Dear Home Ec 101,
I am well acquainted with the razor blade to clean the dried food spots on my smooth-top stove; however, there are “places” on my stove that cannot be felt with the fingers, and there is nothing to scrape with the razor blade, they’re just mars, I guess. I have a less than two-year-old stove that has these little places all over the burners and do not come off even with the special cleaner.
Do you have any ideas about these stubborn spots?
Stuck in Stuart
A few things to try, but always on a cool stove are:
Try making a paste of Bar Keepers Friend and water OR baking soda and water, OR dampening a paper towel with white vinegar and placing any one of these over the stained areas. Allow this to sit for several hours before trying a nylon scrubby style sponge.
Never use copper or steel wool on your ceramic cook top, no matter what you see people recommending on sites like Yahoo Answers. This is a quick way to seriously scratch your cook top and once it’s scratched, there’s really no recourse.
I did some research and this does seem to be a very common complaint among owners of black or speckled cook tops. If your stove is still under warranty (1 – 5 years generally) you can call and see if they’ll replace or repair the top or have specific instructions for dealing with this type of mark.
I have seen MAAS recommended by some home care experts, but I would suggest discussing this with the manufacturer of your stove first, to avoid voiding your warranty or inadvertently causing further damage.
An unfortunate fact of life is that some stains and wear are inevitable in our homes and at some point, you try to fix them, realize that it’s going to be more effort than it’s worth and start calling it a patina. I hope one of the suggestions listed above is helpful, but really, don’t get your hopes up too high. Sometimes stains are permanent.
Submit your questions to email@example.com.