These habits might seem harmless, but they can cause lasting damage to your stovetop.
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While I do love my glass stovetop for the extra counter space it provides, it can be pretty frustrating to maintain. You would think that the sleek, flat top would be a breeze to clean, but the glass surface is so delicate that you have to take special care not to damage it, even in the cleaning process. 

Unfortunately, some seemingly harmless habits could wreak havoc on a glass stovetop—although it's possible to reverse some of the damage with a good deep clean. But as they say, prevention is the best medicine, and that applies to stovetops too. Here are all the cooking and cleaning habits you'll want to avoid to keep your glass stovetop in mint condition. 

dirty glass stovetop
Credit: Cunaplus M.Faba/Getty Images

1. Using Coarse Sponges or Steel Wool

If you have burnt food or stubborn stains on your stovetop, you may be tempted to pull out the heavy-duty scrubbers. But even the scrubby side of a sponge can be too much for a glass stovetop's delicate surface. Abrasive cleaners or scouring tools (including steel wool) can lead to tiny scratches or even deep pits on your stovetop. Stick to the soft side of the sponge, or even better, purchase cooktop pads. These sponges are designed to minimize scratches on a glass stovetop. You can find them at Walmart, Publix, or at another local grocery store.

If you have stuck-on debris that won't budge with a soft sponge, try using a plastic or silicone spatula to lift the food from the surface. For really heavy-duty messes, you can use a razor blade scraper (try softening the food first with white vinegar or a glass stovetop cleaner); just be sure not to puncture the stovetop with the corner of the blade. 

2. Using a Cleaner While the Stove Is Still Hot

Sometimes washing dishes while they're still a little warm can help you easily lift grease and grime, but the same principle does not apply to glass stovetops. You should allow your stovetop to cool completely before using any sort of cleaner, chemical or otherwise, as the cleaner can burn on the stovetop and leave permanent damage.

3. Using Glass Cleaner to Clean Your Stovetop 

It seems logical to use glass cleaner (such as Windex) on a glass stovetop, but it's best to skip it. The ammonia in the cleaner is too harsh for a glass stovetop and can leave permanent stains and streaking. Not to mention, if you turn a burner on while the cleaner is still on the surface, you'll release ammonia fumes into the air. 

You're better off using a cleaner meant for a glass stovetop (GE Appliances recommends one of my favorite cleaners: the Cerama Bryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner), or pantry staples such as white vinegar and baking soda. 

4. Resting Hot Lids Face-Down on a Cool Stovetop

At first, this was kind of a head-scratcher for me, but there have actually been instances of glass stovetops shattering as a result of leaving hot pan lids on the surface. How does this happen? Apparently, heat gets trapped under the lid creating a vacuum seal, and the pressure then causes the stovetop to shatter. I will say, I've put many hot lids on my glass stovetop with no problem, but I won't be doing it anymore. It's better to be safe than sorry, so I'll be resting my hot lids on a pot holder or dish towel from now on. 

5. Sliding Heavy Cookware (Such as Cast Iron) Across the Surface of Your Stovetop

Yes, you can still use cast iron if you have a glass or ceramic stovetop. In fact, the folks in the Lodge Cast Iron test kitchen cook with cast iron on a glass stovetop every day, according to their Facebook page. Their advice? Be sure to not drop it or slide it across the surface. Instead, gently lift it and set it back down using the handle to move it from one spot to another. The same goes for other types of heavy cookware, such as ceramic cookware. 

6. Not Cleaning Your Glass Stovetop After Every Use

Leaving your mess for another day is only going to make things worse down the road. If you have a boil-over or a splatter, wipe it up with a damp cloth as soon as possible (remember, don't use a cleaning solution while it's still hot, but a damp cloth is fine). After each use, allow your stovetop to cool completely, spray the surface of your stovetop with vinegar or your favorite glass stovetop cleaner, wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth, and buff dry with a dry microfiber cloth. 

7. Placing Dirty Pans and Utensils on the Stove While Cooking 

If you're like me, you have a tendency to rest dirty utensils on your glass stovetop...and that's only adding to the mess you'll need to clean up later. Instead, rest utensils on a spoon rest or paper towel. Even more importantly, make sure whatever cookware you're placing on the stovetop is completely clean on the bottom. A greasy skillet + a hot burner = a difficult mess to clean up later. 

8. Putting Too Much Weight on Your Stovetop

According to GE Appliances, a glass stovetop's weight limit is usually around 50 pounds. Most of the time, this isn't going to be an issue, but it does mean you should never stand on your stovetop to reach a high cabinet, and heavy canners may exceed the weight limit of a glass stovetop as well. 

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