Congratulations! You’ve made the choice to live in a home with lovely kitchen countertops. People underestimate how much time they spend in the kitchen, so sometimes don’t feel like their countertops will make a difference. Owners soon discover, though, that the kitchen is often the center of gravity in a home. It’s where people gather to chat and eat. It’s where backpacks get tossed and mail piles up. Having beautiful countertops will add a feeling of calm and luxury to your home you’ll be able to enjoy for hours each day. Top quality countertops cost a good deal, but the pay off is well worth it. Choosing something like striking granite countertops can increase a home’s value because it’s highly desirable among potential home buyers. Make sure you protect your investment by following these hints on how to keep your countertops in perfect condition.

1

Follow Cleaning Guidelines Based on Material

Certain countertops are more durable than others. Some are very stain resistant, and some better at managing hot items being placed on top of them. Kitchen countertops are generally very resilient, that’s why they’re an option for kitchens where a lot of heavy duty cooking and cleaning goes on. The most popular countertops, like granite, enjoy their popularity in part because they are durable and easy to clean. They require only a soap and water solution cleaning on a daily basis. Use a damp cloth and a few drops of dishwashing soap and you’re good. If you’re thorough, you can dry the countertops with a soft dry cloth and that’s all you need. Avoid using bleach or anything that’s acidic on granite and other sensitive materials. They can dull the countertop appearance, and even leave etchings on the surface.

2

Respond to Spills and Stains Fast

One of the worst things you can do to a nice countertop is neglecting it. Don’t let spills sit on the countertop for too long or they risk leaving stains. It would be a shame to have a stain on your granite countertops that you’ve spent so much to install. As a precaution, don’t rub any spilled materials around. Spreading it can just lead to a larger stain you’ll be kicking yourself over later on. Wipe up spills and try to keep them as confined as possible. Once they spill’s gone, follow up with the soapy water wash. If you’ve managed to stain your countertops, home improvement stores often sell specialized cleaning products. They’re more heavy duty than your run of the mill cleaning solution. Look for one manufactured specifically for your countertop material before purchasing.

3

Apply Sealant for Long-Term Maintenance

Many countertops are made from natural stone, so they’re more porous than other materials. Over time, water and other liquids can seep into the stone and weaken it. It may not be immediately evident, but over the years it can lead to countertop decay. Sealing granite and other natural stone countertops is the way to go to prevent erosion. Sealants can be done DIY or by a professional. Countertop sealants can be purchased at a home improvement store where it will often list how many years you can expect it to last.

To apply a sealant, follow the directions listed on the product. Usually it entails wiping the countertop surface clean with a soap and water solution. After it’s dry, the sealant is applied and must be allowed to set. Different sealants have varying time lengths. Some last months, and others will be good for years. Be careful in which product you select. Some sealants are intended to last the entire lifespan of the countertop. They could change the appearance of the material, so you could be stuck with a change you weren’t expecting.

4

Treat Your Countertops How You Would Want to be Treated

This may sound a bit silly, but it makes sense. After all, you’ve spent a good deal of money on making your house a home. There’s no reason you shouldn’t treat your investment of time and money lightly. Some people hear that granite countertops are extremely durable and think they can do whatever they want to them. They’ll use them as a cutting board, or leave burning pans sitting for minutes on a bare countertop. Keeping nice countertops in perfect condition takes discipline every day to stay on top of their care. Use a cutting board, place hot items on a towel or pad. Take the time to keep them looking nice so if the time comes to sell you can get top dollar for your place.

Following these tips will keep your countertop looking like it’s brand new for years. It’s not hard, but it takes diligence and the right cleaning solutions to get the job done. You’ve taken the time to select beautiful countertops for your home, so make the effort to make them last.

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Author: AllOntario Team

AllOntario.ca is a Problem-Solving Guide for Ontario residents and a marketplace for Ontario businesses. It’s all about living and doing business in Ontario. All in one site.