As a home cook, nothing is more tempting than having both function and style in a kitchen appliance. Hence, glass stovetops have been on trend lately as they provide a stylish and modern sense to the kitchen. Apart from that, it’s easy to clean and distributes heat more evenly.
Of course, nothing ever comes perfect. These smooth glass stove tops can break, given certain circumstances.
You can overlook scratches on your stovetop, but a crack? That one can give you a horror movie type of jumpscare.
If you’re scratching your head and wondering, “Can I use my cracked glass top stove?” you are not the only one! Read and find out how to deal with your dilemma and prevent it from happening again!
How fragile are glass top stoves?
Most glass stove tops in the market are made of tempered glass or a blend of ceramic and glass.
Both types are found in stoves nowadays, with ceramic glass being more predominant. The latter material allows more heat to go through (lower heat resistance) and has a higher tolerance for constant high heat— an ideal characteristic for the kitchen.
FYI: The additional heat treatment that tempered glass goes through increases its durability, decreasing the possibility of the entire top shattering. Instead, you’ll likely observe it breaking into blocks once it cracks.
Glass stove tops are featured in different cooktops, e.g., radiant, halogen, semi-halogen, gas, electric, and induction.
Despite its advantages and various uses, the glass surface in these cooktops exhibits the same fragility and vulnerability to improper cookware, sudden impact, and temperature fluctuations.
Albeit fragile, you can still avoid these mistakes by being aware of instances that may cause scratches, cracks, and chips on your glass stove top.
- Dragging cookware, no matter how lightweight it is, will cause micro-scratches. As these accumulate over time, they weaken your glass cooktop’s integrity, making it susceptible to cracking.
- Rough-bottomed and heavy cookware like cast iron, porcelain, and ceramic have the highest probability of being dropped and scratching the surface when moved laterally. A tip: When in a rush, it’s better not to whip out the Dutch oven and risk dropping it on the glass stove top!
- The residue from cookware like copper and enamel can gradually damage the stove top when left uncleaned. Similarly, melted plastic utensils also cause build-up and eventual cracking.
- An uncleaned cookware bottom can also cause scratches. Always clean cookware and your cooktop thoroughly and properly after every use to avoid buildup.
RELATED READ: How to Protect Induction Cooktop from Scratches
- One of the biggest contributors to damage is the sudden impact on the glass. Dropping anything at any height onto the cooktop is something you must avoid at all costs, as this can easily result in a hairline crack in the glass cooktop.
- If you have a cabinet overhead on your glass stove top, never store heavy objects in it, as they may fall directly to your cooktop and shatter it beyond repair.
- Coarse sponges and cleaning tools also cause micro-scratches. Always use a non-abrasive sponge and only when the glass stove is already cool.
- A glass stove may also be a counter space, but do not stack plates and bowls on it like you do with a regular countertop.
Note: Never use it as a cutting board!
- A surefire way to cause thermal fluctuation is by placing a hot pan on a cool glass stove top. Similarly, if you let a hot lid rest face down on a cool glass, the temperature difference can cause a vacuum effect, and the resulting pressure can shatter the glass. To avoid such circumstances, use hot pads or heat-resistant trivets as cool-down stations for your hot pans and pots.
- Food hotspots and heavy spillage can cause a glass stove top to crack from the heat. Heat does not pass through the carbonized residue, which acts as an insulator, but goes back to the glass, which causes thermal stress.
- Burners that get too hot can cause overheating and weaken the glass enough to crack.
There are two reasons for damage that may be out of your hands: bad glass quality and manufacturing defects. You can avoid these by researching the cooktop you want to purchase.
What happens if the glass stove top is scratched?
Scratches can either be from food particles, abrasive tools, or caused by cookware.
Coarse ingredients like salt and ground pepper may go unnoticed as they get sandwiched between the glass surface and the bottom of the pot or pan. Abrasive tools and cleaning materials also have the same effect.
Moreover, heavy-bottomed and round cookware, such as cast iron and wok, respectively, are the main culprits to scratches. Dragging and dropping the cookware also makes scratches inevitable.
