Our Best Tricks for Cleaning Kitchen Countertops of Any Material

large white kitchen with island and wood flooring

Different types of countertops require different methods of care. Read on to learn how to clean kitchen countertops made from granite, marble, tile, wood, and more. With these easy cleaning tricks, keeping your kitchen spotless is simple.

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Granite Countertops

kitchen's copper features Granite Countertop
Anthony Masterson

How to Clean Granite Countertops: To clean granite counters, wipe the surface with warm, soapy water, and rinse thoroughly. For disinfecting, you can also use a mild bleach solution. Don't use an abrasive cleanser or scrub pads because they could scratch the surface.

How to Remove Stains from Granite: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly. Several applications might be necessary to remove stains from granite countertops.

How to Seal Granite: Seal granite countertops with an appropriate sealer formulated for stone. This will help prevent stains and make it easier to keep clean.

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Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops blue cabinets
Kim Cornelison

How to Clean Laminate Countertops: Use warm, soapy water, a mild bleach solution, or a nonabrasive kitchen cleaner to clean laminate countertops. Don't use abrasive cleaning pads or stiff-bristled brushes, which can scratch the surface. Use a soft toothbrush along seams or along metal edging. Take care when using bleach solutions: They could alter the countertop color or cause other surface damage. Test first in an inconspicuous spot.

How to Remove Stains from Laminate Countertops: For greasy buildup, try cleaning kitchen countertops with natural cleaning ingredients such as vinegar and water. If the surface feels tacky, rub with a paste of baking soda and water, then rinse.

No sealing is necessary for laminate countertops.

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Stone Countertops: Limestone, Slate, and Soapstone

dark green tiled kitchen with larch-wood cabinets with cutout handles
Kim Cornelison

How to Clean Stone Countertops: Wipe the surface with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. A mild bleach solution can also be used. Don't use an abrasive cleaner or scrub pads because they could scratch the surface. Acidic cleaners such as vinegar or lemon are also not suitable for cleaning stone countertops, as these can pit or etch the stone.

How to Remove Stone Countertop Stains: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly. Several applications may be necessary to lift the stain on your stone counters.

How to Seal Stone Counters: Seal with an appropriate sealer formulated for your particular stone to help prevent stains and make everyday cleaning easy.

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Butcher-Block Countertops

large white kitchen with island and wood flooring

How to Clean Butcher-Block Countertops: Using a clean sponge or soft cloth, wash butcher-block countertops with a solution of water and mild dishwashing liquid. Dry the wood with a soft cloth. Kill bacteria left behind by raw meat and other contaminants with a solution of one tablespoon of bleach mixed with one gallon of warm water. Then wash and dry with mild dishwashing liquid, as directed above.

How to Remove Stains from Butcher-Block Countertops: Blot up as much of the stain as you can to prevent it from sinking into the pores of the wood. If you're dealing with a light butcher-block stain, try sprinkling on salt. Then scrub with the cut side of half a lemon. Stain still showing? Let it sit overnight before rinsing with water and drying with a clean cloth. For a darker wood countertop stain, try dabbing with a cotton swab dipped in a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution to lighten it. If the stain seems permanent, you can always sand and refinish the butcher block.

How to Seal Butcher-Block Counters: Oil wood countertops to keep the wood from drying out, help seal the surface, and add a sheen. To seal butcher-block counters, wipe the wood with a light coat of mineral oil, letting the oil soak into the surface. Sop up oil that does not soak in. Do not use excess oil because the surface can become tacky and attract dirt. Don't use linseed or vegetable oil for this purpose because they can become rancid.

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Tips for Cleaning Kitchen Countertops

Follow these tricks for quickly and efficiently cleaning kitchen countertops. Then continue on to the next slides to see how to clean and care for more specific types of countertop materials.

06 of 14

Ceramic-Tile Countertops

small white kitchen with open shelves on gold brackets
David Tsay

How to Clean Tile Countertops: Unless the tiles are rinsed thoroughly, soap can leave a film on the surface. Adding white vinegar to the water can alleviate this problem while cleaning tile countertops. Do not use abrasive cleaners or pads.

How to Remove Tile Countertop Stains: Although tile doesn't stain easily, grout does. It's also the area most likely to harbor bacteria. Scrub the grout with a mild bleach solution and a toothbrush. Then seal it with a commercial grout sealer.

How to Seal Ceramic Tile Counters: Glazed ceramic tile does not need to be sealed. Grout, on the other hand, should be sealed with a grout sealant to help it become stain-resistant. Unglazed tile countertops should be sealed with a penetrating sealer for protection and stain resistance.

07 of 14

Concrete Countertops

Polished Kitchen Concrete Countertop
Shaun Sullivan

How to Clean Concrete Counters: Wipe the surface of your concrete countertops with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. You can also use a mild bleach solution. Don't use abrasive cleaners or scrub pads because they could scratch the surface.

