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You loved the way the kitchen looked when you first moved into your home, but now the countertops are starting to stain and lose their shine. It’s frustrating to see something that was once so beautiful and utilitarian become a useless eyesore. Well, don’t worry. You don’t have to stand by and watch it happen. All you need to do is learn how to clean kitchen countertops made from that particular material.
A wide range of materials is available for use in countertops. Everything from fine marble to laminate can be found in the kitchen. Each one has its unique requirements for cleaning too.
Thankfully, most of the materials used in your kitchen countertop require a minimal amount of effort to maintain. You just need to know the right process for your counters. As long as you know what kind of material your counters are made of, this should be easy to figure out.
In this article, you’ll find out exactly how to care for every type of countertop material imaginable. Learn how to wipe up those surfaces on a daily basis, deal with stains and spills, and protect with sealants. Yes, many of the natural stones that are featured in kitchen counters are soft and porous. You’ll need to learn how to seal kitchen countertops of this type to keep food stains from sinking in.
Different Ways to Clean and Seal Countertops
How To Clean Travertine Countertops
Travertine is a natural type of limestone, which gives it a unique pockmarked appearance and texture. This also means that it is porous, so should be sealed to keep it from staining. Avoid using any acids or harsh chemicals to clean this material. You’ll want a clean microfiber cloth and a pH balanced stone cleaner, such as Supreme Surface Granite Cleaner & Conditioner.
Start by wiping up any crumbs or food particles on the surface. Spray the countertop with the stone cleaner. Buff the countertop dry with the microfiber cloth.
How To Clean Granite Countertops
The look and shine of granite require regular cleaning and restoration to maintain. Luckily, these two tasks can be done within a few minutes. You will need the following for cleaning granite countertops:
- Warm water
- Mild dish soap
- Clean cloth
- DuPont Revitalizer
Mix a small amount of dish detergent into the bucket of warm water until sudsy. Wet the sponge in the solution and squeeze to remove excess. Wipe the counters down with the damp sponge. Dry the counters with the clean cloth.
Keep the shine on your granite countertops with regular application of the DuPont Revitalizer. Simply spray the Revitalizer on your clean countertops. Wait a few seconds and wipe it off with a clean cloth.
How To Clean Quartz Countertops
As a non-porous stone, you’ll never need to seal quartz. All that is required is regular cleaning to keep it in top condition. You can use a non-abrasive soft cleanser with bleach, sponge, and paper towels to keep your quartz countertops clean enough to eat off.
Dampen the sponge with clean water. Apply a small amount of the cleanser to the sponge. Wipe up any spills. Rinse the sponge off with clean water and wipe the countertop. Dry the entire surface with a paper towel.
What If You Have Dried Food Stains On Quartz?
You can remove stubborn dried food or wine from your quartz surface with a mild abrasive cleanser containing Oxalic Acid, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend. Follow the same procedure as used to clean quartz daily. Make sure to rinse the countertops with clean water and dry with a paper towel.
How To Clean Marble Countertops
Marble is a very attractive stone that adds a look of luxury, but it’s also very soft and porous. You’ll need to be careful not to use any acidic products to clean this material, including:
- Harsh cleansers
- Methylated Spirits (A mixture of alcohol, methanol, and dye)
The best product for these countertops is a homemade marble cleaner or a good commercial product such as DuPont Granite and Marble Cleaner. You’ll also want warm water and a microfiber cloth.
Mix the marble cleaner with the water. Wet the cloth in the solution and wring it out. Wipe down the surface to clean. Dry the countertop when finished to remove any excess water.
How To Clean Corian Countertops
This is an all man-made product, which offers the look and feel of stone, and it can be repaired fairly easily. On the downside, this is one of the most expensive countertop options. Corian is also non-porous, so food and liquids are less likely to create deep stains. This also means that you’ll never need to seal Corian. It only requires daily cleaning to remain attractive.
Here are the supplies you’ll need to clean Corian:
- Microfiber cloths
- Mild cleanser
- Paper towel
- Non-abrasive kitchen cleaner
- Abrasive cleaner
Maintaining Corian is easy by wiping it down on a daily basis with a damp, soapy microfiber cloth. Rinse away any residue by wiping the countertop a second time with clean water. Wipe the countertop dry with a paper towel or a dry cloth.
When you have dried food or surface stains, it is necessary to apply a non-abrasive kitchen cleaner to the stain before removal. Spray the stain and allow the cleaner to sit for one minute. Wipe the stain with a damp microfiber cloth. Rinse the cloth with clean water and wipe away the residue. Dry the surface with a microfiber cloth to finish.
A gentle, abrasive cleaner, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend, is necessary for really stubborn stains. Pour a small amount of the cleaner into a damp microfiber cloth. Apply the cleaner to the stain using light, circular motions to help loosen and remove it. Rinse out the cloth with clean water and wipe away the stain and residue. Finally, dry the Corian as normal with a dry microfiber cloth or paper towel.
