With its sleek and shiny appearance, a glass cooktop can quickly take your kitchen from looking dated to modern. Unfortunately, the smooth surface can get marred over time by a white haze or cloudy rings caused by accumulated tiny scratches, unburned acidic condensates, or hard water deposits.
Here’s how to get rid of cloudy discoloration on a glass-top stove:
- Apply dishwashing liquid over the discolored spot.
- Sprinkle some baking soda on top of the soap.
- Spritz a citric acid and hot water solution on the cooktop.
- After 20-30 minutes, scrub the area with a sponge.
- Wipe down the cooktop with a microfiber cloth and water.
- Dry the surface.
You might also see some people recommending the use of a razor blade or polishing powder. We’ll touch on that in this article as well. Whatever you do, make sure to read the user’s manual before attempting any—especially a major—cleanup.
1. Apply Dishwashing Liquid over the Discolored Spot
The beauty of this method is that it doesn’t require any special tools or products. It’s very helpful when you’re frustrated by the unsightly cloudiness on your cooktop and don’t want to run to the store to find any specific cleaner.
The first thing to remember when cleaning a cooktop is that it has to be cooled. Aside from burning your hands trying to touch a hot stove, you also risk burning food residue onto the surface, giving you tougher stains to remove.
Once you’re sure the glass is safe to handle, pour some dishwashing liquid over the areas you want to clean up, usually around the burners. These spots can get scratched by moving your cookware back and forth or using inappropriate cleaning materials.
2. Sprinkle Some Baking Soda on Top of the Soap.
More than a leavening agent for bread and pastries, baking soda is a cleaning superstar. The common name for sodium bicarbonate, baking soda can absorb odors and break down dirt and grease.
Baking soda is usually mixed with vinegar to unclog drains and remove stains from pretty much any surface. Live Science explains that the acid in vinegar breaks down baking soda, releasing carbon dioxide, which then helps remove dirt from the spot you’re cleaning (source).
Combining baking soda and dish soap also creates a potent cleaning agent, according to House Digest (source). With these two household items, you can make a paste to scrub down your sink, clean the inside of your oven, and, yes, help restore your glass cooktop to its brand-new, shiny glory.
3. Spritz a Citric Acid and Hot Water Solution on the Cooktop
For this step, the folks at Pro Housekeepers recommend mixing one tablespoon (15 mL) of citric acid with one cup (240 mL) of hot water. When you have your citric acid solution, pour it into a spray bottle and spritz it on the cooktop, where you’ve just applied dish soap and baking soda.
Citric acid is an acid found in citrus fruits, like lemons, limes, and oranges. Other than as a cleaning agent, it is used as a preservative and a flavoring agent for beverages.
As a cleaning agent, citric acid works much as vinegar does. It also has some capacity for disinfecting, according to Eric Beckman, Ph.D., a chemical engineering professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering (source).
Some also suggest placing a towel dampened with hot water—and wrung out—over the mixture to keep the baking soda from drying out.
4. After 20-30 Minutes, Scrub the Area with a Sponge
Don’t worry when your dish soap-baking soda-citric acid combination starts bubbling.
All that’s happening is that the reaction between baking soda and citric acid is producing carbon dioxide. That’s also how elementary-school chemical volcanoes and bath bombs work.
After 20 minutes to half an hour, scrub your cooktop with the soft side of a sponge. Avoid using the rough, scrubby side of the sponge, as this may further scratch the glass.
5. Wipe Down the Cooktop With a Microfiber Cloth and Water
Next, remove all the residue of the cleaning agents you used by wiping the cooktop down with a microfiber cloth and some water.
Cleaning with a microfiber cloth is easier and more effective than using cotton rags or paper towels because it is made of split fibers that can better hook onto dirt, according to cleaning company Merry Maids.
It’s even better for your glass-top stove because you don’t have to worry about scratching the surface when you wipe it down. The Kirkland Signature Microfiber Towels (link to Amazon) is a machine-washable set of microfiber cloths, great for both your home and your car.
6. Dry the Surface
You can use a scrunched-up newspaper to dry the cooktop because it’s lint-free.
After completing these steps, your cooktop should look spick and span, or at least the white haze should have been reduced. To maintain that clean and shiny surface, wipe it down after each use and clean it a bit more thoroughly at regular intervals.
We’ll go over some do’s and don’ts at the end of this article, but before that, let’s talk about a couple of other cleaning options.
Using A Razor Blade or Polishing Powder To Clean Glass Cooktops
You can use a razor blade in a holder to take on tougher cooktop cleaning jobs. However, don’t do it if your manufacturer does not recommend it, as sharp metal blades may damage the surface. Some also suggest using a polishing powder specifically designed to remove the cloudiness.
Before attempting to scrape off hard-to-remove gunk or burnt-on rings from the glass, spray some vinegar on the areas to soften the residue.
Hold the cutting edge of the blade at a very slight angle from the top of the stove, making sure to keep it as flat as possible, and carefully scrape away the debris. I have found it best to hold the blade at a 45-degree angle to the surface while doing this.
Do NOT use the corners of the razor blade, as it can scratch the glass. Also, avoid leaning too much on the glass as you work to prevent it from cracking.
