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How to Clean Induction Cooktop?

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Induction cooktops are the go-to kitchen appliances for users who prefer a clean cooking session. It works by directly and rapidly heating up the cooking vessels, instead of relying on the likes of gas or thermal-heated elements.

 

Due to that, using an induction cooktop is a more efficient way to cook your food. But that’s not the only advantage you’ll enjoy (more below for readers new to induction cooktops).

Advantages of an Induction Cooktop Over Conventional Options

  • It’s more energy-efficient, with modern induction cooktops saving up to 70% juice compared to others.
  • Induction cooktops are more time-saving, cutting cooking sessions by up to 50%.
  • The cooktops give pinpoint control of the temperature, hence doing away with issues like under or over-cooking.
  • It can consistently produce high temperatures with no health risks such as fire from gas leaking.
  • Cooktops are very easy to clean, likewise heating up and cooling down rapidly.
  • Only the utensils heat up, while other surfaces remain cool, thus preventing burns.
  • Auto-sizing pan detection feature is available in some induction cooktops to accurately predict the surface area to heat up. No matter the size.

How to Clean Induction Cooktop

Due to induction cooktops using new tech right now, it’s still expensive. So, cleaning the appliance is necessary if you want to get the most out of it.

 

That said, the ease of cleaning itself is one of the advantages of using induction cooktops. But even so, we can’t neglect the type of material they’re made from.

 

All cooktops have a heating surface created from a combination of ceramics and glass. Due to the nature of both, the surface is prone to abrasions apart from a spill. While cleaning won’t get rid of the abrasions, it can prevent them and also get rid of the spill. Of which, the latter hampers the magnetic field and thus, the heat production.

Items to Avoid When Cleaning Induction Cooktops

  • Abrasive cloth
  • Flammable materials
  • Steel sponge
  • Chlorine and ammonia-based bleaching agents
  • Knife or any sharp object
  • Dishwashing agents

For Everyday Cleaning

  1. Give the cooktop a wipe down using a soft sponge with water
  2. Following that, an optional step is to use a damp paper towel in tow with an induction stove cleaner cream
  3. Always wait for the cooktop to cool down before you clean the spills
  4. After which, you should use a dry towel to soak up the water residue
  5. Do this after cooking the last meal of the day to really extend the lifespan and avoid any extensive clean-up

For Heavy-duty Cleaning

  1. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the grime
  2. Then use some white vinegar to clean hard water spots from the surface
  3. Use an induction stove cleaner gel in tandem with a cooktop cleaning pad or soft brush to get rid of any hardened residue
  4. For crusted food residue, use a scraper designed for glass-ceramic surfaces (plastic scrapers)
  5. Always scrape at a 45-degree to the surface, while applying the bare-minimum pressure to avoid scratches
  6. Clean up with a dry towel afterward to soak up any residue

How to Clean Individual Parts of Induction Cooktops

There are two parts you’ll be cleaning in an induction cooktop which are the glass-ceramic surface and stainless steel base.

For the Glass-ceramic Surface

  • Get a soft cloth along with a cooktop cleaning solution to clean the surface
  • Use a dry towel afterward to clean up any residue

For the Stainless Steel Base

  • Here, use a soft cloth or brush together with soapy water to clean the stainless steel part.
  • Rub down with a dry towel to absorb any residue afterward.

Cleaning Burnt Residue

  • Let the induction cooktop cool down first, lest the scraper melt.
  • Now remove the burnt residue with a plastic scraper or cooktop-specialized razor, and wipe down with a wet towel.
  • Always gently scrape away the residue, and at 45 degrees to the surface too.
  • If it’s a stubborn burn, use a cleaning cream or vinegar in combination with the scraper.

Cleaning Melted Sugar Food and Plastic

Melted sugar food and plastic are the most dangerous of all residue to clean. Why? Because they can permanently damage the glass-ceramic surface of induction cooktops.

