Whole Home Detox: How to Clean A Glass-Ceramic Cooktop Naturally

I have a love-hate relationship with my glass cooktop.

As in, love when it’s clean, hate when it’s dirty.

That was original of me. But really.  Any kind of liquid or solid matter that touches a burner is the kiss of death to a smooth cooktop.   It will leave a scorch mark that will laugh at you until you please the glass-ceramic cooktop gods with an acceptable sacrifice.

I really thought the only way to accomplish this was to use that special cleaning paste (and the special red scrubby thing that gets really gross after it’s used a couple times).

That’s pretty annoying just by itself.  But after a while it was extra annoying because store-bought cleaning paste wasn’t fitting into my plan to take over the world with non-toxic cleaners and my blogging.

I tried a lot of different methods for cleaning that thing, including everything that a responsible glass cooktop owner would never do.  Like using metal scrubby pads and things.

Just as I arrived at the crossroads of  A.) Breaking down and buying the stove-top cleaning junk or B.) Smashing that scorch mark on my glass with a meat tenderizing mallet, I found a way to clean it that fit into my Western Mom Blogger worldview.  (Aka: baking soda and vinegar is the answer to your life’s problems.)

Baking soda and vinegar to clean glass ceramic cooktop

I was all psyched up to share this with you guys a real long time ago, but I then I realized my stove top was clean.  So I had to wait a few months for a truly horrifying stovetop blemish to prove my theory.

It happened when I was making soup on Sunday night.  See, okay.  I had made some healthy homemade chicken stock in my Crock Pot the day before.  (Winning, right?) The only thing is, by the time it had finally finished,  it was late and I wanted to watch moving pictures on color television.  So I was lazy and stuck the whole thing in the refrigerator.  I regrettably did this without much thought as to how I would separate the chicken carcass from the broth the next day when it got all gelatinized and solidified with a layer of fat and what-not.

Faced with a gelled-over mess of cold chicken carcass and a need to make soup real fast, I did what any short-cut loving woman in that situation would do. I fired up the back burner and placed the cold Crock Pot right on the hot stove.  (You know. So the broth could melt and I could strain out all the bones and junk.)

I became alarmed when I got a whiff of something that smelled kind of good and kind of bad.  Like chicken soup, but also burnt plastic.

So long story short, setting a cold Crock Pot of chicken carcass on a hot burner may not be the best thing I could have come up with.  The red Crock Pot my sister gave me when I moved out on my own cracked clean in half.  There was a lot of greasy chicken skin, soggy celery and nutritious broth burning and bubbling all over my stovetop.

BUT.  After the smoke cleared and the broth pooled on my stovetop had been frantically sucked up with a baster (and used anyways), I was left with this beauty:

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How to clean a glass ceramic cooktop naturally 1

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Also, I left it to crust overnight, just ’cause. (The moving pictures were on).

And now I get to show you how I clean a glass-ceramic cooktop naturally.

How to clean your glass ceramic cooktop naturally

Naturally.

1.) Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda liberally all over the affected area.

How to clean a glass ceramic cooktop naturally 2

(I use a lot of baking soda, so I buy the giant bag from Costco and store some in a canister.)

2.) All-Purpose Cleaner

Spray the baking soda with all-purpose cleaner.  Soak it good.  It will start to foam up and fizz a little.  You want this.  Trust me.

How to clean a glass ceramic cooktop naturally 5

(My all-purpose cleaner is just a mixture of water, dish soap and vinegar.  And it’s amazing. You should try it.)

3.) Let Set

This part is important.  I really try not to skip out on this.  I usually go fifteen minutes, but this time I set my timer for thirty since the situation was extra gross.

Right away, I could start to see the grime lifting.  Ewwwwww.

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4.) Scrub

After your mixture has soaked, take a cloth and scrub the area until it feels smooth again.  This might take a little elbow grease, but so does the fancy ceramic stove top cleaner (you who think scrubbing something a travesty).

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How to clean a glass ceramic cooktop naturally 6

5.) Wipe

Now get a clean cloth and wipe the hot mess off your purty stove.

