Nowadays, you’ll find induction cooktops in most modern kitchens. They are energy efficient and also give a modern look to your kitchen. You’ve now purchased an induction cooktop but because you know that an induction cooktop is made from glass you are worried that it will get scratched when you clean it. Are there safe ways of cleaning an induction cooktop without damaging it?
Induction cooktops are indeed prone to scratches and scuffs, but only when you use the wrong cleaning products and cleaning procedures. There are many safe and effective cleaning products and DIY cleaning methods to clean and maintain your induction cooktop.
In this article, we’ll briefly look at what is an induction cooktop, and why and how you can clean your induction cooktop.
What is an induction cooktop?
In layman’s terms, an induction cooktop is a cooktop with a copper coil beneath its surface. When an alternating current is passed to the copper coil it generates a magnetic field. This magnetic field then passes inside the ferromagnetic base of the cookware where it causes resistive currents.
These resistive currents are heating the cookware and cooking the food. The heat is not located in the copper coil or the cooktop’s surface, but in the cookware which then cooks the food.
Why do you have to clean your induction cooktop?
Induction cooktops don’t have all the nooks and “unreachable” little corners like an electric or gas cooktop to clean and therefore provide a clean-looking surface. But you have to clean it regularly to keep it so clean. Because it has a very sophisticated top surface made from glass the cooktop must always be as clean as possible. The most important reasons to be kept clean include the following:
You must be able to see the guide marks on the cooktop
When your cooktop is not clean, it becomes difficult to see the guide marks on the surface. You must be able to see the guide marks to put the cookware precisely where it should be. If it is not placed correctly the cookware will not heat efficiently. It is even possible that the induction will not pick it up that cookware has been placed on the cooktop and thus will not switch on.
A clean cooktop is more energy efficient
A clean induction cooktop is more energy-efficient than a dirty one. If the top isn’t clean, the magnetic current cannot be transferred effectively from the cooktop to the cookware. The result will most probably be that you’ll need a longer cooking time. And the longer the food takes to cook, the more energy is used and the less efficient is your induction cooktop.
How to clean your induction cooktop
There are various ways to clean your induction cooktop. Let’s look at some of the most effective methods and what aspects you have to keep in mind.
1. Use soft towels and cloth
Your induction cooktop can be damaged if you clean it incorrectly. The best is to use a soft dish towel or microfiber cloth so that you don’t scratch the cooktop by using a harder piece of cloth. Two towels or cloths will work well – the one for the cleaning solution you are going to use and another one to “shine” the cooktop when it is dry.
Always remember to rinse off the cleanser with a damp towel and then do the “shining.” If you skip this last part of the cleaning process, the surface may become stained.
2. Clean with baking soda and vinegar
Step 1: Prepare the mixture
Prepare the cleaning mixture by combining one part baking soda with one part white vinegar in a bowl. If you have a clean spray bottle available, pour the mixture into the spray bottle. You can apply the mixture better to the cooktop if you spray it on.
Step 2: Clean the cooktop
Then spray or cover the cooktop in the solution and leave it on for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, wipe away the mixture with a soft damp cloth or towel. If it seems as if the cooktop is not clean enough you can repeat the procedure until there is no more grime to remove.
Step 3: Give the cooktop a sparkle
When you’re satisfied that the cooktop is clean and dry, spray it with white vinegar and dry it off with a microfiber cloth. This will give the top a sparkle and it will look like new.
Clean with Baking Soda and Soapy Water
Step 1: The mixture and preparation
This mixture is very popular. It is an easy method. You have to make a soapy water mix with hot water and household dishwashing liquid. Then leave your washing cloth in the mixture for a few minutes to soak. While the cloth is soaking, sprinkle baking soda all over the induction cooktop’s surface.
Step 2: The method
Then squeeze the cloth in such a way that it is wet but not soggy. Place the cloth over the induction cooktop on top of the baking soda. Leave everything for about 15 to 30 minutes. Then rub gently over the cooktop with the cloth and remove it then.
After 30 minutes, rub it gently over the induction and then remove the cloth. Wipe everything clean with a clean wet cloth and dry the surface with another cloth.
Clean with Toothpaste
Ideal for emergencies
A popular “emergency” product some homeowners use to clean their induction cooktops is regular toothpaste. It is handy to use when you’ve cooked your dinner and quickly want to clean your cooktop and then realized you don’t have anything in your kitchen to use for the cleanup.
When you use this method, take a good amount of toothpaste and spread it with rounded strokes over the cooktop with your fingers. Then add a few drops of water and rub the toothpaste across the whole surface. If there have been stains on the cooktop, keep on rubbing until the stains go away.
When you’re satisfied that the surface is without stains and grime, use a dry soft cloth and wipe everything off.
How to clean white hard water stains
You may sometimes encounter hard water stains or white splotches on your induction cooktop. The easiest way to get rid of them is to use white vinegar. Just moisten a dry cloth with white vinegar and apply it to the stains and let the vinegar settle for a few minutes. Then rub the stains away and rinse with another clean cloth using a cooktop cleaning solution or distilled water.
How to clean very dirty induction cooktops
Sometimes an induction cooktop can get very dirty, especially if it is a cooktop in a place like a holiday bungalow where some of the visitors just leave the top without cleaning it.
To clean a very dirty induction cooktop, start by wiping it with a damp cloth. Most of the grime will probably still stick to the top. Then you’ll have to scrape off the food residue.
But when you use a scraper you have to be very careful as the glass top can scratch easily. So, don’t use much pressure on the scraper and always work at a 45-degree angle. The best is to only use a scraper designed specifically for glass and ceramic.
When to clean your induction cooktop
You can immediately after you’re finished cooking and removed the cookware from the cooktop, clean the top as it has stayed cool during the whole food-preparing process. If you want to clean it later, you may do that as well. However, if anything with sugar, like a caramel sauce or syrup has spilled onto the cooktop, clean it up right away. A sugary substance can easily lodge itself into the surface of the cooktop and if it is not removed immediately, it might permanently stain or damage the cooktop.
Summary of the regular maintenance of your induction cooktop
To keep your cooktop in an excellent condition you only have to remember three things:
1. Use the right cookware
Always use pots and pans that cannot scratch the surface of the glass cooktop. Not all induction-friendly cookware is necessarily designed not to scratch your cooktop. “Induction-friendly” only means that the cookware can accommodate an induction cooking process.
2. Clean spills immediately
Remove sugary stains immediately and to avoid a big clean later on, you can clean spills up as soon as you can while still cooking.
3. Clean regularly
Clean the cooktop as soon as possible after you’ve finished. Even if it seems clean just wipe it over with a damp cloth to remove any stains that you are perhaps not seeing.
What to avoid when cleaning your induction cooktop
The following are things you have to avoid when cleaning your induction cooktop:
- An abrasive and caustic cleaning product, including rust removers. They contain toxic chemicals, and they might also damage the surface of your cooktop.
- Products that contain ammonia or bleach. They can permanently stain the cooktop.
- A scouring pad, steel wool or brushes with steel bristles. They will scratch the surface of the cooktop and food grime might become embedded in the scratches.
As there are many safe and effective cleaning products and cleaning methods to clean and maintain your induction cooktop it is relatively easy to keep it always in tip-top condition. It can look like a brand new one for years.