Just in time for Spring cleaning, we are bringing back our “Tips from Archway” series and would like to present to you our tips for keeping your kitchen countertops clean!
Depending on the type of countertop you have – laminate, granite, marble, or quartz – there’s always a best practice for keeping each of those materials clean, and there’s not necessarily a “one size fits all” approach to each type. Here are our suggestions for cleaning those different types of countertops.
Cleaning Laminate Countertops
Many kitchens have plastic laminate countertops that have a smooth, waterproof work surface that’s usually fairly easy to clean. Unfortunately however, laminate can burn, scratch and stain fairly easily as well, so keep that in mind and be considerate while trying to keep your laminate counters clean. We recommend using appliance wax or light furniture wax to help protect laminate surfaces from staining and scratching easily. Abrasive cleansers or steel wool should never be used on laminate countertops because of the heightened risk of scratching or burning those products may cause. For regular cleaning, it’s best to use a two-sided scrubbing pad with fiber on one side and a sponge on the other. The fiber side is just tough enough to loosen buildup and scorched food spills (when slightly moistened with water), but not so tough that it will cause damage.
Cleaning Granite Countertops
Granite’s beautiful natural properties and wide array of colors make it a very popular and stylish choice for kitchen countertops these days. Because granite is a natural stone, you’ll need to be careful when cleaning it so as not to damage or stain its surface.
Make sure to avoid acidic cleaning products and anything vinegar-based because it can damage granite. We recommend only using warm water, a small amount of soap and a wet sponge or soft cloth to clean your granite countertop. If not properly sealed, granite can become quite porous, so make sure to ask your remodeling company to thoroughly clean and seal your granite countertop before it’s installed. For the best maintenance, wipe your countertop down a few times a week to ensure that it stays beautiful for years to come.
Cleaning Marble Countertops
Marble is also a natural stone that is more porous than granite, therefore it is more susceptible to stains, but not affected much by heat. With this in mind, the best way to clean a marble countertop is to first make sure it is treated with a special stone sealer to minimize its porosity. Once sealed, you can maintain your marble by wiping up any food or drink spills immediately to prevent permanent damage. Cleansers to avoid are anything with abrasive chemicals as well as any type of oil or wax, as those may damage the surface or discolor the marble. While many commercial cleaners are available, borax rubbed into the surface with a moistened cloth will also clean marble. We recommend regularly rinsing the marble surface with warm water and buff dry with a soft cloth.
Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are popular because of their wide range of colors and patterns, durability, and low maintenance, especially when compared with cleaning granite countertops. These countertops are made up of 94% ground quartz crystals, with the rest of the surface made up of binding polymer resins and pigment. These resins play a big part in why quartz is so great, because they make the work surfaces resistant to scratches and stains and their nonporous nature make the need for sealants and upkeep almost obsolete. Quartz provides an antimicrobial barrier that bars bacteria, mold, and mildew from seeping into the surface.
Regular quartz maintenance is very simple…we recommend using only a soft cloth and warm soapy water for cleaning it. With quartz, it is even more important to avoid harsh chemicals because it can weaken the bonds between the resins and quartz crystals. It’s also wise to avoid using abrasive cleaners because they can dull the finish of the quartz.
General Kitchen Countertop Maintenance Tips
Avoid harsh chemicals on all kitchen countertops, including the following: nail polish remover, bleach, turpentine, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and dishwasher rinsing agents
Also remember to clean up all food and drink spills immediately to prevent staining and damage to your countertop surfaces. Weekly cleaning of your kitchen countertops will help you maintain their original beauty and prevent them from wearing down quickly. The last thing you want is to have a beautiful new countertop installed during your kitchen remodeling project, only to have it damaged a year later!
We hope these tips are helpful to you during Spring cleaning time. If you have any additional tips on how to clean and maintain kitchen countertops, let us know! If you are in the market for a kitchen remodel, contact us today to set up your complimentary in-home consultation.