If you’ve switched to an induction hob or are thinking of doing so, you’ll need to use slightly different methods to maintain it. The biggest risk to an induction hob from cleaning is scratching it, so your cleaning techniques should be gentle, focusing on maintaining the integrity of the surface.
If you scratch the glass, food can become embedded in the scratches and when covered with a hot pan, can further damage the glass and potentially create cracks.
Induction hobs can get scratched if heavy pans are dragged across them, if pans have small bumps or imperfections on their bottoms or if they are dragged over salt crystals.
You should get into the habit of lifting pans when you move them. However, there are also products you can buy to protect your hob.
The key to keeping an induction hob clean and stain-free is to sort out spills immediately. In spite of popular belief, induction hobs do get hot after use, from proximity to the heat of the pan, but they’ll cool quickly and should be wiped down as soon as possible.
Right after cooking, use warm, soapy water on a soft cloth to clean up any spills. Make sure that there’s nothing like grit on the cloth that could scratch the surface. If there's any residual grease, use a kitchen degreaser spray to remove it. You can finish up by wiping the surface with a vinegar-soaked cloth to make it shine.
Don’t use these cleaners
Don't use caustic or abrasive cleaning agents or scouring products on your hob. Don’t use anything that contains bleach.
Accessories you can buy
You may want to invest in hob protector liners, which sit between the hob’s surface and your cooking vessel. They’ll allow conductivity, so they stay in place even during cooking. Their job is to protect your hob from scratches from pans and utensils.
You can buy them in different sizes – for example, two ring, four ring and extra-large. Make sure you buy one made for induction hobs, like the Bake-O-Glide Induction Hob protector, which costs £24.99 for a standard, four-ring cover.
You should still remove the protector between each use and gently clean the surface of your hob as usual.
Melted plastic or sugar
Burnt on sugar can seriously damage an induction hob. Here’s how to clean it.
If you’re making a sugary dessert and it bubbles over onto your hob’s surface, turn off the heat and remove your pan right away. The sugar will quickly begin to harden and can permanently mark the glass.
Using oven mitts to protect your hands, immediately wipe up the sugar or syrup with a soft, damp cloth.
If you didn’t manage to remove it all before it hardens, you can use a razor or scraper to get the rest of the sugar from the surface.
You may have been given a scraper with your hob. In any case, you should only use items like this that are recommended by your manufacturer. Make sure that the scraper is still sharp. A blunt razor can cause more damage.
Hold the razor at an angle of about 45° and push gently against the sugar residue with small movements. Make sure that you don’t cut into the glass.
All of the residue should be removed before you use the hob again or you risk permanently etching the mark onto the glass.
It’s much harder to accidentally melt plastic on an induction hob than an electric hob but it can be done if, for example, you let a plastic package rest against a hot pan.
If plastic melts onto your induction hob, switch it off immediately. Peel away as much plastic as you can and then cover the area with a mixture of baking soda and warm water. Leave the mixture for five minutes then spray it down with white vinegar. Take a soft cloth and rub against the edges of the plastic until it lifts away from the surface.
Protect your hob from cracking
Induction hobs tend to be damaged in one of two ways. Either the glass is scratched, which can ruin its look and lead to cracks, or it is cracked outright.
We've already outlined the way you can protect it from scratches: wipe up spills immediately, clean it carefully, don't drag pans across its surface and use hob protector liners.
But you should also avoid using your hob as a prep surface as this creates more opportunities for items to be dropped on it, or for it to be scratched by kitchen utensils and boards.
You should also be careful about putting hot pan lids on the hob surface to cool, as they can crack the glass when you try to lift them.