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How to Clean an Induction Cooker

Induction stoves use electromagnetic energy to cook food. Because only the pan is heated, induction cooking is more energy efficient than cooking on other types of stoves. Induction stoves also offer more precise temperature control than electric cooktops.

Another advantage of cooking with induction is that they are easy to clean. However, it is important to use the right cleaner and cleaning supplies to avoid damaging the glass ceramic surface. In this article, you will learn daily and deep cleaning methods, the best types of cleaners to use, and which cleaners to avoid.

Selecting the right cleaning supplies

Harsh cleaning solutions can scratch glass cooktops and ranges, which makes them more prone to breaking when overheated. Use ceramic cleaners that are designed especially for ceramic cooktops to avoid damaging your electric induction stove.

The most important thing to remember when cleaning an induction cook stove or range is to not use any cleaning solution while the stove is hot. The fumes may be harmful when inhaled and be hazardous to your health. 

Since many cleaners are mildly abrasive, you do not also need abrasive cleaning tools. Use a paper towel, damp sponge, or soft cleaning cloth to remove food spills.

Since induction cooktops are glass, many people try to use ammonia-based window cleaners on them. However, ammonia is not strong enough to remove burned-on food. And when it heats up, the ammonia creates iridescent stains on its finish.

Abrasive chemical cleaning powders are too harsh for ceramic. These cleaners can leave micro-scratches that dull the finish. Scouring pads can do even more damage. Avoid using plastic dish scrubbers or steel wool scrubbers on any part of your induction stove.

Using bleach is also a bad idea since many are tinted and can damage the finish.  

Gathering your supplies

It is easy to clean when the proper supplies are within reach. Get a small bucket or shower caddy and use it to organize the following supplies.

  • Spray bottle of vinegar
  • Soft cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Ceramic cooktop cleaner
  • Scraper or single-edged razor blade
  • Glass cooktop cleaning pad

Cleaning your induction range or cooktop

For best results, do a quick daily cleaning and a weekly deep cleaning.

Daily cleaning

Follow these simple steps for daily cleaning.

  • Let the cooktop cool down. There are two reasons for this. First, you are less likely to burn yourself. Second, some cleaners create toxic fumes when heated. It is safer to start with a cool surface.
  • Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe up food spills. Removing excess mess first makes it easier for the cleaner to do its job.
  • Apply a nickel-sized amount of cleaner to a damp sponge or directly on the induction range cooktop. Use a circular motion to clean any remaining food particles.
  • Use a clean, soft cloth to buff the surface.

Spot cleaning

If you do not have time to go through each step daily, make sure you at least wipe up spills. Spray the surface with vinegar and set a timer for 5-10 minutes. When the timer goes off, wipe clean with a paper towel. Keeping spills contained helps you avoid the hassle of baked-on food later. To avoid the acrid smell of hot vinegar, wait for the induction stove to cool before cleaning it.

Deep Cleaning

Once a week, deep clean your induction cooker. First, pretreat hard water spots with white vinegar. Spray it on, then allow it to set for a few minutes to loosen stubborn stains. Use a soft cloth to wipe the surface clean. Next, apply a small amount of cleaner directly to areas with small amounts of baked-on residue. Use a ceramic cleaning pad to buff away the stains.

For heavy stains, use a ceramic scraper or single-edged razor blade to scrape away deposits. Hold the scraper at a 45-degree angle and keep it flush with the surface of the induction cooktop. Maintain even pressure to avoid gouging the glass. Use a motion similar to removing cookies from a baking sheet. Wipe away loosened residue with a paper towel.

Secret weapon

Everyone has hectic days from time to time. In those moments, cleaning can fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to your vinegar solution. Lemon oil naturally cuts through grease and stuck-on grime. Since it is non-caustic, it will not damage the glass surface. The only thing that will be left on your cooktop is a pleasant, uplifting scent.

Some induction stoves have touchpad controls. Clean these with your vinegar and lemon oil solution. Dampen a clean cloth with the mixture, then wipe down the controls with the cloth to get rid of grease splatters.

Your induction cooktop model may have stainless steel parts. For everyday cleaning, use a mild solution of soapy water and a soft cloth, then wipe with a clean damp rag. For heavy-duty cleaning, use a cleaner designed for stainless steel. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach crevices. To prevent scratching, clean stainless steel with the grain, not against it.

Using non-toxic cleaners

Green cleaning options are gaining in popularity. Whether you want to save the planet or reduce toxic chemicals in your home, there are options available. Eco-friendly bloggers recommend using a vinegar-based all-purpose cleaner and baking soda to clean cooking surfaces.

Making all-purpose cleaner

Combine ¼ cup of vinegar per cup of water in a large spray bottle, then add a few drops of dish soap. You can also add a few drops of essential oil. Lemon and lavender are popular choices for their grease-cutting and antiseptic properties. This cleaner also works well in other areas of the house, including sinks, bathtubs, and mirrors.

Cleaning the stove

Sprinkle plenty of baking soda over areas with baked-on food. Next, spray a generous amount of all-purpose cleaner over the top of the baking soda. The mixture will bubble and fizz; this is normal. The oxidation reaction is what loosens the food and grease. Time is your friend in this situation. Give the solution 15-30 minutes to work.

After the solution sets for a while, use a cloth to scrub the area. Once it is smooth again, wipe the glass with a clean cloth. Baking soda can leave some residue, so go back over the stove until it is gone. When you are finished, give the induction cooktop a final wipe down with the all-purpose solution to restore shine.

Tips

  • Read the directions first on how to use and care for the induction cooker.
  • Check your existing cookware to make sure they are specified for induction cooking.  
  • Do not use dirty cookware, it can affect the way it cooks.
  • When cooking, make sure the pan is not completely in the center of the heating element.
  • Never leave empty pans on an induction burner or hotplate.
  • Always wipe up spills as they happen.
  • Use Micro-fiber clothes specifically for induction stoves 

If you are fighting with mineral stains, use undiluted white vinegar to wipe them off. Make sure to recondition the glass with a cleaning cream. 

Try to use the proper cookware specifically for induction. Aluminum and soft metal can leave black and gray marks. Most generally copper pans are less abrasive, but often do not cook as well as aluminum.  If you have new aluminum pans, use a mild abrasive to smooth the bottom of the pan. As a general rule, heavier pans seem to mark less. Remember, sliding pans across the surface can scratch and damage the glass top. 

If you are fighting with mineral stains, use undiluted white vinegar to wipe them off. Make sure to recondition the glass with a cleaning cream. 

Did you know the cooker is smart?  

The controls that are built into most cooktops allow even the most inexperienced chefs to have complete control over their cooking. Simply pressing a button can instantly change the temperature from heat to warm, boil to simmer. There are many things an induction cooker can do. Two of the smartest features built in too many models is the ability to detect a dry pan. When a pan has boiled dry, the element can turn down or shut itself off. Also, it can detect if a pan is incompatible or if there is no pan on the burner. In this case, many models will show an error code and will not heat up at all. 

Compared to gas ranges and electric cooktops, induction stoves are easy to clean. If you need help removing a stubborn stain or troubleshooting another problem, ask an Expert.

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