A few years ago I purchased a new flat-top stove, and within the first few days of owning it I made a horrid mistake. I left some spaghetti sauce to simmer, without remembering to turn the heat down. This resulted in a boiling, burnt-on mess that took way too much time, effort, and frustration to clean. Luckily I didn't ruin my deceptively fragile-cooking implement, but it was a close call a few times.
Here are a few of the best methods that I have found to remove burn stains from porcelain and other types of flat-top stoves. A word of warning though before you begin using the methods described here: You need to exercise care and caution when using these methods, as some can cause damage (such as nicks and gouges) if not done properly.
- Razor blade. Using a small straight razor blade, gently scrape the burnt-on residue off of your stove top. Be sure that you are using a gentle pressure, and that you are not holding the razor at too steep of an angle. Basically, you should hold it in a manner similar to when you are shaving, and for much the same reason—to avoid nicks, gouges, and scratches.
- Specialized cleaners. There are actually cleaners that have been designed for use on porcelain and similar types of flat-top ranges. Just make sure that you match the cleaner to the type of surface you are cleaning, otherwise you may cause some damage. Some examples of the best products would be Cook Top Magic (safe for all ceramic and glass-top stoves) and Easy Off Oven Cleaner (which works wonderfully on porcelain).
- Baking soda. As always, an oldie but goodie. Simply make a paste of baking soda and warm water. Spread it around on the burned substance and then place a paper towel on it. Let everything sit for a few minutes (about four) and then wipe it up. You may need to do this a few times and use some elbow grease, but it will get the stove clean.
- Dryer sheets. Place a moistened dryer sheet onto the burned portion of the stove and allow it to sit there. Leave it in place for three hours, making sure that you have kept it moistened the entire time. This will allow you to simply wipe everything off. This method is usually best for burns that aren't too severe.
- Vinegar-based window cleaner. Window cleaners that use vinegar as their base make for a safe and wonderful cleaning agent. Simply use it in the same manner that you would on your windows, along with elbow grease, and you should be able to remove just about any type of stain that you have on your stove.