By Sharon Franke for Food Network Kitchen
When you walk into the kitchen for your first cup of coffee in the morning or prepare dinner in the evening, you want to see a nice, clean countertop. Keeping your countertop pristine is not difficult. Whether you’re looking to remove sticky peanut butter and jellies, grime from grocery bags or potential contaminants from raw protein, we recommend removing grime, streaks, stains and bacteria from all types of kitchen countertops.
Dos and Don’ts for Keeping Your Countertop in Good Condition – No Matter What Materials You Have
Thursday Place a tripod or thick insulating pad or cloth under a hot cookware or baking sheet to prevent heat damage.
do not Cut directly on the countertop to avoid scratches, nicks, and even worse, scratches. Have a large cutting board ready, which will give you plenty of room to work with your knives.
do not Leave dirty pots, pans, and dishes on the countertop as they can cause stains, especially if they contain ingredients like tomatoes, wine, curry, and mustard.
Thursday Use a spoon holder or small plate to place whisks, spatulas, and other cookware between uses.
Thursday Clean up spills and smudges as soon as they happen, easy to wipe off without scrubbing and less likely to smudge.
Thursday Be careful with canning, especially if the surface is wet. If you must leave the can on the countertop, put a paper towel underneath to prevent rust.
do not Use paint remover, oven cleaner, or other strong chemicals on countertops.
Cleaning base for all types of countertops
First clean the countertop with a sponge and soapy water, then rinse. Dishwasher is fine. Then, using a microfiber cloth, take a few seconds to dry the surface to prevent streaks and spots. Almost every company that makes or sells countertops emphasizes that you don’t need anything other than soap and water for regular maintenance. They also recommend against using abrasive cleaners of any kind.
If you use any cleaner, even one designed specifically for the material that countertops are made of, test it out in a small, out-of-the-way place before using it on a larger area.
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How to Clean Laminate (Formica)
You can use multipurpose cleaners from Clorox, Lysol, Mr., and more. Clean and method Formica countertops, but avoid countertops that contain bleach. Don’t skip the rinsing and drying steps. When rinsing, take special care not to flood the laminate, especially near the seams; you don’t want any water to seep underneath and cause swelling.
To remove stubborn stains, apply a paste made of baking soda and warm water, let it sit on the spot for 5 to 10 minutes or more, then gently rub it into the stain.
Use an antibacterial spray to disinfect laminate surfaces, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow the solution to sit on the surface for the time recommended on the label before rinsing.
How to Clean Granite
Just soap and water can clean most debris from granite countertops. Avoid vinegar, lemon juice, ammonia, bleach, and glass cleaners such as Windex or Glass Plus. Over time, these substances can dull and remove sealant from granite countertops.
Treat any lingering stains with a mixture of baking soda and water.
If disinfecting surfaces, use undiluted isopropyl alcohol. It’s a good idea to add it to a spray bottle for easy spraying.
How to Clean Quartz (Cambria, Caeserstone and Silestone)
Again, start with soap and water. Do not use bleach or any products that contain it. Also avoid glass cleaners such as Windex.
To remove stains, cover the stain with a paste made from baking soda or Barkeepers Friend, let it sit for a few minutes, and rub in a circular motion.
Isopropyl alcohol is the best choice for disinfecting quartz surfaces.
How to Clean Solid Surfaces (Corian)
All-purpose cleaners like Fantastik, 409, or Clorox can be used, but avoid window cleaners.
For spots or stains that cannot be removed with a cleanser, use a soft scrub and apply in circular motions.
How to Clean Soapstones
To maintain its finish and avoid damage, ditch vinegar, citrus, bleach, ammonia, or any harsh chemical cleaners.
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Occasionally, rub in a very light layer of mineral oil.
How to Clean Wood or Meat Countertops
You may need to scrape off any sticky material with a metal dough scraper before cleaning the wooden countertop.
After washing and rinsing, spray surfaces with undiluted white vinegar or a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach and 1 cup water and let sit for a few minutes to disinfect surfaces.
To remove blemishes, sprinkle salt on the area and scrub with a sliced lemon. Keep in mind that you may never be able to restore wooden countertops to the same pristine condition as other surfaces. You might as well accept the imperfect appearance of a well-used surface.
How to Clean Stainless Steel
Avoid using bleach cleaners. Barkeepers Friend is a great cleaner for stainless steel; mix it with water to make a paste to remove stains. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any residue.
After rinsing and drying the stainless steel, apply a very light coat of mineral oil, which will help it resist streaks, smudges, and fingerprints. Pro tip: Mineral oil can also work wonders on your stainless steel refrigerator in small amounts.
How to Clean Marble
Only use soap and water to clean marble. Avoid vinegar, lemon juice, and bleach as they can corrode the stone.
To remove stains, let the baking soda paste sit on the spot overnight.
You can use isopropyl alcohol spray to disinfect surfaces.
Sharon Franke has been testing and writing about kitchen equipment for over 30 years. She spent seven years as a professional chef at restaurants in New York City before becoming an expert in cooking tools. In her free time, she is busy baking sourdough bread and rustling pots and pans on her stove.
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