Oven cleansers are at the heart of many cleaning hacks.
When it comes to finding a cleaning solution, why wouldn’t you want to pick a cleaning product that’s tough enough to clean oven racks and also work as a grill cleaner?
Well, we’re here to discuss what is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops.
There are many reasons you will be tempted to use an oven cleaner on your kitchen countertops.
They’re very effective at removing grease and other baked on nonsense from your oven and maybe even from your baking pans and cookie sheets.
However, you’ll find the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. You may not like what we have to say, but we’ll give you alternatives and guidelines to keep your kitchen counters clean and bright.
Drawbacks of Using Oven Cleaners on Kitchen Countertops
Unfortunately, there are more drawbacks than advantages to using oven cleaner on any kitchen surface, especially kitchen countertops.
It’s an abrasive cleaner. Any oven cleaning product will remove the finish coating on your countertop. Once that happens, continued use will break down the polymers and resins, creating pock marks which lead to peeling and chipping.
The same holds true with wood countertops. You shouldn’t use an oven cleaner on a wood countertop any more than you would use it on a kitchen cabinet.
Oven cleaners can fade your countertop. If you start to notice fading, you can blame your oven cleaner for that. Likewise, keep in mind that an oven cleaner stains kitchen counters, too.
Oven cleaners can leave streaks. You want your cleaning time to be efficient. If you have to rinse several times, that’s time wasted.
Oven cleaners can have a poisonous odor. Even if you can’t smell it, it can still linger in the air. Kids and pets are more susceptible to this and you may be causing more harm than just damaging your counters.
Oven cleaners can leach into your kitchen countertops. That means any food you leave on the counter can pick up the residue. Are you still comfortable eating food left on the counter?
Alternatives to Using an Oven Cleaner on Kitchen Countertops
Window Cleaner. If it’s gentle enough to not scratch a window, it should be safe for your kitchen countertop. Be sure and rinse the surface thoroughly after spraying. You don’t want ammonia leaching into your food any more than oven cleaners.
White Vinegar. Studies have shown that plain, six percent white vinegar will decrease the presence of E. coli and staphylococcus aureus. Vinegar contains acetic acid. You’ll most often use it as a 1:1 ratio with water. Spray it on the surface, wait 20 seconds, and wipe gently with a clean, damp cloth. Avoid using this with stone countertops such as granite.
Cleaning Wooden Countertops with Vinegar
When it comes to cleaning wooden countertops, you’ll want to disinfect them if raw meat comes into contact with the surface. This is the one time when you can use vinegar, but instead of using a 1:1 ratio of water to vinegar, use three parts water to one part vinegar.
Let it sit on the countertop for 15 minutes, then wipe dry. The best protection is to use a cutting board. It may seem like overkill, especially if you have a butcher block countertop, but it’s easier to replace a cutting board than a kitchen counter.
How to Clean Kitchen Countertops That are Easily Scratched
While you may be disappointed that oven cleaners are not right for cleaning your kitchen countertops, there are some effective methods for cleaning all types of porous kitchen countertop surfaces. The basic method goes like this:
Start by dusting off the countertop to remove any surface dirt or debris. Some people have even suggested vacuuming a countertop with a dust-buster. Unless you are cleaning a surface for the first time in months or even years, there’s no need to get this aggressive.
If there are any tough stains, you can try scrubbing them with a microfiber cloth and a mild dish soap or detergent. There are also non-scratch sponges available that may be more effective.
Have you ever wondered why some sponges are different colors? It isn’t so it can match your home decor. Some are easier on glass. That’s the one to pick for your countertop.
Be sure to rinse the countertop well after cleaning and dry it with another clean, dry microfiber cloth.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Countertops
To add shine to a clean stainless steel countertop, follow up the basic cleaning steps with a polish. Take a microfiber cloth and apply a small amount of mineral oil or olive oil to the counter in the direction of the grain. Using the dry side of the cloth, buff it off to a nice shine.
Cleaning Stone Countertops
There are special cleaners available for countertops, like stone, that are scratched easily. Try the Bar Keeper’s Friend line for a cleaner that is specially formulated for your countertops.
What About Using a Magic Eraser® on My Kitchen Countertop?
Magic Eraser® is a sponge made of air bubbles embedded in melamine resin. The resin scrapes away microscopic stains. It cleans things you thought would never be clean again. This is why it’s so tempting to use them on kitchen countertops.
Beware! The very thing that makes Magic Eraser so efficient can also damage certain surfaces.
You can use a Magic Eraser on a formica countertop. You can also use it to clean quartz countertops and most tile countertops. If you have a high-end tile countertop, check with the manufacturer or tile maker first. You may be better off with a natural cleaning solution such as vinegar so you don’t damage the grout.
Do Not Use Magic Eraser on the Following Surfaces
Stone Countertops. Any stone countertop will take a beating. Especially avoid using it on marble countertops. It removes the stain but damages the finish, leaving a dull mark. You’ll have to have a professional re-polish the spot.
Also avoid using it on granite kitchen countertops. You would think a granite countertop would hold up better than marble and you’d be right. However, it’s still porous and subject to damage. Try a granite cleaner. These are made specifically for cleaning stone.
Stainless Steel Countertops. They’re stainless, not scratch-proof. Magic Erasers can scratch the surfaces of stainless steel countertops.
Wooden Countertops. Since it’s like a fine sandpaper, a Magic Eraser will strip the finish of wooden kitchen countertops.
Laminate Countertops. Like the others in this list, laminate countertops are easily scratched.