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As a prominent feature in your kitchen, the countertops see a lot of traffic. For most of us, the counter is a place for more than just food prep. Children may sit here during homework time or it can be a gathering place for weekend entertaining. With so many daily functions, it’s important to guarantee a clean kitchen countertop for your health and aethstetics.
Finding what works to keep your countertop clean might be a challenge. But we’re here to share solutions to ensure a clean and functional kitchen countertop for all to enjoy.
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1. Refinish Your Countertops
In some cases, your countertops can look old and worn. No amount of cleaning product can bring your countertop back to life again. Many homeowners worry they must replace their entire countertop, but refinishing can make it look new again for a lower price. The price largely depends on the type of finish you choose. Here’s what you can budget for:
- Epoxy Finish: $2.92 to $7.17/sf
- Laminate: $1.67 to $4.18/sf
- Paint & Sealant: $1.17 to $2.33/sf
2. Know Your Countertop Material
Before you start cleaning the countertop, know what material it is and what solutions will work best. From butcher block wood to ceramic tile, a cleaning solution that works on one may not work on another. Here are a few tips for your specific kitchen countertop:
Ceramic Tile Countertops
One of the biggest issues when it comes to cleaning ceramic tiles is the grout. While day-to-day maintenance will help with aesthetics, most of the bacteria and staining can be found in the grout. Using grout cleaner two to three times per year for a deep clean will help keep your countertops in the best shape.
While most cleaning solutions will work on glass countertops, be sure to not use a scouring pad or any other rough cleaning tools. This can cause scratches in the surface.
Similarly to glass, laminate countertops also can’t withstand rough cleaning tools. A simple rag with soap and water will do the trick. Always wipe up spills as soon as they happen on laminate countertops, as they are more likely to stain this surface.
Natural Stone Countertops
While natural stone countertops look great, they can be sensitive to staining based on how absorbent they are. Natural stone countertops should be sealed regularly depending on the stone to prevent stains. Additionally, never use citrus cleaners on natural stone.
Engineered stone, or quartz, countertops might be the easiest to clean and keep stain-free. Spills wipe up easily with a damp cloth and cleaner.
Stainless Steel Countertops
While stainless steel countertops are making a comeback, it can be harder to keep this material from streaks. While clean-up tends to be easier than most, to get a streak-free shine, buff with an olive or mineral oil regularly to maintain a beautiful shine.
For the home chef, wood countertops is a must in the dream kitchen. However, this type of countertop can’t handle water-based cleaners like other materials. A wood cleaner is needed to keep wood countertops in the best shape.
3. Create A Maintenance Schedule
Countertops of any type need to be cared for regularly to maintain their look and cleanliness. Create a schedule you and your family can stick to. Do a deep clean once a month and set reminders for when your counter may need to be resealed.
4. Get Organized
As you may know, countertop space isn’t just used to prepare food. Sometimes, your counter might look more like a storage area, homework station or charging area than anything else. In order to maintain your countertop regularly, you need to clear the clutter. Create an organization system for any mail or papers that might be important. Hang hooks and shelving nearby for storage, so the counter is avoided. A charging station can help you avoid crisscrossed wires across the surface. By putting organization systems in place, you can create a clean and functional counter for all in your home.
5. Use Natural Solutions
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Having a clean cooking space is essential for your family’s health. Whenever I can, I choose to use natural cleaning solutions as opposed to commercial products. This is especially important in an area where food is prepared. Additionally, natural cleaning solutions often can be made from ingredients in your home. While baking soda, vinegar and essential oils are what many go to when it comes to DIY cleaning products, always check to see if your countertop material can handle those combinations.
6. Don’t Let Spills Sit
In the kitchen, spills are bound to happen. The key to a clean countertop is to ensure all spills are cleaned up promptly. The longer a spill sits, the more likely it can stain your countertop. Keep a damp cloth nearby to pick up spills quickly as they happen and wipe down the surface area when you’re done preparing food.
A clean kitchen countertop can make for a happier and healthier space. Develop a countertop cleaning routine to keep your countertops looking good as new!
See what’s hot right now in kitchen countertop design. Read 2017 Kitchen Countertop & Backsplash Trends for more.