How to clean a glass ceramic cooktop naturally 8

You are going to notice that it will take several passes with the cloth to remove all the baking soda leftovers.  It will probably leave a cloudy residue on your glass.  Just keep wiping until it goes away.

To get rid of all baking soda traces, I give my stove top a final shine with some all-purpose cleaner.

(This stubborn residue thing is one of the reasons I boycott cleaning with baking soda unless it is absolutely necessary to scour something.)

Now, in the case that there is still some stubborn crusty spot left behind, just rinse and repeat.  Also, it does help the grime to loosen easier if the burner is a bit warm.  Not hot though, because there is nothing grosser and more pungent than hot vinegar water steaming up in your face.

Success. You have pleased the glass stovetop gods.

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And now you can throw away your annoying ceramic-glass stovetop cleaner.  Hooray!

Just kidding.  That junk’s expensive.  Use it up before you toss it, foo’!

Just kidding.  About the foo’ part.  But do use it up.

SOOOOOO….

How do YOU clean your glass-ceramic cooktop?  Has anyone ever used peroxide or lemon juice?

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  • Natasha Wing

    Does it work for metal stains? We had the bottom of a metal pot leave a ring and can’t seem to get it off.

    • frugalfaye

      Try it and see! In my experience, I have burned plastic on my stove top and it eventually wore off with time over a few weeks! Last resort, you could always try a razor blade!

    • Paula

      So did you try the baking soda on your metal stains? I have had my ceramic top stove for 2 weeks and already have a grey cloudy spot that the manufacturers sample cleaner or my standby Soft Scrub won’t touch.

      • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

        I never had a real metal stain on my stove top! If baking soda doesn’t work, you might have to try to stovetop cleaner from the store or contacting the manufacturer!

        • Sean

          Perhaps Muriatic acid from hardware store. It reacts to metals and motar. Not ceramics. But test first.

          • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

            Thank you!

          • Geri Ramsier

            Muriatic acid is very dangerous to breathe and will burn hands so wear gloves and do no breathe but glass installers use it to clean gloop messes on installations.

  • AStitchofKate

    I used this method with a razor blade… And Honey,….I could just KISS ya! hahahaha Ever since the first boil over, I have had this love/hate relationship with glass stove tops!! And so I spent my evening looking all over the internet for tips and other solutions and WINNER WINNER chicken dinner! (Oh. Wait….you might not be crazy for chicken after that crock pot nightmare…LOL) But thank you SO much for sharing this!!! Your DA BOMB! hahaha

    • frugalfaye

      Ha ha!! I’m glad it worked for you! Thanks for the entertaining commentary!

      • Deb Olsen

        What kind of Vinegar do you use Faye? I’m from Britain originaly and use malt vinegar, I’m sure you don’t use that !

        • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

          I just use good old basic white vinegar! I’m not too picky on that! They have it in big jugs in the salad dressing section of the grocery store and in two-packs at wholesale places like Costco! (In the States, that is!)

  • Sabrina

    This is the perfect cleaner! I had boiled-over chicken soup that left a crusty burn on the ceramic stove top. I didn’t let it soak long, though. I waited until the mixture of baking soda + vinegar water finished bubbling, and then I used a strictly-for-cleaning toothbrush to gently “scrub”. Even took of weeks-old burn marks… yahoo!

  • thriftygirl

    This is interesting since I used boiling water with baking soda to clean my microwave oven vents. Unfortunately, the water boiled over onto my ceramic cooktop and left what I believe to be permanent stains. I used the recommended cooktop cleaner, scraper and cleaning pad. I scrubbed and scrubbed. Nothing. I’ve also used vinegar and soap and water. Nothing seems to be removing the stains.

    Anyone have any ideas.

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      I have had stains on my ceramic cooktop that I thought would not go away, but they slowly did after regularly using the burner again for a few months. Something about the heat and routine cleaning?

    • T Jean

      Add in the baking soda to the process as the residue is the gunk from the microwave cleaning. Next time put down a cookie sheet with a towel to catch the probable overflow. To clean even the most gross microwave, repeatedly heating water only for one minute at a time ( let the steam work a few minutes but don’t let cool or reheat and wait a few) and wiping with the odd thumb nail scrub for the inside. Glass turntable wheel thing gets a round of baking soda water wrapped towel and coffee pot’s worth of hot vinegar water shower then a soak.