 

  • To start with, it’s better to clean the sugary spills/melted plastic while the cooktop is still hot with the help of oven mitts.
  • From there, switch off the cooktop and with the help of the mitts, scrape off the melted plastic/sugary food with a razor blade scraper at 45 degrees.
  • When the induction cooktop cools down, clean the surface with a cleaning solution and a soft cloth/brush.

DIY Solutions for Cleaning Induction Cooktops

Here, we’ll be going through the various DIY induction stove cleaner solutions that’ll swiftly help clean your cooktop.

 

Cleaning with Toothpaste

  • Take any regular toothpaste and spread a good amount over the affected surface
  • Use some water to dilute the paste—after which you can use a damp cleaning pad or brush across both the glass-ceramic surface and stainless steel area.
  • Continue rubbing with a circular motion until the stains go away.
  • Then, you can use a dry cloth to wipe away the residue.

Cleaning with a Mixture of Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • Make a mixture of vinegar and water at a ratio of 50-50, after which you can spray it on the induction surface.
  • After leaving the solution on the cooktop for a while, wipe down with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Apply a considerable amount of baking soda to the surface or even mix it with the vinegar and water solution.
  • Leave the solution on the cooktop for 15 to 20 minutes, then wipe off the mixture with a wet sponge or cloth.

Tips

  • You can tone down the scratches on the surface with some vinegar
  • Avoid sliding your cooking utensils over the glass Instead, lift it off the induction cooktop.
  • Uncoated or utensils that are not induction-compatible will cause marks on the surface.
  • Rough-bottom cooking vessels designed with ridges are also known to cause scratches.

 

Thanks for reading!

Induction Cooking Temperature Guide

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Reading this article means you’ve been converted to the light side, or more specifically, you’re the proud owner of an induction cooktop. In other words, you’re well acquainted with the advantages of using induction cookers. That is, your meats and fresh vegetables no longer suffer from high and unstable cooking temperatures.

This article takes advantage of that particular induction cooktop trait—specifically its ability to maintain precise and consistent temperatures. The induction cooking temperature guide breaks down the different temperatures you should cook your food at if you want to prepare and cook the best possible meal you can.

Advantages of Using the Induction Cooking Temperature Guide

  • Save more energy while cooking compared to conventional ones
  • Reduce loss of considerable share of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals
  • Precise cooking temperature translates to better-tasting meals full of flavor

Induction Cooking Temperature Chart

Naturally, all induction cooktops have a specific temperature range. And typically, it scales from 38 degrees Celsius – 260 degrees C (or 100 degrees Fahrenheit – 500 F). A brief, along with an induction cooking temperature chart can be found below.

  • For vegetables, simmering is ideal, so wait for the soup or water to gently bubble.
  • Slow and low heat is recommended for deep fry since high heat creates smoke.
  • Delicate food requires slow and low temperatures for the best results. For example, steaming vegetables needs precise heat, wherein, you immediately stop boiling when it forms steam.
  • On the other hand, medium-low to medium-high heat is perfect for searing meat and the likes.
  • Medium temperature is ideal for stir fry since high overcooks or burns the food.
  • For barbeques, the ideal heat is from 200F to 250F (or 93 to 121 degrees Celsius). Here, consistent temperature is better than high.
  • You need temperatures below medium to saute beef. But if you want to retain all that flavor and nutrients, slow heating the oil and meat at low temperature is ideal.

 

