Help, I hate my glass cooktop
August 25, 2020 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Every glass cooktop I have ever used (my past two apartments had them, as does the current condo I own) develops a film of cooked-on grunge that refuses to go away. Anything abrasive enough to remove the grunge also removes the markings on the cooktop and scratches the glass. How can I keep it looking shiny and respectable? Cleaning and prevention tips both welcome.
posted by beatrice rex to Home & Garden (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I use a combination of straight razors to chisel off elevated crap and Cerama-bryte to get at the discoloration.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:26 PM on August 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

I endorse Barkeeper's Friend and swift action on stains. I think the powder works better but the cream(? lotion?) is more convenient
posted by Dmenet at 2:28 PM on August 25, 2020 [5 favorites]

I use dedicated cooktop cleaner (similar to the Cerama-bryte linked above) to keep mine clean without damaging it. I really only use it every few months, though, to get the stuff that doesn’t wipe away with regular kitchen cleaner. The biggest prevention tip is wiping away any spills (especially anything with sugar or carby stuff like pasta water) before they get really carbonized and burnt on. I use a soaked paper towel on the just turned off and still hot burner right away (after the pan is removed) to remove anything that burns quickly, like splashes of sauce. My cooktop only has a few stubborn burnt or discolored spots after... 7 years? And most of those stubborn spots could be mostly removed with the cooktop cleaner if I used it more often. All of the markings are still there.
posted by MadamM at 2:48 PM on August 25, 2020

Seconding Ceramabryte. They sell a retractable razor that works well with their paste in scraping off burned gunk from glass stovetops.

As long as you don't dig the corner of the blade into the stovetop, and there is paste, it should not leave any scratches — it worked well for me.

Then you just wipe it all away with a paper towel and you're done.

Another brand of cleaning paste is Weiman, but it never worked as well as Ceramabryte, in my experience.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:51 PM on August 25, 2020

If it’s relevant my cooktop is the circa 2008 version of this GE range
posted by MadamM at 2:52 PM on August 25, 2020

I've never used Ceramabryte but I have used Weiman's with the red scrubby thing and it worked a treat. If your water is hard, make sure you wipe up any spills/boilings over right away because, at least with Weiman's, they don't come off like normal cruft.
posted by HotToddy at 3:05 PM on August 25, 2020

Bartenders Friend is also your friend. Just don’t use the scrubby side of the sponge.
posted by functionequalsform at 3:28 PM on August 25, 2020

Honestly, I just straight up use my hands to massage dish soap onto the stovetop. I let it sit for ten minutes, wipe off with a damp sponge, and then dry it off with a dry rag.
posted by k8lin at 3:37 PM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

In my country the vast majority of cooktops are ceramic. People keep them clean with washing up liquid, by scraping slightly burned bits with scrapers like this as required and occasional use of a slightly abrasive cleaner. These do an amazing job cutting through grime. I use one that is also marketed for stainless steel sinks and pots.

I have never had permanent discolouration or abrasion of the markings and the film just means there is residue left. That’s either still a bit of dirt or the detergent itself. You always have to remove the detergents - I just rinse the cloth and wipe again, sometimes more than once. For proper shine without streaks/watermarks use a cleanish, dry cloth to dry afterwards.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:50 PM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm not a fan of buying separate cleaning products. I do a vinegar wash, then sprinkle the glass top liberally with baking soda and scrub. It takes a good amount of elbow grease, and a couple wipe-downs at the end to get rid of all the baking soda residue, but it works well.
posted by aquamvidam at 4:07 PM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I use the ceramic cooktop cleaner like Ceramabryte, but also bought a set of pads like these that I attach to a small cordless drill. Pushing that little pad and scraping the blade around the stove takes so much work compared to letting the motor do it for you. Pad rinses under the sink. And the resulting shine is pretty dang satisfying.
posted by homesickness at 4:54 PM on August 25, 2020

A copper scrubber would take off the film and burned stuff without scratching, and I think leave the markings but I'm not 100% sure.

Of course, since my go to Dutch Boy copper scrubbers became copper plated rather than pure copper a few years ago, and started corroding into piles of minuscule copper colored crescents in the dish within a week of first use as a result, I'm not sure where to find one these days. There was a dishcloth with copper strands woven into it which also had the advantage of being extremely resistant to developing odors from bacteria and mold, but I stopped using one because it did scratch true silver silverware (but not stainless steel).
posted by jamjam at 5:09 PM on August 25, 2020

Well reviewed copper cloths made by Redecker in the Netherlands are available through Amazon.
posted by jamjam at 6:05 PM on August 25, 2020

Best answer: The Ceramabryte products work well for me, but I just last week bought this Scotch Guard glass cooktop scrubber and have been astonished by what a good job it does with just water.
posted by Kriesa at 6:15 PM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oven cleaner. Turn the burners on low for a few minutes, then off, then spray the over cleaner on. Let it cool. Then when you wipe it off, all the gunk comes with it.