However, don’t be so ready to put your money down yet on professional repair!
Some light scratches can be dulled or buffed using a DIY baking soda paste. Specialized cleaning products also provide a protective layer to the surface. You can reduce their appearance through proper and regular cleaning until they are invisible to most!
Cosmetic-wise, your glass may not look as smooth as the day you bought it, but your cooktop will function the same as long as it doesn’t have deep scratches.
Do remember your glass cooktop is scratch-resistant, not scratch-proof!
You can keep your glass stovetop pristine by choosing smooth, relatively light, and flat-bottomed cookware. Your cleaning tools and the cleaning method on your cookware, particularly its underside, are also important preventative measures to note.
Is it safe to use a cracked ceramic cooktop?
Real talk? You shouldn’t use it.
If you can replace the stovetop, do it.
The number one safety issue when using a cracked ceramic cooktop is exposed internal wiring. If you use it again, the crack may destroy the electric components, and any hope of repairing it might be gone. Worse than that, there’s a high chance of electrocution.
If you use the undamaged area of your cooktop, you also risk a kitchen fire due to food and liquids falling into the crack.
It is better to call a technician to assess the damage. Replacing the glass stove top may be an option, and you won’t have to buy a different cooktop altogether. An appliance technician can install the new glass. This may cost you around $200-$700.
In circumstances where the heating elements are compromised, there is loose glass and multiple cracks, or your stovetop is over a decade old, it is ultimately a safer choice for you and your family to get another cooktop and not opt to repair the glass top.
Can I use my glass top stove if it is cracked?
Light scratches are fine and dandy because you can ignore the inevitable marks of cooking. You can also make minor repairs yourself if you can’t live with it.
But how about chips and cracks? Can you cook on a cracked glass-top stove?
You can, but you shouldn’t.
Deep scratches, chips, and cracks cannot be repaired easily. Sometimes, they require the replacement of the glass top or, unfortunately, a new cooktop altogether.
A tip: If the crack is wider than a dollar bill, do not attempt to push through your cooking.
If the crack developed is more of a hairline crack, aka not any wider than a dollar bill, then proceed to cook with these safety tips in mind.
- Use plywood or a cutting board to cover the crack completely. If you don’t have both, find something large and flat to cover the damage. It should also have a considerable weight so it doesn’t accidentally shift and expose the crack to spillage.
- Do not use heavy, round-bottomed pots or pans. Moreover, do not use it as an extra counter space for containers, knife stands, or decorative pieces.
- Use cookware that distributes heat fast and evenly, like aluminum and stainless steel.
- Cracked glass is more susceptible to thermal shock. Do not put frozen food directly onto the stove nor place hot objects like lids or utensils on the glass.
Just a minor scratch or a crack, or is your glass cooktop wrecked?
When dealing with damage to glass stove tops, you always want to audit how bad it is before you spend money or take action.
With minor scratches, there’s always the option to repair it with DIY baking soda paste.
For cracks and chips, you can choose to replace the glass and have a technician install it for you.
But if the internal wiring and heating elements are also damaged, opting for a new cooktop is safer.
Prevention tip: Cleaning after each use takes a whole load of financial stress off of you in the future while ensuring your glass stove top performs efficiently in the present.
It’s a win-win!
What to do if your glass cooktop cracked?
It is best to get a professional opinion when you have a cracked glass cooktop to get a definite plan on how to proceed.
Most likely, they’ll tell you not to use it anymore and either replace the glass or the cooktop rather than attempt to repair it. Again, it all depends on the crack.
If you have to replace the glass cooktop, ensure the quality of the tempered or ceramic glass you’ll be purchasing. When buying an entirely new cooktop, you can always opt for another type of glass cooktop that you can adjust to easily and cause fewer incidents.
Moreover, you can use heat diffusers as a barrier between your cooktop and cookware once you have replacements. Although this may increase heat-up and cool-down times, it will keep your glass cooktop scratch-free.