Your countertops are a critical part of your kitchen. It is where you fix the food for your family and friends, where your children place their cookie while you pour their milk. Therefore, you want your counter to be as clean as possible, but you also want it to retain its shine. Some cleaners are too harsh for some types of countertops which may have dulled the shine over the years.
Instead of calling countertop resurfacing companies, these cleaning tips can not only help keep your old countertop clean, but will also bring back the shine they had when they were first installed.
Solid surface cabinets are available in matte, semigloss and gloss finishes. If your countertops have a glossy finish, clean the surface with soapy water and an ammonia-based cleaner. You can also clean these types of countertops with abrasive cleaners like Ajax or Comet. Doing so once a month can return the counters to their glossy finish. If the counters are semigloss, clean with the abrasive cleansers more often. If you want a super-polished look, you may need to have your countertops refinished.
It is critical to keep older ceramic tile countertops clean as bacteria can get into grout due to its porous nature. Wipe down your counter after every use and do a deep clean two or three times each year. Start with the grout, spraying it with commercial grout cleaner or use a mild bleach solution. Allow the cleaner to sit for ten minutes on deep stains. Use a toothbrush or small scrub brush to clean the grout. Let the grout air dry and then seal with a commercial grout sealer. If you have glazed ceramic tile, you do not need to have them sealed, but unglazed tiles need sealant occasionally. After the tile is clean, rinse with hot water.
Laminate is not as strong as other countertop surfaces, but can be protected by using good prevention methods. Never cut directly on the surface, always use a cutting board. Clean the surface with a mild detergent mixed with water and then wipe the counters down with a dry cloth. Do not let water flood the surface or get near seams as it can cause swelling which will damage the counter. If your laminate is stained, you can purchase special paints designed specifically for laminate countertops. You can also purchase a countertop redo kit to add shine as well.
If you have granite countertops, you can restore the shine by removing the layer of soap film that may build up. Don’t use dish soap on your counters as they could dull granite, limestone or marble counters. If your counter is soapstone, you may need to apply a layer of mineral oil to bring it back to its original shine. To remove soap film, use a commercially available cleaner designed for that purpose. Do not use homemade concoctions or cleaners meant for other purposes.
Wood or Butcher Block
Wood and butcher block countertops are excellent for food preparation and are heat resistant, but they are also susceptible to absorption of liquids and dirt. Remove stains with fresh lemon and wipe down the counter with a non-toxic cleaner. When it is dry, sand the surface lightly, with the grain, with 120 grit sandpaper first and then 180 grit sandpaper until the wood is smooth. A drizzle of food-grade mineral oil should then be rubbed into the wood with an old cotton rag and allowed to soak for 20 to 25 minutes before wiping clean.
Always wipe spills from your counter immediately, no matter what type of countertop you have, using both dry and wet cloths. Don’t scrub harshly as you could damage the surface. If you are looking for ways to bring new shine to old counters or are in the market to replace your kitchen counters, contact us today to learn how we can help. You can talk about your needs with our friendly customer services staff by phone or by completing the simple form online.