DIY: Replacing enamel on a cast iron sink


The Washington Post

Q: Someone who shall remain nameless heated up food wrapped in aluminum foil on the black glass/ceramic cooktop of my new stove. Now there are flecks of foil stuck to the cooktop. How can I remove the foil?

A: Ted Wegert, an engineering manager at Schott North America, a leading manufacturer of the glass for cooktops, suggests using a cooktop cleaner and a razor scraper, with the blade held as flat as possible to the surface. If that removes much of the foil, with time and additional cleanings, you may be able to get even more off.

Asked whether various other remedies suggested in Internet posts might work, Wegert responded by asking a crew at Schott to burn a piece of foil into a piece of cooktop glass and try other methods. Nothing attacked the foil or dissolved it better than the razor scraper and cleaner. “Probably more damage and not suggested for kitchen,” he wrote in a followup email.

If the scraping technique works, count yourself lucky. Wegert said that when foil is left on a very hot cooktop, “it’s generally a catastrophic failure — a 90 percent chance it’s toast.”

The soft aluminum rolled into thin foil melts, and if that molten film stays on the glass at it cools, the two materials bond. The bond is stronger than the bonds within the glass, so when you try to scrape off the foil, small pieces of the glass-ceramic come with it. “You can feel the pits with your fingers,” Wegert said. Foil stuck to a cooktop that didn’t get as hot might come off more easily, and without damaging the glass.

Once divots form, there is no way to make the glass slick again. But as long as the glass isn’t cracked, you can safely continue to use the cooktop, Wegert said. If you think it’s too ugly, call the manufacturer and ask whether it’s possible to replace just the glass. Or get a beautiful teapot and park it where it covers the damage.


Last modified: October 23, 2014
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