Smooth glass stove tops eliminate the potential for the gunky and greasy grossness that plagues the areas beneath burners on standard stoves, but they're not completely mess proof. Discoloration from hot items, spilled foods or even the wrong cleaning solutions could dull that shiny surface. Thankfully, simple cleaners that are cooktop-safe can restore that stove's shine.
Baking Soda Scrub
A simple paste made from baking soda helps eliminate some forms of discoloration, such as rings caused by hot pots or pans. Mix several tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a paste, then spoon the paste over the entire stain. Cover the paste with a hot, damp dishcloth that won't bleed dye onto the cooktop. After 30 minutes, use the cloth to wipe the baking soda away. Rinse the cloth, then wipe the surface again. If any stain remains, cover it with dry baking soda and just enough vinegar to make the powder foam. Wipe the area clean with a microfiber cloth after a minute or two.
The Vinegar First Method
Vinegar is a great, all-natural cleaner to keep on hand for day-to-day stove maintenance. It also removes white or chalky discolorations from the burner areas, caused by minerals in water. Spritz the entire glass surface with vinegar, allow it to sit for a few seconds, then wipe it down with a soft white cloth. If the glass looks clean, you are done. If not, sprinkle baking soda over the stained areas and on any residue stuck to the stove top. Soak a soft hand towel in warm water, wring out most of the water, then place it over the cook top. After 15 minutes, use the towel to rub the glass. Rinse the towel regularly as it absorbs baking soda. Buff the glass with vinegar and a fresh soft cloth.
A cleaning solution designed specifically for glass cooktops can also clear up discolored areas. Apply a few drops of the cleaner to the stove top, let it sit as directed by the cleaner's directions, then buff the stains with a soft white cloth. Rinse the cloth, then wipe the cooktop down with the cloth to rinse away any remaining residue. Apply the cleaner directly to remaining stains and let it sit a little longer before wiping it up, if necessary.
Avoid Ammonia and Harsh Cleaners
While it may seem okay to use a regular glass cleaner on glass stove tops, some of these can actually cause temporary discoloration. Many window-cleaning sprays contain ammonia, which leaves iridescent marks on glass stoves once the burners heat up. Spritz these spots with vinegar, then wipe with a soft cloth, to remove the marks.
Also, avoid using harsh cleansers, which can do more than temporarily discoloring that pristine glass. Cleansers, such as the powders used to scrub porcelain tubs, can cause very fine scratches on the cooktop surface, dulling the glass over time.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.