No.SettingTemperatureCooking Function
WarmLow37°C (100°F)It’s good for warming
WarmLow43°C (110°F)Great for rendering chocolate
1Low65°C (150°F)Nice temperature for pasteurizing, slow cooking, etc
2Low to Medium82°C (180°F)Good for simmering stocks, fondue, melting cheese, sauces
3Low to Medium99°C (210°F)Recommended for waterless cooking jellies, vegetables, baking and jams, etc
4Medium116C° (240°F)The ideal temperature for sauté, boil steaming, roasting, etc
5Medium116C° (240°F)Good for potatoes, pancakes, eggs, crepes, etc
6Medium to High150°C (300°F)The perfect temeprature for sauté seafood, vegetables, etc
6 or 7Medium to High166°C (330°F)It is ideal for stir fry, whole chicken, casserols (all stuffing), sauté beef, poultry, pork, etc
7Medium to High182°C (360°F)Great for deep fry in oil; fritter, chicken, donuts, fries, etc
8High199°C (390°F)It is perfect for pasta, popcorn, etc
9High216°C (420°F)Always used for pan broil chops, steals, chickens, etc
10High232°C (450°F)Recommend pick for quick searing and browning meats before roasting
SearMax Sear302°C (575°F)Max blacken, sear

 

If you stick to this temperature guide then you’ll be knocking out some “Michelin Star” worthy meals in no time.

Thanks for reading!

Trash Can Makeover

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Just call me “Garbage Girl”.  I ended up getting close and personal with my trash can as I attempted to freshen up it’s dated and dreary look with a makeover.  Yes, a trash can transformation.  My first attempts met with major failures but with another design plan it ended up turning out great.  And I was quite excited, too because it was my FIRST chevron.  Yes, I’ve officially climbed on that zig zag chevron bandwagon and I’m loving it.

Here is the sad little trash can in my master bathroom that has been in constant use and abuse for years.  It was a High School graduation gift from my grandparents.  It came with a matching tote bag.  I used the bag all the time but it ended up getting ruined while on an airplane.  Another passenger spilled his very full drink (unknown to me) all over the bag.  Apparently, the rose design couldn’t get wet.  I wasn’t aware of this until I left the plane and discovered my bag and contents soaked and stained with the ink from the design.  (Great trip!)

Despite looking shabby (and not in a good way) the cabbage roses on the garbage can weren’t exactly the look I was going for.  So instead of  “trashing”  the whole can I decided to just give it a makeover.

The inside was all rusty so I cleaned it out and then sprayed it with Rustoleum Textured Bronze.  It turned out just fine.  (Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the smooth after–just the rusty before.)

 

Design plan number 1:
I primed the outside with Kilz primer and had my first hint that my design vision would have to be altered.  Originally, my plan was to paint it white and stencil a design on the outside.  The old rose fabric on the can was smooth when dry but after I sprayed the primer it developed a very nappy texture almost like sandpaper.  Even if I sanded it down it still would be too rough and the wrong finish for the stencil.

Design plan number 2:
With the nappy texture I had the brilliant idea of painting the outside with the same brown textured paint I used on the inside.  I was envisioning a suede effect.  The old rose fabric had other ideas and after many coats the outside resembled anything but suede.  Plus, by this time I also remembered the design rule of not painting anything brown that you’ll be using in a bathroom.  Self explanatory.

Design plan number 3:
Cover the mess with fabric and some spray adhesive.  (Why didn’t I do this in the first place?)  I found a simple white and grey chevron patterned fabric at Hobby Lobby.  It was the very first time that I brought the very trendy chevron into my home.  All I did was lightly spray Elmer’s Spray Adhesive on one side of the can and then wrapped the fabric around it and then the other side.  I took a razor blade around the top and bottom rim to cut a clean edge.  That’s it.  What ended up being two whole days of frustration was solved in a matter of minutes.  And I love the final result.  (Although, it has made me want to redo my whole master bathroom now.  Go figure.)
So what about you?  Are you a fan of chevron or does the zig zag leave you dizzy?

A Vintage, Old, Used Window

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It’s no secret that I have a special place in my heart for the everyday items of yesteryear.

For all things vintage

Retro

Antique

Used

and just really plain old.

Items that are no longer needed for their primary purpose and can be re-imagined into something new.  My two-paned window is the perfect example.  It came into my life about 2 years ago.  I discovered the window at one of those chain thrift stores for $6.99.  (Back when prices at thrift stores were actually thrifty.)     It was apparent that it was quite old from the style of the wood frame.  And it had been painted and repainted repeatedly, as evident by the peeling layers of paint.

