“Can I scratch my cooktop?” Yes
….”Now can I repair it?” That depends…
To be clear on the problem, a light scratch on the TOP of the glass-ceramic surface does not make it unsafe to use… just less new. Like the first ding in a new car paint, a scratch is frustrating. The scratch in the above photo was caused by stainless steel cookware with a sharp burr on the edge of the stainless.
First, let’s look at glassc-ceramic again. The material registers about a 6 on Mohs scale for hardness. Cool fact right? So what does that mean? That means it is almost as hard as quartz (i.e sand) but much harder than metal cookware typically used for cooking. So, most things you use in your kitchen are safe for a glass-ceramic cooktop.
MOST are okay, but not all. Metal cookware is generally safe. Metal cookware with a sharp burr on an edge (like above photo)…will scratch since all the weight or pressure concentrates on the metal burr. Soft metal cookware like copper…will leave coper residue, or metallic smear, on the surface.
Another common kitchen item is a green SCOTCH BRITE® cleaning sponge…these have silicon carbide as the abrasive. Silicon carbide, you may know, is used in many abrasive tools. Silicon Carbide is MUCH harder than glass-ceramic and will leave small scratches if you use it. Please don’t! Here’s what a green sponge looks like on a cooktop surface:
Let’s say you did use the green SCOTCH BRITE® and then the glossy black surface now has small scratches in it. Or maybe you scratched your glass with something metal and it left a large rough scratch across the surface. Even though glass-ceramic is harder, a sharp metal point with enough force can scratch it. Sorry to say your options to repair this type of scratch are few if any.
It is very difficult to remove a cosmetic true scratch from the glossy dark surface. The industrial material to polish glass is cerium oxide. However, this usually is not easy to find, requires a special polishing tool, and lots of time…., lots, …and in the end is not always successful. If you remember, the manufacturer melted this high gloss surface this way. Normal window glass is a little softer and clear, so typically small abrasions are not as visible even though they are still there and polish like this cleans it up faster. High gloss black highlights these imperfections better, unfortunately.
Proper cleaning, using safe utensils, and even preparing for the worst by selecting a cooktop design at the store with some background decoration or pattern prevents some frustration later on!
I prefer a cooktop surface with a random pattern of decoration across the surface. This keeps cleaning more simple and less likely to notice any problems I may have caused it. Like the close-up photo above, the scratches are less visible in the decoration area.