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Marble or Granite
The secret to smudgeless, scuffless surfaces is washing often with soft cloths and gentle cleansing agents, since harsher chemicals can cause damage. So whether you’re wiping up counters, cabinets, tabletops, or your fridge door, follow our breakdown by material.
Products that are too acidic or alkaline will etch natural stone. Use one that’s neutral, with a pH of seven, as indicated on the label.
How to Clean It: A solution of mild dishwashing liquid and water is pH neutral. Wipe with a microfiber cloth only: Even paper towels can be too harsh.
Microfiber cleaning cloths, by Quickie HomePro, $10 for 4, homedepot.com
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Streaking is especially visible on stainless steel; it’s often caused by too much product or a dirty cloth.
How to Clean It: Mist the surface with stainless-steel polish; wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. To remove smudgy fingerprints, skip the polish and simply buff with the cloth. Always rub with the grain.
Einshine natural stainless-steel cleaner, by Better Life, $8 for 16 oz., cleanhappens.com
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For mildew and stains, avoid harsh products like bleach, which can strip grout of its color.
How to Clean It: Scrub the grout with a paste of baking soda and water, then rinse. Next, submerge a microfiber cloth in a solution of water and mild dishwashing liquid. Wring out the cloth, then wipe down.
365 Everyday Value baking soda, available Whole Foods stores
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With Corian and Caesarstone, the way to remove the stain depends on the finish; follow the instructions that come with the installation.
How to Clean It: For routine cleaning, spray the surface with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
All-purpose cleaner, in Ginger Yuzu, $4 for 28 oz., methodhome.com
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Wood sprays leave behind oily residues that attract dust. For daily cleaning, just dust with a dry microfiber cloth.
How to Clean It: For sticky or grimy wood surfaces, submerge a microfiber cloth in a solution of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Wring out the cloth, then wipe down the wood.
Dish soap, $8 for 16 oz., commongoodandco.com
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Abrasive pads and cleaners will compromise the seal on concrete and leave it more prone to stains.
How to Clean It: Mix a 1-to-1 solution of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the surface, then wipe it down with a microfiber cloth.
Organic white vinegar, $3.25 for 16 oz., fleischmannsvinegar.com
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