Kitchen countertops take quite the beating in every household. Spills, splashes, and crayon scribbles make their way onto our countertops every day, which means lots of cleanup. Don’t fret! This cheat sheet is your tool to help you shine up and maintain your countertops, no matter what material they’re made of!
Butcher Block Countertops
The basics: Beautiful and classic, butcher block countertops are affordable and age well. However, they do require maintenance—if you neglect to care for them, they may crack.
How to clean: Scrape away residue with a flat plastic spatula or pan scraper, and wipe down any stains with mild dishwashing soap. Try undiluted vinegar for more resilient stains.
How to maintain: You’ll need to oil your butcher block countertops every six months to protect your wood from damage.
The basics: Of natural stone options for kitchen countertops, granite is the most popular. It is beloved by homeowners (and buyers) for its unique looks and long lifespan. However, it can be costly and requires installation done by pros.
How to clean: Avoid acidic cleaners like Windex and vinegar, and use warm water and a soft cleaning cloth for daily cleaning.
How to maintain: Make sure your granite is sealed properly by a professional at least once a year.
The basics: Laminate has lots of pros: low cost, potential to be installed by DIYers, and a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from. However, it does peel, chip, and scorch easily.
How to clean: Use a soft cloth with mild cleaner for basic stains, and a mixture of baking soda and household cleaner for tougher stains.
How to maintain: Many stores carry countertop coatings to help you maintain clean laminate countertops and resist stains.
The basics: With natural veining that makes it one of the most beautiful of countertop stones, marble is also one of the most easily damaged materials. It is porous and relatively soft, so it can accumulate stains if not cleaned and maintained properly.
How to clean: Use a soft cloth with marble cleaner, or, if you want to make a cleaner at home, mix a mild, non-abrasive, pH neutral soap with water.
How to maintain: Professionals recommend sealing marble every three to six months.
The basics: If you want the natural stone look and feel but want to save some $$$, slate is a great choice. It’s less expensive than marble and granite, and is non-porous and resists stains well.
How to clean: The Spruce recommends using a stone cleaner (without wax) and a damp cloth. Make sure to wipe slate countertops dry after cleaning.
How to maintain: Seal your slate countertops after installation.
The basics: Quartz is a man-made material created to look like natural stone. There are hundreds of colors and patterns to choose from, so it’s easy to work into any kitchen.
How to clean: Use warm water or mild dish soap and a soft cloth for daily cleaning. Use glass cleaner for deep cleaning.
How to maintain: Use hot pads—quartz is heat-resistant, but not heat-proof. Excessive heat can lead to thermal shock, which can cause cracking.
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