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A microfiber cloth on top of a clean glass top stove

How to Clean a Glass Top Stove

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Steve G.Verified

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Don't clean your glass top with these

Steel wool, scouring pads or other abrasive materials are not recommended to clean glass cooktops.

Removing baked-on and/or burnt food from a glass cooktop can be one of the toughest kitchen jobs around. Saucepan spills and oil spatter from frying pans can quickly become a blackened, hardened mess. If you don't know what you are doing, these can be difficult to wipe away. Fortunately, the secret to cleaning your stove top may only be patience and a little elbow grease.

Cleaning your cooktop

Follow these steps to get your stove sparkling clean. 

  1. Wait for the stove to cool. Not only does this help you from burning yourself, but some cleaners will permanently mar glass cooking surfaces if they are hot. Depending on the cleaner used, the fumes released may also be dangerous.
  2. Preclean to remove grease. Use a spray bottle containing household vinegar and some paper towels to remove crumbs and excess grease from the stovetop. Note: using vinegar on a cold stove is fine. Using it on a hot glass stove can cause pitting.
  3. Sprinkle on baking soda. Baking soda is gentle enough to help remove the black stains from cooked-on food, but not so harsh that it will damage the glass surface.
  4. Cover the cooktop with towels soaked in a homemade cleaning solution. Mix 1-2 gallons of hot water, a couple of tablespoons of degreasing dish soap, and 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil in a bucket. Soak the towels in the solution, and wring them out just enough that they do not drip.
  5. Give the cleaning solution at least 15 minutes to work. The moisture and heat should help loosen stubborn hardened food stains.
  6. Remove the towels and use one to scrub away food. If some of the food is still stuck, repeat steps 4-6. Make sure the majority of the baking soda is gone before moving to the next step.
  7. Wipe the stovetop down with a clean wet rag to remove any traces of baking soda. Otherwise, the dried baking soda could otherwise leave a film on your cooktop.
  8. Buff the stove with a dry towel. Taking this extra step prevents water spots and restores shine.

Wiping away a spill on a glass top stove

Although the steps above will get rid of dried, stuck-on food, some stains may be harder to remove. To tackle these tough jobs, you may need a specialized glass cooktop cleaner and clean, microfiber cloths. Soft Scrub or Barkeeper's Friend tend to work well on most glass surfaces, although it's safest to spot-test to be sure, especially since Soft Scrub contains bleach. A handheld scraper with a straight-edged razor blade may be needed in extreme cases.

Follow the instructions on the glass cooktop cleaner container. First, cover the stain with a few drops of glass cooktop cleaner and while liquid, work the cleaner into the stain. The cleaner will change from a milky liquid to a white paste and finally to a white powder. Gently buff away the dried powder residue stain with the cloth, using small circular motions.

Using a razor blade to remove stains

If all else fails, use your scraper. The razor blade itself should be new with a perfect, sharp edge to prevent damage to your glass top. First, cover the stain with cooktop cleaner to help lubricate the blade and prevent scratches. Next, place the tool at a 45-degree angle to the glass top and scrape from the edges of the stain inward. Keep the wide flat part of the blade on the surface of the stove; the corners of the razor blade could damage the cooktop. Use firm, even pressure but avoid pressing so hard that you gouge the glass.

Cleaning with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

Some household cleaning experts swear by a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide cleaning paste. The hydrogen peroxide eats away at organic stains without damaging glass, while the baking soda is a gentle abrasive. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with enough peroxide to form a paste. With a small sponge, apply the mixture to the stain. Let the mixture sit for 5-7 minutes, then scrub away the baked-on mess with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth. Hydrogen peroxide can make your fingers peel a little, so you may want to wear rubber gloves.

Finishing up

When the stain is gone, spray the cooktop with vinegar or common glass cleaner. Use a clean paper towel to remove any leftover residue from the cooktop cleaner. Finally, wipe the stovetop with a clean cloth to make it shine.

Wiping away a mess on a glass top stove with a sponge and commercial cleaner

If the stains have been there for a while, it may take more than one cleaning session to remove them. In the meantime, clean fresh spills as soon as they happen. Buff blackened areas with cooktop cleaner and a soft cloth weekly. As you continue to clean the area, the stains should gradually disappear.

Preventing new stains

When it comes to keeping your glass cooktop clean, prevention is your best option. Use these tips to keep burnt-on food from building up on your stove.

Clean up spills as soon as possible

When practical, clean up spills as soon as they happen. Taking care of the issue shortly after it occurs makes it easier to remove but since you will be wiping up a mess from a hot stove, be extra careful. Use a silicone oven mitt to protect your hands. Wet a dishcloth with water and immediately wipe up the spill. Do not add soap or cleaners to the cloth. If a cleaning agent bonds with your hot stove, the stain will be nearly impossible to remove. Do not under any circumstance, sprinkle or pour cold water directly onto the hot glass. Thermal shock may crack the glass, in which case it will need replacing. 

Pretreat stains

If you did not get to the mess fast enough, do not worry. Let the stove cool until it is just warm, then sprinkle baking soda over the stain. Wet a cloth and wring it out enough to keep it from dripping. Lay the cloth over the stain, then continue your meal. After you have taken care of supper dishes, use the cloth to scrub the stain.

Avoiding damage to your glass stove top

You can prevent damage to your glass stove by taking a few simple precautions.

  • Do not use cast iron pots and pans on a flat top stove. Their weight and rough bottom can scratch the glass surface. Ceramic and stoneware with unfinished bases can also scratch the stove.
  • Clean up sugary spills right away. If left untreated, sugar can cause permanent yellow stains, especially on grey or white cooktops.
  • Use a spoon rest for stirring utensils. Placing the spoons directly on the cooktop can leave burn marks on the stove’s surface.
  • Cushion hot bakeware with a dry towel or trivet. Setting hot baked goods directly on a cold cooktop can cause the glass to crack.
  • Scour the bottom of pots and pans to keep them clean. Baked-on grease rings on the bottom of cookware can transfer to the hot cooking surface.

It is not difficult to keep a glass stove clean, but it does require diligence. Taking care of spills as soon as possible, and the use of proper cookware will help keep your stove in great shape. Remember a hot stove can be dangerous so care should be taken if you decide to tackle the spill when still hot.

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