Minor damage to a countertop, like a tiny scratch, isn’t exactly an emergency. However, even tiny instances of damage can spread. Worse, you may be making the damage worse without realizing it and setting yourself up for an expensive repair job in the future. A few innocent-sounding errors could be more problematic than you think.
Are You Damaging Your Countertops Without Knowing It?
As vital working spaces in a home, kitchen countertops are designed to withstand regular cleaning and spills during food preparation. With proper care, they can last years or even decades. Unfortunately, many homeowners do things that ‘hurt’ their countertops without knowing it. These mistakes may include:
- Using harsh cleaning products
- Slicing directly on the countertops
- Spilling acidic foods
- Not using a hot pad
- Putting too much weight on the counter
- Leaving spills alone
- Not sealing your countertops
1) Using Harsh Cleaning Products
Harsh cleaning products can quickly strip away the countertop’s sealant, damaging its surfaces. They include solvent-based cleaners, glass cleaners, abrasive cleaning products, and anything with acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar. Wipe your countertops down with microfiber and a gentle dish soap instead.
2) Slicing Directly on the Countertops
If you’re used to slicing, chopping, or cutting foods directly on marble, quartz, or granite countertops, the chances are high the surfaces will get damaged quickly. The knives will constantly scratch the countertops, damaging it more. Worse, your knives will dull faster as they repeatedly scrape on stone. Lay down a cutting board instead.
3) Spilling Acidic Foods
Acidic foods can rapidly damage your kitchen countertops, especially natural stone. A little spill of lime juice, lemon juice, tomato sauce, or orange juice on a countertop made from calcium carbonate can etch the surface. Handle acidic liquids carefully and clean up any spills immediately.
4) Not Using a Hot Pad
Many countertops can withstand high temperatures, especially quartz and granite countertops. You can quickly place a hot pan directly on the countertop as you prepare food without much damage. However, by continually doing that, the countertops will have a shorter lifespan. Heat can weaken the stone’s structure over time and, in extreme cases, can begin to melt the finish and leave your countertop looking “fuzzy”. Using a hot pad can prevent such damages.
5) Putting Too Much Weight on the Counter
Putting excess weight on a hard kitchen counter can cause cracks. A heavy pot or pan won’t pose an issue, but regularly sitting or standing on your countertop will. Even a tiny crack can spread with time and lead to a significant split, requiring you to place the entire slab. Keep excess weight off the counter!
6) Leaving Spills Alone
Leaving liquid spills on your kitchen countertop for too long can also damage it. The liquids can stain the counters and even cause some white crusty substances to form. To prevent this, clean up any spills immediately with a gentle washcloth and wash the area if necessary.
7) Not Sealing Your Countertops
Granite countertops are highly porous and can absorb liquids and stain quickly when not sealed off. If you want your natural stone to retain its color and durability, make sure to apply a new coat of sealant every other year. (Depending on the exact type of stone, you may have to do it more frequently.) Once the sealant is in place, take care to avoid exposing it to excessive heat or acidic substances.
Keep Your Countertops in Good Condition
You wouldn’t like to spend a lot of money repairing damaged countertops. Fortunately, basic countertop care isn’t hard. Make sure these potentially harmful habits aren’t part of your normal kitchen routine.
Contact us for kitchen countertop installation and repair services.