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Super Handyman: Make your glass cooktop shine again

Glass cooktops are very popular. When you first get them, they look sleek, shiny and very nice. But over time, they can lose their shine and get a buildup of burnt food on them that is hard to clean off. Here are some super tips and tricks to help you get that sleek shine again.

The smooth, sleek look can be ruined if you use harsh, abrasive cleaners, so don’t chance it.

Make sure it’s turned off and cool. Lay paper towels over the surface, and then wet them with warm water and dishwashing soap. Leave them to sit for an hour or so to loosen up things. Then remove the paper towels and wipe off what you can. There are some cleaners made just for glass cooktops available at your grocery store or hardware store, and most work pretty well, but not that much better than warm water and soap.

You’ll need to get a razor-type paint scraper and use it, carefully, to remove the cooked-on residue. Wipe it off periodically with a plastic scraper and more warm, soapy water.

Once you are finished with the big stuff, use the scraper again to remove the cloudy residue that usually is left behind. Sometimes these white marks can be caused by mineral deposits, so you can use a little warm vinegar to cut through them.

Use a polish protector like Cerama Brite, also available at your hardware store, to shine up the surface and keep it looking good for a longer period of time.

The cooktop should be looking like new again at this point. Be careful when cooking, and don’t slide pots and pans across the surface. Try to avoid boil-overs, and keep plastics away from the surface when hot.


Q: I was up in the attic this past weekend changing the furnace filters, and I noticed some dark spots on a rafter. I didn’t see a leak, but remembered that it is always very humid in the summer. If this is from the humidity, how can I keep that level down? – F.R.

A: You probably need to add some more attic ventilation. Check your soffet vents to make sure they are not blocked. If you have only a few, add some more. Make sure your upper vents are operating, too. A good solar-powered vent will take the place of several passive vents, and it sounds like you have plenty of sun.


Q: I have an older home that has the typical iron posts and railings on the front porch. They need to be repainted. Right now, even after cleaning, I see a chalky finish to the paint. Do I need to scrape this off before painting? Use a primer? Special paint? – T.S.

A: Some paints are supposed to “chalk” as a means of self-cleaning. Just don some rubber gloves and use TSP to clean the surface, then lightly sand it. Use a metal primer, then a good exterior paint made for metal surfaces.


As with many products we run across, they may have purposes that they didn’t think about. The SmartShopper 301 Grocery List Organizer is the perfect “tool” for a messy workshop. This state-of-the-art voice recognition listing assistant records, organizes and prints what you tell it to. No looking for a piece of paper and a pencil. It will record screw sizes, board lengths and other information that you probably will forget before you write it down. You’ll be ready to go to the hardware store, list in hand, before you even get cleaned up. Check it out at

Got a question or a handy tip? Send it to The Super Handyman at Those of general interest will be used in future columns.