Now this window wasn’t just your run of the mill vintage variety.  It was unique.  Some creative soul in the year of 1982 had the brilliant idea of preserving wildflowers behind the panes.  (And I can just imagine the excitement as the person thought, “Now this is going to look classy hanging next to my collection of goose figurines!”)  The owner definitely was serious about the wildflowers though, because the job was professionally done.  In addition to the framing store tag on the back, that window had been matted, stapled, glued (and whatever secret thing framing stores do to make your matted item crazily expensive.)

The wildflowers may have looked country fresh back in the day, but by the time the window had crossed my path, the flowers had denigrated into a brown, crispy, potential fire hazard.  And it definitely took some time and quite the effort to free the brittle mess from it’s vintage window prison, as the framing company had been quite good at their job.

 

pink ornament

After the window was all cleaned up, I displayed it behind my DIY Pink Ornament Wreath

 

DIY old map window

And most recently, I decided to back the window with an old map I found at an antiques mall.   The map was so delicate that it just kept ripping apart in my hands as I was trying to attach it to the window frame.

I’m not sure of the age of the map but it stopped documenting events in 1962.

old clothes

Okay, so please read this next bit of info with an open (and frugal) mind.

The next part of my vintage window project followed the reuse and recycle mantra.  I bought a new brand of “unmentionables” for my daughter and when we later opened the package at home, we determined that the “delicates” weren’t going to be practical if she planned on actually moving while wearing them.  But instead of getting rid of the ill-fitting garments, my crafty mind noticed the fun colors and thought, “Do I dare recycle underwear into my next project?”  And of course, I did.

recycled clothes

 

I decided to make a little pennant garland to hang in front of the map window.  I made a pattern triangle out of a foam egg carton and traced it on the folded edge of the fabric.  I then used pinking shears to cut out each triangle.

I folded the triangles over a length of baker’s twine and secured each one with a piece of tape.

vintage window

So here is the next phase in the life cycle of an old window.  A little vintage, mappy, garland fun!

And what about you?  Do you enjoy repurposing 80’s decor?  Or have you recycled something that just may be unmentionable?

How to Install Wainscoting Without Power Tools

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I’ve painted my dining room (used as a piano room) many times in the past but always liked the look of wainscoting. Finally, I decided to try my hand at it.
Luckily the room started out with a chair rail moulding already so I didn’t have to mess with trying to put that up.
I don’t have any power tools so when I discovered premade frame moulding from Lowes I was all over it.
I measured and figured out how many frames and which sizes I would need for each wall. Then I just nailed each one up with finishing nails. No fancy tools, just me and my hammer. I then caulked around each one. (And even though I have caulked in the past, for this project there was a learning curve!)
I needed to prime it next. And since I had a two year old can of primer stuck in the garage baking in the Texas heat already, I decided not to buy a new can.
Surprisingly the primer didn’t give the greatest coverage but I proceeded on
Okay, so here is the fun part. Instead of using a can of oil based paint that I already had to match the trim throughout the house, I decided to color match it into a latex based paint. (I just didn’t want to deal with the oil based paint.)
I thought the color was a little off when I saw it at the store but the paint guy insisted that it was the right color and that it was just a different sheen. I took it home and discovered that it was indeed a slightly different color.
The trim throughout my house is more of a creamy color while this paint was more of a true white. It did not match the baseboards or chair rail moulding so I repainted all that.
The new whiter color doesn’t go as well with the beige carpeting as the other trim color did. I bought some grey paint to go in the room as well but it had been matched it to the original trim color. So it stayed half way painted like this for over a week while I decided what to do. So frustrating!
I decided to just finish it up and live with it for a while. Aside from a few frustrations it was actually quite an easy project.

How to Make a Mason Jar Soap Dispenser in 5 Minutes

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What can you do in 5 minutes?

Write an anonymous fan letter to Ryan Gosling?

Eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s?

