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If you’re looking to create a perfect kitchen look, keeping things clean and organized should be the number one priority. While keeping the contents clear is simple, making sure that the surfaces in your kitchen are sleek and shiny is a whole other ballgame. Luckily, there are several things you can do to maintain that brand new look in your kitchen countertops.
Here are nine tips and tricks on how to keep your countertops shiny:
- Dust your countertops at least once a week.
- Wipe down your counters with non-acidic dissolvents.
- Polish surfaces with wax or homemade solutions.
- Do not use products that leave residue or marks.
- Get rid of hardened grout with paste or homemade emulsions.
- Remove stains with cleaner fluids.
- Sanitize and disinfect your kitchen surfaces.
- Carefully buff out scratches or nicks with abrasive products.
- Keep your counters safe from wear and damage.
In this article, I’ll reveal the ins and outs of these tips and tricks, allowing you to achieve the shining countertops of your dreams. Read through the article for more details.
1. Dust Your Countertops at Least Once a Week
Before you start applying flashy detergents and using extensive deep-cleaning, you absolutely must start with dusting. It’s a small act, but it’s crucial if you want to get the best shine out of your countertops.
You see, most of the eventual muck and filth that messes your kitchen comes from dust build-up. And if you aren’t regularly sweeping this dust, there’s no way anything can stay shiny for long in the interior of your kitchen.
Take it from Hallie Levine in Martha Stewart.com, who says that the best way to keep lint infection from spreading is by dusting at least once a week. This activity eliminates the chance of dust build-up and allows the other tips in this article to shine through tenfold.
The ideal way to dust frequently is by using a microfiber cloth. This ultra-soft cleaning rag doesn’t leave marks on surfaces prone to scratches like granite or linoleum.
If you’re in the market for a top choice microfiber cloth, I highly recommend these Mr. Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloths from Amazon.com. They’re sleek, easy to use, and come in a pack of twelve at a very affordable price.
2. Wipe Down Your Counters With Non-Acidic Dissolvents
Next, it’s time to focus on the basics of wiping down and cleaning your kitchen countertops. This is possibly the most important thing to do to set the best foundation for a shining surface.
Again, aim for quality products to get the best out of this step in the cleaning process.
This 30 pack of MiracleWipes for Granite & Stone is one of the best choices available on Amazon.com. It comes at a great price and outstanding quality for non-abrasive cleaning. This pack contains a microfiber cloth if you’re looking for a temporary substitute for the previous tip.
While using a quality cleaning device is essential, achieving the best results lies in the solution you choose to use.
You may read online that vinegar or baking soda mixtures are ideal for keeping countertops shiny. However, these mixes contain acidic components that can damage your kitchen surface, thus I would advise staying away from them.
Instead, consider using warm water and dish soap or detergent. Pairing these with a soft cleansing wipe will practically guarantee a smooth cleaning experience that leaves no marks or nicks.
Another important thing to note is that the ideal cleaning combination depends on the material of your counter. Consider checking out this extensive guide from Architectural Digest to confirm your chosen products are suitable.
Lastly, make sure to scrape any residual food or leftovers with an egg flipper or spatula. Be gentle and avoid accidentally scratching the surface with any metal edges.
3. Polish Surfaces With Wax or Homemade Solutions
Now onto the finer touches of making sure those kitchen surfaces shine well and for the longest.
Using wax or homemade polish is critical if you’re looking to go above and beyond for a glossy finish. The best way to go about this is by purchasing a professional polish and cleansing spray or simply making your own.
If you wish to make your own polish, Pro Housekeepers.com says that all you need is one part warm water and three parts baking soda to make your polish mix. Mix these until you get a fine paste. This mix can go a long way in preserving the shine of your kitchen.
The application for both methods are practically the same:
- Layer the polish onto your chosen surface.
- Gently but firmly polish your counter with a wipe or cleaning cloth.
- Take a wet towel or cloth and wipe away any leftover mix.
- Take the time to dry your counter with a rag or microfiber cloth.
If you pull off this polishing process correctly, you’ll be left with a glimmering kitchen.
4. Do Not Use Products That Leave Residue or Marks
Something vital to note is that you must avoid using products and solutions that leave any marks on your surfaces.
Streaking is an issue you may face if you attempt to clean your kitchen without the right know-how. Unfortunately, leaving smudges and streaks along the counter will significantly diminish its cleanliness and shine.
Make sure you’re using quality, streak-free cloths and wipes like the ones mentioned previously. It is well worth the investment to see the improved look of your countertops without the nasty residual marks that come from wiping and polishing.
According to this article by Sunflower Maids, using acidic or chemical solutions like bleach or vinegar can cause discoloration and wear down the constitution of your counters.
Furthermore, be sure to stay away from sharp utensils while cleaning, as they can leave marks and nicks on otherwise flawless surfaces.
If you are facing this issue, don’t stress; I address how to get rid of cuts and scratches in your kitchen countertops later in the article.
5. Get Rid of Hardened Grout With Paste or Homemade Emulsions
Another issue you might face during the process of revitalizing your kitchen counters is the build-up of grout around the edges. This issue is common with tiled and straight-edged counters.
