General Care and Cleaning Information on Laminate Countertops

Routine care for most of today’s laminates is very basic. Everyday cleaning is as quick as a wipe with a damp sponge. We recommend simply washing your countertops with warm water and dish washing liquid. Rinsing and drying them will help eliminate any streaks that you may observe, as well as eliminate the chance for any type of residue to build up from the cleaning products. Ammoniated cleaners work best for cutting areas that have grease build-up.

For areas that may be spotted or stained, try using an all-purpose cleaner or bathroom cleaner; be sure to rinse and dry.

AVOID ACIDS, BLEACH OR ABRASIVE CLEANING PRODUCTS, which may discolor or scratch and permanently damage your countertop surface.

FOR STUBBORN STAINS we recommend using general purpose cleaner and a soft, short bristle nylon brush or a mildly abrasive milky paste made of baking soda and water – dab a damp, soft cloth in the mixture and wipe using gentle circular motions, pressing lightly on the area affected. Again, be sure to rinse and dry the laminate.

Persistent stains can also sometimes be removed with a solvent, such as lacquer thinner, fingernail polish remover, or denatured alcohol – do not let these products stand on the laminate for more than a few minutes. Be sure to rinse them off and dry the tops. CAUTION: Solvents are highly flammable!

PRECAUTIONS:
Avoid abrasive cleansers and scouring pads. Never use abrasives on gloss finish.

Never allow products such as oven cleaners or products containing lye (such as drain cleaners) to come into contact with laminate. If they should accidentally be spilled, wipe up immediately and flush several times with water.

Chips and scratches are permanent. Always use a cutting board when slicing or chopping. Refrain from sliding dishes, keys, crockery, and stoneware, items with rough bottoms, or pots and pans across the countertop to reduce wear and tear. Surface scratches mar the appearance of the laminates and also reduce their stain resistance.

HEAT AND MOISTURE CAN BE VERY DAMAGING TO LAMINATE COUNTERTOPS:

DO NOT LET WATER STAND ON OR NEAR SEAMS. Do not dry your dishes on a towel over a seam. Quickly wipe up water that has spilled. The substrate for the laminate countertops is made from particle board. This material will absorb water that seeps in through the miter or joint and will swell, causing the countertop to buckle or delaminate.

NEVER PLACE COOKWARE DIRECTLY FROM THE OVEN/STOVE TOP onto the laminate. Extreme heat can cause burning, blistering, and delaminating. ALWAYS use a trivet under the cookware and under any heat-producing appliances (crock pots, coffeemakers, electric fry pans, toasters, etc.) and keep these items away from seams as well.

Candles that are left directly on the countertop and are allowed to burn all the way down or burning cigarettes that come into contact with laminate will also cause permanent damage to your countertops.

General Care and Cleaning Information for Solid Surface Countertops

Warm water and mild soap are usually enough to clean a matte finish solid surface countertop.

Non-abrasive household cleaners such as Fantastik® and Formula 409® may also be used. Avoid using cleaners with bleach or other harsh chemicals.

Abrasive cleaners (such as Comet®, Soft Scrub®, Bon Ami®, etc.) should only be used for removing tough stains, minor scratches, and small surface burns. Use a small amount of the cleanser on a damp white or gray (fine) Scotch-Brite® pad and buff with gentle pressure in a circular motion. This technique applies to surface repairs for MATTE FINISH ONLY! If your countertops have a semi-gloss, satin, or gloss finish, this type of repair will not “blend in” – contact a professional to help you renew the surface of your countertop.

Do not expose the surface to harsh chemicals, such as paint remover, turpentine, nail polish remover (acetone), or stove and drain cleaners. If these chemicals come in contact with the surface, immediately wash them off with water.

Use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on the countertops. While minor cuts and scratches can be repaired, care should be taken to prevent them.

Heat-producing appliances (frying pans, electric skillets, crock-pots, coffeemakers, etc.), unattended candles, and pots and pans removed from the oven or stove can damage solid surface countertops. Always use trivets, “surface savers,’’ or hot pads to help disperse the heat.

Part of the beauty of this type of product is its reparability. Save any pieces of color-match material you are given – in the future, they may be needed to fill chips or otherwise heal damaged areas.

Granite and Natural Stone Care and Maintenance

DAILY CLEANING: We suggest using Ivory Dish Soap only because it is made without animal fats and is free of dyes. Many other brands contain fats, dyes, and scents that can damage the stone, including but not limited to Dove, Dawn, and some antibacterial cleaners.

After washing, dry with a soft cloth to avoid streaks.

We do not recommend using Windex or similar products on granite. Regardless of what you may have heard, the ammonia reacts differently to different stones and can cause permanent streaking.

Avoid using detergents that can be abrasive and contain chemicals high in acid or alkaline.

Some stone cleaners have a petroleum or animal fat base that may alter the appearance of your stone, so be cautious when choosing products to use. They can darken the stone and leave a residue, which in time can build up and turn lighter stones yellow.

Granite tops will need to be sealed with products designed for that purpose only. Periodically, do a water test. If the water doesn’t bead up on your tops, it should be re-sealed. Remember, if it isn’t beading up, things are likely penetrating the stone.

SEALING PROCEDURE: Sparingly spread liquid sealer over tops with a lint free clean cloth, let stand for at least 5 minutes or until the sealer has soaked into the stone. Repeat the procedure until film or haze appears on granite; buff with #0000 steel wool. Do another water test to be sure the top has been completely sealed.