Some people recommend using paper towels to protect the glass while cooking. And others advise using nothing but a higher level of care when moving heavy pans.
Even though the ceramic glass of an induction hob is designed for rigorous use, paper towels can actually damage the glass far more than you’d imagine.
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Can I Clean my Induction Hob with Paper Towels?
Nearly everyone uses highly absorbent paper towels to mop up spillages. But don’t use them on ceramic glass!
Paper towels are crudely made from wood pulp. The fibres cause minute scratches and can easily be left behind to cause further damage. For the same reason, you shouldn’t use them to clean any glass, from spectacles to computer screens.
Even worse, is using dry paper towels to brush crumbs from the hob as it increases their abrasiveness. Always clean your hob with soft cloths made of natural cotton.
Synthetic microfibre cloths might clean effectively, but they’re usually made of nylon or recycled plastic which aren’t environmentally friendly.
Will Paper Towels Prevent Pans Slipping on an Induction Hob?
An induction hob looks the same as a ceramic hob. However, paper towels ignite fast on an electric ceramic hob and can lead to a disastrous fire. But what happens if you use them to prevent your pan from slipping on an induction hob?
The electromagnetic system used to heat the ingredients in a saucepan won’t warm the entire glass. It connects to the pan itself which then oscillates to heat only the food. You can place a paper towel beneath the pan and it shouldn’t acquire enough heat to set on fire.
However, the paper towel often begins to scorch due to heat from the pan. Unfortunately, the scorched area can leave a brown stain on the ceramic glass. Such scorch marks can be surprisingly difficult to remove. There is also the hazard that while cleaning away the debris, the fibres in the paper might scratch your hob.
There are special cleaning creams for an induction hob’s delicate ceramic glass. Alternatively, you could try dabbing the stain with white vinegar followed by buffing with a soft cloth.
An alternative to paper towels is the heat resistant silicone mat. It’s thin, flexible and ideal for preventing your pan from slipping about on the glass surface. It can even withstand temperatures of up to 230°C (450°F). However, silicone contains a concealed layer of fibreglass. If a mat splits, the fibres can scratch the hob.
Paper Towels to Guard against Spillages
Cooking ingredients such as porridge, pasta, or your own chutney and jam, can make a mess on your induction cooktop. Sugary ingredients in particular tend to stick like glue and they remain hot for a long time. Even tiny amounts can cause pitting on the surface of the glass if left unnoticed.
Placing paper towels around the pan should catch any spillages. The paper towels won’t scorch or set on fire because they’re not affected by direct heat from the saucepan.
However, the temptation is there to wipe over your hob with the paper towel. Rather than risk the paper towel scratching the glass, use a soft cotton towel to capture drips.
Can you use paper towel on an induction cooktop? Paper towels and the ceramic glass of your induction hob are best kept apart. Instead of protecting your hob, paper towels can damage it.
Use naturally soft cotton cloths to contain spillages, catch debris and for cleaning your hob. Heavy pans designed for an induction hob and handled carefully, shouldn’t need paper towels beneath them to prevent them slipping.