  • copperscaledragon

    I was just wondering what you use for the day to day cleaning on your stovetop? I just had anew stove installed and used it for the first time to brown something. I almost went nuts trying to clean off the grease splatter with that polish they provide. Do you use your all purpose cleaner for this kind of thing?

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Yep! I just use my regular all-purpose cleaner mentioned in the post! Sometimes with glass-ceramic tops though, even the smallest of scorches or water marks can require the full treatment, so sometimes I just let them build up for a few days and do the baking soda. Like I said, it’s a love-hate relationship!

      • copperscaledragon

        I’ve noticed that. There is also something going on that seems to defy cleaning by any means too. little areas that are clear looking and can only be seen at just the right angle. Frustrating.

  • Getitdone

    Can you please tell me how you prepare the all purpose cleaner?

  • Nora Lee

    Not sure, but you and your readers might want to know that the company responsible for making MOST ceramic cooktops is the Schott Glass Company. It is a German company that is over 125 years old and actually produces products for a variety of industries. In addition to making several interesting products, it made the largest single piece of glass and made the first glass to go to outer space. Pretty cool. Some of the industries they make products for are pharmaceuticals, solar energy, electronics, optics, and cars.

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      That is interesting! I did not know that! Thanks for commenting!

      • Geri Ramsier

        I use soft scrub on my Kenmore ceramic with the white dots but my new one is mirror black so not sure about soft scrub but it gets all out on my Kenmore. Is there a reason soft scrub not recommended?

  • gschloff55

    Thank you- soooooo much. I, too, have a love-hate relationship with my new glass ceramic stove-top. I’ve been searching for weeks for a solution to clean with so I don’t have to use that gunk they gave me, I hate that stuff.

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      I am glad it worked for you! Thank you for commenting!

  • Monica

    Thank you so much for figuring out that baking soda and vinegar will help lift off the scum on the stovetop!!!!! I just bought a new stove and was wondering how I was going to clean it without fumigating myself. It works great for me!!!!!!

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Yay! So good to know! Thanks for commenting!

  • Nicole van Staden

    I’m going to go make all of these right now :) just bought all of the ingredients today! No more chemicals around my sweet precious baby boy!! – nicole

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Yay! Let me know how they work for you!

  • Miley Garner

    One question, if I clean my
    oven/stovetop with baking soda, should I wet the surface first or just sprinkle
    it on dry?

    Best regards!
    South
    Hornchurch Carpet Cleaners Ltd.


    visit website

  • lauffattack

    Sorry to tell all of you, but you are just using salt water to clean your stoves. Vinegar is an acid (Acetic Acid), and Baking Soda (Bicarbonate) is a base. They react and form salt, water, and carbon dioxide. The vinegar starts breaking down the food, and the salt becomes an abrasive that scrubs the food off of the stove surface. You might as well use a razor blade, since you’re making all kinds of microscopic scratches on the stove’s surface.

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Yes that is correct. It’s the gentlest and most effective thing I’ve found though…and I do have to disagree that it IS better than a razor blade! If you have any other alternative recipe, please share! I don’t have a glass stovetop anymore, but I know the folks on this forum would love any helpful input.

