If you want to keep your worktops looking great, it's important to make sure you're using the right chemicals for that specific surface.

By Lauren Wellbank
March 01, 2021
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If you're curious about how natural cleaning products work or why baking soda is such a powerful ingredient, you've come to the right place. We'll explain the science behind some of the most popular cleaning methods and tools, so you can you clean smarter—not harder. Follow along with Clean Science to see which technique we break down next.

For every kitchen counter type, there are triple the amount of surface cleaners. Ultimately, it can be difficult to decide which formula to use, especially since not every product is safe to use across on each and every one. Some chemicals and compounds can negatively react with certain materials, ruining the surface of your kitchen counters. To help you avoid this, we spoke with Morgan Brashear, a Senior Scientist with P&G Home Care, to find out which product you should reach for the next time you want to give your countertops a deep clean.

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Granite and Marble

If you have one of these heavy stone countertops, you'll want to triple-check your cleaner before spritzing it everywhere. "Acids, such as vinegar and citrus, should never be used to clean granite or marble, as they can etch the porous stone, causing dulling or discoloration," explains Brashear. Since many kitchen cleaners are powered by citrus extracts (a form of these acids), carefully check the ingredient list to prevent a costly mistake.

Butcher's Block

Nothing compares to the rustic beauty of butcher's block, but it has very specific cleaning needs. "Because butcher block countertops are usually buffed, unfinished wood—and because people typically conduct food prep directly on them—it is best to use a gentle cleaner that is also safe for use on dishes and cooking utensils, such as Dawn Ultra ($8.94, walmart.com) and Dawn Platinum ($4.69, target.com)," says Brashear, noting to make sure it's wiped clean of any residue when you're done.

Laminate

Laminate countertops are usually made of compressed papers, woods, and plastics that are then placed over particleboard or other woods. Because of this, be cautious of using an abrasive formula that could remove the shine from the surface by eating through the plastic— or anything that will break through the surface coating and get into the layers below, causing it to crack and swell. Brashear says to use Mr. Clean Freak Multi-Surface Spray ($4.94, walmart.com), which can cut through grime and grease, but is gentle. "Simply spray it on the surface and wipe with a damp or dry cloth or paper towel," she notes.

Concrete and Quartz

Trying to remove messes from your concrete or quartz countertop? Create your own solution—a combination of mild dish soap and water will do. "Dawn can be used to clean most countertop types and most other surfaces in the kitchen, thanks to its ability to powerfully cut grease while being gentle on your hands and surfaces," Brashear says, adding that no matter what type of countertop you have, always test an inconspicuous area first to make sure that it won't negatively impact the surface.

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