How to keep your glass-ceramic cooktop looking shiny and new

Bacon grease, boiled-over pasta sauce, and baked-on cheddar cheese are just a few of the messes that assault the average stovetop over its lifetime. While gas stoves typically require an abundance of elbow grease to clean the crevices that never seem to stay spotless, glass-ceramic cooktops make cleaning even the toughest spills a snap — that is, if you know how to correctly clean them.

The rise of the glass-ceramic cooktop

The electric stove burst onto the scene at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, employing heavy iron plates as the heating surface. As the technology advanced, researchers developed the electric coil stove, which heated pots more efficiently. While it reduced cooking time, the surface was a bear to clean, forcing cooks to shimmy under the burners or remove the coils entirely to clean or remove baked-on food.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that glass-ceramic cooktops made a name for themselves in the kitchen. Due to the material’s infrared transmission, heat passes from the burner to the pot quickly and more evenly. Also since the surface is flat and non-porous, it can simplify cleaning efforts as long as you follow the right technique.

Cleaners to avoid

Many glass-ceramic cooktop owners turn to ammonia-based cleaners, such as Windex, when faced with caked-on food. A logical thought, considering Windex is a leading glass cleaner. Yet while ammonia can remove fingerprints and light dirt, it’s not strong enough to eliminate food remnants — especially once food or water becomes burned onto the surface. Also, once the cooktop is heated, ammonia can leave iridescent stains on the surface.

Other cooks, finding ammonia too weak to clean a glass-ceramic stovetop, turn to abrasive chemical cleaners, such as Ajax or Comet, or use abrasive sponges like Scotch-Brite Scour Pads. These cleaners are too harsh for glass-ceramic stovetops and can cause surface scratches. While these micro scratches can’t always initially be seen, they can appear over time, leading to a visually unappealing surface.

How to clean your glass-ceramic cooktop

If you’re seeking a simple stovetop cleaning method that doesn’t compromise cleanliness or integrity, here’s a step-by-step guide for how to clean a glass cooktop. The following tips are the absolute best way to clean a glass-ceramic cooktop. If you follow all of the steps (without taking any shortcuts) you’ll be more than pleased with the results.

How to scrape a glass-ceramic cooktop clean

Step 1: This is the most important step of the cleaning process, but it’s one most don’t know about. Use a metal scraper (you can find them at your local hardware store near the paint section) to clean off buildup. Hold the scraper at a 45-degree angle, making sure the blade stays flush with the surface, and scrape off any water or baked-on food. This is a surefire way to take off both baked-on food as well as water and mineral stains. Make sure to scrape off sticky items like sugar or jam instantly before the cooktop cools, but use a pot holder to grip the scraper so you don’t burn your hand.

Approved glass-ceramic cooktop cleaner

Step 2: Once the cooktop cools, add a few drops of a SCHOTT-approved cooktop cleaner, such as Cerama Bryte, Carbona, or Affresh Cooktop Cleaner, and rub with a paper towel or soft rag. These cleaners are cream based and mildly abrasive, making them strong enough to cut through tough stains without leaving surface scratches. They can also clean off the iridescent stains left behind from ammonia cleaners. You don’t need to use a lot of cleaner. Too much product won’t hurt the stovetop, but it will take longer to fully remove.

Wiping a clean glass-ceramic cooktop clean

Step 3: After rubbing down the surface with a certified cooktop cleaner, wet a soft cloth with water and wipe down the stove. Finally, dry the surface with a clean rag or paper towel.

Glass-ceramic cooktops offer an easy-to-clean alternative to gas or coil ranges. Their non-porous surfaces lock out food particles while their flat tops make cleaning as easy as a simple wipe. By following these three simple steps, home cooks can retain the beauty and functionality of their cooktops for decades.

Any other questions about cooktop care? Leave us a comment.

(26 Posts)

Hi there! I’m Karen Elder, Marketing Manager at SCHOTT North America. I’m responsible for developing and executing marketing and PR strategies for the Home Tech department. I also play a role in product development where I have the opportunity to work with our customers to implement innovation and design. Improving kitchen design is particularly exciting, partially because I love entertaining family and friends and the kitchen is the hub of every dinner party! Before coming to SCHOTT North America, I held communications roles at Coolbaker’s International and I also managed customer relations at CT Innovations. I’m an active member of the Emerald Circle, which supports the efforts of the green building and sustainable living industries. And I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville. On the weekends you’ll find me outdoors, traveling, and attending music festivals and concerts.

10 thoughts on “How to keep your glass-ceramic cooktop looking shiny and new

  1. Nancy Hirsch

    Does the metal scraper used to scrap off food have a razor blade at the end? If so, won’t it scratch the ceramic surface?


    1. Karen Elder Post author

      Great question, Nancy. When used carefully and at an angle, the razor blade will not scratch the surface. It’s important to use the blade parallel with the surface – similar to scraping paint off of a window.

  2. Jeanne

    I have inherited a ceramic cooktop that has a lot of reside where water has evaporated. I guess you would call it burnt on water. I’ve tried scrapping it and letting the cream soak it a bit. Is there anything else I can do?
    Thank You,

    1. Karen Elder

      Water spots are a common culprit for staining on a cooktop. The key to removal is using a brand new, sharp razor scraper and scraping directly on these water spots. Also, using an approved cooktop cleaner helps pull these types of stains up to the surface. You may also want to try using a special cooktop cleaning sponge. You can typically find these in the same place you buy cooktop cleaners. Make sure to only use this sponge to clean your cooktop because it’s very easy to pick up sharp debris from other surfaces and then scratch your cooktop. These sponges feel coarse, but they will not scratch the cooktop with limited use. Hope this helps!

    1. Karen Elder

      Using a copper heat diffuser is not advisable. Cast iron is not a problem if used with the proper care and technique, i.e., don’t slide cast iron if you don’t have to and check the backside surface for rough spots before using the first time. Enamel just isn’t very efficient and generally not recommended for that reason. However, copper is supremely worse. Yes, it conducts heat, but it is a soft metal so it can leave marks that are very hard to get off after limited use.

  3. Rodney Lovas

    Can Mr. Clean Magic Eraser bath scrubber be used to clean Ceran surface without damaging the Ceran surface?

    1. Karen Elder

      Magic Erasers shouldn’t “damage” the surface, but they may not have a great effect cleaning. It might be used to polish an already clean surface, but normal glass-ceramic cleaner will polish as it cleans. Food such as baked-on bacon and egg splatter will not be tamed by Mr. Clean. In short, there really is no benefit to using the magic eraser over an approved cleaner. It has not been officially tested nor approved by SCHOTT.

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