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There are many ways you can upgrade your kitchen. New appliances, new floors, new wallpapers. What else? One of the best things you can invest on for your kitchen is a countertop as these are multi-functional surfaces that can last your home for a really long time. They are definitely worth the investment.
Kitchen countertops are large surfaces made out of various materials including man-made goods like glass bottles, concrete, and PVC. They are also made with natural stones like granite, marble, soapstone, and quartz. Regardless of what you pick, getting a kitchen countertop is one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen.
People dive into getting a kitchen countertop for their home without thinking that there are a lot of things to consider before they do so. Kitchen countertops are used for many purposes inside the kitchen but mostly, they are used for preparing ingredients, as well as holding most of the appliances you have at home in your kitchen.
Getting a kitchen countertop is only the beginning of your countertop journey. The next and possibly major part of the journey is having to clean and maintain your kitchen countertop so that it retains its quality and it increases in the future. A lot of people think that taking care of the countertop is as easy as cleaning it like a regular table.
That couldn’t be more falls. There are a lot of differences between kitchen countertops and regular surfaces. This means you should never treat them equally. There are specific ways you can clean and care for your countertops and that’s what we are going to talk about next if you want to be safe with your investment.
Cleaning Countertops – Natural Stone vs. Synthetic
For starters, you need to familiarize yourself with the countertop you have. Is it a natural stone countertop or is it a countertop that’s made out of synthetic material? This matters a lot because it dictates what you need to do for your countertop just in case it gets dirtied up over time. Let’s first define the two major types.
Synthetic countertops are those that are made out of man-made materials. Aside from being cheaper, these countertops are also generally easier to take care of. This is because of the fact that they are non-porous materials meaning there are no tiny holes where liquids could seep into. Of course, they are far less durable and good looking as compared to other materials.
Natural stone countertops are those that are made out of stone cut from quarries. They are more expensive and harder to source. They are also porous most of the time so this means there are tiny holes within the countertop. While better in quality, these countertops are definitely harder to take care of but caring for them is worth it.
The key factor here is the porosity and it matters a lot. Countertops that are porous are harder to care for because they are susceptible to stains. These can occur if you let a colored liquid dry on the countertop surface, letting the liquid get absorbed by the countertop itself. This can pose serious problems for your countertop later.
Cleaning Your Countertop
Now let’s talk about what you are here for – cleaning your countertop. For starters, let’s talk about the things you should use for cleaning. For one, you should never and we mean NEVER, use an abrasive wiper on the surface of your countertop. Steel Wool and Scotch-Brite abrasives are not going to do your countertops well and so far the sponge is too rough.
Regardless of what your countertop may be, the best cleaning tool to wipe it down with is a fiber cloth or any cloth that is smooth. This lowers the chances of getting your countertop scratched as you wipe it down with your cleaning agent. Again, never use anything that’s too rough. Even if you are careful, the chances of scratching are very high.
That being said, you should always keep this wiping tool near your countertop. It should always be within arms reach so that whenever a spill occurs, you can immediately clean your kitchen with it. A big mistake is letting the spilled liquid dry up on the countertop as this is where stains occur as the surface absorbs the liquid.
The key to maintaining your countertop is fast action. If something like coffee, soy sauce, and cola spills on your counter make sure to clean it up and not let it dry on the surface. Doing so results in stains that are not just hard to remove, but are also permanent in the long run as well. As such, always make sure a cleaner is within reach.
It would be best to simply avoid spilling anything on the countertop in the first place but we get why this can be hard. The best way to avoid spills is to invest in a butcher block and waterproof mats you can place around the surface as you work around the kitchen. These can prevent major cleanups in the future.
Of course, you’d want to make sure that your countertop isn’t just clean, but is also sanitized. How can you do this? Well, one thing to take note of is that countertop surfaces are very sensitive and prone to getting damaged. This means you can’t simply use any cleaning agent you find inside the house.
The best cleaning agent to use is a mixture of one part mild dish soap and one part water. This will help fully clean your countertop surface without causing any discoloration or serious staining along the way. Just simply spread this on the counter or spritz the solution on it and then wipe it down. Rinse with a wet cloth if you must.
The last thing you’d want to do is to use any harsh cleaning agents on the surface. These include bleaches, strong detergent, or even any acidic cleaning agents. These can cause serious discoloration and staining problems that you definitely don’t want on your kitchen countertop.
This applies only to natural stone countertops though. If you have a man-made countertop, then you can clean with almost any other cleaning agent so long as it isn’t too strong. As we’ve said, these types of countertops are a lot easier to take care of as compared to countertops that are made out of natural stone.
Alternatively, you can also buy multi-surface cleaners on hardware stores as well. Make sure to get one that can accommodate natural stone surfaces. These are the best money can buy. They can take care of your countertop, completely sanitize it, and then give it a shiny new coat without causing any further problems.
Last but not the least, make sure to regularly have your countertop sealed. Sealing is a process where your countertop is coated with a special mixture. This mixture makes the countertop non-porous, therefore, stain-resistant. Most natural stone countertops are already sealed but you have to reseal them at least ounces every year.
You can avail sealing services in places where you can buy countertops from. In most cases, it’s best to get your countertop sealed at the place where you bought the countertop in. THey can even give you discounts but most importantly, they can give your countertop the treatment it needs because they are the ones that provided it after all.
You might be asking, why go through all of this trouble just to clean the countertop? For one, it is a surface where you cook and prepare food. Of course it has to be clean and sanitized. The last thing you’d want is prepping your food on a surface that’s teeming with germs and bacteria. You can get someone sick!
Another important reason is that as your countertop develops stains and problems, it loses value overtime. If you are planning to sell your home eventually, you’d want to have a countertop that’s in good condition. This will help you sell the house at a higher price range but most importantly, it can give you your money’s worth back. All it takes is a little effort to get all of these.
Cleaning your countertop isn’t an overly complex matter but it does take a lot of work. As long as you know what you are doing though, you’ll find that it’s actually very easy to clean your kitchen countertop and it’s all about knowledge and less about what you do. In time, you’ll be able to have a sparkling clean countertop.
Remember, this is a big investment on your end. It’s only a must that you take the right steps and right methods to ensure that your countertop is protected. The last thing you’d want is having your countertop depreciate in value over time as that can greatly ruin the countertop you’ve spent so much money on.
At Granite Expo, you are confident that your needs will be promptly and accurately met with the help of our duly trained, licensed, and bonded technicians. Call us now or feel free to check us on Yelp!