How to Clean Your Kitchen Counters Properly | Maid4condos

How to Clean Your Kitchen Counters Properly

How to Clean Your Kitchen Counters Properly
April 18, 2022

Today, kitchen counters come in a wide variety of styles and materials. You might be uncertain how to keep your kitchen counters clean if they are made of something like wood or concrete. 

Tips for cleaning your kitchen counters

However, because you prepare food on your kitchen counters, it is very important to know how to clean them correctly to remove all those germs and reduce the risk of spreading foodborne illnesses. Here, we offer tips on how to clean your kitchen counters properly—no matter what they’re made of! 

Kitchen Counter Cleaning 101

First, regardless of the type of counters you have, you should follow some basic rules:

  • Sweep away crumbs whenever you are finished preparing food, using a crumb brush or dry paper towel to reduce buildup and avoid attracting pests.
  • Wipe any spills you notice right away with a paper towel. 
  • Use cutting boards to avoid damaging your counters.
  • Never place raw meats directly on your counters.
  • Always use an oven mitt or heating pad when placing hot dishes on the counter.

These basic tips will help keep counters clean, avoid germs and bacteria, and reduce the risk of damage.

Butcher Blocks or Wood Counters

Butcher blocks or other types of wood counters require special attention. They are very susceptible to stains if not properly treated. Wood counters need to be oiled to help prevent absorption of things like water, wine, juice, etc. 

Darker liquids will stain wood surfaces, which means you have to sand them down to remove the stain. Some great tips to remove germs and stains include the following:

  • Wipe away crumbs and scrape off anything stuck on the wood like gravy with a soft plastic spatula.
  • Always scrub in the same direction as the wood grain. 
  • Dish detergent and a sponge work well for basic cleaning, but always rinse off the soap thoroughly.
  • Keep wood dry.
  • If preparing raw meat, chicken, or fish, always disinfect the wood using white vinegar and a soft cloth letting the vinegar sit for about 15 minutes until it dries.
  • Use 1 cup of lemon juice and 1/3 cup of salt to create a paste to remove spots and grime.
  • Remove the lemon and salt residue with a damp, clean dish towel and let dry. 

These tips will keep your wood counters and butcher blocks looking their best and germ-free.

Marble Countertops

Of course, most people view marble as the gold standard for kitchen counters. However, they are also the most difficult to clean and take care of. 

Because they are so delicate, you can avoid all the fuss and just keep a spray bottle with everyday dish soap handy. Spritz the counter and wipe it with a soft cloth to remove stains and avoid damage. 

Never use vinegar or lemon juice and salt mixtures on marble, as they are too harsh. If you have stains like red wine, use water and baking powder instead. 

You might have to leave the paste to soak for a day before wiping it away. Your best bet is to ensure your marble countertops are treated and sealed to avoid staining. 

Granite Countertops

Granite is a lot like marble. However, while you can follow the same basic cleaning instructions as above, if you want to disinfect, you can use rubbing alcohol with a microfiber cloth. 

This is something you can’t do with marble. Again, a granite sealant is also a must, especially for lighter colours.

Laminate Countertops

Laminate is super-durable, except when it comes to heat. As mentioned in our Cleaning 101 section, never put anything hot directly onto your laminate countertops. 

That’s a stain you’ll never get rid of, and it will also bubble and raise to completely ruin your counters. Next, you can use just about anything on your laminate countertop as long as it is not a super-abrasive cleaner. 

If you have deeper stains like tea, coffee, or red wine, nothing works better than a mix of baking soda and lemon or vinegar. As long as you regularly clean with a kitchen-safe cleaner, or basic soap and antibacterial dish detergent, these humble counters are easy to care for.

Stainless Steel Countertops

As professional cleaners, we never understand why anyone would want stainless steel counters. Sure, they have a cool industrial look, but they are prone to fingerprints, and also show things like water and soap spots. 

If you do have stainless steel counters, though, they are fairly easy to care for. You don’t need any special cleaners—just cleaning clothes and a soft-bristled kitchen brush with trusty vinegar and baking soda. 

However, the main trick is to make sure you get them very dry to avoid spots. Fingerprints need some elbow grease, but most people aren’t putting their fingers directly on the counter surface like they do on fridges. 

Tile Countertops

Tile is tough to keep clean thanks to the grout. You can use pretty much anything on tile, but it’s best to use a brush so you get between the tiles and remove dirt from the grout. If the grout starts to discolour, then you can use bleach cleaners to help keep them white. 

Quartz Countertops

You might mistake quartz for granite. However, this is an engineered stone product that looks just as good but isn’t as porous. So, it doesn’t collect as much bacteria or stains as natural stone products. Use any kitchen cleaner or your dish detergent and water to keep these counters clean. 

Soapstone Counters

Soapstone is not as common as granite and marble, but it is actually a much better natural material. It stands up to anything, including wine, lemon juice, and vinegar. 

You can even put hot pots on it without worry. It doesn’t need a seal, just good old-fashioned soap and water to keep it clean. Still, as its name implies, it is softer, so avoid steel brushes and abrasive cleansers. 

Concrete Counters

If you have an edgy kitchen, then you might have gone with concrete. However, it isn’t really practical. Concrete needs a seal, as it is very prone to staining, but also bacterial growth. If you don’t seal it, then moisture alone can cause damage. 

Basic dish detergent and water with a washcloth will do the job nicely for cleaning. You can also use rubbing alcohol wipes if you need to disinfect counters after preparing raw meat.

At Maid4Condos, our Toronto cleaning team can help keep your kitchen counters sparkling clean and safe for food preparation. You can contact us online here, or call us at 647-822-0601.

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