How to Clean Your Kitchen Counters

countertop

After you’ve spent the time and money remodeling or upgrading your home, it’s important to keep each room in top condition. Taking care of your home by cleaning it properly and periodically is the easiest way to keep your home looking great. Cleaning your kitchen counters is a simple step in this process, and it’s important to know how to clean each type of surface.

For granite countertops, the first step is to seal them upon installation. This will help to prevent deep stains over time and ultimately making cleaning easier. For daily cleaning, you can use warm water and your choice of mop or cloth. For tough stains, find a household cleaner that is made for stone- make sure to carefully read the label. Don’t ever apply bleach or other acidic cleaners, as they will damage the surface. If you can, avoid soap since it can etch the stone. When placing dishes and other utensils on the countertops, use placemats and trivets to prevent scratches and rings.

For marble countertops, you will need a little bit of patience. Because marble is soft and delicate, it scratches and stains easier than other materials. Because of its porous surface, anything acidic will stain easily. Make sure to clean up spills and stains as soon as they happen to prevent them from setting. Use hot water and a sponge or soft cloth for simple cleaning. Always dry the countertops yourself instead of letting them air dry. Because marble is delicate, stay away from any cleaner that is abrasive or includes vinegar. Marble is easily damaged by heat, so don’t set any hot dishes or pans on the counter.

For ceramic countertops, there are a few steps. First, clean up any dry debris with a vacuum or by sweeping. Then you can clean your surface with warm water and a gentle cloth. Any gentle, neutral-PH cleaning solution will work as well. Like most materials, avoid bleach and acidic cleaners which will damage the material. If your ceramic countertops have tiles, make sure to scrub the grout and remove mildew that can collect in the grooves. There are a variety of grout cleaners on the market (including spray and foam options), so it’s easy to find one that will work for you.

For wood countertops, the cleaning process is a bit different. To prevent the wood from drying out or warping, only use food-grade mineral oil (avoid olive and vegetable oil). Periodically applying mineral oil will keep the wood looking moist and in top shape. Clean up any spills as soon as they happen so they will not stain. Wooden countertops absorb odors easily, so rub the surface with a slice of lemon to get rid of the smells.

For soapstone countertops, you have a few more options in terms of cleaning. Since it is usually dark and non-porous, stains don’t show up as well. To keep it clean, wipe soapstone with a cloth or sponge and some dishwashing liquid and warm water. A fine sandpaper (used carefully) can remove any scratches. Avoid abrasive cleansers and steel wool.

For stainless steel countertops, you’ll need to dedicate some time to their cleaning. Steel is very sensitive to harsh chemicals and wet materials. Keep your counter dry at all times to avoid discoloration. Clean the surface with warm water and a small amount of baking soda. Avoid rough cloths and sponges, since they can scratch easily.

If you are ever in doubt, call your countertop manufacturer and ask for specific cleaning and care instructions. As a general rule, always use gentle cleaning supplies and wipe all surfaces dry to prevent mildew and germ build-up.

Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

When remodeling your kitchen, there are many areas to focus on. Replacing or updating the cabinets is a popular option, as well as painting your walls and switching up your hardware. Another important aspect to look into during a remodel is your countertops. Granite countertops seem to be the most popular option for many homeowners, but there are a variety of other options to look into as well. Here are just some of the countertop materials you can choose from for your kitchen.

Granite– One of the most popular countertop options, granite, is a highly reflective material which stands up very well to wear and tear. It is available in a variety of patterns and is widespread, making it easy to find just about anywhere. This elegant countertop material will last a lifetime, making it a great investment for your kitchen remodel.



Marble– This countertop material is usually seen in small areas of a kitchen opposed to the entire room due to its higher price tag. Although it is more expensive than other options, you are getting what you pay for. Marble offers a timeless an elegant beauty that cannot be compared to. It is softer than granite and very delicate, so you must be careful not to scratch or stain it. Marble is cool to the touch and holds up to heat well, which are added bonuses.



