Swita Cabinetry Blog

 

What Cleaners are Safe for Daily Cleaning of Kitchen Countertops?

July 21, 2015

Mild soap and warm water, plus a few other ideas

We’re often asked about countertop cleaners, especially when it comes to stone countertops. Cleaning them with mild dish soap and water is usually the safest way to go with all types of tops.

But, then some say that their granite tops are lackluster. This can happen if soap isn’t being fully wiped off after every cleaning and is left to build up. A microfiber cloth does a nice job at removing excess soap and water. Some suppliers recommend a weekly cleaning with granite cleaners such as Granite Gold. These products can be pricy if used daily, so search the Internet for options that could even include homemade cleaners.

At Swita Cabinetry, the most common countertops our customers buy are laminate, stone and solid surface. Here, we’ll share information about cleaning them.

LAMINATE

Laminate is a composite of printed paper or other materials like MDF bonded at high heat and pressed between resins or plastic. It's inexpensive, mass-produced and very versatile.

kathyTop 

Laminate isn’t as durable as stone, however. It can crack and crumble when over-exposed to moisture and steam, such as around a dishwasher, and can wear away over time. It doesn't stand up well to high heat like a hot pan that could burn away the top layer.

How to clean

Ease of cleaning is a great feature of a laminate. It can handle a whole range of products from simple soap and water to vinegar or bleach.

GRANITE

Each granite countertop is like a work of art. Granite is quarried all over the world. However, most that’s imported to the United States is from India, Brazil, Italy and China. Granite igneous rocks, also known as fire rocks, were formed by slowly cooling pockets of magma trapped beneath the earth's surface. It’s durable and heat resistant and great for kneading dough, rolling out pastry and other activities that favor a cool surface.

 graniteStoneInnov

How to clean

Clean it with mild soap and warm water, and dry with microfiber cloth. Periodically, use a natural stone or granite cleaner to revive shine. Products such as Granite Gold and Method Daily Granite Cleaner are available at kitchen and grocery stores and online. Just look for a cleaner that’s formulated with a neutral pH or one marked safe for granite countertops.

Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can etch the surface.

How to care

Reseal the countertops when water splashed on the surface no longer beads.

QUARTZ

We really like Cambria quartz surfaces that are made right next door in Minnesota, and Cambria is a terrific company to work with. Our customers like Cambria for the incomparable beauty and durability, and selection of 120 designs.

 Rosslyn_K_001_13

How to care

It’s made up of 93% quartz making it more durable than granite. Since it’s nonporous and has an antimicrobial barrier, it won’t draw in moisture from raw food and harbor bacteria. And, it doesn’t require periodic sealing, polishing or reconditioning.

How to clean

Cleaning is simple with mild soap and warm water. For more on care and maintenance: http://www.cambriausa.com/en/Customer-Care/care-and-maintenance/

 Brownhill_K_005_001

SOLID SURFACE

Synthetic or manufactured solid surface countertops are made of manmade materials like acrylic, polyester resins, marble dust, and other pigments.

 solid surface bath

How to care

Since it’s nonporous, solid surface resists stains and germs. It’s easy to buff out scratches, but solid surface is vulnerable to heat and dents.

How to clean

Use mild soap and water. An ammonia-based cleaner like Mr. Clean is fine. Bleach and other harsh cleaners can dull and weaken the seal over time.

WOOD & BUTCHER BLOCK

Wood tops made of rich Walnut, straight clean Maple or deep veining Red Oak make a beautiful statement in kitchens and are great surfaces to work on.

 wooden top

How to care

Maintenance is the big drawback. Wood is a forgiving surface but it needs to be sanded and oiled regularly to restore surface integrity. Cleaning after every use is recommended.

How to clean

Avoid bleach and harsh chemicals that can damage the finish.Naturally occurring antimicrobial substances in wood grain make it more sanitary overall.

What to use:

  • Mild dish soap
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Scraper
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towels or dish towel

Instructions:

  • Scrape off debris and food residue.
  • Scrub the countertop with hot water and mild dish soap.
  • Rinse well with hot water.
  • Sanitize by spraying undiluted white vinegar onto the countertop, and let sit for a few minutes. Wipe off with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Dry thoroughly with a clean dishtowel or paper towel.

If you have more specific questions, refer to the owner’s manual or manufacturer website for care & maintenance. Always take care with chemical-based cleaning products. Eco-friendly are best for indoor air quality.