Kitchen and bathroom countertops accumulate dirt and grime after some time, and one needs to know about the easiest ways to clean countertops to keep them looking shiny and new. An important point to remember is that countertops are made of a variety of materials, and unless you clean them with the right solutions you could end up doing more harm than good. Certain harsh chemicals can completely ruin countertops by staining them.
One can also use less harmful materials such as vinegar and baking soda to clean countertops effectively. Whether your countertops are made of granite or laminate, we provide tips on how to clean them easily. Of course, you can hire a professional for deep cleaning the kitchen, but our tips will help you to maintain clean countertops and reduce the risk of them getting damaged or stained.
Ideally, one should be aware of the material of the countertops as then specific solutions can be prescribed for cleaning them without causing any harm to the coating or the material. However, when in doubt, it’s best to play it safe and wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth. This will work for daily maintenance, but if you need advice on how to clean countertop stains, then read on for more tips.
In terms of versatility, solid surface countertops are a popular choice in modern homes for renovations as well as new installations. They are made of synthetic stone and have a matte finish. They come in a wide range of colours, and the best part is that they can be sanded down to remove scratches. The simplest way to clean countertops made of this material is to wipe them down with a solution of dish soap and water. Take care to avoid scrubbing the surface with a scouring pad, especially if the counter has a glossy finish as it could scratch the surface. Instead, for tougher stains, use baking soda.
Since they are relatively inexpensive, laminate countertops are commonly found in Indian kitchens, especially in older homes. While they are considered an old material, they can add style to a kitchen. Moreover, they are extremely functional as they can withstand spills without getting damaged easily. However, constant exposure to dampness and water can ruin the material. Therefore, it’s important to mop up spills immediately. The best way to clean countertops with a laminate is to wipe them with a damp cloth. As a precaution, they can be wiped dry to ensure that water doesn’t remain in the seams, causing it to swell and warp in the long term. For stains, baking powder can be used to soak up the stain.
Its toughness and durability make granite a relatively easy to maintain material for countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. However, it should be sealed to prolong its life. Since it’s a natural stone, the surface can get scratched if abrasive cleaners are used. It’s also prone to staining, especially from oil. For general cleaning of the surface, water and dish soap, as well as a damp microfiber cloth, can be used. Tougher stains can be removed by covering the stain with a paste of baking soda and water, allowing the stain to get drawn out of the stone.
Marble is a stone that can add a touch of luxury to any kitchen or bathroom. It is durable if maintained well. In the kitchen, it is popular, especially among bakers as the cool surface makes it easier to roll out pastry or pie crusts. Since the material is porous compared to other stones such as granite, it can get stained easily. Additionally, the surface can get scratched and lose its shine after a while. It’s important to reseal the surface of marble countertops regularly to keep them looking good. For daily cleaning, wiping it with a soft damp cloth moistened with a mild solution of dish soap and water will suffice. Marble does not do well with acidic substances, so avoid using vinegar or lime to clean countertops made of marble.
How to clean stainless steel countertops
In modern kitchens, stainless steel is often chosen because it provides the most hygienic surface for countertops. However, the material can get dented and scratched over time. Additionally, the shiny surface shows up fingerprints and smudges quite easily. The advantage of stainless steel is that it doesn’t absorb oil or acids. While water might leave stains on it temporarily, it can be cleaned quite easily. The best way to keep clean countertops made of stainless steel is with soap and water. A gentle scouring pad won’t do the surface much harm. Additionally, the surface can be wiped dry to prevent water spots from showing up once it is dry.
These countertops are durable and relatively scratchproof, antibacterial and easy to maintain. However, they need regular cleaning to keep them looking beautiful and glossy. Daily cleaning with a damp cloth and soap-water solution is recommended to prevent oil and grease from accumulating on the surface. Since they are resistant to scratches, large deposits of grime can be scraped off with a knife without damaging the surface. A kitchen degreaser can be used to remove tough oil and grease stains.
Many of the commercial cleaning agents used in kitchens contain harmful chemicals that can linger in the air for several hours and pose the danger of contaminating the food that is prepared in the kitchen. Therefore, unless it’s for stubborn stains that cannot be removed in any other way, it’s best to clean kitchen countertops with natural substances or regular household products such as vinegar and baking soda.
For regular cleaning, if you prefer to use baking soda instead of chemical soaps, sprinkle the powder on a damp cloth and then wipe the counter surface with it. Once this is done, use a dry cloth to wipe the counter dry and to remove any powder residue. For tougher stains, make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and apply it on the stain. Cover the paste with a damp cloth or kitchen towel to ensure that it doesn’t dry. Leave it for a while before wiping with a clean damp cloth.
While vinegar is a versatile natural cleaner, it is acidic in nature. It’s best to avoid using it on certain types of materials such as granite and marble. The acid in vinegar can erode the sealant on the surface of these natural stones, making them lose their shine. For other surfaces, make a solution with equal parts of vinegar and water. Spray it on the surface of the counter and wipe with a clean cloth. Since it’s a natural disinfectant, it can sanitise the countertops.
While these natural solutions are a green way to clean countertops, sometimes a kitchen needs a more powerful cleaning agent to remove dirt and oil that has accumulated over time. In such cases, one can find specialty cleaning products. However, before using any cleaning solution, it’s best to test it on a small spot to ensure that it does not damage the surface of the kitchen or bathroom countertops.