The health risks associated with coronavirus has led us to refrain from ordering restaurant food. The kitchen, therefore, has become even more central to our lives right now. Alongside cooking, we have to keep our homes clean and sanitized. The kitchen should be disinfected frequently as a preventive measure.  Most importantly, the countertop is exposed to different items brought from outside, so daily cleaning is a good idea.

Cleaning & Disinfecting Countertops to Reduce COVID-19 Risk

Best Ways to Clean and Disinfect Countertops to Avoid the Risk of Coronavirus

Although person-to-person transmission poses a much greater risk than transmission through surfaces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended cleaning high-touch surfaces at least once a day. Follow these tips to clean and disinfect different kitchen countertop materials while ensuring they look their best.

  1. Quartz

Quartz doesn’t require much maintenance, making it one of the most sought-after countertop materials. Even though it’s virtually resistant to stains, bacteria and mould, it’s a good idea to clean and disinfect the surface for safe food preparation and cooking.

Daily Cleaning

For daily cleaning, steer clear of cleaning products with high alkaline content and ones that are too acidic. These types of cleaners could separate the bond between the resin and quartz and, in extreme cases, cause irreparable damage. Also, avoid using harsh pads or abrasive sponges that can dull your countertop’s polished surface.

To disinfect quartz countertops, use a commercially available cleaner for non-porous surfaces as they don’t contain bleaching agents. These cleaners are generally great at eliminating the flu, cold, salmonella and E. coli among other illness-causing viruses and bacteria. This is because they stay active on the surface long enough to kill them within a few minutes. However, be sure to follow the label instructions to ensure they do their job properly, without damaging the quartz.

  1. Granite

Granite countertops are extremely hard-wearing and available in gorgeous patterns, making them a worthwhile investment.

Due to their resilience, there’s no need to replace them as you would with other materials such as laminate. Being a hard material, it resists scratching, cracking, chipping and is heat resistant.

However, being a natural stone, it’s porous and needs to be sealed when installed and at least once a year after that. Failing to do so might result in the countertop absorbing stains from juices, wine or other liquids.

Daily Cleaning

  • Blot up spills as soon as they happen since the porous surface can absorb liquids even when sealed.
  • Don’t wipe as this can spread spills across the surface, resulting in more damage.
  • Stay away from harsh and abrasive cleaners such as ammonia, bleach and scouring powder. Over time, these can strip the sealant and break it off completely in severe instances.

Cleaning granite is fairly simple. All you need to do is use some warm water and a mild soap with a clean rag and you’re good to go. You may need clean water to rinse off any remaining soap.

Alternatively, there are cleaning products designed for granite that have a neutral pH balance. All you need to do is spray it on the countertop and wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

Since sealed granite is relatively resistant to bacteria and viruses, you can sanitize your countertop with a soapy wipe down. However, if you’re looking to disinfect it, apply a mixture of 50% rubbing alcohol and water all over the surface using a spray bottle. Leave on for three to five minutes and then rinse off with clean water. Wipe with a dry cloth towel.

  1. Marble

Despite its glossy finish, marble is porous so liquids of all densities can seep beneath its surface. This can leave behind a stain when left unattended for an extended period of time.

Additionally, marble is vulnerable to etching by acidic substances such as tomato sauce, red wine and vinegar. This means homeowners dealing with marble countertops need to be extra careful when cleaning it.

Let’s find out the best ways to go about it.

Daily Cleaning

  • Disinfect the surface with a mixture of warm water and antibacterial soap.
  • Let sit on the surface for at least five minutes.
  • Follow with a stone-safe cleaner. Be sure to get rid of any streaks.
  • Ensure the surface is properly sealed

For best results, avoid using common household cleaners on marble as they’re either too high in alkaline (high pH) or too acidic (low pH). As mentioned, chemicals high in acidic content can eat away at the protective surface seal. When left on the surface for a long time, they can permanently etch it too. Ensure your marble countertop is properly sealed to avoid spills that cause stains that may be difficult to remove. Also, since it’s the first line of defence against etching, it makes sense to have a protective layer.

Regularly cleaning surfaces in your home, especially your kitchen countertops, can remove dust, dirt and other impurities, along with germs and viruses. Recently, it’s become imperative to maintain hygiene everywhere to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With these tips you’ll be able to minimize the risk of infection and ensure you and your family’s protection.