You’ve got the countertops of your dreams, and you want them to last. What are the big no-nos? We’ve got the tips to help you avoid mishaps involving your countertop.
Kitchen countertops are arguably the most important surfaces in your home, with bathroom countertops coming in at a close second. Kitchen and bathroom countertops are made with great care and built for durability to tolerate all kinds of tasks, from regular cleaning and chemicals to daily use and food preparation, among many others.
Most countertops you’ll find are extremely durable to begin with, and they may even be scratch-proof and/or stain-proof. but there are still a slew of things that homeowners can do innocently without realizing they can damage their countertops in the long-term! Even the top-of-the-line countertops made with the best materials can be damaged if we’re not careful.
So, we want to help you avoid these unsuspecting mistakes that are all too easy to make! We’ve got 5 tips for you to help keep your countertops in pristine condition.
Tip 1: Watch Out For Water
While it’s true that having proper sealing on your countertops can avoid most issues in regards to keeping water out of the countertop, that doesn’t mean you’re totally in the clear. Leaving pools of water gathered on the surface of the countertop for too long can cause white crusting and eventually lead to water stains that are not easily removed.
It’s important that you always keep the top of your countertops wiped up and free from water pools. It’s not something that you should worry about doing within 5 seconds, but don’t leave them there over prolonged periods. This will help the overall appearance of your countertop stay stain-free over time. You’ll also avoid the frustration of accidentally setting down your cell phone or something important in a big wet spot!
Tip 2: Be Wary of Excessive Weight
Putting excessive weight on your countertops can also eventually cause damage over time. One example of this is putting heavy appliances or items on a less-supported area of a countertop, such as an overhang, or an area that already supports a lot of weight. Be mindful of how much weight you’re putting on your countertop.
On that same note, your body weight can also cause issues for your countertop, especially if you like to lean on them. The occasional lean won’t hurt you, but if you’re always leaning over the edges in the same spot, you might see some wear and tear.
Tip 3: Be Mindful of Hot Objects
One of the biggest benefits of natural materials such as granite, marble, and quartz is that they can withstand high temperatures. It’s extremely convenient when cooking to take a hot pot or pan and set it right on the countertop to keep prepping or begin serving your food. Also, for women, when using hair appliances such as straighteners or curling irons, setting them right onto the countertop helps avoid some inconvenience.
While it’s true these countertops can tolerate high temperatures, it’s strongly recommended that you take the extra step to protect your countertop and use a towel, hot pad, placemat, or other barriers when setting down hot objects. It never hurts to take precautions, and if you don’t, you run the risk of your countertop suffering a burn mark, cracking, or even discoloration, especially when consistently placing hot objects in the same spot.
Tip 4: Look Out For Acidic Substances and Strong Cleaners
They give a zing to our foods and a pucker to our lips, but acidic foods and substances can also make our countertops go sour. If your countertop is made of a chemical base like calcium carbonate, your countertop can be especially sensitive to acidic foods or chemicals. Some examples of these include vinegar, wine, lemon juice, tomato sauce, and lime juice, among others. Believe it or not, just a splash of these substances can cause discoloration or staining to your countertop, regardless of whether or not they are stain-resistant. Always be cautious and be aware of how to clean your countertops effectively.
When considering how to clean your countertop effectively, often we think about having the right chemicals or cleaners, and this is another thing you just want to be mindful of. If you use cleaners that are heavily saturated with ammonia or bleach, over time your stone or granite countertop can lose its shine. Be mindful of what’s in your products and if you start to see a negative effect on your countertop, stop using it and find something else.
Tip 5: Cut, Slice, and Chop with Caution
While this won’t typically apply to bathroom counters, we still want to make sure that you’re chopping with care when you’re in your kitchen.
When we remodel or design our home with high-quality granite, marble, or quartz countertops, we tend to think they are invincible. While they do have extremely high durability and may be scratch or stain-proof, it’s always better to lead with caution and take preventative measures to protect and preserve your countertops.
Even though they may be scratch-proof, people who cut, chop, dice, and slice directly on their countertops are allowing for the possibility of damage. Sometimes, especially over time if done in the same place, little scratches or nicks can affect the surface, which could tamper with the sealant that was applied during installation. Better safe than sorry; use a cutting board!
Better Safe Than Sorry!
So, all in all, these are small things that may not have an immediate effect on your countertop if you’re lucky. However, placing hot objects on your countertop, cutting food on them, leaving water stains, or loading them up with weight can cause damages, especially over time depending on how you use them. Harsh chemicals and some food acids can also cause discoloration or a lackluster appearance.
The good news is, all of these are easily prevented without hassle! So, our motto for the day in countertop care is “better safe than sorry” always take that extra step to protect your beautiful countertops and preserve your investment.