovetop has electromagnetic coils that use electromagnetic energy to heat the cookware. Unlike on electric and glass stovetops, where you can use almost any type of cookware, you have to use cookware with a magnetic base, such stainless steel and cast iron, on an induction cooktop.
Then, there is the common, highly responsive gas stovetop powered by natural gas. Like electric stovetops, gas stovetops do not need special cookware, but they do heat up faster than electric or induction heating elements. However, electric and induction cooktops tend to cook food more evenly than a flame.
Because glass stovetops are made of ceramic and glass, they're more prone to streaking and potentially to nicks and scratches. So, regular upkeep is needed to avoid cooking residue and tough-to-remove stains.
How to clean a glass stovetop
To keep your glass stovetop clean and less prone to streaks and scratches, here are a few simple but important do's and don'ts:
Read your stovetop manufacturer's care instructions to see if they recommend any specific cleaning products. If you no longer have the instructions, you can also locate them online.
For safety reasons, clean the glass surface when it has cooled, though there are some exceptions to this rule (more on that soon).
Wipe the surface with a white vinegar-water mixture and a clean microfiber cloth.
Use a household glass cleaner—it could stain or scratch the glass stovetop surface.
Use a cleaning product not recommended by the manufacturer's instructions—doing so may damage the surface and void an existing warranty.
Use a scrub brush or scouring pad—they will scratch the glass surface.
Use a razor blade to remove any tough stains, unless recommended by the manufacturer's care instructions.
Daily cleaning and maintenance
Wiping down your glass stovetop after each use is recommended, as splatters, spills and smears will become "cooked" onto the stovetop surface. This type of splatter and staining becomes more challenging to clean as time passes. You don't need any fancy cleaners to get the job done—a vinegar solution will do, as will a natural stain remover or degreaser.
To make a vinegar solution for cleaning your stovetop, fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar and two parts water. Spray your stovetop with the mixture and wipe down the glass top with a microfiber cloth, which will prevent scratching the surface.
How to clean a very dirty glass stovetop
When cleaning your stovetop every day isn't possible, or when you notice stubborn food stains aren't coming off, you can use baking soda to clean it up. Baking soda is another natural product that can break down food residue and eliminate stains without damaging the glass surface. Follow the steps below when you plan to deep-clean your glass stovetop.
Spray your white-vinegar solution all over the glass surface.
Sprinkle baking soda over the solution.
Wet a towel with hot water, wring it out and place it over the vinegar and baking soda mix.
Let the towel sit on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the towel and use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface.
To remove any other visible streaks, spray more vinegar and use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down.
How to clean a glass stovetop with a razor
If you come across crusty burnt stains that do not soften despite using vinegar and baking soda, you may need to remove them manually using a handheld razor blade. Before you do so, always refer to the manufacturer's instructions. Do not use this method if the instructions advise you not to.
If you decide to use a razor blade to remove stains, follow these steps:
Spray your vinegar solution over the surface.
Once the food residues become slightly soft and loosened, use the razor blade to gently lift the residue from the stovetop. Use only the blade to do this; using the corners of the razor could scratch the stovetop surface.
Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away the scraped residue.
Repeat the steps above until the surface is residue-free.
What to do if you can't remove the stain or residue
White vinegar and baking soda are cost-effective and natural ways to upkeep your glass stovetop sparkling, but you may need to turn to commercial heavy-duty cleaners when the first two methods do not work. Always check your stovetop manufacturer's care instructions to see which types of cleaners are suitable for the cooktop surface.
For certain food splatters, such as tomato sauce and chocolate, you may need to wipe down the surface as you cook or immediately after you finish cooking, because once the stovetop surface is completely cooled, these stains may bind to the glass.
Regular light cleaning of your glass stovetop will keep it clean and reflective, making your kitchen a welcoming and comforting space. Upkeep of your glass stovetop can be easy-peasy when using affordable, natural hacks like vinegar and baking soda. Be sure to read other simple ways to keep your kitchen clean.