There is no single quick tip to clean countertops, because there is no single kind of countertop. Counters come in a staggering variety of materials: quartz, marble, wood, granite, copper, stainless steel. Each of these materials has its own cleaning requirements. It’s lucky for you Maids by Trade has compiled the tips for each type of counter! To get clean countertops, find your type below and follow our tips to get any kind of surface sparkling.
Know What Material You’re Cleaning
As we just mentioned above, there are lots of different counter materials and how you clean them differs. Therefore, your first step is to know what your counter is made of. You probably already do, but if you don’t, find out. Not cleaning your countertop correctly could ruin the material.
Only use warm soapy water to clean a granite countertop. Wipe down the surface with a soft cloth or sponge that has been saturated with the soapy water.
Note: Never use ammonia, bleach, vinegar or any other acidic cleaners like lemon on granite. They can break down the sealant and cause damage.
Remove Stains from Granite
Hydrogen peroxide does wonders on granite countertop stains. Wet a rag or sponge, apply hydrogen peroxide to the sponge or rag, and rub the stain out of the counter. When the stain has been removed, dry the counter with a clean towel.
Honed granite is just a matte version of a normal granite counter, created by stopping the regular polishing process before the last step. The best way to clean it is to use a stone cleanser and a soft-bristled brush. Spray the stone cleanser on the counter top and scrub away any dirt or debris with a soft-bristled brush. It’s easy to remove stains from honed granite countertops as well. Make a paste using baking soda and warm water. Apply the paste to the stain and cover with plastic wrap. Let the mixture soak up the stain overnight. Remove the paste with a plastic knife and rinse the counter with warm water.
Any ammonia-based spray cleaner will clean and polish an acrylic countertop. Simply spray the cleaner onto the countertop and wipe it clean with a sponge or clean rag in a buffing motion. When the counter has been polished, dry the surface with a clean cloth (being sure to still use the buffing motion).
Bleach, vinegar, disinfecting wipes, or even just basic warm soapy water are all different ways to clean a laminate countertop. Wipe any of these products onto your laminate countertop with a sponge or rag until clean. Dry with a clean cloth.
Caution: Do not clean a laminate countertop with scouring pads, scouring powder, or steel wool. These abrasives will leave micro-scratches on the surface and make staining more likely in the future.
Remove Stains from Laminate
Baking soda and water will almost always lift stains from a laminate counter top. Make a paste from baking soda and water, apply it to the stain, and cover with a wet paper towel. The paper towel is to prevent the paste from hardening. If the paste does harden, it can no longer soak up the stain. Let the paste sit for 10 minutes, then wipe it clean with a wet rag and dry up.
How to Take Care of Your Laminate
Taking care of laminate is easy and ensures that it stays looking nice. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind:
- After cooking or cleaning, dry any areas that are wet.
- Caution around liquids include cleaners. Don’t let any kind of cleaner linger on the weak spots of the laminate (the edges or any seams). The liquid will seep through, weaken the laminate’s adhesive, and cause damage.
- Protect your counter from heat damage and always place hot pots and pans on potholders or trivets. This is a good practice for all counter materials!
A simple wet paper towel and a quick wipe down usually does the trick for getting rid of dirt and grime on a quartz counter top. Removing grease is more tricky. Spray your favorite degreasing product on the counter top and wipe with a clean cloth or sponge.
Note: Never use a product that contains bleach when cleaning quartz. Mild cleaners are best.
Fill a spray bottle with your favorite all-purpose cleaner. Spray the marble countertop with the cleaner and use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub the counter top. This will remove any stuck-on food debris or gunk that has been sitting on your countertop. Dry with a clean cloth.
Note: Don’t use any acidic cleaners (like vinegar) as they will eat away at the surface of the marble and cause etching or dull spots.
Scrape off any food debris or grime from the wood countertop using the utensil of your choice. Wipe the countertop down using a cloth or sponge that has been saturated in soapy water. After wiping, naturally sanitize the wood by using vinegar. Spray a good amount onto the wood surface and wipe clean.
Wiping the surface with a damp cloth or sponge is the best way to clean recycled countertops. Using bleach or harsh cleaners is not recommended for any type of cleaning on recycled countertops.
In a container filled with warm water, add a conservative amount of dish washing soap. Saturate a soft cloth or sponge in the warm soapy water. Wipe down the soap stone countertop until the food debris or grime is gone. Dry using a clean cloth. It is okay to use an all-purpose cleaner on soap stone if you prefer.
You can use hot water or a stone cleaner to clean a travertine countertop. Be sure to wipe up any spills or food immediately using hot water and a soft sponge or rag. Do not use any generic store bought cleaners to clean travertine counter tops. It will leave the countertop more vulnerable to stains.
Wipe-downs with a clean cloth and warm water should be all that is needed. Do not use bleach, any product that contains chlorine, steel wool brushes, or oven cleaners on stainless steel. These products can cause rust, brownish spots, or scratches on a stainless steel surface.
Final Note About Clean Countertops
If you ever have questions about the proper way to clean countertops, consult an expert. Despite the potential difficulty in knowing the right way to clean and maintain a counter, it’s very important that it gets done. Counters are often where food preparation takes place and for that to be safe, you must have clean countertops. If you don’t have the time to keep your countertops clean and bacteria-free, contact your local maid service and see if they can help.