How to Take Care of Any Kitchen Countertop

A lot happens to your kitchen countertop. Whether you’re making a family meal, baking holiday cookies, or just sorting the mail while sipping a cup of coffee, your kitchen countertop has to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use. At Swartz Kitchens and Baths, we specialize in helping you choose the right countertop surfaces to suit your kitchen, which includes considering maintenance once your new countertops are installed.

Keeping your countertops clean and looking like-new doesn’t have to be a challenge. Consider our helpful hints for everyday maintenance and upkeep for all kinds of surfacing.

Keeping Your Counters Clean Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle

For everyday care, you’ll need little more than a few simple cleanup practices and your favorite everyday household cleaners.

Managing Spills and Stains: Spills happen, and that’s okay! Whether it’s last night’s spaghetti splatters or a toppled glass of wine, anything can happen in the kitchen. Though the method of cleanup will sometimes depend on the type of surface you have, gentle dish soap and warm water at the time of the spill will prevent most stains. For the times when quick clean-up isn’t possible and a stain forms, use a simple paste made from baking soda and water. Allow the paste to sit for several minutes to 24 hours (depending on the depth of the stain and the type of countertop) before wiping gently with warm water and cloth.

Spring Carnival Laminate Countertop by Wilsonart

Spring Carnival Laminate Countertop by Wilsonart

Preventing Damage: With sharp knives and hot pans abounding, it’s easier than you might think to cause lasting damage to your countertops. Put plainly, your kitchen surfaces are meant to withstand rigorous use, but even the most durable surfaces (think Quartz or Granite) can be damaged by sharp implements or heat. No matter what your countertops are made of, it’s best for your surfaces (and your knives!) to invest in a solid, thick wood cutting board for chopping. Also, resist the temptation to put hot pans on your countertops and instead use a heat pad or trivet (tile and bamboo are great options to consider) if you want to prevent the melting, cracking, or warping of your surfaces.

How to Keep Any Kitchen Countertop Sparkling

Different types of surfaces have different needs, especially in terms of long-term care. We’re here to help you with the practical tips you need to make sure your countertops stay beautiful.

Laminate: Laminate surfaces are an affordable and low-maintenance choice when considering options for countertop surfacing. Clean with soap and a microfiber cloth, and you’ll want to avoid any abrasive cleaning tools (such as steel wool). No sealing is required for laminate surfaces, but a downside of this is that they are difficult to repair if damaged. With proper everyday care, however, laminate surfaces last quite a while.

Granite: Granite is a popular choice for kitchen surfacing, in part because it’s both durable and easy to clean. If properly sealed (experts recommend having granite professionally sealed once every year), your granite kitchen countertop will be highly stain- and scratch-resistant; it can even withstand some exposure to heat, though it’s still a good idea to use a heat pad or trivet for hot pans when possible. As you would for most surfaces, stick with a microfiber cloth and gentle dish soap. If you’re looking for a deeper, disinfectant clean, there’s no need to reach for a granite-specific cleaner—after regular cleaning, lightly spray your surface with 70% isopropyl alcohol and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before wiping with warm water and drying with a clean cloth.

Marble: Of all the natural stone surfaces, marble is one of the more porous, making it susceptible to etching. Professional sealing is essential and will keep day-to-day care simpler. Most experts recommend professional sealing marble every 6 months for a countertop that gets used daily. Try to avoid allowing acidic substances to come into contact with your marble surfacing as they could cause etching. Soap and warm water work well for everyday care. For tough stains you’ll want to use the baking soda paste mentioned above. Allow it to draw the stain from the stone for at least 24 hours before wiping it clean.

Stellar Snow Quartz Countertop by Silestone

Stellar Snow Quartz Countertop by Silestone

Quartz: Considered one of the most durable surfaces in the industry, Quartz surfacing is relatively low maintenance and easy to maintain. Unlike other natural stone options, quartz surfacing is broken down into crystals and then blended into the perfect ratio of quartz, resin, and pigments to create a highly durable, stain-resistant, and impact-resistant surface. Quartz surfaces are nonporous, meaning that they don’t require sealing and that they are naturally resistant to moisture, mildew, and bacteria. Overall, quartz is one of the easiest surfaces to care for over time.

Maintaining Specialty Countertop Materials

Wood, copper, and stainless steel, though popular options for kitchen surfacing, deserve special mention for some of their unique qualities and maintenance needs.

