How to Clean a Glass Cooktop

Gloved hand using green cloth to clean glass cooktop

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Overview
  • Working Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Glass cooktops add a sleek look to kitchens and are usually easier to clean than stovetops with gas burners or electric coils with drip pans. When pans boil over or grease splatters, there are no nooks and crannies that trap the mess on a glass cooktop—just a smooth surface that can be wiped clean.

The term glass cooktop is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually a ceramic and glass-blend or a polycrystalline material creating a strong material that can withstand repeated quick temperature changes. The cooktop is often colored, usually black or white, and can be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Most cooktops use radiant heating coils that allow the burner to heat up but allow the adjacent surfaces to remain cool. This occurs because the cooktops have a low heat conduction coefficient.

If treated properly, it takes just a few cleaning products and supplies to keep a glass cooktop looking its best. While extremely durable, the glass can scratch if pots and pans are dragged over the surface. It can also break if hit with some force by a blunt object.

How Often a Glass Cooktop Should Be Cleaned

Ideally, the cooktop should be cleaned after every use. By wiping away spills and splatters promptly, build-up that will burn onto the surface can be prevented. Grease and grime that is allowed to accumulate will become "baked-on" from heat exposure and become much more difficult to remove. Even if not used often, a glass cooktop should be thoroughly cleaned at least weekly.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Safety razor blade
  • Plastic scraper
  • Spray bottle

Materials

  • All-purpose cleaning spray with a degreaser
  • Commercial glass cooktop cleaner (optional)
  • Baking soda
  • Commercial glass cooktop cleaner cream (optional)
  • Dishwashing liquid with a degreaser
  • Distilled white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Cool Cooktop

    Turn off all controls and allow the glass cooktop to cool completely before you attempt to clean the surface.

  2. Mix a Cleaning Solution

    While you can use a commercial glass cooktop cleaner or an all-purpose cleaner that contains a degreaser to clean the cooktop, you can also make your own.

    Add one cup of hot water and one cup of distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle and add one-half teaspoon of a dishwashing liquid that contains grease-cutting ingredients. Shake to mix well. This solution can be used for cleaning after each time the cooktop is used for food preparation.

  3. Apply the Cleaner

    Spray on the homemade or commercial cleaner. Wait a minute or two so that the ingredients can begin to break down the grease. Working in circles, wipe down the entire cooktop surface using a non-abrasive sponge.

  4. Rinse and Dry the Cooktop

    Rinse the sponge well in fresh water and wipe away any soapy residue. Rinsing away any type of cleaner is critical because it can also bake or burn onto the cooktop. Finish by buffing the surface with a dry microfiber cloth which will leave no lint or streaks.

  5. Remove Tough Burned-On Food

    If there are still areas with burned-on food, they will require extra effort to remove the mess. Start with a gentle abrasive cleaner before you move on to harsher methods. There are commercial pastes that contain a gentle abrasive that works well to remove build-up. Or, you can use a homemade paste.

    Spray cooktop areas with burned-on food with distilled white vinegar and sprinkle the area with a liberal amount of baking soda (it will foam!). Soak a microfiber towel in hot water and wring until only slightly wet. Cover the distilled white vinegar and baking soda mixture with the towel. Let the towel remain on the mixture for at least 15 minutes.

    Remove the towel and use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub the areas. The baking soda will act as an abrasive to remove food. Wipe away the loose debris. Repeat the steps if necessary

    Finally, rinse the cooktop using a sponge that has been dipped in fresh water and dry with a microfiber cloth.

  6. Scrape Away Burnt Food Particles

    If there are still areas with burned-on food, you can use a safety razor blade or a thin, hard plastic scraper to remove the food.

    Dip a microfiber towel in hot water and wring until just damp. Place the towel on the burned-on areas for 15 minutes to help soften the food.

    Holding the safety razor blade or plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle, slowly scrape away the burned-on food.

    Wipe away debris with a damp sponge. You may need to scrape the area again to remove all of the burned-on food. It is better to remove the gunk in thin layers to prevent scratching the surface of the cooktop.

    When the burned-on food is gone, do an overall cleaning with the distilled white vinegar, water, and dishwashing liquid solution. Rinse the cooktop with a sponge dipped in clean water and dry to a streak-free finish with a microfiber cloth.