Countertops are often a focal point in kitchens and bathrooms. Typically, they account for much of the surface area in these spaces and attract the eye with their color, motion, patterns, and sheen.
Countertops are also one of the more substantial investments you’ll make in the kitchen or bathroom remodeling process, so it’s essential to know how to properly clean and maintain the materials you choose. Here are some tips for each countertop material to help you keep them sparkly and beautiful for many years to come.
Photo Courtesy of MSI
How to clean granite countertops
A common misconception about granite countertops is that they need to be sealed regularly. While granite does need to be adequately sealed, it should only be done once at installation. At Kitchen & Bath Center, we seal the countertops on all granite installations performed. Because it is done properly at the beginning, we very rarely get a follow up call from a customer to inspect an issue.
To clean granite countertops properly, use warm, soapy water. Stay away from common commercial spray cleaners because ingredients like ammonia, vinegar, and lemon are all acidic and could eat away at the surface of your granite.
If you feel like the material needs a deeper clean, you can make a homemade mixture of 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol on your granite countertops. There are also commercially available stone cleaners that do not contain any of the harsh ingredients.
Also, think about what kind of rag you are using to wipe down the surface of your granite countertops. You don’t want to use anything abrasive. Choose a soft washcloth or microfiber cleaning cloth. To prevent streaks on your granite countertops, make sure you dry and buff after wiping them down.
Photo Courtesy of MSI
How to clean quartz countertops
Unlike granite, quartz is manufactured with a mix of ground quartz stone, resins, and polymers and is therefore non-porous. Not only that, but quartz countertops are also stain and odor resistant.
To clean quartz countertops, soapy water, and a soft cloth is still your best bet. Harsh abrasive cleansers or scouring pads will dull the surface of your countertops. If you need a stronger cleanser because something like wine or fruit juice spills on your quartz countertop, use a glass or non-abrasive surface cleaner along with a soft cloth or sponge.
How to clean cultured marble countertops
Cultured marble is a manufactured material made with a mix of marble dust and resins. To clean cultured marble countertops, you can use a mild all-purpose cleaner that doesn’t contain any abrasives. Abrasive cleaners and scouring pads can scratch the surface of your cultured marble, and glossy and matte finishes will show every little scratch.
For hard-to-combat soap scum or hard water stains, the best cleanser for a cultured marble countertop is a DIY solution – a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water. Choose a soft washcloth, soft sponge, or microfiber cleaning cloth for all your cleaning needs.
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How to clean laminate countertops
Laminate countertops have come a long way over the years. Today, they are made in such a way that they mimic the look of high-end granite and quartz with a substantially lower price tag.
Dishwashing liquid, warm water, and a microfiber cloth is the preferred way to clean laminate countertops as well. Again, abrasive cleaners and scouring pads or steel wool are a no-no. Laminate countertops have a plastic coating on them, and harsh abrasive cleaners will damage and scratch this. They could also dull a shiny surface. Baking soda, mild household cleaners, or a soft, short-bristled brush are all great options for tackling tough stains on laminate countertops.
It’s important to read all the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the cleaning and maintenance of your new kitchen or bathroom countertops, no matter which material you choose. This is to ensure that you do not put anything on your countertops that could cause you to void the warranty.
Do you want to learn more about how to properly care for your countertops? Check out our blog post, “Can you put a hot pan on a countertop?”DREAM IT. DESIGN IT. LIVE IT. | Kitchen & Bath Center