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  • How to Correctly Clean Kitchen Counterops and Other Surfaces Your Child Touches

    Your kitchen countertop is one of the dirtiest surfaces at home
    by Kate Borbon .
How to Correctly Clean Kitchen Counterops and Other Surfaces Your Child Touches
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Keeping the home clean is not only important to make it look beautiful; it also does wonders in maintaining the health of those who live in it. Ensuring the cleanliness of every part of the home is even more imperative for those of us who have kids who constantly roam or crawl all over the place. Here, we give you a guide on the cleaning materials you need and how you can clean the different types of surfaces commonly found inside the home.

    How to clean your kitchen countertops

    Kitchen countertops are some of the dirtiest surfaces in the home, especially since this is where we do much of our food preparation and other tasks at home. This makes it very important to keep them as clean as possible all the time.

    The solutions and tools you need and the cleaning methods you need to do depend on your countertop's material.

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    Plastic laminate

    What you need: Mild household cleaning solution, microfiber cloth

    What to do: Take a damp microfiber cloth and your cleaning solution, then wipe down your surface well. Avoid using cleaning solutions that contain acid or alkali, as well as scouring pads and steel wool.

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    Granite or marble

    What you need: Warm water, mild dish soap, microfiber cloth

    What to do: Mix together the water and the dish soap. Soak a microfiber cloth into the solution, then wipe it on the stone. Don’t use abrasive or acidic cleaning materials or solutions to clean your granite or marble surfaces, because these can cause etches on the stone and wear down the sealer.

    Soapstone

    What you need: Multipurpose cleaning solution, microfiber cloth

    What to do: The great thing about soapstone as a surface material is it is non-porous, so it is stain- and scratch-resistant. To clean it, you can use almost any cleaning solution, as long as it is not made of abrasive material.

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    Quartz

    What you need: Mild dish soap, water

    What to do: Another low-maintenance countertop material is quartz, which, though engineered, still looks very natural. All you need to do to keep it clean is to wash it with a solution of water and mild dish soap.

    Wood

    What you need: Non-abrasive cleaning solution or distilled white vinegar, warm water, spatula

    What to do: To clean your wooden countertop surface, you can either use a non-abrasive cleaning solution or a DIY solution of warm water and distilled white vinegar. If you spot any food residue there, you can simply scrape it out with a spatula.

    Ceramic tile

    What you need: Tile cleaning solution or baking soda, liquid soap, vinegar, water, grout cleaner or mild bleach solution

    What to do: You can either use a commercially made tile cleaning solution, or you can also make your own homemade cleaner by combining 1 2/3 cup of baking soda, ½ cup of liquid soap, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and ½ cup of water. To clean your tile grout, you may spray commercially-made grout cleaner or a mild bleach solution.

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    Here is everything you need to know about how to properly clean stovetops, glass windows and other surfaces in your home.

    Stovetops

    What you need: Mild dish soap, water, baking soda

    What to do: Mix together some water and mild dish soap. Remove the electric burners, then soak a piece of cloth in the solution and use it to scrub the coils down. To get rid of food debris that won’t come off easily, make a paste out of baking soda and water, apply it onto the stain, let it sit for about 20 minutes, then scrub it off.

    Chrome fixtures

    What you need: Mild dish soap, water, distilled white vinegar, microfiber cloths

    What to do: For regular cleaning of your chrome fixtures at home, all you need to do is to wash them with a solution of mild dish soap and water. However, when you notice stains appearing on your fixtures, combine water and distilled white vinegar in equal parts, soak a clean cloth in the solution, then wrap it around the fixture. Let the cloth sit there for 15 minutes, then remove it. Use an old toothbrush dipped in the vinegar-and-water solution to scrub at any hard-to-reach areas. Remove any residue by wiping the fixture dry with a clean, dry towel.

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    Stainless steel

    What you need: Vinegar, paper towels, microfiber cloths, mineral or olive oil

    What to do: Spray vinegar on the surface, then use paper towels or a microfiber cloth to wipe it off. Dip another piece of cloth into the oil, then use that to polish the stainless steel surface.

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    Glass windows

    What you need: A spray bottle or a large bowl, water, white vinegar, microfiber cloth, an old toothbrush

    What to do: Combine one part of white vinegar and four parts of water. Spray the cloth in the solution, squeeze out the excess liquid, then rub it on the glass surface in circular motions. Use an old toothbrush to clean edges, corners, and hard-to-reach areas.

    Hardwood floors

    What you need: Water, mild soap, mop, microfiber cloth, or a vacuum/broom/dust mop

    What to do: For sealed wood floors, make a cleaning solution by mixing ¼ cup of mild soap and water, then damp-mop the surface well. Use a microfiber cloth to get rid of any leftover moisture. For waxed wood floors which can be ruined even by tiny parts of water, all you need to do is to constantly sweep or vacuum them regularly.

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    Linoleum floors

    What you need: Hot water, dish soap, microfiber cloths

    What to do: Combine hot water and dish soap, then put the solution in a spray bottle. Spritz the solution onto one part of the floor at a time, then wipe it with a microfiber cloth. Though air-drying will help the floor dry properly, if the surface feels sticky to you, wipe it again with another piece of clean and damp cloth.

    Bathtubs

    What you need: All-purpose household cleaner or tub cleaner, tile cleaner, grout brush, old toothbrush, cleaning cloths or sponges

    What to do: Start out by cleaning the tiles surrounding your tub, especially if there is a build-up of dirt and mildew on them. Apply tile cleaner on them, then scrub on the solution using a grout brush. Make sure to rinse away any tile cleaner residue later. Afterward, use your all-purpose cleaning solution to clean the other surrounding areas. For the inside of your tub, use a tub cleaning solution, let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes, then wipe it down thoroughly. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any soap stains that may also be there.

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    Sources: Architectural Digest, DIY Network, Kitchn, SFGate, Top Cleaning Secrets, Real Simple, The Spruce, Compact Appliance

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