Your kitchen counters undergo a lot of stress on a daily basis, so you might find that you need to clean them pretty regularly. From food splashes to red wine stains and built-up grease, countertops can be demanding to clean.
Depending on the countertop material you're working with – granite, quartz, wood, steel, etc – the products and cleaning techniques will change. Here we show you techniques for cleaning kitchen countertops easily, no matter the material!
How to Clean Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are naturally very strong and resistant to stains, but still, you need to properly care for a granite countertop.
- Use soap and water with a microfiber cloth for everyday cleaning – don't use anything too abrasive. You can use a second microfiber cloth to buff the granite dry when you're done.
- If the granite is stained, use a 50-50 ratio to create a paste of baking soda and water. Allow it to sit on the stain for a few hours and then wipe away clean. Repeat if necessary.
- Granite counters need sealing about once every 12 months. Buy a high-quality granite sealer and follow the instructions once a year to prolong its lifespan.
How to Clean Laminate Countertops
One of the cheaper and more common kitchen countertops on the market, cleaning this surface is actually very easy.
- Use lukewarm water combined with dishwashing liquid or mild household cleaner to wipe down laminate countertops with a cotton cloth or soft sponge. This is enough for most everyday spills and stains.
- To remove stains, create a paste of baking soda and water with a roughly 50-50 ratio. Allow it to sit for 5-10 mins and then wipe away carefully as baking soda is slightly abrasive. Repeat as necessary.
- Be sure to use a cutting board, butcher's block, and any other necessary protection in everyday use.
How to Clean Marble Countertops
Marble is very similar to granite as they're both natural stone countertops. However, you need to be a little gentler when you clean countertops made from marble.
- Use warm soap and water with a cotton cloth for everyday cleaning – make sure you don't use a scrub brush, scrubbing pads, or anything too abrasive.
- To remove stains from marble countertops, create a paste of baking soda and water (for oil-based stains) or hydrogen peroxide and water (for water-based stains). Allow to sit for a few hours and then wipe away clean.
- Seal your stone once every 3-4 months with a dedicated marble sealing product. Not sealing your marble regularly makes it easier for stains to sink into the pores of the marble countertop.
How to Clean Stainless Steel Countertops
Commonly found in professional kitchens due to their simplicity and sturdiness, a stainless steel counter doesn't require a ton of fancy cleaning products.
- For everyday cleaning, use warm water and soap or dishwashing liquid with a microfiber cloth to help avoid scratching the surface. You can also use dedicated stainless steel cleaner if you want to. Buff out the surface with a dry microfiber cloth after.
- Use stainless steel polish or lemon oil to keep the surface looking shiny and scratch-free.
- Some people also recommend oiling by using a splash of olive oil on a paper towel to buff out the countertop and prevent scratching.
How to Clean Butcher Block Countertops (Wood Countertops)
A butcher block countertop surface is basically just wood countertops. While these surfaces look nice in home kitchens, they're not the best surfaces to work with in terms of cleaning.
- For everyday cleaning, scrub your wood countertop with nonabrasive cleaner OR create a solution of water and a little white vinegar to scrub the surface with. For stubborn food stains baked into the counter, use a metal spatula to scrape off the debris before going back over with your water and vinegar solution.
- If you've got tough stains, cut a lemon in half. Sprinkle salt onto the food residue and rub the lemon juice into the stain with some force. Remove the salty lemon juice and then wipe it over with water and vinegar to finish.
- You should regularly treat butcher block counters with mineral oil (butcher's block oil) to help preserve the condition of the wood. Wood is much more porous than stone, so mineral oil helps to “block up” those pores and keep the wooden surface free from bacteria.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
A quartz countertop is actually pretty easy to clean. This is because quartz is an engineered stone (human-made stone) that is designed to be scratch-resistant and durable in a kitchen environment.
- For the most part, warm water and dish soap with a soft cloth will be enough to clean quartz countertops.
- If you've got a stain that dish soap or household cleaner isn't removing, use some glass cleaner and a soft sponge to tackle the area. The glass cleaner will usually remove any stains.
- Be aware that quartz can scorch and burn, so while you can use the surface for chopping, don't leave hot pans on it for too long. If, however, your quartz counterop tends to get scratched, make sure to polish it every once in a while to make it look like new.
How to Clean Concrete Counters
Concrete counters aren't super common, but they are very durable and some people love them in their home kitchen. For the most part, cleaning concrete countertops is quite simple.
- Use hot water mixed with dish soap and some tough cleaning tools to scrub off any food residue left on the concrete. Microfiber cloths will be too delicate for concrete – look for tougher scrubbers and cleaning sponges instead.
- Seal your concrete regularly with a dedicated concrete sealer product.
- If you want to sanitize your counter after sealing, mix 1/4 cup isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray onto the freshly-sealed concrete countertop and allow to sink in.
How to Clean Corian Counters
When it comes to cleaning Corian countertops, you're in luck. This counter material is engineered to be easy to clean, so simple dish soap usually does the trick.
- Use warm water, dish soap, and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the counter for everyday cleaning.
- If you're dealing with a serious stain, use an ammonia-based cleaner or a general non-abrasive kitchen cleaner to tackle the countertops with your microfiber cloth and a little water.
- Corian kitchen counters scorch and scratch easily, so be sure to take care of this counter when using it for cooking.
Conclusion – What is the best way to clean kitchen countertops?
Most of the time, the best way to clean kitchen countertops is soft microfiber cloths combined with warm water and dish soap or a general kitchen cleaner spray.
However, depending on the type of material you're working with, you might need to follow specific instructions to get the results you desire.
No matter what type of kitchen countertops you have at home, hopefully these cleaning tips help you to get your kitchen surfaces looking as good as new!