Written by Valerie Sizelove. Reviewed by Sean Busch.
Ahh, cleaning countertops. Though it may seem straightforward, it’s actually more challenging than most people realize. Between stuck-on food gunk and avoiding damage to custom kitchen surfaces, the process can even feel a bit daunting.Puracy’s cleaning expert, Sean Busch, provides his tips and tricks to make cleaning and sanitizing countertops a cinch.
Frequent Care Is Easy Care
A great cleaning method is the only way to protect and sanitize spaces in your home, and that involves regularity. Sean states, “Your countertops are easier to clean if you do it every day versus weekly. And when you have the right products, they make the task go quicker.”
Gather the Right Cleaning Supplies
Before getting started, make sure you have the right tools. For all types of countertop surfaces, (e.g. laminate, granite, Corian, butcher block, stainless steel), the basic supplies are the same. For a quality cleaning session, you’ll need:
Use the right countertop cleaner to make your surfaces sparkle without damaging them with harsh chemicals. It’s important to choose an excellent all-purpose product, like Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner. Its neutral pH level means that it’s safe for any surface, from laminate to granite, quartz, stainless steel, marble, glass, and Corian.
High-Quality Microfiber Towels
Microfiber creates less lint, doesn’t scratch, and absorbs much more liquid than traditional cotton towels. Try our Puracy Edgeless Microfiber Towel, which is designed to be used with all Puracy natural cleaning supplies.
Clear the Space
Before you can clean, you’ll first need to clear the space. Countertops tend to accumulate miscellaneous items, so we recommend using a “catch-all basket” and finding homes for these objects later.
Move countertop appliances out of the way to avoid electrical issues and to tackle the spots they normally cover. If you can’t move large appliances (like heavy microwaves or bulky coffee makers), simply use your microfiber towel as a protective curtain to avoid spraying them with cleaning solution.
Clean in Small Patches
Puracy co-founder Sean Busch recommends tackling dirty countertops in small sections: “After you’ve cleared the whole counter, visually create 2x2-foot segments that you will work on one-at-a-time.”
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Spray the entire countertop area with a light mist so it can start soaking. Each 2x2-foot area needs just one sweeping spray to dispense the optimum amount of cleaning product.
Pre-Treat Tougher Countertop Messes
Some messes, however, require a little more product and elbow grease. To tackle tough countertop messes, give messier areas an extra spray and let the cleaning solution soak for at least one minute. Next, use a paper towel to pick up most of the gunk (a fingernail behind the towel will help scrape up stuck-on food, too).
Perfect Your Cleaning Technique
Choose one 2x2 area and begin cleaning. When you’ve finished this spot, move on to the next. Breaking the project into small chunks will help you track progress and give each part of the counter the attention it deserves. Get the most out of your microfiber towel: Fold it in half twice and wipe with medium pressure in fast, overlapping passes. A Z-pattern is ideal to add an extra cleaning boost to every square inch.
Remember: A second microfiber cloth may be needed for bacon grease or melted butter (so the grease isn’t spread around). Prepare by purchasing a two-pack or four-pack of Puracy Microfiber Towels.
After taking care of tough, stuck-on messes, finish the rest of the countertop using the 2x2 foot-area cleaning technique.
Avoid Streaks on Noticeable Surfaces
Some surfaces, like stainless steel and black granite countertops, are prone to streaking, but there are ways to avoid it. For streak-free counters, avoid using:
- Too much cleaning product
- A dirty towel, even if it was clean when you started
How to Clean All Types of Countertops
Depending on what substance your countertop is made from, there are different techniques to keep them looking their best.
Butcher Block Countertops
Warm and rustic butcher block countertops require periodic oiling and sealing to prevent liquids from penetrating and warping the wood. After cleaning wood counters with a natural surface spray, be sure to dry them completely.
Granite & Quartz Countertops
Granite and quartz are resistant to stains and scratches, but because it's porous, regular sealing is necessary to prevent liquids from penetrating tiny, bacteria-harboring gaps. Luckily, our natural surface spray is a safe cleaner for quartz countertops.
One of the most affordable countertop materials out there, laminate is durable and easy to clean. It is, however, susceptible to scratches and heat damage, so always use a cutting board and never place hot pans directly on these surfaces.
Natural soapstone is ideal for countertops because it is heat-resistant, impenetrable to bacteria, and doesn’t require sealing. Wiping soapstone counters with mineral oil a few times per month will enhance their natural patina.
Not all surfaces are created equally, especially when it comes to marble, granite, and soapstone countertops. Since it’s a soft, calcium-based stone with open pores that absorb liquids, marble is one of the hardest surfaces to clean.
Even diluted vinegar can eat away at marble’s uniform frosty finish, and damaged marble countertops are both difficult and expensive to repair. To properly care for marble, select a cleaner that’s not acidic – like our all-purpose spray. Even though it contains lime essential oil, this water-based product has a pH of about 10 (basic).
Pro Tip: How to Check If Your Marble Countertops Are Sealed
Sealed marble is better protected from the elements, but the protective coating fades with normal wear and tear. Luckily, it’s easy to check if your marble countertops are sealed. Let a few drops of water sit on a clean marble countertop for 10-15 minutes before wiping the area dry. A darkened spot indicates water absorption and the need for re-treatment.
Depending on how often you use/clean the surface and which sealant you choose, our research shows that marble should be resealed every three months.
Puracy: Streak-Free, Shiny Surfaces Every Time
Whether you have marble, quartz, or butcher block, Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner is a safe option for all countertop materials. Add in the right microfiber cloths and it’s easy-breezy!
Check out more of our step-by-step Cleaning 101 series: