Find out how to clean your kitchen worktop according to the material in question.
It is essential to know how to clean your kitchen worktop and remove stains and watermarks successfully, not only to ensure hygiene in the kitchen, but also to keep your worktop in pristine condition as long as possible.
There is a vast range of kitchen worktop materials on the market, and each one has special needs in terms of cleaning and maintenance. This means that according to the worktop composition, special products and tools will be used to safeguard its good looks and functional aspects and ensure durability over time.
When you choose the material for a kitchen worktop, it’s a good idea to find out about the characteristics involved. Easy cleaning and maintenance, porosity and water resistance, resistance to grease, acids, chemical substances as well as scratches and scuffs, are properties that may vary according to the material.
For this reason, each material should come with a technical info sheet that describes characteristics, advantages, maintenance tips and any drawbacks.
This will help you to avoid ruining the worktop by using the wrong products, tools or methods.
Worktops are inevitably soiled when used every day. However, if you take immediate action and clean as and when necessary, a damp cloth is all you need to remove stains and dirt.
Problems arise when residual food, dressings, grease, naturally acid substances such as vinegar or lemon juice, wine, etc. remain in contact with the worktop surface for too long. Certain naturally porous materials, such as, for example, natural stone, could absorb dirt, and others could be corroded by acids.
In addition to general rules for routine cleaning and maintenance, there are several methods and specific expedients for every material.
For this reason, first and foremost it is essential to know the characteristics of the different materials used for kitchen worktops, so as to avoid using products or tools that could damage them.
Let’s see in detail how to clean kitchen worktops according to the most popular materials used.
Acid-free, non-abrasive detergents must be used to clean kitchen worktops in Laminate and HPL. Soapy water, warm water and vinegar or a solution of two parts water and one part alcohol are also effective without the risk of altering the surface shine.
Never use metal fibre pads, abrasive sponges, caustic acid-based products or limescale removers containing acetone, trielin or ammonium like those for cleaning ovens or bathroom fixtures, as these would damage the finish and remove its shine. After cleaning, dry carefully with a soft cloth to remove every trace of liquid.
Solid wood or veneered worktops are easily cleaned with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
Difficult stains can be removed with natural solutions, such as for example, a mixture of equal parts of apple vinegar and water, or if really necessary, a solution of bleach well diluted in water.
Never, ever, use alcohol, acetone, trielin or ammonium.
Marble and granite are natural stones that require a little more attention and should always be cleaned immediately after use. They are highly sensitive to naturally acid substances such as vinegar, lemon or tomato juice, which could compromise their shine if not removed immediately.
To clean just use warm water, neutral soap and a cloth, preferably in microfibre.
Never use abrasive tools or products, bleach or acid detergents.
The characteristics of Laminam, particularly its reduced porosity, make daily cleaning of kitchen worktops a simple task. Just use a sponge or soft cloth with warm water and a mild detergent, if necessary, and dry carefully with a clean cloth or kitchen paper.
If the stain is particularly stubborn, you can clean the area in question with a pH neutral, non-abrasive, detergent, or slightly abrasive, acid or solvent-based cleaner (e.g. white spirit, trielin or nitro thinner), rinse well with clean water and dry immediately. Wax-based products are not recommended as they could leave marks and opaque patches. Do not use abrasive detergents or sponges.
The same instructions apply to stoneware kitchen worktops, with the exception of solvent-based products, especially on dark finishes.
Quartz and Okite® are less porous and absorbent than marble, granite and natural stone in general, but also in this case it is always a good idea to remove dirt immediately with a damp cloth so that it does not stay on the surface too long.
Products such as Marseille soap are also effective; remember to rinse and dry after removing the stains.
There are also special products dedicated to cleaning quartz, while those containing chlorine or ammonium and limescale removers are not suitable.
For more thorough cleaning, the surface can be treated with a paste made up of bicarbonate and dish washing liquid or a solution of water, vinegar and dish washing liquid, applied with a soft sponge, using a circular movement and then rinsing and drying to remove all residue.
HPL worktops can be cleaned with normal household detergents and a soft cloth, rinsing well to prevent limescale deposits. To remove stubborn stains, after the first step, use a soft sponge and kitchen limescale remover, rinse with warm water and then dry. You can also use acetone to clean an HPL kitchen worktop thoroughly, taking care to avoid contact with any plastic edging or gaskets.
Fenix® kitchen worktops are distinguished by their particular ability to ‘self repair’ light scratches. The usual household detergents are suitable for cleaning this material, especially with a melamine sponge that also removes dirt from a dry surface.
Stainless steel kitchen worktops are easily cleaned with ethyl alcohol sprayed onto the surface and then dried with a soft cloth. Vinegar or lemon juice are natural substances effective in removing grease and limescale deposits, followed by drying with a cotton cloth or kitchen paper.
More stubborn stains can be removed with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and warm water, making a dense cream to leave for a few minutes on the stain and then rinse off and dry with a microfibre cloth.
As an alternative, there are special creams on the market for cleaning stainless steel.
Pan stands, chopping blocks and spoon rests are valuable allies to avoid direct contact with the worktop, and a little attention and a roll of kitchen paper always to hand will help you keep the kitchen tidy, clean and efficient. Pay attention to scratches, scuffs and chips, as they could harbour liquids and dirt.
In conclusion, always remember to dry the worktop after cleaning, so as to prevent water collecting and damaging the surface.