How to clean kitchen countertops?

The upkeep and cleaning of the countertops in your home do not always have a simple one-works-for-all method of cleaning. In fact, you can guarantee a different cleaning experience according to every various surface out there!

Occasionally, one method or one cleaning product may appear to do the trick for the time being, but over a period of time, you may be causing unnecessary damage to your brand new and expensive new addition to your kitchen.

When you spend your hard-earned money on a nice new granite or marble countertop, you want to ensure that it has a lasting lifespan. Cleaning your countertop the correct way from the beginning will help the material keep its brand-new appearance for longer!

kitchen countertop

As countertops can come in a variety of different materials, it is important to realize that these materials need to be treated differently. Don’t try to use oven cleaner on the countertop, because the effect of oven cleaner on the countertop is severe! Countertop surfaces can come in granite, quartz, laminate, concrete, butcher block, marble and even just plain old wood!

Many of these have dramatically differing surfaces, so make sure you are able to identify the needs of its material immediately or as shortly after its installation as possible.

The following are some examples of how some of these popular countertops need to be cleaned.

Granite Countertops

To begin, granite countertops are an extremely popular choice. This igneous rock material is attractive to the eyes, and commonly used around the home in floors as well.

However, when approaching the cleanliness of this particular countertop, it is vital that you remember that this countertop can be corroded when cleaners containing certain ingredients are used! Vinegar should be avoided at all costs in order to keep your countertop in pristine condition!

Warm water and a soft cloth is the absolute best option to preserve that beautiful, brand new countertop. Other cleaning kits can be considered as well. It is best to speak with the provider of your countertops to inquire if that is available to you. Otherwise, warm water will work nicely with typical messes.

Concrete

Popular as an eco-friendly option for countertops, concrete is a surface best cleaned with a vinegar base, unlike granite. A simple mixture of vinegar and water will work nicely. Harmful chemicals and aggressive soaps are simply unnecessary and can always cause damage over time, even if it is not noticeable initially.

Sponges with a rough side to them can also be harmful over time and do not need to be used in most situations. In fact, anything abrasive, chemically or sponge-wise, is best avoided with most countertops, as all can cause slow, but steadily growing imperfections in your countertop.

Wood

Wood is a common material, and affordable. However, protecting the surface of this countertop cannot be treated lightly. In fact, it is easier to damage than most. Wood countertops can become stained and liquids can occasionally soak their way into the material as well, leaving an unpleasant odor.

In the case of a simple odor issue, rubbing the affected area with a slice of lemon will do the trick naturally. When a stain is becoming an issue, you can clean the area with a mixture of chlorine and warm water. A 1/4 cup of chlorine, combined with a cup of warm water will work nicely.

Once you have cleaned the area, however, it is optimal to make sure the area is completely rinsed and then dried and coated with oil to preserve the countertop as perfectly as possible.

As a general clean of the countertop, you may create your own homemade paste with 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 4 cups of warm water. Rub the paste on the wood, and then be sure to completely rinse afterward. Treating with oil after completion is also ideal for preservation.

Marble

marble counter top

This material is also quite popular, but also quite vulnerable to stains. Whenever acidic liquids are spilled on this countertop, it should be cleaned up immediately to prevent damage. Cleaners that can be used on marble, are also quite limited. Oils, polishes, and of course, the typical chemical cleaners can be quite harmful.

Waxes and oils particular can discolor the marble and give it an unpleasant appearance, while the cleaners can mar the surface in general.

For cleaning, commercial cleaners can be purchased specifically for marble. In addition to this, marble is not affected by heat in any way. Borax, as well, can be used when rubbed in with a moist cloth. It is best to go over the marble again with a clean cloth afterward, before buffing it dry with another soft cloth.

Stainless Steel

This countertop is surprisingly affected by its atmosphere. In fact, keeping this material spotless takes quite a bit of dedication and attentiveness. Going over the countertop with a warm cloth and possibly a small bit of baking soda is best to keep it nice and shiny.

Just as with many other countertops, whenever it is exposed to chemicals, it can be permanently damaged. In order to prevent damage in the long run, also be sure to keep the countertop dry at all times after use, as this will prevent water spots from starting.

These water spots, once created, can be cleaned with a small dose of vinegar with a soft cloth. Steel wool and abrasive sponges should not be used in order to prevent leaving marks on the countertop. Following these guidelines, while keeping your countertop dry as often as possible, will ensure it stays nice and reflective for as long as possible.

Acrylic

These countertops are one of the more long-lasting. It is not as easy to damage this surface, however, still possible. Evidently, extremely hot pans should not be left on the surface, otherwise, markings will be left behind from the damage.

A mildly abrasive substance can be used to clean this countertop. Afterward, rinse, and buff dries thoroughly with a soft cloth. This will ensure that it stays nice and clean without any harm.

Formica

This countertop is another inexpensive and quite common type of countertop. The material is available in a variety of colors and can be installed on preexisting laminate. As with other countertops, it is important to avoid abrasive and aggressive cleaners such as bleach or other chemicals.

Wiping spills immediately after they come into contact with the countertop will prevent staining. As long as this is consistently cleaned, it is unlikely that you will run into any major issues with Formica unless a stain is left to soak in. Once the stain has formed, it can be very difficult to resolve, in some cases, impossible.

However, regular maintenance is relatively breezy, and some household cleaners can be used to clean up messes without consequence.

Ceramic Tile

This countertop is unique in comparison to many others. While most others cannot withstand heat, ceramic tile can withstand a hot pan. However, the grout between the tiles is soft and susceptible to other issues such as grime and even cracks.

In order to keep this countertop pristine, it is first recommended to not use chemically abrasive cleaners either. A toothbrush will work nicely to remove any dirt build-up between the tiles. In general, foam cleaners for ceramic tile can be purchased so that you do not have to create your own mixture to clean your countertop.

Rinsing with water after cleaning is important, and so is the use of rubber gloves when using these particular cleaners!

Laminate

This countertop is incredibly common due to its inexpensiveness, ease of installation, and workspace ease. Not only is laminate worry-free when it comes to water coming into contact with the surface, but the workspace is also seamless and incredibly smooth.

However, just like any other countertop, it comes the risk of damage as well. This is especially true when it comes to scratches, burns, and of course, those wonderful stains. Being mindful of these possible dangers will stop these things from occurring.

For cleaning, general scrub pads and sponges are fine to use. Using these tools while moist is best to prevent the small possibility of a scratch.

Following these instructions and completing research of your own on your countertop, staying away from chemicals, preventing damage, and being mindful of water and other liquids coming into contact with your countertop and cleaning appropriately will help maintain your countertop as perfectly as it was when it was installed!

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