Taking care of your counters with proper countertop care and maintenance will ensure your investment is protected for a very long time. Let’s look at the most popular countertop types and some easy ways to maintain them.
Laminate countertops are really easy to maintain. Simply wipe them with a clean damp cloth for everyday care. If you are looking to disinfect them, you can try various antibacterial cleaners or wipes.
THINGS TO AVOID WITH LAMINATE COUNTERTOPS
EXCESS WATER AND MOISTURE: When cleaning, ensure you are careful around edges and seems and side splashes, as they are not watertight. Standing liquid or moisture penetration can cause major problems in these areas.
HEAT: All heat should be avoided with laminate countertops, so remember to always use a heat pad or trivet for warm and hot items. These items also include various countertop appliances such as electric frying pans, crock pots and roaster ovens.
CUTTING: Always use a cutting board with laminate countertops, as they are not scratch resistant and can scratch quite easily.
Granite is a 100% natural stone material that is porous. For daily cleaning, simply use a clean cloth with warm soap and water. Method Daily Granite Cleaner is a great non-abrasive product for cleaning granite and is available at most home building supply stores, department stores or automotive department stores.
Some granite requires monthly seal maintenance, which is less daunting than you would think. Products like a 3-in-1 spray cleaner work great for this, as they are specially formulated to polish and protect your beautiful granite. To use them, spray directly onto the surface and buff with a clean cloth to a gleaming shine. You can get this product online and sometimes directly from your granite supplier. We recommend to always ask your granite supplier and fabricator about any specific cleaning and maintenance instructions for the exact type of granite you have selected.
THINGS TO AVOID WITH GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
HEAT: Granite is heat resistant, but not heat proof. It is recommended to always use a heat pad or trivet for warm/hot items, electric frying pans, crock pots or roaster ovens.
CUTTING: Granite is very scratch resistant, but it is always recommended to use a cutting board. Your knives will also thank you.
ACIDS AND ABRASIVES: Prolonged exposure to anything acidic such as citrus juice, vinegar, soda, nail polish or soaps should be avoided. Make sure to wipe up any spills of these substances right away.
SPILLS: If you have any spills immediately clean them up. If you let things sit, this can sometimes etch the seal and stain your granite.
Quartz is a beautiful non-porous surface, perfect for the busy household. For daily cleaning and care, a little soap and water, or a touch of mild detergent with a clean cloth, is all you need.
For more challenging blemishes, non-abrasive cleaners like Method Daily Granite Cleaner can work well. Again, this product is really easy to find and is available at most home building supply, department stores or automotive department stores.
We recommend you refer to the quartz supplier and fabricator about specific cleaning and maintenance instructions for the exact type and brand of quartz you have selected. There are many brands and types of Quartz. Here is some information on care and maintenance for conventional Caesarstone® brand Quartz countertops.
THINGS TO AVOID WITH QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
HEAT: Quartz and granite will perform similarly, but the main difference is that quartz can burn and granite will not. It is recommended to always use a heat pad or trivet for warm/hot items, electric frying pans, crock pots or roaster ovens. Quartz can be easily damaged by sudden and rapid changes in temperature.
STRONG CHEMICALS: Strong chemicals should also be avoided with quartz countertops, as those chemicals can permanently damage the quartz. Products such as Trichlorethane or Methylene Chloride [paint removers or strippers] should never be used on your quartz countertops. Also, aggressive and abrasive cleaning agents that are used for glass cooktops, ovens, grills and specialized cleaners for stainless steel pots should never be used.
SPILLS: Clean any spills immediately before they have a chance to dry.
For everyday cleaning of your wood countertops, you can scrub it with hot soap and water and let it dry thoroughly.
To disinfect your wood countertops, you can use regular strength vinegar. To do this, wipe them with white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in vinegar acts as a good disinfectant.
To eliminate odours from things such as onions, garlic, fish and other smells, simply rub the board with coarse salt or baking soda. Let stand for a few minutes and wipe the salt or baking soda from the board and rinse. Lemon is another good option. You can just rub fresh lemon juice or a halved lemon over the surface of the cutting board to neutralize onion and garlic odours.
For more in-depth information on Wood Countertop and Cutting Board Care Tips, check out our blog.
THINGS TO AVOID WITH WOOD COUNTERTOPS
EXCESS WATER AND MOISTURE: Never submerge wood countertops in water. Wood is porous and will soak up water causing your countertops to crack when it dries. Any liquid spills should be cleaned up immediately.
ODOUR: To avoid smells or odours, avoid contact with odour causing items such as onions, garlic or fish.
SPILLS: If you spill anything on wood countertops, immediately clean them up before they have a chance to dry. This will prevent stains and the permeation of oil and other residues from occurring.
No two countertops are the same and with good care and maintenance you can protect your investment and keep your countertops looking and performing great for many years.