Sleek and modern, a glass cooktop can really update your kitchen and look great doing so — if you can figure out how to remove burn stains from the stove top. Their flat surface allows them to serve as extra counter space when they're cool, and they're easy to wipe clean most of the time. Even if you wipe down your cooktop regularly, however, over time you may notice burn marks, grime and build-up that won't just wipe away.
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If you're struggling with how to clean a burnt electric stove top, know that it may take more than a little elbow grease to get it clean. Avoid the temptation to reach for harsh household stove top cleaners, though, even if you get a bit frustrated with this DIY project. Harsh cleaners can permanently scratch your cooktop. Instead, reach for some of the natural cleansers you already have in your pantry.
Essential Glass Stove Top Tips
Before you set out to clean stove top appliances, there are a couple of essential things you need to know. The most important is this: Never, ever clean your cooktop while it is on or still hot after cooking. You could easily burn yourself while trying to clean a hot cooktop, and you could also crack the glass on your electric stove. When trying to remove burnt food, it seems logical that warming it back up by turning on the burner might help but resist the temptation to do this.
It is also important to use gentle cleansers and tools when cleaning your stove. Stay away from steel wool and scrubby sponges. Start with the mildest cleanser you can and then work your way through stronger but safe alternatives until you find what works.
Things You'll Need
How to Remove Burn Stains From a Stove Top
Step 1: Scrape the Cooktop
Before starting the cleaning process on your stove top, try scraping away any burnt-on food. Scraping the top of your cooktop sounds counterintuitive since you don't want to scratch it, but you'll be fine if you use the correct technique.
Slide a plastic scraper or razor blade across the top of your stove. Hold the blade at a 45-degree angle and apply gentler pressure while scraping. You want to hold the blade flush against the cooktop surface but don't push down into it.
Wipe away all of the loose crumbs and debris you dislodged while scraping the stove.
Run your hand across the stove top to see if it feels smooth. If it doesn't, spray some white vinegar on the burn marks, leave it to sit on the stove for 20 minutes and then scrape the stove top again. The acid in the vinegar will help soften the grime.
Step 2: Apply Baking Soda
Baking soda works as a cleaning agent because it is slightly abrasive. It's often abrasive enough to tackle tough cleaning jobs but gentle enough that it won't damage delicate surfaces. Think of it as a natural version of the popular cleaner Bar Keepers Friend.
- Add water to 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix the two until a paste forms. You may need to add a bit more baking soda or water as you go to get the right consistency.
- Spread the baking soda paste onto your stove top, applying it liberally over burn marks. If the burn marks are particularly bad, spray some white vinegar on top of your baking soda to create some cleaning fizz. Let the baking soda sit and work its magic for 15 minutes.
- Scrub the stove top with a soft, damp sponge. If there's any burn marks left, add another layer of baking soda paste and repeat the process.
Step 3: Rinse and Buff the Stove Top
Once you've removed the burn spains, you'll need to wash away all of the baking soda. You'll also want to buff the stove top to get rid of any streaking.
- Wipe off the stove top with some dish soap and warm water. Make sure you wash away all of the baking soda and vinegar so you don't burn them onto the stove the next time you use it.
- Dry the stove top with a clean towel.
- Buff the stove with a damp cloth, moving it in a circular motion to buff away any streaks. If desired, you can use a polishing compound made for cleaning glass and enamel cooktops.
What If Baking Soda Doesn't Fix the Burn Marks?
Baking soda and vinegar usually tackle burn marks well, but once in a while, you may encounter a more stubborn stain. If the basic baking soda and vinegar formula didn't work for you, there are several other things you can try.
One is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Simply dampen one and scrub the burn marks on your stove with it. These often work like a dream even when other cleaning methods fail. They do leave behind a film, however, so you'll have to rinse and buff the stove when you are done.
You shouldn't heat your stove top while you are cleaning it, but there is another way you can use heat to soften burnt-on food. First, spread baking soda over your cooktop. As you do so, soak a clean microfiber cloth in hot, soapy water. Make the water as hot as you can get it from your tap. Lay the towel over the baking soda and let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes before using the soapy towel to wipe down your stove top.
There are also several cleaning products available over the counter that can safely clean your cooktop. These include Bar Keepers Friend and Mrs. Meyer's Baking Soda Cream Cleaner. Make sure you buy a cleaner, however, and not a polish. Popular products like Cerama Bryte do an excellent job of polishing cooktops but fall short of removing tough stains.