Cleaning the countertops in our kitchen is essential because we are going to handle the vast majority of the ingredients when we cook. So they suffer more wear and tear and it is important to keep them clean and in good condition.
But how we should clean the countertops depends on the material with which they are made. It is not appropriate to use the same products for all of them if what we want is that they last in perfect condition and beautiful for a longer time. In this way, we will not have to change this element of our kitchen too soon.
Basic cleaning to leave your worktop in good condition
We must empty the counter of elements that hinder during the process that can break/deteriorate while cleaning. For basic cleaning, you can simply use hot water and soap. Fill the sink with water and add a dishwasher stream. Pass a cloth through the counter to remove any solids that may be, crumbs, etc. Run a sponge soaked in the soapy water, trying to remove the dirt. Subsequently, pass a dry cloth on the counter, cleaning in the same direction so that there are no marks. The fabric to use must be made of micro-fiber, the best on the market today.
A little trick is to use a toothbrush that you don’t use soaked in water and bleach for joints that are blackened by time and dirt.
We must take into account the material when cleaning the kitchen counter.
How to clean kitchen countertops based on different materials
How to clean countertops, so they always shine like the first day? Depending on the material with which our worktop is made, its cleaning will be different. We teach you how to clean countertops and leave them spotless.
How to Clean Natural Stone Countertops
The most used natural stones to make kitchen countertops are marble, granite, slate, soapstone and quartz.
These are durable and heat resistant stones, but mostly porous, so it is important to clean stains before the material can absorb anything quickly. They are usually treated to prevent this from happening, but if we anticipate the possible problem, we will have one less worry.
Marble is an eternally beautiful stone that will always be in fashion and will match any decor. Marble is a limestone that has been transformed into a beautiful mosaic of colors and designs through years of heat and pressure. Like most natural stones, it shows wear over the years if not correctly cared for. The first thing to remember when cleaning marble is that it is not granite. Many people confuse the two, but they are entirely different stones and therefore need different maintenance and care approaches. Marble is much softer than granite and thus shows more natural wear. It is more susceptible to stains from acidic substances, and remember that you should never clean it with vinegar and with most bathroom and kitchen cleaners.
If you want a more in-depth cleaning than you can get with warm water and a soft cloth, it is best to buy a marble cleaner. If you’re going to do it yourself, you can use acetone on dark marble, hydrogen peroxide on light marble, or light ammonia mixed with water. Whichever product you use, it is advisable to gently dry the surface with a soft cloth and never allow it to air dry, as marble is prone to water stains.
It is also advisable to reseal the marble countertop every few years. The marble is porous and the sealant wears out over time. The sealer will not make your marble countertop bombproof, but it will resist moisture for much longer.
Granite Countertop Care
Granite is an excellent alternative to marble. It is a natural stone formed underground in magma chambers. Its slow cooling process allows visible crystals to form, which giving it a subtle shine. It has the aesthetic appeal of marble, but it is so durable that you can place hot pots directly on it, cut directly on the surface without damaging it, and is less susceptible to nicks and cracks. Granite comes in a rainbow of colors and is most often characterized by a mottled appearance rather than veins flowing from marble.
How to clean granite countertops? Granite can last for decades but still needs to be appropriately cared for. Abrasive residues such as sand and dirt cause enormous damage to granite. Like marble, you should avoid acidic cleaners that could scratch the surface. Warm water will work well, and if you want to use a cleanser, use a natural stone soap or mild liquid detergent. Try to avoid ammonia, which can dull the stone’s surface.
Since your granite is in the kitchen, you may want to reseal it regularly. To prevent the natural stone from becoming cloudy or dull, close it every few years, or if it is a heavily used kitchen, every year.
Taking care of your natural stone will ensure that it lasts for years looking shiny and new. Granite and marble are exquisite stones to have in your home, but unfortunately, they will succumb to use if you don’t take care of them. Follow these tips to ensure that you properly care for natural stone countertops, and you’ll enjoy them for years to come.
How to clean limestone countertop
You may think that a limestone countertop is easy to clean, but it requires some particular techniques to keep it looking its best. However, if it has well cared for a limestone countertop, it will maintain its beautiful appearance for many years.
• Wipe up any spills immediately, so they don’t penetrate the limestone countertop surface.
• Rag a limestone countertop daily with a stone cleaner or a mixture of warm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap.
