If you think about it, your kitchen countertop works harder than anyone in your house. It puts up with much more than a kitchen appliance should. Well beyond meal prep, your kitchen countertop sees your daily mail, your kids’ backpacks, is used as a coat hanger or a leaning post… the list could go on. So, how do we make sure our countertops survive all this wear and tear? With proper maintenance, of course. With that in mind, we’ve focused on a few different countertop materials and detailed their maintenance requirements and suggested cleaning methods.
There is a lot of different advice for cleaning granite countertops online. Some even say to use Windex, but please, never do that. Acidic cleaning products and anything with vinegar can and will damage your granite countertops. Instead, take the easy route and use warm water and soap with a wet sponge or cloth.
Keep in mind that granite will stain if a spill is not cleaned up quickly enough. Even water can absorb into the stone and cause a dark spot. That water will evaporate eventually. Something like an oil will not.
Wood countertops, otherwise known as butcher block countertops, require a bit more maintenance than something like granite. Wood countertops can stain easily and should be oiled monthly with a high quality mineral oil (mineral oil won’t spoil, like vegetable or olive oil). Lucky for us, removing a stain can be as easy as rubbing salt into the affected area with the pulp of a lemon. For tougher stains, hydrogen peroxide and a cotton ball works just fine.
There is a bit of extra maintenance involved in terms of cleaning your wood countertop too. We suggest you start with a light wash, using a sponge, warm water and soap. Then, follow that up with a quick rinse of hot water and a thorough spritz of vinegar (we suggest using a spray bottle) to sanitize your countertop. After letting that sit for a few minutes, wipe down the countertop until it is completely dry.
Stainless steel is sensitive to its surroundings. When exposed to harsh chemicals or materials, it can be easily and seriously damaged. Even leaving wet materials on your stainless steel countertop can cause discoloration, so your countertops should be kept as dry as possible.
When cleaning your stainless steel countertop, first, use soap and water to wash down the surface. Follow that up by sprinkling baking soda on the surface and spraying that down with vinegar. Using a soft scrub sponge, scrub down the countertop, removing the baking soda and vinegar in the process. Then, thoroughly dry the countertop in the direction of the grain to avoid streaking, and finally, apply a small amount of mineral oil to help prevent fingerprints from showing up.
Silestone countertops are made up of quartz and other raw materials that are extremely hard and resilient. They are non-porous and highly resistant to stains, making them a great countertop choice. Common home cleaning products that are low in acidity are perfectly fine to use on your silestone countertop. Things like bleach and solvent will remain on the surface of your countertops and ruin its sheen.
Ceramic countertops are extremely durable, though the grout between them is prone to cracking. Unlike many other countertop materials, glazed and unglazed ceramics can safely handle the heat of hot pots and pans, without suffering any damage.
When cleaning your countertops, avoid using harsh, abrasive cleaners because those will damage the grout. Instead, use low acidity cleaners and a wet cloth to clean your countertops.
Marble countertops are porous and susceptible to stains, but can handle high levels of heat. Keep in mind that marble countertops are easily ruined by acidic materials. Acid literally eats away at the surface of the countertop, causing what is called “etching” to occur. To avoid this, always clean your countertops thoroughly. The good news is, they don’t require much in the way of cleaning. All you need is some non-abrasive dish soap and a soft cloth.
Feel free to stop by the showroom if you’ve got any more countertop maintenance or cleaning questions. We surely didn’t cover all countertop materials, and we’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeves if you need any. Maybe you’ve got your own solutions?