Countertops are an expensive investment, so keeping them in good condition over the years is important. You’ll enjoy them more when they hold their appearance, and well-maintained counters will give you greater durability in the coming years.
These tips for caring for your countertops will give you the most enjoyment and long-term value from them.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Most countertops, regardless of the materials from which they are made, come with maintenance and care instructions. If they don’t, and this might be the case with some natural stone countertops, then get them from the contractor who installs them.
The guidelines supplied by the producer of the countertops will tell you what type of cleaners to use – and which ones to avoid. You’ll learn about the countertops’ resistance to heat, whether or not you should prepare foods directly on top of them, how to clean up spills and many other useful care and maintenance hints.
It can’t be overemphasized when discussing the longevity and appearance of your new countertops: Follow the manual! When you do, they’ll look their best for the longest possible time.
Use Mild Cleaners and Cloths
Harsh cleaners do more than clean countertops. They often remove protective sealant or coatings. Don’t use abrasive cleaners or those with strong, acidic cleaning agents. If the sealant or coating is removed from countertops, they will stain more easily and may become a place that harbors bacteria and viruses. It is incredibly important to use cleaners designed specifically for your type of countertop. Avoid scrubbing pads, steel wool or similar materials when cleaning your kitchen counters.
Don’t Risk Heat
Wood, laminate, solid surface and recycled paper countertops don’t stand up well to heat. Granite, stainless steel, lava rock and tile do better. But it’s wise not to risk it too much, even with heat-resistant materials. Heat makes material expand rapidly, and then they shrink as it cools. This can cause cracking in even the toughest materials.
Let pots cool on the stove or cooktop. Use a trivet for hot dishes you are preparing to serve. With just a little bit of care, you can prevent damage to your countertops caused by heat.
Seal Natural Stone and Concrete as Needed
Granite, sandstone, marble and slate are just a few of the natural stone countertops that must be sealed when first installed. Concrete, wood and bamboo require it too. The sealer prevents stains from spills and water. Your countertop manual should tell you how often they need to be sealed. Always get it done as soon as recommended, and you’ll get the best durability from your countertops.
You can maintain the good looks and durability of your countertops with appropriate TLC. Start with the owner’s manual and include the tips given here. You’ll enjoy your countertops longer, and if you decide to sell your home, their like-new appearance will be an asset to you.