Ah, our glass cooktop. I’m a sucker for that streamlined, smooth-surfaced, and sparkling beauty but my adoration is a bit finicky as I really love it best when it’s in that aforementioned sparkly state. No unconditional love around here. As anyone with a glass cooktop can attest, burned on bits of spilled food or extraneous oil splashes can be buggers to scrub off of the surface without scratching it.
Previously, my go-to method was one that’s likely standard. I used Weiman Glass Cooktop Cleaner and a yellow scrubby brush to restore beauty to the cooktop after we destroyed it making dinner but each time I was forced to replace the bottle of cleaner and fork over the exorbitant eight dollars for a 10 oz bottle, I shuddered just a bit. As is well documented on this blog, I’ve also been making a concerted effort to remove toxins from our house, and when I couldn’t find a list of ingredients on the bottle of cleaner, my suspicions were piqued. A quick Google search later and I was vindicated – Weiman Glass Cooktop Cleaner contains, among other things:
- Dimethicone – a synthetic oil that has been shown to cause skin irritation and impair cell development
- Melamine – a flame retardant, nitrogen-rich chemical that’s been shown to cause deaths in dogs and cats and sickness in young children when consumed or heated over 160 F (like…on a COOKTOP)
- Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT) – common preservatives that have been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions, and possible neurotoxicity
Yikes! Expensive and toxic. No, thank you. As you may guess, astute reader, I was off on a search for a better option. What I found was a solution that I already had in our pantry!
To clean your cooktop, simply sprinkle the burned on bits with a generous amount of baking soda. You want a small pile on the toughest, crustiest bits. I buy the large bag (13+ pounds) for a few dollars at Costco but keep it accessible in an easy to handle glass jar in the pantry. After the baking soda is laid down, simply spray with your all-purpose cleaner of choice and let it sit. I’ve found that 15 minutes while I clean the rest of the kitchen is typically more than enough time but for the more difficult food bits or for burns that have been there a while you may need up to 30 minutes. The mixture will bubble and foam which I remembered from 3rd-grade science glass to be a chemical reaction. Although it wasn’t as exciting now as it was then, that reaction does successfully unstick all the burned on food, so I’ll let it retain it’s “cool” rating. Man, how times have changed.
Once the mixture has sat for a bit, scrub it off with a rag. It will take a bit of elbow grease but so does scrubbing off burns with the pricey, toxic goop so scrub, scrub, scrub! Sometimes it will be necessary to scratch off the worst offenders with a small razor blade. After I have all the baking soda mixture wiped away, I give it another spray and wipe down with all-purpose cleaner. Bam! I love the cooktop again. My mom also finishes with a wipe down of rubbing alcohol and paper towels for a truly supreme shine, but it’s a step I can’t convince myself to bother with unless company is coming over. One day, one day I’ll get there.