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How to Clean Tile Countertops

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Has your tile countertop become dull and dirty? Or your method of cleaning is not working anymore? Well, every tile is different and hence using a ‘universal method’ is not enough. That’s why we have clubbed a piece of comprehensive information on how to clean tile countertops of different types.

How To Clean Tile Countertops

With the increasing number of diseases across the world, it is essential to keep a thorough check on the items we consume on a daily basis. Not only that, but one should also be mindful of the countertops where the cooking and other things take place. 

Cleaning and De-Staining of Wooden Countertops

Material Required

  • Lemon Juice
  • Spatula/blade
  • Salt flakes
  • Lukewarm Water
  • Synthetic White Vinegar
  • Countertop Cleaner (optional)
Kitchen with wooden tile countertops

Cleaning: 

  1. Use a non-abrasive cleanser or a homemade mixture of warm water and distilled white vinegar to keep your wood countertops looking fantastic.
  2. Using a spatula or a metal pastry scraper, gently scrape away any food that remains.
  3. After cleaning, make sure the counters are fully dry by wiping them off. 

Removal of Stains:

  1. Cut a lemon in halves and sprinkle salt immediately on the stain to remove it.
  2. Scrub a half-cut lemon with salt.
  3. With water and vinegar, wash away the salt and lemon juice.

Sealing: Because butcher-block and solid-wood counters are prone to warping and breaking, you should seal them. There are several possibilities, but we recommend using a food-grade oil or wax, which is less harmful. Simply sand down the wood and recoat the protectant when scratches and dents occur. 

Cleaning and De-Staining of Marble and Granite Countertops

Material Required

  • Dishwashing soap
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Duct tape
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking Soda
  • Tap Water
  • Cellophane Sheets

Cleaning: 

  1. Combine warm water and dish soap in a ratio of 4:1.
  2. Use this solution to wipe the countertop with the help of a microfiber cloth till it shines.
  3. Avoid using abrasive cleaners. They can etch the stone and damage the top layer of the countertop.

Stain Removal: 

  1. For the oil or water-based stains on the granite or marble countertops, use a thick paste of baking soda and apply it to the stained area.
  2. To make the thick baking soda paste, take a few tsp of baking soda and gently add a few drops of water or hydrogen peroxide until it thickens.
  3. Cover the stain with the paste, and then wrap it in plastic wrap and tape down the edges. 

To obtain the best results, let the thick paste sit for a day or at least overnight. Once the stain is removed, then rinse off the paste. If the paint isn’t entirely gone, repeat the procedure. Make a spot test first to ensure the method won’t change the stone’s color or finish. 

Sealing: Sealing is an essential part of preserving the countertop for the longer run. Aside from cleaning and destaining, one should thoroughly seal the top layer to prevent erosion.

Granite countertops should be sealed at the interval of a year, while marble should reseal every 5-6 months.

Cleaning and De-Staining of Laminated Countertops

Material Required

  • Microfiber towel
  • Tap Water
  • Household Cleaning Solution
  • Baking Soda

Cleaning: “Wipe it down with a clean cotton cloth dampened with water and a moderate, non-chemical liquid detergent,” advises Gerri Chmiel, Formica’s residential design lead. Steel wool or scouring pads, as well as acid or alkali-based products, should be avoided.

Stain Removal:

  1. Apply the paste to the stain and wait five minutes before wiping it away with a soft towel. 
  2. Don’t scrub with baking soda because it’s a mild abrasive. If required, repeat the process. 

Sealing: Formica is the most practical option because it is highly durable and does not require sealing. But it’s not invincible; to avoid scratches and burns, you still need to use cutting boards and trivets.

Cleaning and De-Staining of Stone and Quartz Countertops

Material Required

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Glass cleaning solution or household cleaner
  • Tap water
  • Microfiber towel
  • Semi-soft sponge

Cleaning: Engineered stone, made of resin-bound quartz crystals, has the same look as genuine stone but does not require the same upkeep. These counters, like the others, can be cleaned with light soap and water. 

Stain Removal:

  • Stain removing is comparatively more straightforward in quartz surfaces as they don’t get stained quickly. A quick soap water concoction is enough to remove minor stains from the quartz countertops.
  • If the soap water solution doesn’t work for you, you can switch to a glass cleaner solution. Use the solution as prescribed on the container.

Sealing: Quartz is one of the most durable materials of all. Similarly, the engineered stone countertops are also highly durable. Hence, resealing isn’t needed in both cases.

