Kitchen countertops are one of the most important surfaces in your home. In addition to being the place where you prepare food, they’re also a major element in how your kitchen looks and feels. To say that having spotless countertops is crucial for both your health and wellbeing would be a huge understatement.
In the following guide, we’ll give you some tried-and-true tips on how to clean your kitchen countertops in order to keep them germ-free and looking their best at all times. Keep reading to learn more.
The material your countertops are made of makes all the difference
Residential and commercial kitchen countertops can be made of many different materials. These materials vary widely when it comes to how durable they are and how they’re maintained, so knowing which material your countertops are made of is a vital piece of information that determines how you’ll go about cleaning them.
Efficient countertop cleaning and maintenance methods include:
- Wood is the most maintenance-intensive countertop material. It needs to be cleaned on a daily basis using either a mix of warm water and a bit of white vinegar, or a light household cleaner. Food residue should be removed using a spatula (just be gentle when you do it to avoid scratching the wood). Finally, wood needs to be resealed every couple of months with a food-grade oil or wax.
- Engineered stone and quartz countertops should be cleaned using a mixture of mild soap and warm water. These materials rarely become stained, but in the case they do, you can use a glass cleaner and a soft sponge to remove the stains. Since engineered stone is extremely tough, there’s no need to reseal it at any point.
- Stainless steel is unparalleled when it comes to how easy it is to maintain. Simply wipe it down with water and soap (or a cleaner made for stainless steel), and you’re good to go. Just remember to use a microfiber towel, and avoid steel wool or scrubbing pads to avoid scratching the metal. Like engineered stone, stainless steel doesn’t need to be resealed.
- Marble and granite countertops should be cleaned daily with a mixture of non-abrasive dish soap and warm water. Their surface can be shined up using a microfiber towel. Stains on granite or marble should only be cleaned using a cleaning product that’s designed for these materials. Lastly, these countertops have to be resealed with an appropriate commercial sealant on an annual basis.
- Laminate should be cleaned using a mild household cleaner and a soft cloth that’s been slightly dampened. The best way to remove any stains is with a mixture of baking soda and water. However, you’ll need to be careful not to scrub too hard because baking soda can be abrasive. Like engineered stone and stainless steel, laminate is a highly durable material that doesn’t need to be resealed at any point.
- Soapstone countertops are highly resistant to stains and scratches. You can clean them with any multipurpose cleaner, as long as it’s non-abrasive. Use very fine sandpaper to remove tough stains and scratches, and remember to apply mineral oil after sanding. Keep in mind that mineral oil will cause your soapstone to darken over time. Whether you’re okay with this, or you’d prefer to let it patinize naturally is up to you.
The above are just some of the most common materials used in kitchen countertops. If your countertops are made of a material that isn’t covered in our list, you can follow this link to learn how to clean your countertops directly from the experts.