After scraping, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface and repeat the process until you’ve cleared the entire cooktop of stuck-on debris.
If you don’t want to use sharp items on glass, you can use polishing powder as a deep cleaning agent, but it’s wise to consult your manufacturer’s instructions beforehand.
One option you can check out is the Bon Ami Scratch-Free Powder Cleanser (link to Amazon), which is hypoallergenic and contains no chlorine, perfume, or dye.
To use this product:
- Wipe your cooktop with a wet cloth.
- Sprinkle on some of the powder cleanser. Bon Ami recommends keeping the surface moist at all times.
- Rub the target areas with a soft sponge until they’re smooth, applying more powder as needed until you achieve a much cleaner-looking surface.
- Wipe the cooktop with a wet cloth, ensure no residue remains, and dry the surface with a clean, dry cloth.
Also, the Bar Keepers Friend Multipurpose Cooktop Cleaner (link to Amazon) is a popular product known for removing stubborn grease, grime, and hard water mineral deposits from many surfaces.
What to Avoid While Cleaning Glass-Top Stoves
The last thing you would want to happen when you’re cleaning your cooktop is to damage it further with the wrong tools and cleansers. Here is a quick guide on what to avoid to prevent making your next cleaning session twice as hard.
Rough Scrubbers Will Scratch Your Glass Cooktop
If the rough side of a sponge can scratch your glass-top stove, imagine how much more damage steel wool and rough brushes can do. These tools may leave even deeper scratches on the glass where food and dust could get stuck and become so much harder to remove.
It’s best to use the soft side of the sponge and microfiber cloths for a safe and effective wipedown.
Strong Glass Cleaners May Damage the Surface
The first thing you might reach for to clean glass is a glass cleaner, but these substances often contain ammonia, which, although good for preventing the appearance of streaks, can damage your cooktop.
Also, store-bought cleaners will likely leave behind some residue that will be released into the air the next time you use the stove, according to This Old House.
Finally, any cleaner will do more harm than good if you’re using it on a hot stove. Always ensure that your cooktop is completely cooled down before cleaning it.
Too Much Pressure Can Crack the Glass
When cleaning glass, use just the right amount of pressure to be able to remove grime, grease, and stains. Too much elbow grease on tough spots can cause the glass to crack. Remember not to lean over the surface as you’re exerting pressure, or you’ll run the risk of breaking the glass.
Never Clean a Hot Stove
This is pretty straightforward. Burns are painful, and burnt-on grease, stains, and residue on cooktops are an additional headache. However, it’s recommended that you clean the stove while it’s a little warm as the temperature can make stubborn stains come off more easily.
How To Keep Your Glass-Top Stove Looking New
Glass can make any space look stylish, but keeping it in the best shape requires some diligent maintenance. The same is true especially for your cooktop, which is generally one of the most used home appliances.
Read the Owner’s Manual
What works for other glass-top stoves may not work for yours, so be sure to consult your user’s manual for care instructions specific to your unit. Some cooktops may call for special cleaning tools and products.
You also don’t want to ruin your cooktop by using the wrong cleaning method and accidentally lose warranties.
Plus, manuals may suggest effective fixes for common issues and offer you a direct line to the manufacturer if you need assistance. Professionals can also tell you whether any damage can impair your cooktop’s performance and whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Clean Your Glass-Top Stove After Every Use
I wish I was better at this. You really want to make it a habit to wipe down the stove after each use — just make sure it has cooled down before you do.
This way, spills, splatters, and food crumbs won’t have the time to harden and cling onto the surface. You will also avoid the risk of burning them onto the stovetop the next time you cook.
A quick wipe with a microfiber cloth dampened with vinegar or water should be enough for these daily cleanings.
Schedule Routine Deep Cleanings
Grime and grease will inevitably accumulate on your glass cooktop, especially if you’ve been using it a lot and occasionally forgetting to wipe it down every day. This is where weekly or bi-monthly cleanings will come in handy.
For more thorough cleanings, you can follow the steps discussed above. Keep in mind that different stains call for different cleaning products. The great thing is you probably have all these things at home, so there’s usually no need to use commercial cleaners, which may have their own drawbacks.
Pro Housekeepers provides this helpful cheat sheet:
- For water stains or boiled over pans, use white vinegar.
- To get rid of spilled food or old cleaner residue, use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
- For mineral deposits and tiny scratches from cookware, use dish soap, baking soda, and citric acid.
Clean Your Pots and Pans
Wash and dry your cookware before placing them on the cooktop because dirt and grease on the bottom of pots and pans will transfer to the glass.
Also, with glass cooktops, you have to be more careful in picking out cookware. To get the longest possible use out of your cooktop, use pots and pans with smooth, flat bottoms instead of ones with textured bottoms, like cast iron skillets.
For example, this Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set (link to Amazon) is compatible with most stovetops, including induction, gas, electric, and, yes, glass.
It can get frustrating trying to restore well-worn appliances to how they looked like when they were new. I hope this guide helped you figure out how to remove cloudiness from your glass cooktop. Hopefully, you’ve also picked up general cleaning tips from this article.