Full kitchen with tile countertop

Cleaning and De-Staining of Stainless Steel Countertops

Material Required

  • Tap water
  • Lemon juice
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Microfiber rag
  • Cleaning solution for stainless steel countertops
  • Baking Soda
  • Polishing agent

Cleaning: There’s a reason you’ll find stainless steel in industrial kitchens: it’s easy to clean. Just clean the top surface with soap and water mixture from time to time.

Even so, you’ll want to avoid scratching the surface and keep an eye out for smudges and streaks; buff them away with a microfiber towel and a stainless-steel-specific cleanser. 

Scrubbing pads with abrasive materials, such as steel wool can harm the surface. 

Stain Removal: 

  1. Stainless steel, despite its name, is susceptible to ugly stains. 
  1. Take a soft rag or a microfiber cloth and gently wipe in the direction of the stain.
  2. Use a paste of baking soda and dishwashing detergent to clean the surface.

Sealing: No sealing is required in Stainless steel countertops as they are highly resistant to erosion due to their chemical and metallic properties. However, you can polish the surface from time to time to achieve that extra new shine.

Using a clean microfiber towel, buff the polish in the direction of the grain. And, Viola! Your countertop is bright as new.

Cleaning and De-Staining of Soapstone Countertops

Material Required

  • Countertop cleaning solution
  • Microfiber rag
  • Mineral Oil
  • Sandpaper (80 grit)

Cleaning: According to Mary Perham, operations manager at Green Mountain Soapstone, this natural stone is nonporous, making it resistant to stains and scratches. You may clean it with nearly any multipurpose cleanser that isn’t abrasive.

Stain Removal: 

  • You can use a multipurpose cleaner to remove most stains.
  • Take fine-grit sandpaper and sand off the scratches carefully.
  • Use the sandpaper to remove stains, if any.

Sealing: Whether you use mineral oil to speed up the oxidation process and make the stone appear darker, the appearance of the material will vary with time. 

Experts also suggest using mineral oil to enhance the saturation and brightness of the countertop. Not only that, you can use Mineral oil as a stain remover, especially for oil-based stains on your soapstone countertop.

Cleaning and De-Staining of Concrete Countertops

Material Required

  • Clean wipes or dry cloth
  • Stone or Granite cleaner
  • Wax polish
  • Soft sponge
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Lysol Wipes

Cleaning:

1. Remove debris and dust from the countertops using a dry, soft cloth. 

2. Clean the stone or granite countertop with a pH-neutral stone or granite cleanser. 

3. Scrub with a sponge or pad that is not abrasive.

4. Using a clean cloth or a microfiber towel, buff dry. A good concrete cleaner will not need to be rinsed and will not leave residue.

5. Sanitize your countertop using the disinfection process described below.

6. When needed, apply wax to protect and shine

Remember, you should clean concrete counters with a pH-neutral cleaner. It would be best if you do not use soap.

Disinfection and De-staining:

Sanitize the concrete countertop using rubbing alcohol mixed with water.

1. Fill a spray bottle with a quarter cup of isopropyl alcohol. 

2. Fill the bottle halfway with water and shake vigorously to combine the two liquids. 

3. For a more pleasant scent, be fancy and add a few drops of essential oil. 

4. Coat a thin layer of disinfecting solution on the concrete slab or countertop.

5. Allow two to three minutes for it to soak in. This dwell period is essential for killing any microorganisms that may be present. The surface will not be disinfected by simply spraying it on and wiping it off. 

6. Using a clean towel, wipe away any residual solution. 

Close up of kitchen tile countertop

Important: Many brand-name disinfectants wipe, such as Clorox Wipes or Lysol Wipes, and popular sanitizers, such as chlorine and vinegar, can etch and damage your surfaces. 

As a result, stay away from these items. Another alternative for successfully and safely sanitizing worktops is Mold and Mildew Remover for Granite, quartz, and stone. 

Maintenance of Concrete Countertops

You might be knowing that concrete, unlike the above materials discussed above, has relatively higher porosity. Due to its high porosity, molds and mildew can penetrate and breed faster in the interstitial spaces.

That’s why here are some dos and don’ts that will make the disinfection more effective.

  1. Only use a pH-neutral (pH 7-9) cleaning solution. Stone and quartz cleaners are fantastic alternatives, and they also work well on concrete. 
  2. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, acidic cleaners (pH 0-6), or strongly alkaline cleaners (pH 10+). 
  3. Always use good cutting boards while preparing food to avoid knife scratches. 

Conclusion

In a study, it is revealed that food-borne diseases pose critical health problems in today’s date. It’s not just the food but the place or area it is placed over(like the countertop) that can be potentially contaminated with bacteria. Using this guide, you can ensure 360-degree hygiene and the safety of you and your family members.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.