Few would disagree if we said that the kitchen countertop is a focal point and among the most frequently used surfaces in your home. No wonder, homeowners often slave away to keep it looking spic and span!
But the question remains: how to clean kitchen countertops most effectively?
Proper cleaning of the countertop not only makes your kitchen look attractive, it also keeps your family safe from viruses, bacteria, and germs. Most homeowners use regular store-bought multipurpose cleaners to use on their kitchen cabinets and countertops, which is all right. But many of these contain chemicals that can rob your countertops of their shine and longevity.
What if we told you that the best way to clean countertops was by using some common ingredients from your kitchen? Whether you have quartz, laminate, marble, or butcher block in your kitchen, there’s a way to clean and care for every surface.
Let’s find out how you can keep your kitchen countertop looking spotless.
A. Granite, Quartz, and Marble Kitchen Countertops:
Kitchens that boast countertops made from natural and engineered stone stand out from the rest. Yes, they come at a high cost, but they also help increase your home’s value, especially when you want to sell it.
If you want to know how to remove stains from stone countertops, we’d say it can be a tad challenging. Marble is natural stone. It is porous, which means it’s hard to keep it unspoiled. Quartz is usually stain-resistant but can get stained if a spill isn’t quickly cleaned up. It’s also sensitive to heat.
Clean It: Avoid abrasive and acidic cleaners (with lemon or vinegar) on these surfaces as they can etch them over time, leaving them looking dull.
The best way to clean countertops made from stone is by simply adding warm water and some dish soap in a spray bottle. Spritz this solution all over the counter. Wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth. Dry the surface with another clean microfiber cloth.
Seal It: While stone is quite durable, it does need to be resealed regularly to keep stains away. Granite surfaces can be resealed once a year, whereas marble needs resealing every few months. Because quartz is engineered stone, it doesn’t need resealing to stay pristine.
B. Laminate Countertops
Laminates are a pocket-friendly alternative to natural stone countertops, making them a popular choice among homeowners who are under a tight budget. They’re robust and can last long, provided they’re properly cared for.
Clean It: Wondering about the best way to clean countertops made from laminate? It’s as simple as using a warm-water-and-liquid-soap solution over it and wiping it down with damp, and then dry, microfiber cloth.
To remove stains, use a paste made with baking soda and water. Leave it for about five minutes before washing it off with a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive scrubbers and bleach-based solutions to prevent discoloration.
Seal It: While Formica is the go-to surfacing solution for laminate countertops, it’s best to use a sealant recommended by the laminate manufacturer to prevent unexpected issues.
C. Butcher Block Countertops
Butcher block may be popular but is susceptible to staining if used as a chopping board or if spills aren’t cleaned up sooner. However, it can last long with proper care.
Clean It: Use some of the warm-water-and-dishwashing-soap solution over the surface and clean with a brush that has plastic bristles. Wipe it with a damp soft cloth, followed by a dry wipe with another soft cloth.
The best way to clean countertops and get rid of stubborn stains is by using the baking-soda-and-hot-water paste. It works like a charm!
Seal It: We recommend sealing your butcher block countertop with water-based polyurethane for lasting results.
D. Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless steel countertops are a practical and no-frills option for homeowners who cannot spare much time to clean their kitchen. They may not look modern, but they do have a certain vintage quality to them. These countertops are tough, which means they can handle most kinds of mistreatment.
Clean It: Cleaning stainless steel countertops is easy with the usual warm water, dish soap, and microfiber cloth. Feel free to use baking soda and a plastic-bristled brush to remove tough stains. Wipe with a damp cloth and buff dry in the direction of the grain. This is the best way to clean countertops made from stainless steel.
You can occasionally use a few drops of olive oil on a paper towel and rub along the surface to get rid of fingerprints and smudges.
Seal It: Stainless steel countertops don’t need any sealing. You can polish them occasionally by applying stainless-steel polish in the direction of the grain. Then, buff it dry with a microfiber cloth.
Disinfecting Countertops 101
Now that you know how to remove stains from countertops and keep them clean, let’s learn about disinfecting.
While cleaning your kitchen countertops will keep them free of spots and stains, it doesn’t eliminate germs that cause household illnesses. This is where disinfecting the countertops can play a big role. It can help destroy harmful viruses, bacteria, and microbes.
Of course, disinfecting your countertops will depend on their type:
Granite countertops: These can be cleaned by diluting household bleach in warm water. Clean the countertops with this solution. Rinse with some warm water and wipe with a fresh cloth.
Laminate, marble, and stainless steel countertops: We suggest using a disinfectant spray approved for the specific material. Avoid using bleach on these surfaces as it can result in discoloration.
Butcher block: Kill germs on this surface with simple white vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it off with a damp cloth, and then a dry one.
Quartz and engineered stone: Disinfect these surfaces with a solution made by combining rubbing alcohol and water. Wipe the countertops thoroughly with this. Rinse with warm water and wipe down with a clean cloth.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves when disinfecting to protect your skin.
Tips for Countertop Maintenance
Knowing about how to clean kitchen countertops isn’t enough. You also need to know how to maintain these surfaces. Here are a few tips that’ll help extend the life of your countertop, regardless of the material:
- Instead of placing hot pans, cookware, and bakeware directly on the countertop surface, place a trivet or a thick potholder underneath to prevent damage from heat.
- Use a cutting board to safeguard your countertop from scratches.
- Put dirty dishes in the sink instead of on the countertop.
- Place used cooking utensils on a spoon rest or plate instead of the countertop.
- Prevent temperature damage and formation of water rings from cold/wet glasses, mugs, and bottles with the use of coasters.
- Clean spills as soon as possible.
- Avoid sitting or standing on the countertop. Keep a chair or stool around when reaching for high cabinets.
Get the Best Kitchen Countertops at OMG Kitchen & Bath, Orange County
Kitchen countertops come in various materials. How to clean kitchen countertops? The answer is: it depends on what’s used in your kitchen. Based on that, you can determine the best way to clean the countertop as well as disinfect, seal, and maintain it. The above-mentioned tips should help you keep your kitchen countertop clean and shiny.
OMG Kitchen & Bath is here to make your kitchen and bath dreams a reality. Reach out to our team today for your next Kitchen and Bath countertop installation and remodelling project. Call 949-380-9664 or fill out our online form for an estimate.