Every material used for counter surfaces is unique, with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and some materials are better suited to kitchen wear, tear, and mishaps than others. And, regardless of the material, they are all subjected to some level of abuse on a daily basis. Even when we are at our most diligent, not all spills are cleaned up immediately, and damage can occur.
Laminate remains popular as a durable and attractive countertop material due to its low-cost manufacturing and easy cleaning properties. A sponge with textured fiber on one side is effective for cleaning laminate and has enough abrasive power to remove grease and dried food splatters. A soft toothbrush will also clean the seams nicely, but don't leave liquid at the seams because it may cause bubbling if allowed to penetrate beneath the surface. Most daily cleaning tasks can be handled with warm, soapy water. Alternatively, mist with a half-and-half solution of white vinegar and water, then wipe down with a sponge.
Granite is a very sanitary choice for the kitchen because of its nonporous nature, which makes it resistant to moisture buildup and does not provide a surface conducive to bacterial growth. A neutral pH-balanced cleaner is best, and any natural cleaners containing acids should be avoided. Vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and citrus cleaners are examples of this. Wipe up acidic liquids and spills as soon as possible with a soft sponge and clear, warm water.
Because travertine and limestone are from the same family as marble and have similar properties, marble care and cleaning tips apply to these materials as well. Use a phosphate-free dish detergent, warm water, and a sponge to clean marble. Sprinkle some borax on the counter to remove stains and grease buildup. Rinse with warm water and buff dry with a soft cloth after rubbing with a soft sponge. Rinsing is essential because even mild soap can cause marble to dry out.
Silestone is nonporous, scratch resistant, and highly resistant to stains caused by acidic ingredients when finished with a protective polish. Avoid using any harsh chemical cleaners, bleach, or abrasive scouring pads, as these will leave marks and dull the finish. For daily cleaning, use a mild soap and warm water mixture or a half-and-half solution of white vinegar and water. Stains can be easily removed with a paste of baking soda and water rubbed in with the textured side of a sponge. Wipe dry with a soft cloth after rinsing with water.
- Stainless Steel
Because of its shiny, uncluttered lines and sleek, reflective appearance, stainless steel is becoming increasingly popular as a countertop material. It is, however, extremely high-maintenance. Wipe down stainless steel countertops with a damp, soft sponge and a small amount of baking soda. Rinse and dry immediately with a soft cloth. Apply full strength white vinegar to a damp sponge and rub well to remove stains and water marks. Thoroughly rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
The Last Swipe
As you can see, different materials require different cleaners to keep them looking their best, and each one has a solution. And once you know what cleaners your surface material requires, it's simple to keep it clean and in good condition for years to come.