How to maintain kitchen worktops
Aftercare for kitchen worktops to keep them looking as good as new
Obviously, after installing your brand new kitchen, you want the satisfaction of a pristine cooking area for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the rigours of cooking and all the foods and liquids you use in the kitchen can lead to staining or scratches on the worktops you’ve just installed.
So, to keep your worktops looking fresher for longer, we’ve assembled a guide on how to clean and maintain your kitchen worktops.
There are a multitude of worktop surfaces available, so we’ve gathered advice on the top five surface types here.
Laminate is a tough, durable material, so it’s one of the most common materials kitchen counters are made from. But it is possible to scratch the surface of a laminate counter with sharp utensils, ruining the smooth finish that you purchased. Always use a chopping board to protect the surface; never cut directly on top of your laminate worktop.
All laminate worktops will resist high temperature well, but avoid putting hot saucepans and oven dishes or boiling water directly on the surface; high temperatures always risk damaging surfaces not designed specifically for high heats.
Laminate is one of the easiest surface types to clean; just use hot soapy water or an anti-bacterial spray and a soft cloth. Wipe dry with a cloth towel. Over time your laminate counter might seem to dull. Use a laminate polish with a clean, dry cloth to really bring back the shine.
Wooden kitchen surfaces are truly traditional, but as a porous material, wood needs some extra work to protect properly. Oiling the wooden surfaces with a specially prepared oil will preserve your worktop for longer.
You can drop a single droplet of water on your wooden surface to see if it beads and doesn’t soak into the wood to determine if your counter is oiled sufficiently. Regardless, you should always mop up spillages quickly to ensure that the liquids don’t penetrate the wood and leave a stain that ruins the amazing wood grain.
As with laminate, you should avoid cutting directly on top of wooden worktops. Most knives will easily score wood, so you should always use a cutting board or butcher’s block. Similarly, hot or dirty pots and pans should not be placed directly on the wooden surface.
Quartz worktops are a composite material. This low-maintenance surface has been made with durability in mind. All you really need to clean a quartz worktop is a cloth, water, and a mild soap — basically the same as washing your dishes.
If you want to, you can also dry off the surface with a microfibre cloth and use a spray of glass cleaner to prevent streaks.
Granite is an ultra-durable worktop material but still requires some care. If not treated, granite is porous enough to soak up water and other liquids. Seal your granite worktops once every five years or so to ensure lifetime happiness.
You might want to keep some granite cleaner to hand, and remember to use a microfibre cloth and hot soapy water to clean up after meal preparation.
Avoid bleach on granite countertops. We also advise avoiding acidic products like vinegar and lemon juice.
How to remove stains from kitchen worktops
The best method of removing stains is usually to prevent them from occurring in the first place, so mop up spills as soon as they happen to avoid stains. Unfortunately, sometimes we cannot avoid a stain on a worktop, so let’s discuss some of the more common stains and how to remove them.
Tea and coffee stains
If a coffee or tea ring has stained your kitchen surface, you can apply a baking soda and water paste to the surface. Let the paste sit for a few minutes, then use a sponge to gently wipe away the paste. Wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Granite worktops may absorb more of the stain than other surfaces, and in this case, you can leave the paste overnight, covered with plastic.
On wooden surfaces, you can try a sprinkle of salt across the stain and rubbing with a lemon cut in half. Afterwards, you can use water and vinegar to finish off taking away the stain. Be careful, though, as the use of acids like this will damage some surfaces.
Hard water stains
As mentioned before, the best approach for hard water is to make sure the stains don’t form in the first place by always mopping up water as soon as it’s spilt.
A baking soda and water paste will take care of hard water stains for most surfaces. If your surface allows for it, you can also use a bleach solution spray or a mixture of water and vinegar.
Remember that granite or marble countertops should not have bleach on them, so use baking soda and water.
Please remember that you should never mix vinegar and bleach. When mixed, these two create toxic and potentially lethal chlorine gas.
We hope that this guide to maintaining your kitchen worktops has been helpful. Check out our essential DIY safety tips if you’re embarking on your own DIY adventure. Make sure you check through our selection of kitchen worktops to find the one that’s perfect for you.