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Can You Use Cif to Clean an Induction Cooktop?

The typical induction cooktop (or “hobs,” as some of you know them) has a surface made of glass-ceramic.

True to its name, glass-ceramic is a material with a chemical composition that’s similar to glass, but with ceramic’s opaqueness, resistance to heat, and the ability to withstand thermal shocks.

It can also be notoriously difficult to clean if you like to keep your cooktop spotless. And who doesn’t?

For example, if hard water runs in your home and the bottoms of your pans and pots are occasionally wet when you cook with them, mineral deposits from the water can build up in the form of stubborn white stains.

The same applies when you accidentally leave a pot of generously salted water on high for too long, like when you’re bringing it to a boil for pasta or potatoes, and it boils over.

With everyday use, plus the two reasons above, my induction cooktop needed a cleaning. Normally, I clean it naturally with a solution of water and vinegar. And I tried doing so this time, but that didn’t necessarily work—a few stains were left, even after doing a lot of scrubbing.

So I asked myself, “Can I use Cif,” which I had handy, “to clean my induction hob?” When I opened my laptop and set out on the Internet to find out, it turned out that I wasn’t the only one asking!

Here’s my take on the topic.

Yes, you can use Cif Cream Cleaner on an induction cooktop. Squirt a pea-sized amount of the cleaner onto a lint-free cloth—and gently wipe down the cooktop’s surface. Avoid heavy scrubbing and rinse shortly after use.

Made by Anglo-Dutch consumer goods firm Unilever, Cif is an excellent multi-purpose cleaner and a favorite among home cooks.

It’s made with 100% natural cleaning particles: millions of limestone-derived microcrystals. It has an unmistakable ocean scent that’s strong enough to brighten up any surface you clean with it, yet not so much that it gets overpowering.

Given Cif’s composition, “gently wipe” is the key here. So allow me, rather annoyingly but with good intentions, to repeat it.

If you don’t happen to have a lint-free cloth at hand, you can just as well use a paper towel. Just layer a few sheets on top of one another to make it fatter so that wiping your cooktop down with it doesn’t tear it apart.

Why All the Precautions?

The simple answer is that induction hobs are prone to scratching, so it’s good to be extra careful when cleaning them.

Though most of the scratches typically come from your pans and pots, especially if they’re made of a porous material like cast iron or carbon steel, you could scratch it by cleaning if you wipe it down too hard.

Sure, you’d probably have to put in a lot of elbow grease to get there. Maybe you’d have to use a grainy cleaner and abrasive sponge. But it is possible, people! And the scratches will annoy the hell out of you every single time they come into sight. Trust me; they have a way of ending up there.

How to Keep Your Induction Cooktop Clean

The easiest and most obvious way to keep your induction cooktop clean is to put the lids on your pans and pots whenever the cooking method allows you.

The thing about this technique is that it works when you want to keep not only the splatters—but also the moisture—in. That’s not quite the case when you’re thickening sauces, soups, and stews. Check out “Do You Simmer With the Lid On or Off” for details.

A helpful habit that’s worth picking up from professional chefs is to wipe down your cooktop every night when you’re done cooking with it. You don’t even need to use a cream cleaner like Cif; a paper towel with rubbing alcohol (70%) or a solution of water and vinegar will do.

Last but not least, and I know this does not apply to everyone here, is to get a more robust range hood the next time you remodel your kitchen. Guess where all the fats and liquids end up when the suction from the range is not enough to suck most of them up?

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Written by

Jim is the former editor of Home Cook World. He is a career food writer who's been cooking and baking at home ever since he could see over the counter and put a chair by the stove.