Cleaning a countertop should be a relatively easy task to perform, but one should be aware of the best way to clean and maintain its surface without causing irreversible damage. Take this quiz to learn about how to clean and maintain the six most popular countertop materials.
Most experts agree that kitchen countertops constructed from granite are the strongest and most versatile of any countertop available today. A properly installed and sealed granite countertop is the Cadillac of countertops, but you will pay a price for this quality.
For acrylic countertops, you will need to use a mildly abrasive cleaner that is applied directly to a wet surface and scrub it well. Scouring powder will remove any stains or scratches.
A very hot pan or pot will cause a permanent burn mark on the surface of your acrylic countertop. Make sure that you have a trivet or two handy next to your stove or oven to place hot cooking utensils on to prevent countertop damage.
Ceramic tiles are exceptionally durable and can withstand extremes of heat and cold. Ceramic tiles are also easy to clean and glazed ceramic tiles are naturally shiny.
Ceramic tiles themselves really do not have a disadvantage when used as a countertop; the issue is with the grout used between the tiles. Grouting is soft, stains easily and is prone to cracking; although there are some very durable commercial grout sealers available to solve this problem.
Unsealed marble is very porous and stains easily, so it best to make sure it is sealed properly. The best way to clean marble is to use borax and rub it into the surface with a moistened cloth, although commercial cleaners are also readably available.
Cultured or imitation marble is manufactured from acrylic material made to resemble real quarry marble. Often ground marble is combined with acrylic to make cultured marble virtually identical to real marble, but with less tendency to stain because it is less porous.
You have to be careful to wipe up and rinse any acetic-based food spills immediately to prevent permanent surface etching. Abrasive or caustic cleansers will mar your marble countertop and oil based or wax polishes may discolor the finish.
Plastic laminate is the most common material used for kitchen counters. Although plastic laminate counters are easy to clean and maintain, you have to be careful to protect it from burns, abrasives and spills that are not wiped up quickly.
The best way to preserve a wood countertop is to rub boiled linseed oil or salad oil into the wood about once every three months. After every thorough cleaning to remove stains or odors, you will need to retreat the countertop with oil.