How to clean your stovetop? Instructions for keeping your ceramic stovetop clean.

Ceramic glass stovetops. In the showrooms, they look so cool. Sleek, modern, and hygienic, like props from a sci-fi movie. But though they scream 21st century, ceramic glass stovetops have their origins in the late 1940s. It was then that a scientist called Dr. S. Donald Stookey was trying to create a new type of glass to be used in color television sets. He wasn't successful. However, during his experiments, he accidentally became a game-changer when he discovered a new family of materials. Glass-ceramics, as they became known, showed extreme strength, heat resistance, and low expansion. And by the late 1960s, the technology was being applied to stovetops.

Are ceramic stovetops hard to clean?

One huge benefit of having a ceramic glass stovetop, aside from the aesthetics, is that they are relatively easy to clean compared to more traditional stoves or gas burners. Clearly, there are no nooks and crannies for food gunk to get stuck in, no greasy removable grates, and the cleaning area is totally accessible. However, a smooth surface is also a bit of a blank canvas, so smears, spills, and burned-on grime are more evident and unsightly.

What are the advantages of using a ceramic stovetop?

Of course, the gas versus electric debate can never be won. Amateur and professional cooks like what they like. But ceramic glass stovetop proponents do claim there are some advantages to their chosen cooking method.

* Ceramic stovetops offer added counter space, as you can work on the smooth surface as long as the heat is turned off. That's a real bonus for those with small kitchens. But be careful; the surface is easily scratched.

* Many ceramic stovetops have heat indicators that show when the stovetop is hot. Some induction stovetops don't heat up until a pan has been placed on them, while others are programmed to turn off after a set period. All of which are great safety features.

* Ceramic stovetops are electric, so there's no need for gas lines running under or around your kitchen with any hazards that might bring.

Ultimately, though, the biggest claim to fame for ceramic stovetops is how they're made to look, flawlessly chic and fashionable. Provided you keep them clean, that is.

Reviewed-approved cleaning recommendations:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to clean stove top? Your guide to keeping ceramic stove top clean