Home is your sanctuary, and your kitchen is the heart of it. More than just where you cook, it is a gathering place for family and friends. Why wouldn't you want that important room to be one of the cleanest spaces in your home too? With the right materials, your kitchen can not only be easier to clean, but a breeze to maintain as well.
Keep Your Kitchen Clean, Including While You Cook
Beyond the headline-making coronaviruses, there are other germs to protect yourself against, especially in the kitchen, where food is prepared. E. coli, salmonella, and listeria are historically some of the most common bacteria that cause illnesses in the United States and they can all be found lurking around the kitchen. The Los Angeles Times shared some sound advice for keeping your kitchen as clean as possible, including:
- Wash dirty dishes, cutting boards, pots and pans immediately.
- Wash your hands all the time, including before you sit down to eat after preparing your meal.
- Have a cleaning routine that includes wiping down surfaces regularly.
- Remove the trash frequently.
- Clean up as you cook.
- Make sure you prevent cross-contamination by making sure raw meat doesn't touch anything else and dedicating a separate cutting board for it.
- Resist "double-dipping" when you taste your culinary creation. Use a new spoon each time.
Houzz.com also has great information on cleaning routines to keep your home virus free, that is worth checking out, whether you cook a lot, or only a little.
Germs on Kitchen Countertop Surfaces
The reality is that many beautiful materials, including wood and natural stone, are porous. Bacteria can flourish in the tiny recesses on these surfaces when they find exactly what they need — food, moisture and a comfortable temperature. To further minimize the presence of harmful bacteria, viruses and other less-desirables, like fungus and mold, we recommend a non-porous countertop surface for your kitchen. Beyond being free of naturally occuring cracks or fissures, these surfaces not prone to etching, staining or divots (all signs of softer, more porous surfaces).
Photo Credit: Christian Giannelli Photography, 2019
Quartz is one of the most durable and hygienic countertop surfaces made from a mixture of natural minerals held together using polymers and resin. As a result, quartz countertops are non-porous with nowhere for bacteria to hide. Daily recommended maintenance for your quartz countertop is easy too — all you need is a non-abrasive cleaning cloth with soap and water.
Solid Surface Countertops
Corian® was developed by DuPont™ over 40 years ago by blending pure acrylic resin with natural minerals. It's grout-free design make cleaning and maintenance a homeowners' dream. Solid surface is non-porous and stain resistant. All that is required for cleaning is a soft, cotton cloth and warm, soapy water. DO NOT use harsh commercial cleaners on Corian, which can damage your solid surface counters. Do not use window cleaners either, which can leave a waxy build up on the surface. Our favorite feature about solid surface countertops may be that they are ultra-durable, repairable and heat and blade resistant.
Laminate manufacturers, like Formica® and Wilsonart®, continue to be the authority when it comes to laminate countertops. Laminates have come a long way and offer a high-end look at an affordable price. We especially love that Wilsonart high-definition laminates are antimicrobial and they can create virtually any look that you want — from natural stone to wood.
While laminate countertops are made to last, you'll want to avoid excess damage to the surface whenever possible and, of course, be mindful of the seams. A soft, cotton cloth and soapy water or mild household cleaners will handle daily cleanings. However, if excessive amounts of water are left on laminate countertops, especially near any seams, the countertop may swell and create more opportunities for bacteria, fungus or mold.
Granite is a popular natural stone countertop surface made by mother nature. Granite that is certified by Kitchen Magic is composed of the highest grade naturally occurring material. Granite, like marble, must be sealed to reduce porousness. Professional sealing does more than maintain granite countertops' natural beauty; it helps prevent the harboring of harmful bacteria and other germs. DO NOT use harsh chemical cleaners or bleach to clean your granite countertops.
No matter what countertop material you currently have in your kitchen, we always recommend that you follow the appropriate proper care and maintenance guidelines.
If you're ready to make your dream kitchen a reality, Kitchen Magic will expertly install all of the quality materials you choose from our extensive selection. Schedule your free in-home consultation today!