How to Clean Your Kitchen Surfaces - dummies

By Gill Chilton

Kitchen surfaces serve as worktops and need regular cleaning. Hopefully, your kitchen worktops (countertops) and units are the ultimate in hard-wearing, able to withstand strong and effective cleaning.

But you can’t guarantee it for a fact. Many kitchens are designed to look wonderful but their ability to withstand a good cleaning is way down on the list.

If you can’t identify a surface, err with caution and avoid bleach. This means checking all bottles of multi-surface cleaner, as many include bleach as an ingredient.

For sheer speed, it can be tempting to zap the same product on every surface in the room, but only surfaces that come into direct contact with food need antibacterial protection. A standard multi-purpose spray, which is cheaper and may have more stain-shifting power, is the better choice for other areas.

The worktops that you prepare and perhaps eat your food on need to be kept as hygienically clean as possible. Be sure to choose an antibacterial cleaner, rather than a simple antibacterial spray. Sprays are designed to disinfect freshly cleaned surfaces. Using them on small areas such as telephone key pads or toilet handles is fine, but why make twice the work for yourself in the kitchen, when you’re covering large areas.

Surface Cleaning Method
Granite Use an antibacterial spray cleaner. Dry thoroughly.
Laminate Use an antibacterial spray cleaner. Dry thoroughly.
Marble Wipe with a soapy (sudsy) solution from a bowl of mild
washing-up liquid – the kindest ones for marble work surfaces
are those sold as being kind to your hands! Rinse it away
completely. Detergent residue dulls marble. Avoid acidic cleaners
as they eat into the surface.
Tile Use a multi-purpose spray or microfibre cloth.
Sealed wood Use a very dilute bleach solution of 20ml (1–1/2
tablespoons) of bleach in 5 litres (1 gallon) of water on stubborn
grime, working quickly so as not to let the bleach change the
colour of the wood.

It’s easy to neglect cupboard and drawer fronts during your regular cleaning session. Yet frequent attention makes your kitchen look smart and inviting.

Surface Cleaning Method
High-shine resin Use only soft cloths that won’t scratch. Wipe to remove
dirt before getting at stains with a dab of washing-up
(dishwashing) liquid.
Laminate Use a non-abrasive multi-surface cleaner, taking care not to
let any drips dry hard.
Sealed wood and veneers Dilute 30ml (2 tablespoons) of a soap-based wood cleaner in 5
litres (1 gallon) of lukewarm water and wipe the entire surface,
then buff with a soft cloth. There’s no need to rinse. Polish
occasionally with a light liquid wax if you like a shiny
Unsealed wood Unsealed wood is not a good choice in the kitchen. The wood
darkens as it ages no matter how often you dust it. If you use
water to clean it, the wood may warp. The best advice is to
preserve unsealed wood’s good looks and colour by sealing it
with a light varnish.