How to Clean Kitchen Countertops

Everyone loves a clean kitchen.

But it isn’t always easy to figure out how to keep your kitchen clean and disinfected. This is particularly true when it comes to how to clean kitchen countertops.

Your countertops endure the most use and abuse among all areas of the kitchen. Imagine the number of items each day that are spilled, dripped, leaked, or poured onto your countertops.

Add to that food preparation, like slicing meat that drips off a cutting board, or splattering grease from a frying pan. If you have a large family or kids that are constantly in the kitchen, the use and abuse is even greater.

Besides cleanliness and shine, bacteria and its growth is a major concern in any kitchen.

Finally, your cleaning techniques can be as varied as the type of countertops you have – granite, quartz, laminate, and butcher block can all be handled differently.

So let’s look at how to clean kitchen countertops like an expert.

The Basics of Cleaning Countertops

The easiest way to keep your countertops clean is by wiping up spills as soon as they happen. This is particularly true with spills of liquids or any food that have a rich color or dye, which could stain any surface. Think mustard, beets or even soda.

It’s also important if you have a porous surface like granite or butcher block in your kitchen. They could stain easily, but even with non-staining food, bacteria could absorb into the surface. Think ground beef, chicken or steak.

The other step is choosing your countertop in the first place. While granite is particularly popular, it does require sealing when it’s installed, and regular sealing for maintenance. Otherwise, it can stain.

In terms of ease of cleaning and maintenance, along with a beautiful look, your best choice is quartz. It’s an engineered stone that’s easier to look after than granite or some of the other countertop surfaces, while still looking great.

As for choosing a cleaning cloth, any type of microfiber or other non-abrasive cloth is best to use, as it won’t scratch some of the glossier finishes on countertops.

Cleansers for Your Countertops

All countertops are not created equal when it comes to cleaning products. While there are some solutions you can use on a variety of surfaces, like dish soap and water, there are also some product-specific cleansers that are best to use to clean your kitchen countertops.

Let’s look at the types of cleansers best used for each of the most popular types of countertop surfaces.

Granite

Since this is such a popular surface, let’s start with granite. And let’s start with what NOT to use.

Vinegar is a popular natural cleanser used in many kitchens, but it should not be used on granite. It can dull the surface, weaken the sealant, and even cause pitting. Also, you should not use window cleaner or any type of bleach.

The best cleanser for granite is a mix of isopropyl alcohol and water, which cleans and disinfects. Often called rubbing alcohol (which is actually 70% isopropyl alcohol), mix it equally with water in a spray bottle. Spray it over the granite daily and wipe it clean, and use it as a spot cleaner on spills and stains.

Quartz

Quartz tends to be more bacteria and stain resistant than granite, but it’s not completely bacteria-proof or scratch-proof, so it still needs proper care when cleaning.

Once again, don’t use cleaning products with bleach. You should also avoid vinegar and lemon, as the acidity could discolor the surface. Quartz can still scratch, so abrasive cleaning pads should not be used.

Warm dish soap mixed with water, along with a soft cloth, is best for cleaning quartz. You can also use glass cleaner on quartz, as it will help it shine and eliminate streaks.

Laminate

Laminate, which is made from layers of plastic bonded together, is a common choice for its lower cost as well as ease of maintenance.

Dish soap and a soft cloth are best for cleaning laminate, but there are other options. You can prepare a mix of 1 part distilled white vinegar and 2 parts water to clean laminate, as a cleanser and disinfectant. A small amount of lemon can be added to the solution as well.

Butcher Block

Wood or butcher block countertops are gaining in popularity. They should be sealed for protection to prevent cracking or warping.

A vinegar and water solution can also be used on this type of countertop. It’s important to dry wood countertops after cleaning.

Mineral oil can be applied sparingly on a regular basis to keep the wood from drying, as well as to clean and disinfect the surface. This could be done monthly, depending on the condition of the wood. You can usually tell when wood is starting to dry and needs mineral oil treatment.

Final Thoughts

Kitchens are usually the most-used room in any home. They are also the site of plenty of spills, and a multitude of sources of bacteria. Your countertops usually get the brunt of spills and messes.

As a result, it’s important to keep your kitchen clean and free of bacteria. Using this guide how to clean kitchen countertops, your kitchen is sure to stay spotless and germ-free.