How to Clean Your Countertops Naturally and Effectively

Skip the commercial cleaners and grab a few items you already have to get those counters sparkling.

Published September 28, 2022
woman cleaning a kitchen counter at home

"Look at those countertops!" isn't a phrase that you typically hear out of your friends' mouths. But that doesn't mean your countertops aren't important. They're key to the aesthetics, functionality, and cleanliness of your kitchen. Gather your supplies and learn how to clean all types of countertops in your home.

How to Clean Countertops With Soap and Water

Now, you know there are a variety of different types of counters out there. But you might not know if you have granite or concrete. With this method, it doesn't matter. This is a safe and simple method that can work on almost any type of counter, regardless of the material it's made of.

  1. Mix a cup or two of warm water and a few drops of soap.
  2. Dip the sponge into the mixture.
  3. Wipe down the entire counter.
  4. Use the spatula to remove any stuck-on food or debris.
  5. Rinse out the sponge and dip it in the mixture again.
  6. Use the non-abrasive scrubber in circular motions to remove any stains and debris.
  7. Rinse out the sponge and wipe down the counter with water to remove any soap residue.
  8. Buff with a microfiber cloth to make your countertop shine.

Easy Way to Disinfect Countertops

Still worried about those microscopic bacteria that your sponge might not have gotten? Rubbing alcohol to the rescue.

  1. Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray down the entire countertop.
  3. Allow it to sit for a minute or two.
  4. Buff with a microfiber cloth to rejuvenate your shine.

How to Remove Stains From Countertops

young woman cleaning a kitchen counter at home

Do you have a red ring on your counter? Dealing with a mystery stain? Before you go dumping things on your stain, it's important to know the material you are working with. Specific cleaners can't be used on certain materials. Check out a quick breakdown of what to avoid for specific surfaces.

  • Quartz and concrete countertops - avoid harsh cleaners and abrasives
  • Marble countertops - avoid harsh chemicals, abrasives, and acids like lemon and vinegar
  • Granite countertops - avoid harsh cleaners, abrasive cleaners, ammonia, and acids like lemon
  • Wood countertops - avoid harsh chemicals
  • Laminate countertops - avoid abrasive pads, harsh chemicals, and abrasive powders like Comet

Baking Soda Method

Quartz, granite, and natural stone need a light touch. Typically, the soap and water method are all you need to get things gleaming again. However, if you have a stain, you might want to try a little baking soda. You'll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Non-abrasive scrubber

Follow these instructions to clean:

  1. Create a paste of dish soap and baking soda. Start with a half cup of baking soda and add dish soap until you have a thick paste.
  2. Add the paste to the stain.
  3. Allow it to sit for up to 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub the area.
  5. Wipe away and buff with a microfiber cloth.

White Vinegar Method

Nine times out of ten, the baking soda method will remove the stains on your counter. However, if you have laminate counters, you can try a little acidic white vinegar on the stain. To get started, grab:

If you aren't sure what your counters are made of, you'll want to steer clear of white vinegar. It can cause etching and damage to natural stone counters. For the white vinegar method, you'll:

  1. Fill the water bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water.
  2. Spray down the stain.
  3. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda over the area and scrub for any remaining stains.
  5. Rinse with water.
  6. Buff with a clean cloth.

Lemon and Salt Method

If you have a butcher block countertop and you're still fighting with a few stubborn stains, you might want to add a bit of lemon to the mix. Wood is resilient and responds well to this cleaning recipe.

Before you even get started, you'll want to cut your lemons in half. And remember, this method shouldn't be used on natural stone countertops.

  1. Sprinkle salt onto the cut area of your lemon wedge.
  2. Use circular motions to work the salt around the stain.
  3. Apply reasonable pressure, so the lemon releases some of the juice.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes.
  5. Wipe away with a damp clean cloth.
  6. Allow to air dry.

Extra Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen Counters

Your counters are pretty important for meal prep. So, you want them to be clean and sanitized. Try these tips to keep your countertops in tip-top shape.

  1. Wipe down the counters before and after meals.
  2. Clean up spills immediately.
  3. Try to minimize the objects on your counters.
  4. Move everything off your counters to clean them.
  5. Steer clear of harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia on counters.
  6. Don't forget to sanitize.

Clean Your Counters With Ease

Countertops aren't typically something you think a lot about, but they are an important part of your kitchen. Make sure they stay looking fabulous by cleaning and sanitizing them daily. It can be helpful to give them a good wipe-down every time you do the dishes.

How to Clean Your Countertops Naturally and Effectively