How to keep those beautiful kitchens tops clean and resilient to anything you may throw at them

How to keep those beautiful kitchens tops clean and resilient to anything you may throw at them

When it comes to cleaning your kitchen counters, one method does not fit all. Discover how to clean countertops and keep them in top shape.

Walk into any kitchen showroom and you’ll see an astounding number of countertop optionsMarble, granite, soapstone, wood . . . each has its selling points—and its own cleaning and maintenance needs. That’s why it’s critical to know what you’re signing up for before you buy.

Wood countertops

Tools:

  • Warm Water
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Nonabrasive cleaner (optional)
  • Spatula or metal pastry scraper
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Lemon
  • Salt

Cleaning:
To keep your wood countertops looking great, clean daily with a nonabrasive cleaner or a homemade mix of warm water with a splash of distilled white vinegar. Gently scrape off any food residue with a spatula or a metal pastry scraper. Be sure to wipe the counters after cleaning so they are completely dry.

Stain Removal:
To remove stains, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt directly onto the stain. Use a lemon half to rub in the salt. Clean off the salt and lemon juice with water and vinegar.

Sealing:
Butcher-block and solid-wood countertops should be sealed for protection, since they are susceptible to warping and cracking. One can use high-end virgin olive oil or wood wax to reach the desired state.

Marble and Granite Countertops

Tools:

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Tape

Cleaning:
Retsinas likes using a mix of warm water and mild dish soap for everyday cleaning, following up with a microfiber towel to shine up the stone. Avoid abrasive or acidic cleaners, which can strip the sealer and etch the stone.

Stain Removal:
For stains on granite or marble countertops, clean with a paste of baking soda and water (for oil-based stains) or hydrogen peroxide (for water-based stains). Apply the paste to the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and tape down the edges. Let sit for a few days (or overnight at the very least), and then rinse off the paste. Repeat the process if the stain isn’t completely gone. Be sure to do a spot test first to make sure the method won’t affect the colour or finish of the stone.

Sealing:
These surfaces are popular for their tough-as-rocks durability, but they do need to be resealed regularly to protect them from stains. Reseal granite once a year and marble every few months

Wood laminate countertops

Tools:

  • Mild household cleaner
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Baking soda

Cleaning:
Clean the material with a damp, soft cloth and a mild household cleaner. Stay away from harsh products with acid or alkali as well as steel wool or scouring pads.

Stain Removal:
Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain and let sit for five minutes, then rinse off with a soft cloth. Baking soda is a mild abrasive, so don’t scrub. Repeat if necessary.

Sealing:
Formica tops the charts for practicality, since it’s extra durable and doesn’t require any sealing. But it’s not invincible—you should still use cutting boards and trivets to avoid scratches and burns.

Stainless Steel Countertops

Tools:

  • Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Stainless-steel cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Stainless-steel polish
  • Lemon oil

Cleaning:
There’s a reason you’ll see stainless steel all over commercial kitchens: It requires nothing more than a regular wipe-down with soap and water. Still, you’ll want to avoid scratching the surface and stay on top of smudges and streaks; use a microfiber towel and cleaner made especially for stainless steel to buff them out. Avoid abrasive scrubbing pads or steel wool, which can scratch the surface.

Stain Removal:
Despite its name, stainless steel can still get unsightly stains. Mix a paste of dish soap and baking soda and use a soft cloth to rub in the direction of the grain.

Sealing:
There’s no need to seal your stainless-steel countertops, but you may want to polish it occasionally with stainless-steel polish or lemon oil and a microfiber cloth. Apply the polish in the direction of the grain and buff it dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

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