For the stubborn stains and kitchen grease, we often use a hard cleaning agent like an oven cleaner to get the fast result without knowing how does oven cleaner works. What we don’t know is that the oven cleaner contains hard chemicals and harmful ingredients that can contribute to the fading of the countertop’s color.
Kitchen countertops are very expensive and there is no doubt you have to keep it clean always. But before you get tempted to achieve the fast results using hard chemicals, you must know what is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops. In this article, you will learn all about it.
Effects Of Oven Cleaner On Kitchen Countertops
Depending on the type of kitchen countertops you have, the effect will vary. I will try to cover all of those effects, so no matter what type of countertops you have, you will find this article a lot helpful. In addition to that, I will talk about what you should use instead of the oven cleaner to protect the countertops. So, here are the effects:
- Fading away the color of the countertops is the first impact you will notice once you start using the oven cleaner for a while. I already talked about this and you probably know this. When the color is faded, the beauty of your countertop is just gone! They are so expensive, so you will be in a great dilemma whether to replace it or keep continuing the same one.
- Every kitchen countertop comes with a protective layer but this protection is almost nothing to the harsh chemical of over cleaner. These protective layers are meant to protect it from the small dent and scratches not from the deadly harsh chemicals. These chemicals can easily penetrate the protective layer and damage it permanently.
- Some oven cleaners contain Ethanol or MEA. If the kitchen countertop is made from vinyl, Corian, or contain any synthetic element, the ethanol or MEA can damage it permanently. The deadly outcome is pretty obvious if a small portion of the cleaner left unattended.
- Applying the oven cleaner on a marble/granite kitchen countertop will have the minimum effect, still not recommended. I know they are pretty durable and resistant enough to protect the surface from any harsh chemical, but there is still a possibility of tarnishing the upper part of it.
- If the countertop is made of wood, the impact will be more serious. Such countertops are made of probably the weakest materials, so they suffer the damage a lot. Such countertops have transparent varnish and coatings. Using an oven cleaner to clean them will make the top layer sticky and gum-like. Of course, you can repaint it but it will never get the first look!
- Your tile countertop is not safe either if you leave the toxic agent of the oven cleaner on it for too long. This is why. The harsh chemical of the cleaning agent (lye) will destroy the grout sealer and top finish of your countertop and eventually make the overall appearance of the countertop ugly.
- Don’t think you are safe if you have a stainless steel made kitchen countertop. Unless you use dish soap/vinegar to clean it and become dependent on the oven cleaner, the harsh chemical of the cleaning agent will leave permanent stains on the surface of it. There are a lot of incidents where the oven cleaner damaged the finished of the marble/stone countertops.
- In addition to damaging the color of the countertop, the chemicals of the harsh cleaning agent may come in contact with your food; thus there is a huge probability of food poisoning as well. So, there is a huge health hazard as well for your entire family!
Why Oven Cleaners Are Deadly For Countertops?
The reason is pretty simple. They contain all the harsh chemicals that are detrimental to the kitchen countertops. Almost every oven cleaner contains sodium hydroxide, turpentine, monoethanolamine (MEA), and ethanol. All of them are deadly chemicals. They are pretty good for their intended purposes, but for the countertops for sure.
So, how does oven cleaner work and why some of us even like it?
Due to splatters, spills, so many other reasons, the countertop becomes full of grease, oil, etc. When the oven cleaner comes in contact with such grease and oil, it creates a bubbling reaction. Eventually, it becomes easier for us to clean such hard stains.
I totally agree with the fact that, for a sparkling clean countertop, using the oven cleaner seems the easiest solution. But this is a BAD idea and once the damage is done, there is no comeback!
Alternatives Of Oven Cleaner To Protect The Countertops
We do have to keep our kitchen countertops clean always because they will get dirty on a daily basis. And from the above discussion, you got the clear idea of why you should not use any harsh cleaning agent enriched with chemicals like sodium hydroxide.
So, what should you use to clean the countertop?
Luckily, there are a few alternatives to oven cleaner when it comes to cleaning the countertops by not damaging it. But I promise you this, you will still get the same charming result without using the deadly oven cleaner. So, here are some alternatives for you to try:
- Go to your local store or Home Depot, you can buy countertop cleaner from there. Read the specifications. These cleaners are made specifically for the countertops, so they are pretty safe and there is no chance of discoloration at all.
- Use vinegar or baking soda. Without damage, you will find a stunning result.
- Make a paintable mixture of 1 and ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of dish soap, and ¼ of vinegar. Paint the mixture on the surface of the countertop and leave it for at least 8 hours. After the waiting, remove the paste and use kitchen scrubber to give it a clean look.
Using the oven cleaner to clean the countertop is a bad idea. Don’t even try to see the impact. Your little curiosity will damage the precious and expensive countertop permanently. Oven cleaners are meant for the oven; so why someone needs to be curious?
Follow the alternative solution I mentioned above and you will pretty safe. All the alternative solutions I talked about will leave no bad effect on the countertop but you will get it clean on a regular basis.