Knit a sweater for your cat? (I wish.)

What about turning a Mason jar into a soap dispenser?

I’d been wanting to make a soap dispenser out of a vintage blue mason jar for a long time.  (I thought it would look extra snazzy in my kitchen.)  So I searched antique shops for the perfect sized jar that didn’t require tons of dough.  And happy day, I ended up finding the perfect jar last year during a thrift store run with my mom.  The jar was in great condition including the metal lid with the ceramic insert.  But there was a teensy little problem.  It appeared that I liked my new vintage jar too much to drill a hole in the lid.  (Yes, it’s true.)  So sadly, the soap at my kitchen sink had to make do being housed in a basic, plain white container.

Fast forward a year later.  Blue reproduction Mason jars are spotted in Target and Wal-Mart stores while crafters rejoice.  (They are sold by the case in Target and individually in the craft section of Wal-Mart.)  So I gleefully bought myself a new jar with visions of soap dispensers dancing in my head.

Okay, now on to the 5-minute transformation from blue Mason jar to rocking soap dispenser.

The metal lid on the jar wasn’t very thick, so all I did was take a screw (a nail would work too) and lightly hit it with the hammer against the top of the lid a few times.  I ended up with a hole about the size of a dime.

I then took a soap pump from another container and checked the fit. It fit perfectly, nice and snug. And there it was. My new Mason jar soap dispenser in under 5 minutes. A happy new addition to my kitchen sink.

So what about you?  Do you have a favorite 5-minute project?  (Or is knitting fashionable kitty clothes consuming much of your time?)

Ridiculously Easy No Sew Blind

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Has there been something small around your home that needed attention?

A problem, glitch or issue?

Something that sadly, went ignored?  Because it just wasn’t as urgent, pressing or exciting as painting gold stripes on deer antlers or adding tiny dinosaurs to a succulent jungle?

 

A well-used, functional, but largely ignored decorating opportunity.

So let me explain the issue.  Here at the Charming Zebra household, we love natural light.  We crave it, in fact.  Each morning, every single window covering in our home is opened to it’s fullest extent to let in every last ray of sunshine.  And because our backyard has the beginnings of an overgrown jungle, privacy hasn’t been an issue with our kitchen windows.  Therefore, the window in the door has never had a blind or curtain.  That would all be well and good if it wasn’t for the blazing, early evening, blistering, Texas Summer sun streaming through the window and searing the faces of about 3/4 of the family sitting at the dinner table.

The kitchen door is metal so my temporary solution was to stick on a magnetic mini curtain rod.  Then I would grab whatever material was closest (be it fabric, a towel or an errant t-shirt) and drape it over the rod in an attempt to partially shield the burning rays from the faces of my suffering children.  (Shameful, I know.)

So I finally decided to make a more visually appealing solution to our dinner sunshine problem.

I grabbed a brightly colored fabric remnant from Joann’s.

And decided that it would be the perfect project to try out fabric glue.  And magnets, of course.

I wanted to make this as simple as possible so I just measured the size of the covering I wanted and cut the fabric with pinking shears so I wouldn’t have to hem the sides.  I then folded down the top edge and spaced four magnets right under the fold and glued them.  (I used scratch paper underneath so the glue wouldn’t stick to the table.)

Next, I glued a bit of green ribbon across the seam to give it support.

Well, the glue dried beautifully and the window blind worked just great.  But something was missing.

Pom Poms! I love them. The world could definitely use more pom poms.

And this little window covering was begging for pom poms. So I just glued a string of white to the bottom edge of the blind.

I left a few inches of the bottom of the window uncovered so some light would still stream in.

The beauty of this simple window blind is that it can easily be put up or taken down.  When I don’t wish to have the window covered, I just move the blind directly beneath the window.  That way the morning light is invited in and I still have a pop of colorful pattern in the room.  So simple.  So ridiculously easy.

So what about you?  Have you had to deal with the laser rays of the sun or have an unnatural affinity for pom poms?