A few basic steps can keep your glass-top electric stove looking and working its best. The biggest challenge is preventing the build-up of food residue, which can cause the surface to look cloudy and dirty even after a thorough cleaning. A few simple tips, such as remembering to wipe down the cooktop immediately after each use and using the right cleaning products, can make all the difference in keeping your stove looking and functioning great.
Always use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth and avoid using harsh chemicals, such as scouring pads and chemical cleaners. Using these on a regular basis can damage the surface of your stove and can also etch or scratch the glass. Instead, consider using a non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for cooktops and an all-natural solution of vinegar and baking soda.
Before you start cleaning, ensure your stove is cool and all controls are off. Wipe down the entire stove top surface, concentrating on problem areas. Use a damp towel and rub in a circular motion to remove as much of the burnt-on gunk as possible. Allow the burners to completely dry before you turn them on again.
To prevent future stains, a coating of car wax applied to the cooktop can help protect the glass surface from water or food spills that can easily adhere. You can find the wax at auto parts stores or online for around $5 a bottle. Alternatively, you can simply rub a thick layer of ordinary car wax onto the burners and then wipe it down with a damp cloth.
If you have a particularly stubborn spot, such as an inverted drip that has baked onto the stove, try applying a bit of WD-40 or nail polish remover to it. These solutions will break down the plastic and make it easier to scrape away.
Lastly, if you still have impossibly stuck-on gunk that can’t be removed with your weekly cleaning process, Consumer Reports home editor Dan Diclerico suggests trying a single-edge razor blade held at a 45-degree angle to loosen it without scratching the glass. This method can be dangerous, however, so it’s essential to check your stove manufacturer’s care instructions before you use a razor blade on your glass-top stove.
In addition to removing residue, you can also use these same tips to clean stainless steel components and to wipe down stovetop knobs. Using these techniques on a biweekly or monthly schedule can significantly extend the life of your cooktop. If you do need to use a liquid cleaner, be sure it is non-abrasive and contains no chlorine bleach, rust remover or ammonia. It’s also a good idea to test any cleaner on a small, hidden area of the stove before attempting a full-on clean.