    • T Jean

      First, I’m putting on my scientist cum science teacher hat on, then my decade long owner if an environmentally responsible housekeeping company.
      The weak acid base reaction grammar school children use to learn this most basic chemical principle to make a volcano, rocket, or inflate a balloon involves an aquious solution of 3% acetic acid (vinegar) being reduced by sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda) to form hydrogen dioxide (water), carbon dioxide (the gas that makes beer an soda fizz), sodium cation (Na+), and acetate anion (C2H3O2-) since the results are still aqueous (watery).
      Now putting the housekeeper’s hat on top of the teacher’s hat, the most recommended cleaning solution, is produced by Weiman Co and sold under the brand name Wright’s. It contains “amorphous metalic silicates” (2nd ingredient behind water) which only desolves in alcohol. This is why you have to shake the bottle before use.
      The only remaining solid in the acid base reaction is unused baking soda until everything becomes dry and powdery (then you get the salt acetate). Wet baking soda is then used as an extremely mild abrasive, or as more reagent if you add more vinegar for another round of acid base reaction. The metalic silicates on the other hand are basically ground up cooktop (cannot get the exact composition of either the cooktop or the “amorphous metalic silicates” from the manufacturers).
      The upshot is the primary cleaning action is the bubbling physically breaking up the gunk stuck on with the baking soda and vinegar (also the baking soda makes any remaing greasy stuff easier to wipe off with or without soap or detergent). Whereas the expensive commercial product is a moderate abrassive (not a “strong one” not recommended by the cooktop manufacturer), which will never disolve in water making it much harder to clean off. (Think the diffetence between baking soda and corn starch in water. No amout of water will disolve the corn starch, it will always settle to the bottom regardless of the amount of water).
      BTW, if you keep wiping the white residue with a wet rag everything will dissolve eventually, as baking soda and sodium acetate rinse “clean” in water. Also, all metal will !scratch! including, the approved scraper, razor blade, or general pancake flipper unless used at less than a 45° (preferably 30°) and well lubricated

  • Mark

    Thank you so much for this info! We purchased a glass-top stove recently. We were using the stuff supplied by the manufacturer as well as the Weiman brand. Your method (baking soda and vinegar) works so much better. It’s simple and natural. I do not understand why the glass-top stove manufacturers don’t simply tell people to use your method — I guess they want to sell their cleaning products. Again, thank you!

  • Maria

    This is a really good deep cleaning tutorial. Thanks!

  • Julia

    Hi! I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU! We just bought a new stove and it was (what I thought) ruined after the first use. None of the commercial cleaners would get rid of the stains. I was so upset but then I saw your post! I tried your method and the stove looks like new again. I use it on everything ever since. My husband was amazed too.

  • Valder Oliveira

    Great advice, thanks! Just a suggestion, to make it even simpler to clean, just use a metallic blade for ceramic or glass cleaning. My ceramic cooktop came with one that is seems very cheap and simple and still works great. I’m sure that are some available in the retailing stores. This combined with your combination of baking soda and general cleaner solution worked just like a charm for me!

  • http://www.sonieland.com/ Sonia Hogan

    This worked perfectly on our glass-ceramic cooktop, which I had feared was permanently ruined. The stains came out after only 5 mins, and the cooktop looks brand new! Thank you for your help, Rachael!

  • Stacy

    Thank you so, so much for this post! Unlike some of the other commenters, I have had my stove for 5 yrs and some of the stains on it are probably that old! I had just resigned myself to the fact that the stove was ruined and that was that. I did everything as u said, even down to making your all purpose cleaner, and boom! Stains are gone!!! There are a couple of small spots here and there but based off of where I was starting, it’s Damn near a whole new appliance! Thanks again!

  • Debi Houser

    My daughter and I use Bon Ami (NOT Comet!). It’s got the chicken and “hasn’t scratched yet” on the front of the can. We sprinkle the cleanser on the cooktop, squeeze some water from a sponge, and combine the two by wiping it around. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe dry with a paper towel.

  • Tandie

    Holy COW!!!! You are remarkable Faye!!! I’ve been dealing with a crappy ceramic top for years and finally got sick of it and decided to scour the internet. I picked yours first. If someone could give you a medal I would do it 2-fold!!! You are a life saver and I can’t be more pleased!!!! Wish I would have looked earlier. I got so excited when I saw the baking soda start fizzing!! This is a no S**T real working thing this glorious lady has found!!!!

  • WM

    I burned heavily the copper bottom of a pot to the ceramic glass top of my stove, essentially bonding the copper metal to the ceramic glass. Any ideas to remove the copper metal?

    • kalinakauai

      Did you solve this problem? I just burned my copper-bottom pot so bad that the bottom separated from the top and is now stuck on the burner! I want to cry!!
      I turned the stove off and now have to wait….

  • Neil

    What about aluminium scratches from vessels?