Wood: Without proper care, wood surfaces such as heavy-duty cutting boards or larger butcher blocks can warp or even crack over time, so long-term maintenance is essential. Appropriate sealing measures can prevent most damage, and the options for sealants range from natural beeswax to food-safe oils such as mineral oil. If your wood surface is in need of a refinishing, a combination of professional sanding and then a coat of beeswax or mineral oil will likely be required.

wood kitchen countertop maintenance tips from Swartz Kitchens and Baths

Copper: Known as a living surface, copper countertops will change in appearance over time as they are utilized. While periodic polishing with beeswax or butcher’s wax will keep copper surfaces shiny, the color of copper countertops will change as they are exposed to acids such as vinegar, lemon juice, or tomato sauce. The resulting variations in color can be in striking hues of red and green that emerge over time. Another important thing to consider is that it is perfectly normal for copper countertops to dent and scratch more easily than other surfaces. Beyond using extreme care, there’s no method for preventing this kind of wear on copper surfaces, so keep that in mind before you buy!

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is the preferred option for professional kitchens and is now becoming a popular choice for home chefs as well. As the name implies, stainless steel is basically impossible to stain and can handle any number of messes or spills. Long-term maintenance is simple—stainless steel can dent or scratch over time, so it’s important to use some caution if you’re not going for a more distressed surface look. Avoid harsh, abrasive cleaners and tools as these can contribute to scratches. For tougher, stuck-on messes, use a nylon scrubbing brush and lightly scrub in the direction of the grain of the steel for best results.

Choosing the Perfect Countertop Surface for Your Home

At Swartz Kitchens and Baths, we make it our mission to help your kitchen surfaces stand the test of time. No matter which type of kitchen countertop you choose, with basic every day and preventative care, you can keep your countertops looking as beautiful as the day they were installed.

Are you inspired to start designing your dream kitchen? With so many options, choosing the right countertops for your home can feel overwhelming, but at Swartz Kitchens and Baths we’re here to help guide you toward the choice that fits your lifestyle and your vision. Contact our experts today for a free consultation at any one of our five convenient showroom locations.

How to Take Care of Any Kitchen Countertop

A lot happens to your kitchen countertop. Whether you’re making a family meal, baking holiday cookies, or just sorting the mail while sipping a cup of coffee, your kitchen countertop has to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use. At Swartz Kitchens and Baths, we specialize in helping you choose the right countertop surfaces to suit your kitchen, which includes considering maintenance once your new countertops are installed.

Keeping your countertops clean and looking like-new doesn’t have to be a challenge. Consider our helpful hints for everyday maintenance and upkeep for all kinds of surfacing.

Keeping Your Counters Clean Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle

For everyday care, you’ll need little more than a few simple cleanup practices and your favorite everyday household cleaners.

Managing Spills and Stains: Spills happen, and that’s okay! Whether it’s last night’s spaghetti splatters or a toppled glass of wine, anything can happen in the kitchen. Though the method of cleanup will sometimes depend on the type of surface you have, gentle dish soap and warm water at the time of the spill will prevent most stains. For the times when quick clean-up isn’t possible and a stain forms, use a simple paste made from baking soda and water. Allow the paste to sit for several minutes to 24 hours (depending on the depth of the stain and the type of countertop) before wiping gently with warm water and cloth.

Spring Carnival Laminate Countertop by Wilsonart

Spring Carnival Laminate Countertop by Wilsonart

Preventing Damage: With sharp knives and hot pans abounding, it’s easier than you might think to cause lasting damage to your countertops. Put plainly, your kitchen surfaces are meant to withstand rigorous use, but even the most durable surfaces (think Quartz or Granite) can be damaged by sharp implements or heat. No matter what your countertops are made of, it’s best for your surfaces (and your knives!) to invest in a solid, thick wood cutting board for chopping. Also, resist the temptation to put hot pans on your countertops and instead use a heat pad or trivet (tile and bamboo are great options to consider) if you want to prevent the melting, cracking, or warping of your surfaces.

How to Keep Any Kitchen Countertop Sparkling

Different types of surfaces have different needs, especially in terms of long-term care. We’re here to help you with the practical tips you need to make sure your countertops stay beautiful.

