Countertops are one of the most frequently used surfaces in any kitchen or bathroom. From preparing meals to holding various household items, countertops serve multiple purposes. Keeping them clean is essential not only for the appearance of your space but also for maintaining a healthy environment. In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of how to clean counters, as well as tips and tricks for specific surfaces like granite, marble, stainless steel, butcher block, laminate, concrete, and more.
How to Clean Counters: Preparation for cleaning
Before you start cleaning your countertops, there are a few things you should do to prepare. First, gather all of the necessary cleaning tools and materials. For most countertops, you will need warm water, a gentle dish soap, and a microfiber cloth or sponge. Other materials, like baking soda, glass cleaner, or a disinfecting wipe, may be necessary depending on the type of countertop you’re cleaning. Make sure you have everything you need before you begin cleaning.
Second, remove any clutter from your countertops. This will make it easier to clean and ensure that you don’t miss any spots. Also, make sure to remove any food particles or debris from the surface.
Lastly, select a cleaning solution based on the type of countertop you’re cleaning. Different surfaces require different cleaning solutions to avoid damage. For example, natural stone surfaces like granite or marble should be cleaned with a pH-neutral cleaner, while stainless steel can be cleaned with dish soap and water or a specialized stainless steel cleaner.
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to start cleaning your countertops. The following steps will work for most countertops, but make sure to follow any specific instructions for your particular surface.
- Start by wetting the countertop with warm water. This will help loosen any dirt or grime that may be on the surface.
- Apply your chosen cleaning solution. For granite countertops, a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap is a good option. For stainless steel, dish soap, and water or a specialized cleaner can be used. For butcher block countertops, a solution of warm water and gentle dish soap is recommended. For laminate and concrete countertops, a multipurpose cleaner is suitable. Make sure to read the label on any cleaner you use to ensure it’s safe for your specific countertop material.
- Scrub the countertop with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. For stubborn stains or buildup, baking soda can be used as a natural abrasive. For stainless steel, use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scratching the surface.
- Rinse the countertop with clean water to remove any remaining cleaner.
- Dry the countertop with a clean, dry cloth or microfiber cloth. This will prevent water spots and streaks.
To keep your countertops clean and well-maintained, it’s important to establish a regular cleaning routine. Here are some tips to help you keep your countertops in top condition:
- Use coasters or trivets to protect surfaces from heat and moisture.
- Avoid using acidic cleaners or abrasive materials on natural stone surfaces like granite or marble, as they can cause damage.
- Use mineral oil on butcher block countertops to keep them looking new and prevent drying out.
- Properly seal natural stone countertops to prevent stains.
- Clean up spills and stains immediately to prevent them from setting in.
- Use plastic wrap or a cutting board when preparing raw meat on butcher block countertops to prevent harboring bacteria.
Deeper cleaning and stain removal
For most stains, warm soapy water is sufficient for removal. However, for oil-based stains, you may need to use an abrasive cleaner like baking soda or scouring pads. For deeper cleaning, use a mixture of warm water and white vinegar to help remove buildup or tough stains. For marble countertops, you can try a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda to remove stains.
If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn stain, you may need to try a specialized cleaner. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any cleaning product.
For quartz and engineered stone countertops, you can use a multi-purpose cleaner or a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Avoid using abrasive materials, as they can damage the surface.
You can deep clean stainless steel countertops with a mixture of vinegar and water. For tougher stains, you may need to use a specialty cleaner designed for stainless steel.
In addition to regular cleaning, it’s important to disinfect your countertops to kill bacteria and prevent the spread of germs. Disinfecting wipes can be used on most countertops, but make sure to read the label to ensure they’re safe for your specific surface.
For a natural disinfectant, you can use a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol or white vinegar. Simply spray the solution onto the countertop and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Conclusion: How to Clean Counters
Cleaning your kitchen countertops doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With the right tools and cleaning solution, you can keep your countertops looking their best for years to come. Remember to follow the specific instructions for your particular countertop material to avoid damage. Establishing a regular cleaning routine and taking preventative measures, like using coasters and trivets, can also help keep your countertops in top condition.