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March 14, 2023
Kitchen countertops are one of the most frequently used surfaces in any home. They serve not only as a decorative element in the kitchen but also as a cooking and food preparation area, and a gathering place for family and friends. As a result, countertops can easily accumulate dirt, grease, and stains that can be difficult to remove.
Many people opt for strong cleaning solutions such as oven cleaners to remove tough grease and grime from kitchen worktops. However, what they do not realize is that such products are more likely to damage the surfaces rather than clean them.
In this article, we will look at why you should avoid using oven cleaners on your worktops and what is the effect of such products on the various types of countertop materials. We will also give you some tips and recommendations on how to clean your kitchen worktops safely.
It is not a good idea to use an oven cleaner on your kitchen countertops since it can damage them. Oven cleaners usually contain strong chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide or lye, which are specifically designed to remove grime and grease from the oven. However, when applied on kitchen countertops, these cleaning products can cause discolouration, corroding and fading of the surface. Moreover, oven cleaners may leave residue on your cooking area, which can easily get into your food and pose a health risk.
Using oven cleaners on kitchen worktops can sometimes be a costly mistake. These products may cause worktop damage, necessitating repairs or replacements. Such procedures can be costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, if you rent the property, you may be required to pay additional fees or penalties to your landlord.
If you want to clean the surfaces in your kitchen, it is better to choose a gentler and safer cleaning method. Try to find a product that is specifically designed for your countertop material. Also, be sure to always read the manufacturer's directions and test any cleaning product on an inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire countertop.
If you are moving out of your rental property and need to have your worktops properly cleaned, it might be best to hire an end-of-tenancy cleaning service. The professionals can remove all dirt and stains from the kitchen worktops and help you get your full deposit back.
What ingredients are in oven cleaners?
The ingredients of oven cleaners may vary depending on the specific product and the brand you choose. However, they are usually made of strong chemicals which can dissolve and remove grime, oil stains and any baked-on food residue from the interior of an oven. Here are some of the most commonly found ingredients in oven cleaners.
Sodium hydroxide. Most oven cleaners contain sodium hydroxide, a highly alkaline chemical, also known as caustic soda or lye. Sodium hydroxide-based products have the power to dissolve stubborn greasy stains and grime from oven surfaces. However, if used on other surfaces, such cleaning solutions, can cause damage. Also, this chemical is highly corrosive and may lead to severe skin and eye irritations if not handled correctly.
Sodium carbonate. This is another alkaline chemical that is commonly found in oven cleaners. Sodium carbonate is a white, crystalline powder that is water soluble. It is less caustic and has milder alkali properties than sodium hydroxide. Despite this, you should avoid using oven cleaners containing sodium carbonate on your kitchen countertops because they can discolour or damage the finish.
Methylene chloride. Dichloromethane or methylene chloride is a colourless and vaporous liquid which has a sweet smell. It is often used in oven cleaners as a powerful solvent that can dissolve and remove stubborn grease and grime from the oven. However, methylene chloride can be dangerous for other surfaces such as countertops. Not to mention that prolonged exposure to this chemical may be harmful to your health. It may cause irritation to your skin and eyes, as well as coughing and shortness of breath.
Potassium hydroxide. This is another ingredient found in oven cleaners. Although potassium hydroxide is a powerful degreaser, it can be dangerous if not handled properly. The chemical's strong alkaline properties have the potential to damage kitchen countertops.
Surfactants. Many oven cleaners contain surfactants, which are chemical compounds that help break down grease and grime. They work by lowering the surface tension of water, allowing it to penetrate and dissolve grease and other organic materials. Surfactant-containing cleaners, however, are not suitable for use on kitchen countertops. These chemicals can be acidic or abrasive, causing surface fading and stripping.
Overall, chemicals used in oven cleaners are strong and must be used with caution. It is not recommended to apply such cleaners on your kitchen countertop or other similar surfaces.
What is the effect of oven cleaners on different countertop materials?
What effect oven cleaners will have on kitchen worktops depends on the strength of the cleaning product and the countertop's material. Here we will discuss the different types of kitchen countertop materials and their possible reaction to oven cleaner chemicals.
Marble and granite countertops. These are natural stone countertops which usually have a porous structure. As a result, they can be easily damaged by acidic or alkaline agents. As we mentioned above, many oven cleaners contain lye which is a highly caustic and alkaline chemical compound. When used on natural stone counters, such as marble or granite, these cleaning solutions can cause etching, fading, dulling or staining of the stone.
Quartz countertops. The quartz material is usually less prone to chemical damage. However, it is important to note that quartz countertops are engineered stones so that it is still possible to react to harsh chemicals in oven cleaners. This is especially true for products that contain sodium hydroxide. The strong alkaline properties of this ingredient can strip the protective layer, and cause discolouration or other damage to your kitchen countertops.
