8 effective tricks for cleaning dirty ceramic cooktops
Ceramic cooktops are great. Compared to old cast-iron cookers, a ceramic glass surface saves a lot more energy and is easier to clean — in theory! Over time, your ceramic cooktop can become the victim of water boiling over from pots, baked-in grease, and a multitude of other stains. To make matters worse, you need to take particular care when you're cleaning this type of cooker.
The industry is well aware of these problems and offers a whole range of cleaning products to get rid of the dirt. While these various sprays and gels do the job at hand, they can be extremely pricey, especially when you can clean the cooktop just as well using household products. Here are eight of the most effective tricks for getting your ceramic cooktop back to its sparkling best...
1. Get to it
Here's a quick piece of advice to start — clean your ceramic cooktop once you're finished with the cooking! It's best to clean while the cooktop is still warm to touch. This will prevent old stains from being cooked into the surface again and again.
All you need is a glass cleaner and a soft cloth for daily care. You can make your own glass cleaner by mixing 8 fl oz water, 8 fl oz white spirit, and 2 tsp apple vinegar together. To combat limescale, it's good to use a damp cloth to wipe on some lemon (either half of one or juice straight from the bottle).
2. Burnt-in stains (normal)
Was the pot for cooking pasta too small or did the mail carrier ring the doorbell at the wrong time? Whatever the reason, burnt-in stains can be removed using a quite simple trick.
- baking powder
- dish soap
Spray an even layer of the vinegar onto the cooktop and sprinkle the baking powder on top (this can be more than the vinegar). Dip the towel in a hot water mixed with dish soap and spread it over the cooktop. Leave the towel there for several minutes or, if you have the time, overnight. To finish, you can simply wipe away the dirt using a cloth.
3. Burnt-in stains (stubborn)
If the burnt-in stains on the cooktop happen to be particularly stubborn, pour some water onto the ceramic glass. Along the sides, the edge of the cooker is usually slightly raised so you can create a very thin film of water. Heat up the film of water and leave it to slowly cool. Next, carefully work on the burnt-in stains using a ceramic cooktop scraper.
4. Deep clean
To give your ceramic glass cooktop a proper deep clean, you'll need a dishwasher tab. These tabs work with enzymes to break down grease and dirt at low temperatures. First, dissolve the tab in a bowl containing several drops of water. Next, apply the mixture onto the baked in dirt and leave it to work its magic for several hours. To keep the paste moist, you can place a damp cloth on top of it. To finish, rub away the stain using kitchen paper.
Even if you're particularly careful using kitchen utensils, it can be very easy to leave scratches on the glass surface. These scratches are particularly annoying because food and grease can accumulate in them. In the case of small nicks, you can polish them out using some toothpaste and a cotton cloth. Simply rub the spot in a circular motion and keep on checking the results. However, you shouldn't expect any miracles with this method, as ceramic glass is very hard-wearing.
A more effective solution is using extra fine steel wool. Don't panic — steel wool with a fine grade of 00 and 0000 is intended for polishing glass! You just need to be careful with any markings that have been imprinted onto the glass. Polishing could remove these.
6. Metallic discoloration
Over time, the black ceramic glass surface starts to discolor, become dull or get a metallic blue shimmer. There are many causes for discoloration. On the one hand, it could be the result of fine nicks and scratches caused by cooking utensils. On the other hand, discoloration could be an indicator for burnt-in grease. You can use petroleum benzine or turpentine substitute to combat these sorts of stains. Just dab a few spots onto some kitchen paper and rub the stains thoroughly. Just make sure that the petroleum benzine doesn't come into contact with the seals on the edge of the cooker; otherwise this could damage them.
As well as getting rid of dirt, professional ceramic glass cleaning products are advertised to prevent stubborn stains in the first place. The cleaning product usually achieves this with the help of glycerin. However, Vaseline or baby oil work just as well. After cleaning, dab a small (!) blob of Vaseline onto some kitchen paper and rub it into the ceramic cooktop. This will give the cooktop a nice shine and make harder for food to bake into the surface.
8. Special cases
Here are two critical special cases to finish. If you're working with sugar, you have to be particularly careful as it can caramelize on the hot cooktop. When the temperature of the cooktop drops below 390°F, the sugar will harden and stick to the surface. This can also result in scratches. Even if there are only small scratches to begin, this can lead to the cooktop cracking. This is why you should use a ceramic cooktop scraper to remove any liquid sugar as soon as you can.
You should also react just as quickly to any melting plastic parts. If the nightmare situation happens and plastic becomes stuck to the surface, you can briefly turn the cooktop on at the lowest heat. Your best chance is to then use the ceramic cooktop scraper to remove the plastic.
A clean cooktop gives your entire kitchen an air of order and freshness. These eight tips will ensure the cooker will stay that way without having to resort to expensive cleaning products. Do you have any further ideas? Let us know on Facebook!