How to Clean a Glass Stove Cooktop

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Get your glass stove cooktop sparkling clean using natural ingredients that power through grease and burnt food.

Hand in rubber glove using natural ingredients to clean a glass stove cooktop

Glass cooktops are popular with homeowners because they look sleek and modern. That flat, smooth top also means you can’t get rid of burnt food by popping the mess into the dishwasher, the way you can with burner coils and drip pans. But that’s okay because you don’t have to worry about burnt food causing permanent stains, either.

To get your glass stovetop looking new again, you need a little elbow grease and a few ingredients you’ve already got in the kitchen.

Cleaning Glass or Ceramic Stovetops

Although we call smooth cooktops “glass,” they’re really a blend of glass and ceramic materials designed to withstand temperature changes. So, while few things scratch actual glass, that can’t be said of ceramic glass cooktops. That’s why it’s important to clean these flat stovetops properly, or you can wind up with a costly eyesore.

How to Get Burnt Food off of Glass Stovetops

You need a bit more than elbow grease to deal with stubborn food stains on glass cooktops. The steps below use kitchen ingredients but if you want to use a commercial product, make sure it’s designed for use on glass stovetops. Bar Keeper’s Friend makes a great one. Or use a damp Magic Eraser and water with a little Dawn dish soap.

1. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water to form a paste. Spread this onto your glass cooktop with a sponge or cloth.

2. Fill a spray bottle with straight white vinegar and spritz it onto the stovetop. The foaming reaction between the baking soda and vinegar helps separate the bond between burnt food and your cooktop.

3. When the foaming stops, grab a damp microfiber cloth and rub in circular motions to remove loosened particles. Use an old toothbrush to clean around the edges and a plastic scraper to pry up stubborn residue. If the mess isn’t loosened yet, cover the cooktop with damp, warm towels for 10-15 minutes, then proceed.

4. Wipe away any residue, then go over the surface one more time with a clean, damp microfiber cloth. Buff dry for a streak-free shine.

Common Questions About Cleaning Glass Stovetops

Replacing a glass cooktop is expensive, so it’s important you don’t use cleaners or methods that could permanently scratch or etch it. That’s not the only concern when it comes to cleaning your stovetop, though. You also need to avoid using products that could be harmful to your health.

Can I Use Windex or Glass Cleaner?

Although it sounds like they’d work, glass cleaners aren’t designed for use on glass cooktops. Some, like Windex, are ammonia-based and can damage the trim or edging around your cooktop. Others can cause permanent discoloration.

Can I Use a Razor Blade to Get Burnt Food off my Cooktop?

A popular cleaning hack involves using a safety razor to get burnt food off of glass stovetops, but most cooktop manufacturers caution against it.

Razors won’t scratch pure glass, but your cooktop is a mixture of glass and ceramic materials that razors can scratch. (Manufacturers also caution against using cast iron cookware on your glass stovetop for the same reason.) Plastic scrapers or old credit cards are much better alternatives that won’t ruin your cooktop.

Will Car Wax Keep My Stovetop Clean?

Car wax is a great way to keep metal automobile surfaces shiny, but using it on your cooktop can be dangerous. It’s not designed to withstand such high temperatures, so it may permanently discolor your cooktop. Car wax doesn’t rub off completely, either — that’s how it helps keep your car shiny — and the residue it leaves on your stove will produce harmful fumes when heated. So, don’t fall for that stovetop cleaning hack, either.

How to Keep Your Glass Stovetop Clean

To keep your glass cooktop clean throughout the week, use lids or splatter shields when cooking and wipe up spills as they happen. Then, make a point of using the homemade cooktop cleaning spray as part of a daily tidy-up routine and follow these steps to remove cooked-on food as needed.

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  1. Grace Patrick says:

    What kind of cloth should I use to clean glass stovetop?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      As indicated, a microfiber cloth.

  2. Nancy Browall says:

    What type of pans would you recommend for glass tops? My current pans are Calfalon – they are 35 years old & now too heavy for me to lift so I am looking to replace them. There are circles on the burners I use most often & I think they are caused by the pans. No matter what I clean with, they are still there.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I use stainless steel pans on my glass top. Like you, my old pans were too getting too heavy for me. Look for a high-quality set and check out my tips about how to cook with stainless steel, since it cooks a bit differently.

  3. Catherine says:

    Thanks for these cleaning instructions. We are careful to keep the bottoms of our pans clean, but every day we find they leave burnt on spots. Ideas?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Those spots can be due to a number of things, from lint or grease on the burner if you have a smooth cooktop to mineral deposits from the water. They don’t damage your pans, so just scrub them away.

  4. Do you know how to get rid of the rings around the rings. I don’t know if it’s scratched glass or some reaction between the pans and the surface.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      If they’re buildup, the baking soda method should work or you could try homemade soft scrub. Unfortunately, if they’re scratches, nothing will get them out.