How to Clean Kitchen Countertops

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Kitchen countertops are probably the busiest areas in the house because they're where we prepare food, organize dishes and work with cooking gadgets. Kitchen countertops are also where we put down everything from groceries and supplies, to recipe books and kids' homework. Here are tips on how to keep your kitchen countertops clean and germ-free.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth
  • Dry towels
  • Dishwashing liquid detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon slices
  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Check with your countertop manufacturer for special cleaning and maintenance directions. Various natural and synthetic materials are being used for kitchen countertops; most will have specific instructions on how to clean and maintain them properly.

  • Wipe off surface dirt, dust, crumbs and leftover food particles with a moist sponge or soft cloth.

  • Use warm water with dishwashing liquid detergent (also called "soapy water") to wash off stubborn dirt, stains and dried food particles. Use a soft sponge to moisten the surface; let the soapy solution stand for a few minutes to loosen stubborn dirt and then scrub areas that need extra attention. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry with a clean towel.

  • Moisten the countertops with a sponge or soft cloth and then sprinkle with baking soda. Use the moist cloth to rub the baking soda over stubborn stains and dried food particles. Rinse and wipe dry with a clean towel.

  • For more durable countertops like solid-surface synthetics and engineered stone, you can also use all-purpose cleaners and degreasers, as well as window cleaners. Rinse and wipe dry with paper towels or kitchen cloths.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wipe the countertops dry after cleaning; moisture encourages growth of molds and bacteria.
  • Lemon slices are great for lifting stains from laminate countertops. Rub the lemon slice on the stain and let the juice sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse and wipe dry.
  • Clean butcher block countertops with chlorine bleach solution (1/2 tsp. of household bleach in 2 quarts of water) or a salt-and-lemon-juice paste. Rinse with a moist towel and wipe dry.
  • Use a bristle brush or an old toothbrush dipped in chlorine bleach solution to clean the grout lines of ceramic tile countertops.
  • Marble and granite countertops require special care. They are easily scratched, so avoid using abrasive cleaning tools or chemicals. Use placemats and trivets to protect the surface from scratches.
  • Heat damages marble, so protect the surface from anything hot.
  • Never let butcher block or wood countertops soak up too much water because they will deform and crack.
  • Photo Credit Photo by Ruby Bayan
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