How To Clean Laminate Countertops
Some of the most inexpensive and durable options on the market are laminate countertops. Manufacturers even offer this material in a variety of attractive looks and styles befitting the modern home. Even laminate needs to be cleaned from time to time.
You’ll need to gather the following materials to clean laminate countertops:
- Baking soda
- Mild Soap
- Non-abrasive scrub brush
- Clean Cloth
Start by mixing a small amount of the mild soap into a bowl of water until sudsy. Dip your non-abrasive brush into the mixture to wet it. Run the scrub brush over the laminate surface in small, gentle circles. If you press too hard, it can scratch the surface and make it prone to staining. Wipe the countertop down with a towel dipped in clean, non-soapy water to remove any residue.
Removing Deeper Stains From Laminate
If you have a stain on your laminate countertop, you can remove it with the careful application of baking soda. Wet a clean rag with water. Use the rage to spread a layer of baking soda over the stain. Allow it to dry. Wipe away the dried baking soda and the offending stain with a clean, damp towel. Rinse the surface with clean water and dry.
How To Seal Granite, Marble, and Travertine
Certain countertop materials, especially natural stone, are porous and require sealing to prevent stains. The process for sealing your stone countertops takes less than an hour. The only supplies needed are paper towels and a stone sealant, such as Superior Zero Ultimate Stone Protector. You may want to work in sections if you have a lot of countertop space.
Remove everything from your kitchen counters. Clean the surface using the appropriate cleaning method for your particular type of stone. Allow the countertops to dry. Spray a generous amount of sealer over the countertop surface. Make sure that you completely cover the surface with enough sealant that it is puddling up.
Allow the sealant to sit for fifteen minutes. Whatever you do, don’t allow the sealant to dry on the surface. If it starts to look like it’s drying or seeping into the surface, apply more sealant to wet it down.
Use a clean paper towel to remove any excess sealant and dry the countertops. Allow your countertops to cure for one hour before using them. Avoid cleaning the countertops for one day after applying the sealant.
Does Your Stone Countertop Need Sealing?
You can test your countertop to see if it requires sealing. Just sprinkle a few drops of water on its surface. If the water beads up and stays on the surface, your countertops are still sealed and don’t need any work. If the water spreads out and starts seeping into the stone, the countertop needs sealing.
How To Clean Concrete/Cement Countertops
Keeping concrete countertops clean only requires mild soap, a soft cloth, and clean water. Mix the soap and water, and wet the cloth in it. Use the cloth to clean up any spills or wipe down the countertops at the end of the day.
A coating of wax should be rubbed into the surface once a month to protect and maintain the seal. You can use pure beeswax, which is sold in a hard disc. Simply rub the disc of beeswax over the entire surface of the countertop. Buff the wax coating with a clean, dry cotton cloth.
How To Seal Concrete Countertops
Concrete may give your home a trendy urban look, but it is also quite porous and will pick up stains in no time. Protect your concrete with a penetrating sealer that seeps into the surface and fills the pores before drying. Other supplies you’ll need are a 1/4″ paint roller, paint tray, sponge brush, and clean clothes.
Clean the countertop surface and allow it to dry. Shake up the sealer and pour a small amount of the sealer into the paint tray. Load your roller with the sealer. Roll the roller over the countertop surface in long strokes. The sealer will be absorbed into the concrete.
You’ll want to apply two layers to get a smooth, even look. Roll over the concrete left to right, and then top to bottom. Use the sponge brush to apply sealer to the countertop sides and other difficult to reach spots. Wipe up any excess with the clean cloth.
Some people also like to apply a topcoat of counter polish to give the concrete countertops a bright, glossy appearance. This product is applied in the same exact manner as the penetrating sealer. Be sure to allow the countertop surface to dry completely before each coating of sealer and shine.
How To Clean Other Countertop Surfaces
A variety of other countertop surfaces is available on the market. Each comes with their style and cleaning method. Check below for cleaning tips for some other popular surfaces:
- Clean glass countertops with a traditional glass cleaner, such as Windex, or multipurpose cleanser and sponge. Don’t use abrasives, as they can scratch the finish.
- Clean stainless steel with mild soap and a damp cloth. If you have stains, use a gentle abrasive, such as baking soda and lemon juice, to scrub them away.
- Tile countertops can be cleaned with a non-abrasive, multipurpose cleanser and a soft sponge. Avoid acids and abrasives that can scratch.
- Use a toothbrush dipped in a solution of water and a small amount of bleach to lighten dark grout between tile.
- Wipe down wood countertops daily with a sponge dampened with a solution of mild dish detergent and water. Disinfect wood counters with a solution of one part vinegar to five parts water.
Your countertops are a big part of the real estate in your kitchen. Some are even made with high-quality, expensive materials. It’s essential to know how to care for your kitchen countertops to protect your investment in them.
Hopefully, you found this guide for how to clean your kitchen countertops useful. Did you find everything you needed to know about sealing and maintaining your kitchen surfaces? If you liked this article and thought someone else can benefit from it, please share it with others.