Since the past decade, induction cooking has become really popular.
An induction cooktop heats cooking utensils directly instead of relying on the thermal, electrical, or gas heated element.
How Does an Induction Cooktop Works?
The mechanism working here is that a coil of copper wire is placed under the cooking surface and an alternating electric current is passed through it.
This creates a magnetic current throughout the vessel to produce heat.
The heated utensil then heats the contents inside the vessel through conduction and convection.
Now, since the induction does not use a traditional outside heat source, only the element in use beneath the utensil will get warm due to heat transferred from the utensil.
For most models of induction cooktops, the cooking vessel must be made of or contain ferrous metal such as stainless steel or cast iron. The metal in the cooking vessel concentrates the current to produce heat for the vessel.
Most of the induction tops cannot heat copper or aluminum vessels because the magnetic field cannot produce a concentrated current.
There are also all-metal induction tops available in the market which use much higher frequencies to overcome this effect. In such induction cooktops, any metal utensil can be used.
Advantages of Induction Cooktops
Induction cooking is more energy-efficient than traditional gas or electric cooking as little heat energy goes to waste.
Only the part where the utensil is kept gets heated up. The other surface remains cook so there is no danger of getting burnt.
Instant heat generated also ensures no heat energy is wasted. Modern induction cooktops save up to 70% energy.
The time taken to cook with an induction cooktop reduces by 50%
A safety advantage is that it can be quickly turned on and off. It gives consistent heating for long durations. There are no danger of fire and no gas leaks issues.
It gives precise control over temperatures. This helps in efficient cooking. It makes us control the cooking so that undercooking or over-cooking does not happen.
The cooktop is very easy to clean as it does not get too hot. Also, it cools down very fast.
Let us now move towards cleaning the induction cooktop
Cleaning of Induction Cooktops
Induction cooktops have a glass-ceramic surface which suffers from abrasion and scratches apart from spills
Over time if we leave it as it is because of the lack of knowing how to clean it, it will not work properly due to deposits and stains over it.
The magnetic field and heat production can get hampered. some stains lodge themselves on the surface damaging the cooktop.
There are many techniques with which one can clean the induction cooktop quite effectively. A clean induction will give joy equal to a newly purchased one.
Caution: Before Cleaning the Induction Cooktop
A very important thing to remember is to switch off the induction before cleaning. It does seem harmless giving you a false sense of security.
Switch off to save yourself from unnecessary burns. It is better to be safe than sorry if the metallic watch wrist or adornments suddenly causes burns.
Let the induction cool down a bit before beginning the cleaning process. Don’t use any cleaning chemicals on the hot plate as the fumes arising can be injurious to health.
Always wipe the bottom of the cookware before placing it on induction. Do not overfill the pots and pans to avoid spillage.
Things not to use on Inductions
- Steel wool
- Abrasive cloth
- Coarse scrubs
- Knife or sharp tools (as they can damage the glass surface)
- Flammable materials
- Chlorine-based bleaching agents and Ammonia (as they can permanently stain the cooktop)
Everyday cleaning method
Because of their glass surface, use a soft cloth or soft sponge.
If there are any spills or food crumbs, wait for induction to cool down. Then use a damp cloth or soft sponge to wipe off.
This will prevent food from hardening on the glass surface. Wipe off later with a dry towel.
One can also use a small amount of specialized cooktop cleaner cream. Use a damp paper towel or damp cleaning pad to rub the cream on the surface until it’s clean. Use a soft dry cloth/paper towel to wipe off the moisture.
It is a good idea to clean after every use by giving the top of the induction cooktop a rapid wipe when it is not dirty. This will ensure one does not have to do extensive cleaning after dirt piles up.
Cleaning very dirty inductions
For very dirty inductions, wipe with a damp cloth all the dirty grimes. Then scrape out the crusted food residue with a scraper gently at a 45-degree angle.
Do not use much pressure as we don’t want scratches. Use a scraper that is designed for glass and ceramic.
For hard water stains and smudges, use white vinegar. Dab a cloth in white vinegar and rub the area. Wipe with a damp paper towel. Follow the wipe with a soft dry cloth to remove all excess.
Follow by using specialized cooktop cleaning cream with the help of a damp cleaning pad rub it into the area. Wait for some time. Use a dry cloth to remove all excess. One can also use a toothbrush to rub the cream into the surface of the glass.
For other parts of the induction which are not glass-like (such as stainless steel), use soapy water and a toothbrush or soft cloth.
To prevent scratching and corrosion, the cleaner should be non-abrasive and chlorine-free.
Cleaning with Toothpaste
A home technique is to clean the induction with any regular toothpaste.
Take a good amount of toothpaste. Spread with fingers to a larger area with rounded strokes.
Add a few drops of water and with the help of a damp cleaning pad or cloth rub it across the induction both in stainless steel as well as glass area. Rub for some time until the stains go away.
Use a dry cloth to wipe away.
Cleaning with baking soda and soapy water
This is a very easy technique in which some cloth rags are used and hot soapy water. Soapy water is made with a combination of regular dishwashing liquid and water.
Firstly soak the rag in hot soapy water for some time. Meanwhile, sprinkle a good amount of baking soda all over the induction surface.
Now squeeze the rags in such a way that it is wet but not soggy. Place the rags over the induction on top of the baking soda.
Leave it for 15 minutes minimum and 20-30 minutes maximum if the induction is very dirty.
After that time duration is complete, rub it gently over the induction on all sides and remove.
Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar
This is another technique with which one can easily clean the induction.
Make a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water. Spray or rub it on the induction and leave for some time.
After a while either wipe down with a soft damp cloth and then use a generous amount of baking soda or spread the baking soda over the vinegar and leave for 15 -20 minutes.
Wipe out the mixture with a cleaning scrub or sponge or damp cloth. Use a soft dry cloth to wipe out the excess.
Cleaning burnt residues
First, remove the loose residues with a plastic scraper and wet towel. Make sure the induction has cooled down or else it might burn the plastic.
Use a cleansing cream with a scrubbing pad to scrub away the residue. If the burnt residue is stubborn one can use a razor scraper specially designed for glass. Hold it at a 45-degree angle and gently scrape away
Vinegar and baking soda can also remove burnt deposits. A scraper either plastic or razor should be used on top of the mixture.
Cleaning melted plastic and melted sugar food
These should be cleaned exactly how a high sugar food spillage is treated. Melted plastic and melted sugar can permanently damage the glass surface of the induction cooktop.
It is best to remove sugary spills and melted plastic when the induction is hot with the help of oven mitts.
First, switch off the induction. Wear oven mitts and remove the melted stuff with the help of a razor blade scraper at an appropriate angle of 45 degrees.
Allow the induction to cool down and then clean with cleaning cream and a soft cleaning pad or cloth
Lastly, to prevent scratches and marks, always remember to lift the utensils instead of sliding them across the glass.
Uncoated cast iron pans, copper and aluminum cookware usually cause tough marks on the glass surface which is hard to remove.
Rough-edged utensils with rings and ridges designed on the bottom of the pan are another cause of scratches. Apply some white vinegar to tone down scratches and marks.
Wipe with a damp cloth and follow by wiping with a dry cotton cloth.
Alternatively, one can rub a special induction cleaning cream along with a cleaning pad or soft damp cloth. Wipe off with a wet paper towel and then with a dry cloth to remove excess.
With the above-mentioned steps, you can make the induction a brand new one by removing all dirt and enhancing the beauty of the product by keeping it shining and clean.
Remember a thing of beauty is a joy forever!
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