As cold and flu season begins, now seems like an excellent time to discuss the best ways to clean your countertops. We are not going to say they are the dirtiest part of your home, but they probably see the most action of any surface within it. So while there might be dirtier surfaces, learning how to clean your countertops to keep them sparkling and germ free is key to not only a beautiful kitchen, but a significantly less germy home.
How to Clean Your Countertops
Kitchen countertops are active places. You prep and serve meals from them, place appliances, knickknacks, and other household goods on them, and some people even sit or stand on them. Since food often comes into contact with your counters, keeping them clean, and in turn that food healthy, is key. How do you do that though? It all starts with a little soap and water.
On the most basic level, you want to brush off any crumbs or debris that accumulates on your counter as they occur. Whether that looks like breadcrumbs, vegetable scraps, or spilled milk, a quick wipe with a cloth is a good first step. You need to clean and sanitize from there though, to insure you keep yourself and your family as healthy as possible.
Regardless of the material your countertop is made from, soap and water is your friend for most surfaces. Start with a few drops of liquid soap and a soft cloth or sponge. Add a few drops of soap and moisten your sponge. Wipe your countertop, then rinse your sponge and wipe any remaining suds from the surface. Wipe dry with a soft cloth.
Next step: sanitizing. This step depends upon the surface your countertop is made from.
How to Clean;
Quartz is one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials these days and for good reason. It is stain resistant, withstands heat, cold, spills, and normal wear and tear, plus comes in a wide variety of colours. While quartz does not require sealing, it still requires care. If soap and water doesn’t tackle a stain, try a rubbing alcohol solution ( 1 part alcohol to 3 parts water). Spray, give a little scrub, rinse, then dry.
While quartz is a sturdy choice, avoid placing hot items on its surface, and wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Avoid harsh and abrasive chemicals, like bleach or acetone, and you should get years out of your quartz counters.
Unlike quartz, granite requires a little more care. Where quartz is an engineered product, granite comes straight from the earth (it is rock) and as such requires sealing to protect it from spills and stains. When it comes to sanitizing it, or tackling stains, you have a few other options. A solution of 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water will help to sanitize your surface. For stains, a paste of water and baking soda rubbed into the spot should help to lift any remaining marks. Remember that granite requires resealing every 2-4 years (check with your manufacturer). That seal should help to reduce any additional issues that may arise.
Laminate countertops have come a long way and make a beautiful and affordable choice for kitchen countertops. Cleaning them is easy too. Like other materials, you don’t need much more than soap and water to keep laminate counters clean. For stubborn stains, try sprinkling baking soda on the area and scrubbing. A spritz of vinegar and water (1 tbsp vinegar to 2 cups water) will help to finish your cleaning regime. Leave it sit for a few minutes to sanitize and wipe dry. Easy and done!
Natural stone is beautiful to behold, but beware of the sensitivity of marble. It doesn’t react well to acidic materials, so never use vinegar or lemon juice on it. Soap and water. That is all you need. Scrub, rinse, and wipe dry. Step away from the windex. Don’t even think about bleach. Your best bet is to always use a cutting board and sop up any spills immediately. Sealant helps to add an extra layer of protection too, so consider applying it as per manufacturer’s directions.
Wood is a a nice warm material, but its porous nature means you want to clean it well. Start with scrubbing along the grain with soap and water, and rinse. To disinfect the surface, wet a cloth with vinegar and wipe your counter down. Allow to sit for 15 minutes to disinfect. Once that is dry, a scrub made from lemon juice and salt (1/2 cup salt to 1 cup lemon juice) will help eliminate any remaining marks on the surface, plus disinfect it too. The best part: all those materials are natural and probably in your cupboards already.
Do you have any of that dish soap still left? it is all you need for your stainless steel countertops too. While more common in commercial kitchens, stainless steel is a great additional to residential kitchens, as it is typically made from one piece. That means no seams to collect dirt or pool water. Stainless steel stands up to acidic solutions and doesn’t rust, making it a sturdy choice for your kitchen. The biggest tip: wipe them dry to prevent water spots and you are good to go.
Like all the other materials mentioned here, cleaning concrete countertops is as easy as wiping with them down with a soft cloth, and soap and water. To disinfect them, reach for a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and water (1/2 cup rubbing alcohol to 2 cups water). Spray, let sit for two minutes to sanitize and wipe up any remaining solution. Voila! Like marble and granite, you will want to seal your concrete counters to keep them protected.
Keeping your kitchen countertops clean is key to keeping your family healthy. Knowing how to clean your countertops is an important step in the process. If you ever have any questions, check your manufacturer’s guide or reach out to them directly with specific questions. A clean countertop is a beautiful thing. Do your best to keep yours that way!