Grout builds up over time as residual dirt, dust, and grime gather within the exposed areas of your kitchen benches. Eventually, it hardens, becomes challenging to remove, and provides an unpleasant dirty look.
Fortunately, there are methods that make removing this buildup much easier. And most of them include using items from your own home.
DIY Doctor provides a valuable list of solutions you can mix to get rid of the grout in your kitchen. It includes the following:
- Sugar water: This consists of around 1 part white sugar and ten parts water.
- Vinegar: This should be used with caution and diluted with plenty of water.
- Brick and patio cleaners: These are made for grout removal and should be used with caution.
To apply these solutions, administer the required amount to the targeted area, then wait for a short while before proceeding to scrape away the grime.
You need to be cautious with acid-based cleaning solutions and apply them only where necessary, as long-term exposure to these fluids can damage most counters.
6. Remove Stains With Cleaner Fluids
While making sure your counter stays clean, you’ll likely encounter a couple of stains. This can be a huge issue as stains can severely impact the shine of your kitchen surfaces. To combat them and get rid of food and drink stains efficiently, you can also use everyday items.
That said, avoid using bleach to clean up countertop blemishes. In doing so, you risk the discoloration and deterioration of your countertop surface. If you must, I advise diluting it with plenty of water and using it in moderation.
One helpful thing you can use to banish those nasty blotches quickly is nail polish remover. The Family Handyman suggests this as an excellent method, as it’s a solvent that will remove any smudges but will not impact the integrity of your counter.
What’s more, you can utilize the baking soda paste (three parts baking soda, one part water) mentioned earlier to accomplish a similar fix. Be careful and avoid scrubbing as the paste might scratch the counter if pressed.
7. Sanitize and Disinfect Your Kitchen Surfaces
After you’ve achieved that shining countertop style, it’s essential, especially nowadays, to keep it sanitary. It’s best to emphasize disinfecting your kitchen surfaces. This will help you avoid focussing too hard on getting it to glimmer while missing out on keeping it safe.
Using a simple detergent while wiping your benches down can help, but using a disinfectant on its own can go a long way.
AVAP helpfully lays out some solutions that you want to avoid using for sanitizing your countertops. They include the below:
This is because they contain harsh chemicals or acidic fluids and will significantly damage your countertops if used at all or too much. Applying these solutions can also be dangerous.
Instead, I recommend using gentle and diluted solvents. Consumer Reports recommends a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. Spray the bench with a spray bottle, let it sit, and wipe it down with a streak-free microfiber cloth.
8. Carefully Buff Out Scratches or Nicks With Abrasive Products
This tip is somewhat advanced but crucial if you want to reach that flawless shining countertop look. Removing scratches and cuts can seem daunting, but with the right know-how, you can get the job done with finesse.
You’ll want to use a super-fine abrasive product like sanding paper or steel wool to buff out any light nicks. After this, I recommend going back and polishing the counter to regain its shining appearance.
Check out this video below video from Northwood Manufacturing for a more hands-on explanation:
Note that if the scratch is large or deep enough, you may want to call a professional mason to repair it. What’s more, to create a more scratch-resistant surface, you should consider sealing your countertop with a spray or paste.
Refer to this video from Stone Care International, in which Dr. Fred Hueston reveals the proper way to seal a countertop:
I recommend this Simple Coat Sealing Spray from Amazon.com if you are unsure what to go for. It’s a reliable product that will help reinforce the quality of your sealed countertops.
9. Keep Your Counters Safe From Wear and Damage
One quick last tip to note is that you need to ensure that you maintain the safety and shine of your countertops. Here’s the thing, there’s no point going through all this effort; polishing, buffing and shining your kitchen surfaces only to let that pristine look deplete so quickly.
This article from Merry Maids does a great job at listing the items to employ to sufficiently protect your kitchen and its shining countertops. They include the following:
- Cutting Boards
- Butcher Blocks
Using the above items will significantly preserve the integrity of your glimmering kitchen surfaces. It will also protect the countertops against unwanted stains, unsightly marks, and muck.
Your kitchen countertops deserve a great deal of care and preservation. Fortunately, by following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to keep up the pristine look and maintain a shine that will last.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Dust your countertops weekly with a microfiber cloth.
- Wipe and polish your kitchen surfaces with appropriate fluid products.
- Avoid products that leave behind residue or streaks.
- Watch out for stains, grout, and scratches on your countertops.
- Always keep your countertops sanitary and clean.
- Keep your countertops safe with mats and boards when in use.
- Martha Stewart: How to Clean Dust Properly (Yes, There’s a Right Way!)
- Architectural Digest: How to Clean Kitchen Countertops: Granite, Quartz, Marble, and More
- Pro Housekeepers: How to Clean, Seal, and Polish Granite Countertops
- Sunflower Maids: Keeping Shiny Countertops: The Mystery Unveiled
- DIY Doctor: How to Remove Hard Grout From Tiles
- Family Handyman: How to Remove Stains From Plastic Laminate countertops
- AVAP: How to Disinfect and Sanitize Your Countertops
- Consumer Reports: How to Clean Countertops
- Youtube: Removing Scratches From Countertops
- Youtube: How to Properly Seal Granite
- Merry Maids: How to Clean Laminate Countertops
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Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.