By Leanne Arcuri
Smooth-top electric stoves are often touted in store showrooms as being easy to clean, but as you have probably already discovered after buying one, that isn’t exactly true. Even a little bit of water boiling over a pot can create stains on your stovetop. What are you supposed to do to keep your stovetop clean when even water can make it look dirty?!
Well, if you’re really serious about keeping your stovetop shiny, you can wipe it down after every use. But both you know and I know that you probably won’t be cleaning your stovetop after every use. After all, who wants to clean after they just finished cooking? So then you start letting things slide, and before you know it, your stovetop looks is so caked with stains and solidified food crud that it begins to resemble a failed modern art project.
But there’s no reason to put up this kitchen eyesore. It's easy to restore your stovetop's shine in seven simple steps with just a few common household items.
Before we begin, gather your materials. You will need:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- A razor blade/scraper
Got everything? Good. Let’s get started restoring your stovetop’s showroom shine!
1. Wipe Down Your Stovetop with Vinegar
Although mixing baking soda and vinegar makes for a great science fair project, we’ll be using those two ingredients separately here. But first, make sure your burners are turned off and have completely cooled down to room temperature. After the stovetop surface is safe to touch, it's time to clean with vinegar. Simply moisten a towel with some white vinegar, and wipe down the stovetop surface. Your stovetop should start looking better already, but let’s keep going!
2. Coat the Surface with Baking Soda
Baking soda is an incredible household cleaner since this gentle alkali can break down grit and grime without there being any risk of it scratching or damaging your stovetop surface. Coat the entire surface of your stovetop with baking soda and move on to the next step.
3. Hot Towel, Anyone?
Fill a bucket or your (clean) kitchen sink with hot water and dunk a towel in it.
4. Cover the Stovetop with the Towel
Wring out the towel. We want it to be damp — not soaked. Now place it on the stovetop and be sure to completely cover the surface. You can use two smaller towels here instead of a single large one if you prefer. In either case, leave the towel(s) on the stovetop for about 15 minutes and let them work their subtle magic to break up much of the accumulated crud.
5. Use a Little Elbow Grease
All right. It’s time to kick things up a notch. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Let’s show these stovetop stains who’s boss. Vigorously wipe your stovetop back and forth with the towel(s). Rinse and wring them out in the bucket or sink after every couple of strokes. We want to get rid of all that crusty food crud and not just smear it around. Keep wiping, rinsing, and wringing until it doesn’t seem like the stovetop is getting any cleaner. You may cheat a little here and use a mild abrasive cleaner to break up any particularly stubborn crud.
6. Scrape Off Tenacious Stains
We’re not done yet, but we’re almost there! While the stovetop is still damp, it’s time to break out the big guns and scrape off any remaining crud with a razor blade (preferably one with a handle). Focus on one location at a time, and scrape in smooth, even strokes so that you don’t scratch the surface of your stovetop.
7. Time to Shine!
For the last step, wipe down your stovetop one last time with a vinegar-dampened towel, and then buff the surface with a dry towel to bring back its original shine.
And that's all there is to it! Now you know how to restore your smooth cook top's showroom shine with just a little elbow grease and a few common household items. Enjoy that sheen! Ooo! Sparkly!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Leanne Arcuri and www.shutterstock.com