How to Clean Wood Countertops

Walk into any kitchen showroom and you’ll see an astounding number of countertop options. Marble, granite, soapstone, wood…each has its selling points—and its own cleaning and maintenance needs. That’s why it’s critical to know what you’re signing up for before you buy. “Your countertop material must serve your design, but it must be practical, too.” To keep any surface looking good, you want to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions and preventing any scratching or intense heat exposure (sorry but your pets probably shouldn’t be climbing on your new marble countertop). Beyond buying a proper cutting board and steering clear of direct surface-to-heat contact, heed these expert tips on how to clean countertops based on the material you have in your kitchen.

How to Clean Wood Countertops

 Tools:
  • Warm Water

  • Distilled White Vinegar

  • Nonabrasive cleaner (optional)

  • Spatula or metal pastry scraper

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Lemon

  • Salt

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Cleaning: To keep your wood countertops looking great, clean daily with a nonabrasive cleaner (such as OSMO Spray Cleaner), or a homemade mix of warm water with a splash of distilled white vinegar. Gently scrape off any food residue with a spatula or a metal pastry scraper. Be sure to wipe the counters after cleaning so they are completely dry.

Stain Removal: To remove stains, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt directly onto the stain. Use a lemon half to rub in the salt. Clean off the salt and lemon juice with water and vinegar.

Sealing: Butcher-block and solid-wood countertops should be sealed for protection since they are susceptible to warping and cracking. There are a variety of options, but we recommend going the less toxic route, using a food-grade oil or wax (such as Boos Mystery Oil). As scratches and dings occur, just sand down the wood and reapply the protectant.

How to Clean Marble and Granite Countertops

Tools:

  • Water

  • Dish soap

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Baking Soda

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Plastic Wrap

  • Tape

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Cleaning: Use a mix of warm water and mild dish soap for everyday cleaning, following up with a microfiber towel to shine up the stone. Avoid abrasive or acidic cleaners, which can strip the sealer and etch the stone.

Stain Removal: For stains on granite or marble countertops, clean with a paste of baking soda and water (for oil-based stains) or hydrogen peroxide (for water-based stains). Apply the paste to the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and tape down the edges. Let sit for a few days (or overnight at the very least), and then rinse off the paste. Repeat the process if the stain isn’t completely gone. Be sure to do a spot test first to make sure the method won’t affect the color or finish of the stone.

How to Clean Quartz or Engineered Stone Countertops

Tools:

  • Dish soap

  • Water

  • Nonabrasive glass or surface cleaner

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Nonabrasive sponge

Cleaning: Made from resin-bound quartz crystals, engineered stone re-creates the look of its natural counterparts without requiring the same maintenance. Like the others, these countertops can be washed with mild soap and water.

Stain Removal: Quartz countertops are largely stain-resistant, but if you do come across a persistent mark that soap and water can’t handle, use a glass cleaner and a nonabrasive sponge.

Sealing: Engineered stone countertops don’t need any resealing to stay in pristine condition.

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