• Remove stains with a combination of 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of mild detergent, and enough water to make a thick paste. Put the mixture on the stain without rubbing in and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it overnight, scrape the mixture off with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and rinse.
• Clean oil-based stains with a mix of 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, 1 cup flour, and enough water to make a thick paste. Proceed, as indicated in step 3. If the stain persists, replace ammonia for hydrogen peroxide.
• Mix peroxide with a few drops of ammonia to remove stains from tea, coffee, or fruit. Wipe the mixture on a soft cloth and rinse immediately.
Tips and Warnings
- Protect your limestone countertop by placing a trivet, folded towel, or tablecloth under any hot pots, pans, or dishes.
- Never use acids, abrasive powders, harsh detergents, or cleaning cleaners on a limestone countertop.
- Call a professional to repair holes or scratches on a limestone countertop. Trying to fix it can often get worse.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
The quartz countertops, also known as artificial stone countertops, have become a popular option in recent years, mainly because of its strength and tremendous potential in terms of designs they offer.
These are mainly composed of quartz (around 95%), resins, and pigments. Among its characteristics, its non-porosity stands out (liquids do not leak inside and do not favor the proliferation of fungi or bacteria), they are resistant to knocks and scratches, and also to many chemical products.
What not to do
There are cleaning products, common in any house, that can damage the surface of our quartz countertop in the medium or long term. These include ammonia, and therefore also lye, and lemon. Therefore we must avoid cleaning products that contain some of these components.
Other harmful chemicals can be chlorine-based, such as strippers and some degreasers.
Some foods such as coffee, wine, or oil, the stains of which are common on kitchen countertops, can stain some materials such as granite. In the case of quartz countertops, as in the case of the Compac and Silestone brands, the problem does not exist.
What to do
In this sense, it is common for manufacturers to provide consumers with cleaning products that meet all their requirements. Although it is also true that they usually have a high price and that they are not typically available in supermarkets. The great advantage they can have is that in some cases, they are also designed to maintain the surface shine and avoid discoloration as much as possible.
However, from day to day, it is not necessary to complicate more than necessary. A microfiber cloth and a few drops of soap will be enough, the same we use to clean the dishes. This is usually sufficient.
In cases where we have not cleaned according to the stain produced, and it has dried, we can use a plastic spatula. Be careful not to use metallic scouring pads, since scratches may occur in the long run.
If a stain becomes particularly stubborn, we can use a few drops of alcohol mixed with warm water and a little soap.
How to clean soapstone countertops
Metamorphic rock soapstone has a wide variety of uses, including sinks, bowls, oven cookers, and countertops. Soapstone is an ideal choice for countertops due to its increased durability and a wide variety of color options. Countertops serve as places to multitask within the home, many of which can damage the soapstone surface if left unsealed. By sealing a soapstone countertop, additional protection is added against daily wear and tear, minor scratches and stains on the surface.
Fill the kitchen sink with hot water. Add three to four drops of dishwashing detergent to the water. Use a wooden spoon to stir the water until soap suds develop.
Moisten a clean sponge with soap, hot water, and clean the soapstone countertop to remove dirt, oil, and grease. Empty the kitchen sink and fill it with clean water. Dip a clean sponge in the water and rinse the soap residue left behind on the counter. Dry the soapstone countertop with a clean towel or allow it to air dry. Pour stone sealant formulated for use with soapstone into a small container. Dip a portion of clean, soft cloth in the stone sealant. Clean the stone sealer on the soapstone in a light, even layer. Continue to dip the soft cloth into the stone sealer and rub it on the soapstone countertop until every inch develops a uniform color and shine. Allow the stone sealer to remain on the soapstone countertop for up to two hours or as directed on the sealant label. Wipe off excess sealer from the countertop surface with a clean, soft cloth. Use the soft cloth to polish the countertop in circular patterns.
Soapstone sealing is optional. Since scratches and stains cannot penetrate deeply, sealed soapstone will aid in faster maintenance. Unlike marble or granite, which can absorb stains deep inside, soapstone is non-absorbent. Stains will remain on the surface without penetrating deep into the stone. If you choose a cleaner formulated for use in soapstone products, read the instructions very carefully. Some manufacturers may require that the cleaner be diluted with water before use. Avoid using cleaning products that contain abrasives, acids, and alkaline chemicals on a soapstone countertop, as these can scratch and damage the stone. Never cut directly on the soapstone countertop. Always use trivets and cutting boards.
If your countertop was shiny when it was installed, it is normal that in time you lose that finish. In that case, the only thing you can do to regain shine is to polish your surface again. So choosing a matte or non-gloss finish saves us this worry.
How to care for wood countertops
They are beautiful in any rustic kitchen, but their care is essential. Solid wood countertops are treated so that they do not absorb liquids and humidity does not affect them. Therefore, if we want to keep them perfect for a longer time, we will have to treat them from time to time so that the pores of the wood do not absorb anything and it is kept in good condition by applying a special oil layer. The best thing, in this case, is to use specific products for cleaning wooden countertops.
When cleaning a wood veneer countertop, with water and neutral soap, it will be enough but always draining the cloth or sponge water very well. Then it will have to be dried quickly with a cloth.
How to clean engineered stone countertops
The neutral detergent diluted in warm water is once again the winning solution for cleaning this type of worktop, which usually has a glossy finish. So that it does not disappear quickly, this is the best solution.
How to Clean Laminate Countertops
A damp cloth with a few drops of soap will suffice to clean laminate countertops. In your case, vinegar can help us with the most encrusted dirt, but it will always have to be used diluted in water and rubbing with a soft sponge.
How to clean Corian countertops
Corian is made from a combination of minerals and resin. It is designed as a synthetic polymer to granite. Synthetic resin is not porous, so countertops made from this material are easy to clean, and stains are not usually noticeable. Therefore, it is best to remove the dirt with a dry cloth and, in case something is slightly more marked or greasy due to splashes, it is best to use a little neutral soap or bicarbonate with warm water and rub using a soft sponge.
How to clean stainless steel countertops
It is no coincidence that stainless steel countertops are always used in professional kitchens. It is a very resistant and hygienic material, and it needs to be cleaned, and it needs soap and water.
Of course, you have to avoid abrasive products and the use of scouring pads to maintain their shine longer and it is also important to quickly remove stains since they are easy to see.
How to clean porcelain countertops
Porcelain countertops hardly absorb stains, so cleaning is very easy. A soft cloth or sponge moistened in water with a few drops of dish soap will suffice to leave this surface untouched.
How to clean glass countertops
Glass is one of the most innovative materials when making countertops. But it is just the opposite: durable, reliable and also beautiful. It is not a porous surface, so all the dirt comes off easily.
Abrasive products must be discarded and the specific market products for glass and a microfiber cloth must be chosen. And it is essential to dry after cleaning to avoid the appearance of lime.
At least twice a year, manufacturers recommend using products specifically designed to restore shine to these types of countertops.
How to care for Microcement Countertops
Bleach is not an ally of micro cement surfaces, like abrasive products. To clean the micro-cement countertops, yo use neutral soap and water for everyday use, and every 15 days, add to the mixture an acrylic wax that protects the surface.
Cleaning countertop joints
When we have a very large or “L” or “U” countertop, it is almost impossible to avoid having joints that join the different pieces that make up the countertop. Those joints are usually metallic and you will see how, little by little, the dirt accumulates. Not so much on them as on their edges.
That is why it is so important to review the counter every day, because if not, the grease, the dust, the smallest crumbs, etc. they will end up accumulating at this point especially.
For cleaning, use the same products as for the countertop and brush the edges with swabs dipped in soapy water for the tightest spaces. A toothbrush dipped in this same mixture can also help you.
If the dirt resists, try using bleach diluted in warm water, but with great care not to damage the surface of your counter.
How to Maintain Kitchen Countertops
The less we stain the countertops daily, the less effort we will have to make to clean them thoroughly. If every time we cook, we wipe it with a damp cloth to remove splashes and food debris, we will be able to prevent dirt from becoming embedded. To avoid lime marks, you must drain the cloth or sponge very well and always dry the surface with a dry cloth or kitchen paper.
Of course, it is essential to know that food should not be chopped on the countertops. In other words, its surface should not be used for this purpose, even occasionally to avoid removing the cutting board. This way, we will prevent scratching and damaging it.
It is also important to know if our hob withstands contact with direct heat sources, that is, pans, pots or hot containers. If not, we can spoil it. To avoid scares, it is best to use wooden, cork, ceramic or even cloth placemats.
In any case, the most certain thing is always to ask the manufacturer of our hob to find out how to clean it and, if in doubt, clean a small part of the hob first and observe the result.