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Cleaning Countertops and Cabinets
Cleaning Countertops and Cabinets

While we clean our kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops every day; and the cabinets occasionally, there are times when we need to be sure they are as clean and germ-free as we can get them. You may want to do this when you are moving into a new home or apartment — you may need to do it because of health concerns. Whatever the reason for the need to clean, here’s some information on cleaning, deep cleaning and not damaging countertops or cabinets. A good rule to follow is ALWAYS test whatever you are using on a small inconspicuous area first.

Experts tells us the best way to avoid getting sick is to always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Believe it or not — that holds true for countertops, too!

Wash with soap and water and dry with an absorbent clean cloth. Do not pour water on a laminate top or put water on a stained or particularly stubborn dirty area to “soak” the dirt off.
After all, laminate is pressed paper and cardboard with a coating on top. Soaking it is just inviting water to seep into areas and swell up ruining the seams and the top.
Use a soft hand brush, the kind you clean under your fingernails with, or a soft vegetable brush to gently work the dirt and grime off if necessary.
Always, for laminate as well as solid surface/acrylic tops, wash and wipe in a circular instead of a back and forth motion.
Always dry the countertop off after washing.
If there is a particularly stubborn stain, you can use a mild glass cleaner. 
You can use cleansing wipes, but test in an area first. They contain varying strengths of bleach and cleaners and may damage the top.

Quartz, Granite and Solid Surface
Again, warm water and soap is the best to clean with and then dry and buff with a clean, absorbent cloth.
If you seem to have a white or greasy film on your top, it is likely due to build-up from different cleaners or water that was left to air dry on the countertop. 
You can spot clean stains or particularly dirty areas with glass cleaner — but then rinse the area with water and dry.
Bleach is not a recommended cleaner, even diluted. Likewise, do not use ceramic cooktop cleaner, rust remover, drain cleaner, lime scale remover or metal polish on these tops. If you are using these cleaners on a different area of the kitchen and bathroom and get some on your top, immediately wipe off, rinse with warm water and dry.
Quartz is a sealed material. But granite usually comes with a sealant on top. That sealant may wear off. If water doesn’t bead up on your granite top, it needs to be re-sealed. Sealant is available at most large retail stores as well as hardware stores. Follow the specific manufacturer’s directions when using.
Solid surface/acrylic is a molded, sealed material, but scratches or gouges can be areas that gather germs. Some cleansing wipes are safe for acrylic/solid surface tops — check the packaging to be sure if it’s safe before you use it and test on a small area.

Wood and water do not mix. You can wipe your cabinets down with a solution of five drops of dishwashing liquid and a cup of vinegar mixed in a bucket of water. Wipe with a damp — not soaked sponge — and then dry off immediately.
If you feel you must use sanitizing wipes, test in an area first and understand that you may remove or damage the stain or paint. 
Melamine or vinyl cabinets can also be wiped down with a sponge dampened in a bucket of water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Dry immediately. 

If you have specific questions about a specific type of cabinetry, it is best to ask the cabinet company directly through the service department listed on its website or on its Facebook page.

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