Glass stovetops are very common these days due to how efficient they are and how easy they are to use, but they can be prone to cracks – so can you use a cracked glass stovetop, or is it dangerous?
You should avoid using glass stovetops that are cracked for two reasons – there is a higher risk of electrocution, and you can make the crack worse which will only make it more difficult and expensive to repair.
In the rest of this article, we will explore why glass stovetops can become cracked, why you should avoid using them in this state, and some tips for repairing them.
Let’s jump into it.
How Do Glass Stovetops Become Damaged?
Glass stovetops become damaged in three main ways – physical impact, drastic temperature changes and excessive heat.
A lot of people forget that glass stovetops are made from glass, and treat them as a highly durable surface that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, but this isn’t the case, especially on older stovetops.
Although the glass is treated (tempered) and reinforced, it is still brittle and can crack easily if you drop a heavy pan on it or hit it on the raised edge.
Sometimes this can lead to microfractures in the glass that might not be visible to the naked eye but can reduce the durability of the glass. This is why you may notice that a small impact can lead to a large crack – the structure itself may have been damaged previously which makes it more vulnerable.
Drastic Temperature Changes
Glass as a material is not suited to drastic temperature changes.
More specifically, it is a poor thermal conductor which means rapid temperature changes can create stress fractures in the glass that can crack over time.
In practical terms, this means if you heat or cool a glass stove too quickly it can lead to stress fractures and cracks. For example, if you place a red hot pan onto the stove without heating it up beforehand, or if you place a cool pan onto the stove after it has heated up.
This one sounds a bit strange at first – surely glass stovetops are designed to endure excessive heat?
In most cases they are, but sometimes the heat can be excessive. For example, if a piece of food falls out during cooking and burns onto the surface it can create a hotspot that can cause cracking. A great example of this is sugar, which will burn and stick to glass stovetops like nothing else.
Another example is that some cookware can retain heat for much longer than others, so if you leave it on the surface after cooking it can stay hot for a long time which can also create cracks.
Can Scratches Lead To Cracks?
Scratches on glass stovetops usually only affect the surface, but deep scratches can create structural instability within the glass structure that can make cracks more likely.
If your stovetop has deep scratches these will need to be repaired, which involves replacing the glass and not the entire stovetop, although this can vary depending on the manufacturer.
Surface scratches can be buffed out with a baking soda paste or metal polishing creme, although you should stop if you notice the scratches becoming worse.
Why You Should Avoid Using Cracked Glass Stovetops
If your glass stovetop is cracked, the problem will only get worse the more you use it. This can lead to the entire stovetop needing to be replaced rather than just the glass, which is more expensive.
There is also a risk of electrocution using a cracked glass stovetop if you spill liquids into the crack.
How To Prevent Cracks In Glass Stovetops
There are a couple of easy things you can do to prevent your stovetop from developing cracks in the future:
Be Careful When Moving Heavy Objects
When moving around heavy objects take extra caution around your stovetop.
For example, if you have filled a pan with water and vegetables be sure to place it gently onto the stove.
Don’t Slide Cookware Around
Sliding cookware can cause scratches which can develop into cracks over time.
You may also catch the raised edge of the stovetop which can cause cracks right away. Always place cookware onto the stovetop rather than sliding it around.
Certain spills can turn into burn marks quickly which can cause hot spots leading to the formation of cracks.
Keep your stovetop clean during cooking and you will reduce the risk of these hot spots developing.
Avoid Colored Pans
Some colored pans are not suitable for glass stovetops as the color can rub off during cooking which can damage the glass below.
Opt for stainless steel cookware instead and you will eliminate this risk.
Do Cracked Stovetops Need Replacing?
Unfortunately, the only real solution for a cracked glass stovetop is to replace it.
In some cases, this may only require the glass itself to be replaced – and in others, the entire unit may need to be replaced.
The former is more likely and will be less expensive than replacing the entire unit, but it can still be costly.
Using cracked glass stovetops is not a good idea, and you should look to get them replaced as soon as possible to prevent any further damage or harm.
Luckily the glass can be replaced in a lot of cases, rather than the entire stove needing to be replaced.