How to Remove Stains from Concrete Counters: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly. You might need to repeat several times to remove the stain.

How to Seal Concrete Countertops: Seal with an appropriate sealer formulated for concrete to help prevent stains and make it easier to keep clean.

08 of 14

Marble Countertops

marble counter kitchen sink with blue cabinets and decorative bowls on wood shelves
Anthony Masterson

How to Clean Marble Countertops: Clean your marble countertops regularly with a damp soft cloth (microfiber works well) to avoid streaks. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. Never let it air dry because marble is prone to water spots. For deeper cleaning, use a pH-neutral dishwashing liquid mixed with warm water. Rinse thoroughly to get rid of any residue and wipe completely dry.

How to Remove Marble Counter Stains: Acidic liquids can permanently etch your marble, so blot wine, orange juice, tomatoes, and soft drinks immediately. Most marble countertop stains can be removed by applying a poultice, a thick paste that absorbs the stain from the surface. Deep-seated stains might require calling in a professional.

How to Seal Marble Countertops: Use a product formulated especially for marble's porous surface.

09 of 14

Cultured-Stone Countertops, Including Quartz

Kitchen counter with white tile
Rett Peek Photography Inc

How to Clean Cultured-Stone Countertops: To clean cultured-stone countertops, including those made of quartz and other composite materials, wipe the surface with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. A mild bleach solution can also be used. Don't use abrasive cleaners or scrub pads because they could scratch the surface.

How to Remove Stains from Cultured-Stone Countertops: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly. You might need several applications to lift the stain.

How to Seal Cultured-Stone Countertops: Seal with an appropriate sealer formulated for the surface to help prevent stains and make it easier to keep clean.

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Glass Countertops

glass countertops stainless steel farm sink
Tim Lee

How to Clean Glass Countertops: Clean your glass countertops with any commercial soap or cleansers that you would ordinarily keep in your home for cleaning hard surfaces, such as glass cleaner or multi-purpose cleaner. Use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scratching the surface. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and scratchy cleaning tools.

Glass countertops are stain-resistant. No sealing is necessary.

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Solid-Surfacing Countertops

kitchen sink subway tile backsplash
Emily Followill

How to Clean Solid-Surfacing Countertops: Cleaning solid-surfacing countertops is best done with water, soapy water, or cleaners developed specifically for this material. Wipe the surface dry after cleaning, rather than letting it air dry, to prevent a film from building up. You can occasionally disinfect the counter by using diluted bleach (50-50 solution of bleach and water). Rinse thoroughly, then wipe dry.

How to Remove Stains from Solid-Surfacing Countertops: Solid-surfacing countertops are stain-resistant. Wipe away virtually all stains with soap and water. For scorch marks, scratches, or persistent stains, consult with your countertop fabricator about renewing the surface.

Solid surfacing does not need to be sealed.

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Stainless-Steel Countertops

black and white kitchen with stainless steel island
Werner Straube

How to Clean Stainless-Steel Countertops: Wipe down your stainless-steel countertop with a microfiber cloth for dry cleaning. For wet cleaning, use a soft cloth dipped into a solution of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Rinse the surface with clean water and dry with a clean, soft towel. Look for commercial stainless-steel cleaners to remove fingerprints and smudges.

Stainless-steel countertops are stain-resistant and do not need to be sealed.

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Wood Countertops

Kitchen with dark blue cabinets and wooden countertops
Stacy Goldberg

How to Clean Wood Countertops: Wash your wood countertops with a mixture of mild dishwashing soap and water. Rinse thoroughly. Dry with a soft clean cloth.

How to Remove Wood Countertop Stains: Blot up as much of the stain as you can to prevent it from sinking into the pores of the wood. If you're dealing with a light stain, try sprinkling on salt. Then scrub with the cut side of half a lemon. Stain still showing? Let it sit overnight before rinsing with water and drying with a clean cloth. For a darker stain, try dabbing with a cotton swab dipped in a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution to lighten it. If the stain seems permanent, you can always sand and refinish a wood countertop.

How to Seal Wood Countertops: Much like butcher-block countertops, oiling wood countertops keeps the wood from drying out, helps seal the surface, and adds sheen. Wipe the wood with a light coat of mineral oil, let it soak into the surface, and wipe away oil that does not soak in. Do not use excess oil because the surface can become tacky and attract dirt. Don't use linseed or vegetable oil.

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Cultured-Marble Countertops

remodeled kitchen sink marble countertop with three windows

How to Clean Cultured-Marble Countertops: Wipe the surface with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. A mild bleach solution can also be used when cleaning marble countertops. Don't use abrasive cleaners or scrub pads because they could scratch the surface.

How to Remove Stains from Cultured-Marble Countertops: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat as necessary.

How to Seal Cultured-Marble Countertops: Seal with an appropriate sealer formulated for cultured marble to help prevent stains.

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