5 Tips to Keep a Glass Cooktop in Great Shape

smooth top cooking surface

The Spruce / Daria Groza

Are you the proud owner of a ceramic or glass cooktop? These sleek and modern appliances can make cooking a breeze, but they also require some special TLC to keep them looking shiny and new. Without regular maintenance and care, you could end up with a cooktop caked in food and stains—yuck!

Luckily, there are lots of ways to keep your stove looking shiny and new. While there's no guarantee that these tips will protect your cooktop, they do help considerably. Keep in mind that cleaning the cooktop regularly will also help to preserve the smooth, clean look you fell in love with when you bought your range or cooktop. The sooner you tackle a mess on your stovetop, the easier it will be to remove, and the less likely it is to cause permanent damage.

Read on for some tips, tricks, and hacks for maintaining your ceramic or glass cooktop.

What Is a Ceramic Stovetop?

A ceramic cooktop, aka glass cooktop, is a flat smooth stovetop surface made from tempered ceramic glass that has coiled metal heating elements underneath the glass.

Choose Your Cookware Wisely

When using a ceramic or glass cooktop, you’ll want to be extra careful to choose cookware that is unlikely to damage the smooth surface. Always avoid using ceramic cookware or stoneware with unfinished, rough bases. Keep those pieces in the oven, and when taking dishes out to cool, avoid putting them on the cooktop.

Have a cast iron skillet you love? Unfortunately, you’ll need to keep it away from your stovetop. Cast iron cookware is usually very rough, and any movement of a cast iron pot or skillet on the cooktop can leave scratches.

Finally, skillets or pans with rounded-edge bottoms are not recommended. A rounded edge can cause heat to be distributed unevenly, putting unnecessary stress on the glass or ceramic. Choose cookware that sits very flat, and when your old cookware begins to warp, replace it.

cast iron kettle on a smooth-top cooking surface
The Spruce / Daria Groza

Take Care When Handling Cookware

Now that you’re certain that you have the right cookware, it’s important to handle it properly to keep your stovetop looking good as new. When handling heavy pots, pans and dishes, avoid dragging them across the cooktop. Dragging cookware, even a short distance, can cause scratching. Instead, life and transfer your pots and pans to another area of the cooktop to reduce the risk of scratching.

Before cooking, check to make sure the bottoms of your skillets and pots are very clean. Often, electric stovetops develop rings or marks that are very difficult to scrub out. This is usually due to grease build-up on the bottom of cookware that, when heated up, can basically get cooked into the glass or ceramic. Ensuring that your cookware is clean will prevent this from happening and keep you from spending a lot of time and elbow grease cleaning your stovetop.

small ceramic pot on a smooth-top cooking surface
The Spruce / Daria Groza

Use Careful, Specialized Cleaning Methods

Speaking of cleaning, be sure to clean your stovetop, too. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help you keep your stovetop nice and shiny. If you do end up with food or grease crusted on your stovetop, don’t panic. Head to the store and grab a stovetop cleaner, or a sponge and some dish soap should do the trick.

Tip

Never use abrasive cleaners, scrubs, or metal pads on your cooktop—these can cause serious scratching that you can only fix by replacing your cooktop.

use the correct type of sponge for a smooth-top cooking surface
The Spruce / Daria Groza

Be Careful Not to Spill While You're Cooking

While electric stovetops can be easier to clean in a lot of ways, you do not want to spill while you’re cooking. Spills can easily get heated up and stuck on the glass or ceramic, requiring a challenging clean-up.

Be especially careful when boiling or cooking sugary substances. Sugar is particularly bad for electric cooktops—it can discolor the cooktop, leaving yellowish areas that are impossible to remove, especially on white or light gray cooktops. Clean up any sugary spills immediately.

using a spoon rest instead of placing the utensil on the stove top
The Spruce / Daria Groza

Don't Forget How Heat Can Affect the Cooktop

Keep in mind that the high heat on the glass can cause some not-so-fun chemical reactions. As such, keep some rules of thumb in mind when it comes to handling your stovetop. Never stand on top of or place anything overly heavy on a glass cooktop, even temporarily. While the glass may appear to sustain the weight at first, once the cooktop is heated up, the surface will slightly expand and could break or shatter.

Additionally, do not ever place hot glass bakeware to cool on a smooth cooktop. Glass bakeware should be placed on a dry towel or trivet. The immediate contact between a hot surface and a cool surface could cause either piece of glass to break.

Originally written by
Mariette Mifflin
Mariette Mifflin is a product tester and expert in housewares and appliances. A writer on home products for The Spruce for over 10 years, her expertise is also featured in "HomeLife," "House & Garden," and the Chicago Sun-Times.
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