Kitchen countertops are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. They’re where you park your groceries after a shopping trip and where you accidentally knock over a glass of orange juice while you’re trying to finish getting breakfast together before rushing off to work.
With all the rolled-out dough, accidentally broken plates, spilled spices, and grimy handprints they’ve seen in their lifetimes, kitchen counters endure a lot. If you want them to keep doing their job so you can keep enjoying them for years to come, you need to learn how to clean your kitchen countertops properly.
If this piece sounds like a love letter to countertops of all types—from the unusual concrete to classic granite countertops in Lancaster, PA—it’s because it is! At Red Rose Cabinetry, we are huge fans of every part of the kitchen, not just the cabinetry. We understand aesthetics is one of the best parts of the kitchen, so we know how important keeping your countertops cleaned and maintained is for their longevity and looks.
Whether you are looking for tips to maintain your current countertops, or you’re looking to buy new counters and want an idea of how difficult they’ll be to keep, this blog is for you!
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How Do I Maintain My Countertops?
Maintaining your countertops means different things for various kinds of counters. However, you can do a few things with all countertop types to prevent them from deteriorating quickly, such as:
- Clean regularly
- Wipe messes away quickly
- Use potholders to prevent direct contact with hot pots and pans
- Cut only on cutting boards
If nothing else, this handful of tips can help you keep your counters looking lovely for longer. If you are looking for more detailed information, several common counter types are highlighted below.
A classic countertop material, granite requires particular care even though it is less porous than other materials. You may want to wipe it down daily, but granite is resistant to scratches, heat damage, and staining, so there’s no need to clean it every day unless there’s a large mess or spill.
If you want to deep clean or disinfect granite, a mixture of half water and half rubbing alcohol works beautifully. Spray the mix, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe the counters down with a microfiber cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on granite, as they can damage the stone.
Granite occasionally needs to be resealed with a sealer. Typically, when water no longer beads on the counter’s surface, it is time to reseal it. How to reseal the granite countertop in your Lancaster, PA, kitchen will depend on what kind you have.
Laminate countertops are incredibly resistant to staining and heat damage, and they are easy to maintain. If you’re wondering how to clean laminate countertops, it’s an easy answer. You only need a little water and some dish soap or some other gentle household cleaner to keep it clean for daily cleaning.
Get rid of tougher messes with a sponge, but don’t use the abrasive side as laminate can scratch and discolor easily. Take care not to drag pots or pans across this countertop to avoid dings or scratches.
Thanks to its durability and easy-to-clean surface, quartz is a popular material for counters. To keep it looking as beautiful as the day it was installed, routinely wipe it down with a paper towel or microfiber cloth. For larger messes, use a non-abrasive cleaning solution.
Quartz requires very little attention other than cleaning but avoid dropping heavy objects such as cast iron onto the counters, as heavy objects may cause them to crack. If cracks do occur, you will need professional help to fix them.
Ceramic or Porcelain Countertops
If you love to move pots off the heat and set them directly on your countertop without a second thought, you might be someone who owns ceramic or porcelain countertops. These materials are scratch-resistant and do just fine with heat but need a gentle hand in the types of cleansers used to clean them.
Dish soap and warm water paired with a soft cloth are enough for everyday cleaning. If you’re dealing with tough stains or dirty grout between your tiles, one tablespoon of bleach in two cups of water is a tough enough stain-fighting solution that works without hurting your tiles. For the rare stain, use a mixture of baking soda and water to make a paste to help lift the stain.
While beautiful, wooden countertops can be extremely high maintenance and require much attention. They are also known as “butcher block” countertops because they are made from thick wood that resembles a butcher’s block. If you have wooden countertops, you need to have them resealed every six months to keep mold and bacteria at bay.
If your wooden countertops are varnished, a professional will need to repair them if something happens to scratch or damage them, but oiled butcher block countertops are a bit sturdier. You can cut with a knife directly on them, and they require less attention. However, they may wear down or discolor over time, especially if you favor an area for food prep.
Stainless Steel Countertops
For those of you who love to spend most of your free time experimenting in the kitchen, you may have invested in stainless steel countertops. Warm water and liquid dish detergent are enough to keep these countertops sparkling and clean. Try not to use other chemicals because they are easily stained or damaged by acids and some mainstream chemicals.
These counters can dent and scratch easily, so it’s best to be gentle with them and always use a cutting board when chopping ingredients. Stainless steel polish can help keep scratches at bay. Never use steel wool or scouring pads on your stainless-steel countertops, as they can create scratches and encourage corrosion.
Soapstone countertops are high maintenance and require much attention to maintain a uniform, dark coloring thanks to their need for regular oiling. To maintain this counter type, you can wash it with a gentle cleanser and a soft rag, but water that’s been sitting for too long can cause discoloration. Reapply mineral oil to the soapstone if you discover there’s no longer uniform coloring on the surface.
Although strong and a common element in construction, concrete is a porous material. It needs topical sealing for protection against stains and damage when used as a countertop material. Avoid using abrasive cleaning solutions, like bleach or ammonia, because they can cause damage to the concrete or the sealant protecting it.
To maintain the polished look of the countertops, try applying a food-safe wax once a month with a damp sponge. When water stops forming beads on the countertops, you will know it is time to wax again.
Looking to Change Your Countertops?
Countertops all require care and attention, no matter what type you’ve got! It’s essential to maintain them so you will continue to get many more years of use from them. However, if your counters have seen better days, it may be time to upgrade your kitchen with renovations from the experts at Red Rose Cabinetry.
Perhaps granite countertops in your Lancaster, PA, kitchen have been a dream for a while since you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, looking out the windows as you bake. Maybe you’re tired of polishing your concrete counters and want something lower maintenance. No matter the reason, we would love to speak with you about your kitchen! Get in touch with us today and schedule a free design session.