Wood– Wood countertops instantly bring a rich and warm look into your kitchen. They look great in a rustic or country kitchen and add a decorative and functional touch to your space. This durable material needs to be taken care of, so oil the surface to hold the luster and prevent cracking. Sealing the wood will make it sanitary for raw foods and heat-resistant to warm pots and pans.



Tile– Tile is an inexpensive option that works with almost any style of kitchen. It is easy to clean and available in your choice of colors and sizes. Its uneven surface may make certain kitchen tasks hard, so use tile only in specific areas of the room. Lastly, make sure you seal the grout to prevent staining and moisture buildup.



Laminate– This material is made of paper mixed with resins and is then fused to particle board. It’s a very affordable option, making it great for those on a budget. It is low maintenance and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for new or busy homeowners. However, laminate countertops are easily prone to damage, so you need to be extra careful.



Quartz– Quartz kitchen countertops are very strong and hard, making them one of the most durable options. The material has a deep shine and comes in a variety of colors with a consistent pattern. It requires very little maintenance, but can be somewhat pricey compared to other materials.



Glass– An unexpected material of kitchen countertops is glass. It adds depth to your kitchen and sets your space apart from others. Glass countertops are very strong and easy to clean, making them a popular option. You can stain glass any color and cut it to any shape you want. The non-porous surface is stain-resistant as well, which makes your life a whole lot easier.



Concrete– Another option for your counters is concrete. This material gives your kitchen an attractive, edgy and industrial feel. The thick material is very customizable and mixes well with other materials. It is also energy efficient- as your home gets warmer, concrete captures the heat and releases it when the temperature cools down. Make sure you seal the concrete to prevent future stains.



Stainless steel- For those who are looking for a modern and sleek addition to their kitchen, stainless steel countertops are the solution. This material goes well with any color and style of kitchen, making it a newly popular choice. It’s very easy to clean- just wipe with a cloth and some mild soap and water. Stainless steel prevents bacteria buildup, making it a hygienic option for preparing food. It is nearly indestructible and resists heat. The negative aspects of stainless steel are that it is fairly expensive and can be noisy.



*all images are from Houzz

Choosing Kitchen Countertops

When remodeling your kitchen, there are various aspects to take into consideration. One of the easiest ways to change the entire look of your kitchen is by bringing in new kitchen countertops. The material, color and style can make your kitchen go from bland to grand. Before choosing your new countertop, it’s important to research your options. Here are a few popular options for kitchen countertops.

Granite– Granite countertops are known for their beauty and newfound popularity. Usually you only heard about or saw granite tops in very expensive homes, but now they are more common. One tip to remember is that you must pay attention to the upkeep to make sure they stay in excellent condition due to their porous surfaces.

Ceramic Tile- Tile countertops are generally durable and heat tolerant, which is ideal for most kitchens. Because it is fairly common, there are many styles and colors to choose from to fit with your liking. These are easy to clean and give your kitchen a nice aesthetic.

Laminate- This option is great for those who are looking to just make one change in their home. Laminate countertops will stand up to the test of time, lasting you for years to come. Because of their popularity, there is a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from, so you can easily find what you are looking for to fit with your kitchen’s décor. They are also a very affordable option, which is great for those with a budget in mind.

Quartz- These man-made countertops are available in a variety of beauty colors and boast heat- and scratch-resistant qualities. When choosing a quartz countertop, sometimes it’s better to pay the extra money for the higher-quality materials.

Wood- Wood countertops are an eco-friendly option since you can look into using reclaimed wood. There is some maintenance involved with keeping them in shape, but it’s well worth the investment. Wood countertops offer a unique and natural appeal.

Glass- Gives a sleek and modern look that many homeowners are looking for. There are many custom design options with glass countertops, so this is perfect for those who want something unique. Glass countertops are very durable, but you’ll still want to be sure you avoid dropping heavy items on them-they will scratch or crack.