Wear gloves and make sure you're well ventilated. It's nasty stuff. But it will lift the gunk off.

If it's outside the burner, you can use a bigger skillet or a sheet pan to spread the heat out.
posted by ashy_sock at 6:37 PM on August 25, 2020

Barkeeper's Friend has a specific cooktop cleaner that worked great on my glass cooktop at my last apartment. (Whyyy do they get so filthy and hard to clean?!) I used it regularly and didn't finish a whole bottle in 4 years, so it goes a long way.
posted by rhiannonstone at 6:44 PM on August 25, 2020

I never had a glass top stove until I rented a house that had one a few years ago. I was very worried about keeping it looking clean, because I'd previously had white gas stoves that got badly stained around the burners. I lived in that house for four years, cooking daily, and when we moved out the stovetop looked good as new.

How I do it: Cerama Bryte sells a cooktop cleaning kit that comes with its own razor for scraping off cooked-on grunge. I bought one, it was about $10 (admittedly, I only use the razor and the cleaner itself - I don't use anything else that came in the kit). Whenever I get annoyed by how my glass cooktop looks, I scrape off any burnt bits if there are any, then squirt about a quarter-sized dollop of Cerama Bryte on it. I use one paper towel to wipe it around, and then another paper towel to buff it away. Good as new, very easy.

To prevent the grunge film in the first place, once the cooktop has cooled off after cooking, I wipe it with a damp sponge. This does leave water spots on the stove, but when I get tired of seeing those, the Cerama Bryte shines it right up.
posted by wondermouse at 8:04 PM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I use Weiman with their red scrubbers and it works like a charm and it's very easy to use.
posted by Ferrari328 at 5:50 AM on August 26, 2020

In terms of prevention, look at the bottom of your pots & pans. Are they gunky? Because that gunk came from and is getting transferred to the stove when you cook. I was much less picky about cleaning the undersides of my cookware before we lived with a glass stovetop.

Barkeeper's friend is good for scrubbing the bottoms of pots & pans. Being more vigilant about spills onto the stovetop is also helpful for prevention.
posted by ashy_sock at 11:50 AM on August 26, 2020

I use a glass cleaner like Cillit Bang every day while cleaning up after dinner. Spray it on, let it rest for a minute, wipe it off with a moist cloth, polish with paper. I have a razor/scraper thing, but I rarely need to use it. The trick is to clean every day and right after cooking. And while this may feel overwhelming, it is less than 30 seconds, so it's just about getting into the habit.
If I am tired, I prioritize cleaning the stovetop and it's surroundings over cleaning the sink, exactly because gunk builds up fast and is hard to clean even after a few days, whereas the sink can take all the hard abrasives the next day, or even after several days of neglect.
Pots and pans are generally easy to keep clean when you have a ceramic surface, but obviously you need to do the work.
You can use an organic dishwashing soap in exactly the same way, but then you may need to use the scraper a bit more often (still rarely), and doing it right away becomes even more important.
posted by mumimor at 12:04 PM on August 26, 2020

Razor blade scraper is the answer.

Get one at the hardware store, they're less expensive than ones marketed for cooktops. Don't get the very cheapest one! You will regret it. Get extra blades too.

This tool what ceramic cooktop manufacturers specify. Follow up with the cooktop cleaning liquid.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:08 PM on August 26, 2020

Response by poster: Thank you all! I ordered one of those scrapers, the scotch guard pads, and the ceramabryte cooktop cleaner. Hoping some combination of these does the trick.

(Someone wrote a comment without recommendations and simply empathizing with my loathing of glass cooktops, but it appears to have been deleted. An extra thank you to you too)
posted by beatrice rex at 1:14 PM on August 26, 2020

I have a glass cooktop and second the cooktop cleaning liquid combined with cleaning it off from time to time. I mostly like my cooktop. However, I think it's valuable to say that my cooktop is black. You don't see discoloration on it, just whether there's gunk burned on. My dad has a white cooktop, and it shows the stains whatever he does. He hates it. So, I don't know if that might help you narrow down what will work best for you, but if you have a lighter shade the recommendations here might not be as robustly awesome.
posted by Stewriffic at 9:14 AM on August 27, 2020

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