Although it’s good to take a relaxed approach in many areas of life – after all, stressing over little things only increases your blood pressure – it’s probably better to be more proactive when it comes to taking care of this essential food preparation tool.
Keeping your glass cooktop clean and understanding how to do it properly will allow you to maintain it in good working order for as long as possible. (Even though we are specialists in repairs and in appliance installation in Reston, we would want you to get as much life out of your stove or cooktop as possible.)
There are several different types of cooktops/stoves:
- Gas cooktops feature several burners and a metal grid sitting on top of a metal or ceramic surface. This is the only type of stove that has visible flame.
- Electric coil cooktops have coil that turns read as it is being heated. Underneath the coil there’s usually a drip pan.
- Electric smooth-tops (aka glass-tops) have a ceramic glass surface with a heating element underneath and out of sight. Just like the name suggests, these stoves have a smooth top that can double as extra counter space when not in use.
- Induction smooth-tops are similar to electric ones when it comes to the appearance, but have a different heating element that engages with the cookware only, leaving the rest of the top much cooler.
Each of these types of cooktops has a different cleaning approach, but there are some basic cleanup principles that apply to all.
First, clean as the mess happens. When dinner is over and the dishes are done, the last thing you want to do is tackle the spaghetti sauce or the turkey gravy that spilled out onto the stove while you were preparing your meal. But a few minutes now will spare you from spending a lot more time on cleanup in the long run.
Wait until the cooktop is cool before you tackle those spills, but don’t let sticky substances harden, because they’ll be more difficult to remove. If you (or someone else) uses the stove before it’s cleaned, the residue will get burned on and may even cause pitting.
Second, be sure you’re using the right cleaners and the right cleaning tools. A product that would leave your gas cooktop in pristine condition might damage a glass cooktop, and vice versa.
To be on the safe side, read the manufacturer’s manual for instructions on how to clean your glass cooktop. (If you don’t have the manual, you can search for it online; many major appliance makers have them available on their websites). The color of the glass cooktop you have (white or black) will also dictate to some extent which cleaners are best to use.
Fast Cleanups of Glass Cooktops
When it comes to cleaning, there are advantages and disadvantages to having a flat glass electric cooktop. Because it’s a level, even surface, it’s easy to wipe up most spills. But glass cooktops are also easy to scratch, and if you use the wrong tool or the wrong product you can cause cosmetic damage that will never disappear.
Once the heat indicator light on your glass stove is off – indicating that it’s cool enough for you to handle – try wiping it off with a solution of liquid dishwashing detergent. Rinse, then dry the surface with a paper towel or soft cloth.
Sugary spills are the biggest culprit when it comes to pitting on your cooktop, so you’ll want to get them wiped up as soon as possible. The Michigan State University Extension Service recommends starting this cleanup while your stove is still slightly warm, carefully scraping the mess up using a single edge razor blade in a holder. (Be careful not to scratch the cooktop with a corner of the blade.)
Although it’s tempting to turn to your trusty steel wool pad if the substance is stubborn, don’t do it. You’ll scratch your cooktop. Also avoid abrasive powders (like Ajax or Comet or even Soft Scrub). At Any Brand Appliance Repair we’ve seen quite a few scratched and neglected cooktops. If you’re having trouble removing a spill, try a commercial cooktop cleaner. Vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda can also be effective.
Polish your cooktop using the cleaner your cooktop manufacturer recommends. Apply it, allow it to dry briefly, then rub it carefully with a soft, dry cloth until your cooktop looks like new.
Cleaning your cooktop regularly will keep it looking good and working well, and there’s one more benefit to maintaining your cooking appliances in Reston, Va. If you want to have friends in for a party or a casual get together, cleaning the stove is one chore that won’t be on your to-do list.