Wood countertops. Chemicals in oven cleaners can be particularly harmful to wooden countertops. They can strip the finish leaving the wood unprotected and more susceptible to damage from spills or stains. They may also cause discolouration or staining. In addition, wooden worktops can warp or swell if oven cleaner residue is left behind.
Laminate countertops. These countertops are made of layers of material covered with a protective coating. Since oven cleaners contain harsh and strong alkaline chemicals, they can easily damage the protective coating of the laminate surface and cause discolouration.
Stainless steel countertops. Although stainless steel counters are quite resistant to chemical damage, it is best not to use oven cleaner to clean them.This is especially true of products that contain lye. It is a strong alkaline substance that can cause pitting, staining, or discolouration of the countertop material if it is left for too long or if it is not rinsed off completely.
Tile countertops. The effect of oven cleaners on tile countertops will depend on the specific material used for the countertop and the type of oven cleaner used. Such worktops can be made from natural stone, porcelain or ceramic. In general, if you spray oven cleaner on your tile countertop, you may end up damaging the top finish and start having grout problems over time.
Overall, it might be said that chemical ingredients in oven cleaner react differently on the various types of kitchen counter surfaces. It is best not to clean your countertops with products containing strong chemicals.
Kitchen countertop cleaning tips
Regular cleaning and proper care of kitchen countertops are important for prolonging their lifespan and keeping them looking their best. However, you really need to use cleaning products and methods that are suitable for the specific type of worktop you have.
Here are some general tips that you can use to clean your kitchen countertops.
Use a non-abrasive cleaner or a product which is safe and suitable for the type of countertop you have. Be sure to always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Make sure to wipe up any spills and stains promptly to prevent them from becoming harder to remove. Do not leave any acidic substances on the surfaces for a long time.
If you have natural stone worktops or other delicate surfaces, it is best to use a cleaner specifically designed for that type of material. Alternatively, you can make a homemade cleaning solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Do not use all-purpose kitchen cleaners to clean marble countertops or granite.
For quartz countertops, it is best to use a gentle, pH-neutral cleaning product. You may also clean them with dish soap and water.
Countertops made of laminate and wood can be cleaned with a mild, all-purpose cleaner. When cleaning wooden countertops, it is important to avoid using too much water or exposing the surface to prolonged periods of moisture because it can cause warping or damage.
Stainless steel worktops can be cleaned with a commercial stainless steel cleaner. You may also use soapy water to keep steel countertops clean.
For tile kitchen countertops, you can use a gentle all-purpose cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water. You can use a grout cleaner to clean the grout between the tiles,
You should avoid using harsh chemicals or trying to remove stains from your countertop with an oven cleaner.
What is the best way to clean kitchen countertops?
Hiring professional cleaners is unquestionably one of the best options for properly cleaning kitchen countertops. Such services are especially useful when dealing with difficult-to-remove stains or buildup that necessitate the use of specialized equipment or cleaning solutions. Professional cleaners have the knowledge and equipment to clean various types of kitchen countertops and can help restore the surface to its original state.
Professional cleaners also have access to specialized cleaning products designed for use on various types of materials. So you can rest assured that your countertops are cleaned safely and effectively. Such services can be especially useful if you want to deep clean your home or if you are moving out of a rental property and need to leave it perfectly clean.
In conclusion, when it comes to cleaning your kitchen countertops, it's important to choose the right products and methods to ensure the longevity of your surfaces. Oven cleaners may seem like a quick fix for stubborn grime and grease, but they can cause irreversible damage to your countertops.
Instead, opt for gentler and safer cleaning methods that are suitable for your specific countertop material. Hiring professional cleaners is also a great option if you want to achieve the best results without risking damage to your countertops.
Remember, regular cleaning and proper care are crucial for keeping your countertops looking their best and prolonging their lifespan. So, take care of your countertops and they'll take care of you!
Frequently asked questions
Are oven cleaners dangerous?
Oven cleaners might be dangerous if not used correctly. This is because many of those products contain sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, which can irritate your skin or eyes. Moreover, the toxic chemicals from the oven cleaner may cause respiratory problems if inhaled or ingested. When used on kitchen surfaces, the oven cleaner can eat away the top finish and damage them.
Can you use oven cleaner on granite countertops?
Although granite countertops are often sealed with an extra protection layer, you still shouldn't use heavy-duty oven cleaners on them. Such cleaning products contain harsh agents that can damage the surface. The chemicals of oven cleaners can cause etching, and dulling and may even strip away the protective sealant that keeps your granite countertops in good condition.
Is it safe to use oven cleaner on quartz countertops?
No, it is not safe to use an oven cleaner on kitchen countertops made of quartz. The chemicals in the oven cleaner can damage the surface and cause etch and discolouration. To clean and maintain the surface of quartz countertops, you can simply use a mild soap solution or a quartz-specific cleaner.