Some of the Best Ways to Clean Countertops Per Material

Some of the Best Ways to Clean Countertops Per Material

Cleaning
Cabinets and Countertops
By Alex Mikayelyan December 02, 2021

Let’s face it: countertops aren’t always easy to clean. Sure the smooth, glossy surface seems like it would naturally be a breeze to clean off, but unfortunately, a few nasty stains that were left for too long could be very troublesome to wipe off. It may seem like these stains won’t be very bothersome at first, but look at the countertop from a certain angle and you’ll see a whole bunch of stains, blotches, and streaks that make the otherwise gorgeous surface look old and beaten up. This is even more unfortunate since the countertop is a very important kitchen element and is your biggest work surface.

Fortunately, there are ways to clean the countertop to make it glossy once more. The last thing you want is guests coming over to the kitchen only to find that their hands stick to certain areas of the countertop. It’s not pleasant for them when this happens and it’s certainly not something you’ll be proud of as a homeowner. But this is why knowing the right cleaning methods and techniques will prevent this from happening.

Since countertops come in a variety of materials, it’s important to know which techniques work for which particular types. This way you can optimize your cleaning process to fit the bill and find the method that will leave your countertop spotless. Knowing what you need to use and how will make your next kitchen spring cleaning a lot easier and more productive.

Best Way to Clean Quartz Countertops 

How to Clean Quartz Countertops

How to Clean Quartz Countertops

Quartz is the most popular countertop material in the US. Most homeowners love the grainy and colorful look of quartz, praise its durability, as well as its impact, heat, and water resistance. In general, quartz countertops are very low maintenance. Since this material is highly engineered, there are plenty of additives in the formula designed to make it easier for homeowners to clean the surface and keep it spotless as well.

Cleaning Materials

  • Soap (antibacterial, dish, detergent)
  • Soft cloth
  • Sponge
  • Glass cleaning liquid (Windex)

Cleaning quartz countertops is a relatively simple process and won’t take too much time out of your hands, especially if you make it a routine. Now sure, you could say that the best way to clean quartz is to simply make it a routine to wipe it off with soapy water daily, but the reality is that this isn’t always enough.

Start by wiping off the counter with soap and lukewarm water. This will get all the mild stains off the surface, the ones that don’t require deep cleaning. You may even find that the countertop doesn’t need any more cleaning than that, as perhaps all of the stains were quite superficial. However, it is very unlikely that all the stains are mild and there is a chance you will need to do more than use soap. Something to keep in mind when washing the countertop with soap is that you should avoid using products that have bleach in them. This risks damaging the glossy surface and perhaps even staining it.

Use a plastic knife to scrape off any of those dried-up stains. Don’t use a metallic knife even if it’s a butter knife, as this risks scratching the surface. Even shallow scratches are very easy to see under certain lighting. Use window cleaner to wipe off the glossy surface and watch as your countertop comes back to life and regains its sheen. 

Best Way to Clean Granite Countertops 

What You’ll Need to Clean Granite Countertops

What You’ll Need to Clean Granite Countertops

Granite sits second as the most popular material for countertops. So, many homeowners look for ways to keep the surface clean of any nasty stains. Much like with quartz, granite countertops are not difficult to clean unless you’ve left them stained for long periods. Even then, you shouldn’t have a problem getting rid of most, if not all, stains and blotches.

Cleaning Materials

  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Granite cleaner

Not unlike quartz, you should start by washing your countertop with lukewarm water and soap. Avoid soap that has bleach or other abrasive chemicals in it. This is especially important for granite, as it is not as engineered as quartz, being a natural slab of stone. So, it does not come with the same amount of protection as quartz, meaning it is more susceptible to being damaged with corrosive or acidic chemicals. Do not use acidic cleaning chemicals, as these can irreversibly stain and discolor the surface of your granite countertops.

By far the best thing to clean granite countertops with is specialized granite cleaning liquids, which are readily available in most stores. Use a microfiber cloth to get as many of the tiny stains and marks off the surface, leaving the granite countertop spotless. But if you don’t want to keep these chemicals in your kitchen at the risk of having kids or pets getting their hands (or paws) on them, consider making your own granite cleaning liquid. Create a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol, add in 20 drops of any essential oil you have lying around the house, and you have a granite cleaner that works like a charm. It is one of the best ways to clean granite and you can make it right at home, pretty much for free.  

Best Way to Clean Marble Countertops 

The Intricacies of Cleaning Marble Countertops

The Intricacies of Cleaning Marble Countertops

As beautiful as marble is, it is also somewhat easy to damage. A few loose splashes of lemon or tomato juice and you have a permanently discolored streak on an otherwise gorgeous surface. So, how do you go about cleaning a marble countertop in such a way that you won’t damage it any further?

Cleaning Materials

  • Warm water
  • Soap (non-acidic)
  • Sponge (non-abrasive)
  • Sprayable sealant

You will see warm water and soap on many lists of cleaning tips and that is because they are the simplest tools in your roster. With nothing but warm water and dish soap, one that does not contain any acidic chemicals such as bleach, you can very effectively clean the marble surface. The unfortunate thing about marble, when compared to granite or quartz, is that it is much more prone to discoloration.

Thus, using glass cleaners, acidic chemicals, or abrasive cleaning tools will leave it permanently damaged. Avoid using the rough side of your dish sponge as it will leave behind tiny scratches that will be almost impossible to fix. But if you’re looking for a long-term solution to your marble countertop cleaning problem, then consider spraying it with sealant. This chemical does not simply stay on the surface and protect it from superficial damage or stains. It seeps deeper into the marble and protects it from spills going into the little pores and crevices, causing deep stains that are harder to clean. Use sealant monthly and you will see how much easier your marble countertops are to clean.

Best Way to Clean a Butcher Block

Cleaning and Maintaining a Butcher Block Countertop

Cleaning and Maintaining a Butcher Block Countertop

Butcher block countertops are popular in modern kitchens. Be it a Scandinavian or Loft interior, the wood countertops can make the kitchen feel cozy. What isn’t cozy to think about, however, are all the scratches and stains that are clearly visible on wood. Unlike granite, quartz, or marble, scratched butcher block countertops are very easy to see since the rich white lines and streaks pop out on the rich brown surface.

Cleaning Materials

  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar 
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sponge

Fortunately, however, butcher block cleaning is a lot more forgiving, though it may be a little more time-consuming. You’ll need to wipe off the surface with dish soap and scrape off some of the caked-on dirt using a plastic knife. Even with a high-quality protective finish, wood is still very easy to scratch and you definitely don’t want to risk damaging the surface during cleaning.

After the countertop has been completely wiped off, bring out a cloth, preferably microfiber, apply some white vinegar to it (other types may stain the wood), and rigorously start wiping the surface. This will not only clean the butcher block but will also reinvigorate the color and make it richer. Leave the vinegar to dry for 15 minutes and you will surely notice a visible difference.

Once the vinegar has dried, apply a mixture of half a cup of salt and one cup of lemon juice. Rub this mixture onto any of the stains on the surface of the butcher block and let it sit there for a while until the vinegar dries up. Once it dries, simply wipe off the surface with a towel and your butcher block should be spotless.

AM

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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