If you’ve recently had new countertops installed, you’re probably amazed by how shiny and nice they look. Chances are you want them to look like the day you got them for as long as possible. It makes sense. Countertops are a big investment and can really affect the overall look of your kitchen or bathroom. Luckily for you, keeping them in top condition is pretty straightforward. All it takes is a regular maintenance routine and a basic knowledge of your countertop material.
Use Mild Cleaners
Harsh cleaners can strip your countertops of their protective sealant or coatings. This includes any cleaner that has a strong acidic cleaning agent. Stripping your countertop of this protection will make it more susceptible to stains. Depending on the material, it could also become a home to bacteria and viruses.
Avoid scrubbing pads, steel wool, or any other abrasive materials to clean. There are many articles out there that claim that you must clean your countertops with a cleaner designed for your particular countertop material. However, we would suggest that you save your money. You can easily clean your countertops just by using a mild dishwashing soap and a damp sponge or dishcloth.
Many countertop materials such as wood and laminate don’t hold up well if exposed to direct heat. Other materials like granite, stainless steel, and tile are more heat resistant. However, it’s still not wise to expose your countertop to direct heat, regardless of the material.
Heat makes the material expand rapidly, and then shrink during cooling. This can cause cracking even in tough, heat resistant countertops. It’s best to not risk damage and use a buffer between the source of the heat and your countertop.
Seal As Needed
Depending on the material you have, you may need to seal your countertops every once in a while. This goes for natural stone materials like granite, marble, sandstone and slate.
Your countertops were probably sealed soon after installation. If you received a manual, it will tell you how often they should be sealed after installation. Make sure to follow the manual, as the maintenance recommendations are made to keep your countertops in good condition for as long as possible.
Your countertop’s appearance and durability will be vastly improved with a good maintenance routine. Just think, if you ever decide to sell your home, your new looking countertops will be a significant selling point. However, even if you don’t plan on selling, you’ll still have your beautiful kitchen or bathroom to enjoy for many years to come!