Laminate: Laminate surfaces are an affordable and low-maintenance choice when considering options for countertop surfacing. Clean with soap and a microfiber cloth, and you’ll want to avoid any abrasive cleaning tools (such as steel wool). No sealing is required for laminate surfaces, but a downside of this is that they are difficult to repair if damaged. With proper everyday care, however, laminate surfaces last quite a while.

Granite: Granite is a popular choice for kitchen surfacing, in part because it’s both durable and easy to clean. If properly sealed (experts recommend having granite professionally sealed once every year), your granite kitchen countertop will be highly stain- and scratch-resistant; it can even withstand some exposure to heat, though it’s still a good idea to use a heat pad or trivet for hot pans when possible. As you would for most surfaces, stick with a microfiber cloth and gentle dish soap. If you’re looking for a deeper, disinfectant clean, there’s no need to reach for a granite-specific cleaner—after regular cleaning, lightly spray your surface with 70% isopropyl alcohol and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before wiping with warm water and drying with a clean cloth.

Marble: Of all the natural stone surfaces, marble is one of the more porous, making it susceptible to etching. Professional sealing is essential and will keep day-to-day care simpler. Most experts recommend professional sealing marble every 6 months for a countertop that gets used daily. Try to avoid allowing acidic substances to come into contact with your marble surfacing as they could cause etching. Soap and warm water work well for everyday care. For tough stains you’ll want to use the baking soda paste mentioned above. Allow it to draw the stain from the stone for at least 24 hours before wiping it clean.

Stellar Snow Quartz Countertop by Silestone

Stellar Snow Quartz Countertop by Silestone

Quartz: Considered one of the most durable surfaces in the industry, Quartz surfacing is relatively low maintenance and easy to maintain. Unlike other natural stone options, quartz surfacing is broken down into crystals and then blended into the perfect ratio of quartz, resin, and pigments to create a highly durable, stain-resistant, and impact-resistant surface. Quartz surfaces are nonporous, meaning that they don’t require sealing and that they are naturally resistant to moisture, mildew, and bacteria. Overall, quartz is one of the easiest surfaces to care for over time.

Maintaining Specialty Countertop Materials

Wood, copper, and stainless steel, though popular options for kitchen surfacing, deserve special mention for some of their unique qualities and maintenance needs.

Wood: Without proper care, wood surfaces such as heavy-duty cutting boards or larger butcher blocks can warp or even crack over time, so long-term maintenance is essential. Appropriate sealing measures can prevent most damage, and the options for sealants range from natural beeswax to food-safe oils such as mineral oil. If your wood surface is in need of a refinishing, a combination of professional sanding and then a coat of beeswax or mineral oil will likely be required.

wood kitchen countertop maintenance tips from Swartz Kitchens and Baths

Copper: Known as a living surface, copper countertops will change in appearance over time as they are utilized. While periodic polishing with beeswax or butcher’s wax will keep copper surfaces shiny, the color of copper countertops will change as they are exposed to acids such as vinegar, lemon juice, or tomato sauce. The resulting variations in color can be in striking hues of red and green that emerge over time. Another important thing to consider is that it is perfectly normal for copper countertops to dent and scratch more easily than other surfaces. Beyond using extreme care, there’s no method for preventing this kind of wear on copper surfaces, so keep that in mind before you buy!

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is the preferred option for professional kitchens and is now becoming a popular choice for home chefs as well. As the name implies, stainless steel is basically impossible to stain and can handle any number of messes or spills. Long-term maintenance is simple—stainless steel can dent or scratch over time, so it’s important to use some caution if you’re not going for a more distressed surface look. Avoid harsh, abrasive cleaners and tools as these can contribute to scratches. For tougher, stuck-on messes, use a nylon scrubbing brush and lightly scrub in the direction of the grain of the steel for best results.

Choosing the Perfect Countertop Surface for Your Home

At Swartz Kitchens and Baths, we make it our mission to help your kitchen surfaces stand the test of time. No matter which type of kitchen countertop you choose, with basic every day and preventative care, you can keep your countertops looking as beautiful as the day they were installed.

Are you inspired to start designing your dream kitchen? With so many options, choosing the right countertops for your home can feel overwhelming, but at Swartz Kitchens and Baths we’re here to help guide you toward the choice that fits your lifestyle and your vision. Contact our experts today for a free consultation at any one of our five convenient showroom locations.