Bubbles on a Smooth Top Range

Dear Home Ec 101,

My husband finally broke down and bought us a new stove and fridge last week. They delivered the stove and I’m so freaked out because he got a ceramic smooth top range. I told him I only wanted the coil burner type because the ceramic tops are such hard work to keep clean and easy to damage.

Well, he didn’t hear me I suppose*sarcasm implied*. But who is going to complain about being given a new stove? So I read the instructions on how to handle spills and whatnot. Then, the first night I use it (tonight), the worst happens, NOT when I’m making chocolate syrup for my daughter, but when I’m frying sausage of all things. No high sugar content. And the grease was just sprinkling on the burner. I turned it off, panicked, and once its cooled enough I used some Cerama Bryte and cleaned the stove top. However, when I wiped it clean, it made no difference.

At this point, I think I’m officially going to pass out. I get down nose to the burner and realize they are elevated AND depressed bubbles, NOT grease anymore.

I grabbed the use and care bible and frantically searched for a fix to the bubbles I’ve created, but I see nothing. And then my husband sees it. Needless to say, he was really upset and doesn’t believe I followed the instructions to clean it. I keep reading the “razor trick” online, but that’s only for food residue. This appears to be an actual imperfection I’ve made on the surface…its a day old for crying out loud and I already want to send it back and drag my old rusty coil stove back inside. Thanks for any insight on this…I know I seem like an absolute idiot lol

First Time Burner, Last Time Fryer

What to do if the surface of a smooth top range shows bubbles and imperfections through normal use.

Heather says:

First of all, you do not seem like an idiot. You’re dealing with a brand new appliance and of course, if you’re anything like me, there’s a whole -We just can’t have nice things, mental loop (Seriously, ask me about both the shelves and dresser I just got after moving into a new place. /facepalm I may have cried. May.)

If the bubbles are truly in the surface of the range, unless you were doing something insane with your sausage, the fact that you see bubbles and imperfections in the surface of your stove is NOT YOUR FAULT. If you were using an appropriate pan and didn’t set up a campfire on the surface of your stove, those bubbles shouldn’t be there.

This is why there are warranties; factory defects are a thing. Call the manufacturer. Warranties are there to protect you the consumer AND the good name of a company. Call.

Smooth top ranges are a total pain in the rear, but electric coil ranges have their own issues. I’m back on an electric coil after 9 years and I have mixed feelings. The drip pans and I are not friends and I thoughtlessly stored a large bag of sugar over the stove not realizing my eldest child would try to get it down and spill half of it and not tell me. Cleaning grains of sugar off of a coil range isn’t a treat, either. Someone remind me to get a cheap vacuum just for these kinds of things because I may have gotten a tad cranky.

I digress, back to my point, if the bubbles are truly in the surface of your smooth top range, call the manufacturer.

However, there is a chance those bubbles are polymerized grease. (Heat can transform some molecules found in oils into long chains or polymers. Plastic is a polymer and polymers are a total pain to remove from your stove). Keep in mind that GE only recommends Cerma Bryte and then, if you are feeling brave, grab a can of Bar Keepers Friend and use that to make a paste and rub it gently onto the surface of the stove. Give the oxalic acid some time to work and then yes, go ahead and break out that handy razor scraper we keep mentioning and give it a go.

how to clean appliances

Click the picture for more tips!

Remember, only use a new razor blade, dull blades and nicks can cause you to damage the surface of your appliance.

You may have to repeat this process several times. It is a drag. I know. Really. I do.

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

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  1. Amber Woods on May 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I’ve had the bubbles for years, I couldn’t tell you when or why they came up. My issue is today I lighting ran my razor over the stove and a bubble popped! I’m scared it will start the peeling of the entire stove top. Can I seal it with something?

  2. Linda Mitchem on January 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I just received my new whirlpool smooth top range and after cooking eggs and bacon this morning I spotted some clear spots under the surface of the top. They are not raised but in the glass. What can be done or do I need to send this back to the store. Is this normal, does it go away…………
    The heat was only on medium.


    • mark weiler on November 9, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Our Kitchenaid has the same problem… it’s like a delimitation of sorts within the layers of glass… We have called the seller.

    • Mary Hanks on March 25, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Mine has the same spots look like someone took a straw under the glass and poked holes . They are clear I used my stove one time

  3. Hilde on August 2, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Here in Germany, ceramic stovetops are the usual thing, and I find they are pretty easy to use and clean. Usually, warm water with a drop of dishwasher will do. If there are bubbles on your stovetop, it must be a fault of the manufacturer. The surface is actually a special kind of glass, and have you ever heard of bubbles forming on glass while it is heated?

  4. Heather Solos on July 31, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I do appreciate your mentioning this.
    I just want to be clear that it is not my place to make a comment on someone else’s relationship. I, personally, do not feel I am in a position to do so.

  5. Paula on July 31, 2013 at 9:49 am

    First I would tell the husband to get in there and fix the problem by taking the stove back. I can’t believe he bought her a stove she didn’t want and then she feels like an idiot when something goes wrong. Take the stove back and get what you want for goodness sake. If you do most of the cooking, you get to pick out the appliances. Or at least have a say in what comes home. It’s that simple.

    • jah on December 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      The bubbles are definitely on the top… they are not under the surface…
      Get some baking soda from your fridge(the box that keeps the fridge odors in check)…
      Mix about the size of a pea of baking soda with one or two drops of water… then spread this in any area the size of a small pancake, of course over the bubbles… then wait for a couple of minutes…
      Then scrape with a new razor blade… you will feel that you are scraping the grease… it wont feel like much but you will feel it when it is gone… might take at least 20 scrapes to feel smooth.
      Wipe with dish rag… dry with tea towel… ta da.

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