How to clean different finishes in the kitchen

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether small or large, it’s a hub of activity where we come together with family and friends to create delicious meals and lasting memories.

However, the kitchen also harbours more bacteria than any other room, and these germs spread through a household like a wildfire.

Learn how the cleaning professionals at UrbanYou keep those germs at bay by protecting and cleaning the various finishes in the kitchen.

Stone benchtops

Marble and granite are prone to marking because they have a calcium carbonate makeup which reacts to any acid. This means lemon, tomato or wine can easily eat away at the surface, creating dull spots or etches.

A vinegar solution can break down the sealant in stone benchtop. Picture: Caesarstone

It’s recommended to immediately wipe any spillage, and clean the surface regularly with a nonabrasive microfibre cloth and warm soapy water. It’s really that simple! Try to avoid general household cleaners, and natural cleaning solutions, including vinegar, lemon or lime, as this breaks down the sealant.

Even easier is Caesarstone. The hard surface is non-porous and simply requires cleaning with mild detergent and water, or use nonabrasive household cleaners.

See more5 tips & tricks to clean marble and granite floors

Stainless steel

Stainless steel appliances, taps and stovetops look amazing when new but quickly lose their shine with everyday use. This is also a surface that easily scratches and incorrect product use can cause severe corrosion.

The first step – grab your stainless steel sponge, and throw it in the bin.

Instead, use a microfibre cloth soaked in distilled white vinegar, which has been brought to the boil. Spot clean marks or lay on stubborn stains for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle with baking soda, before giving it a gentle scrub and drying.

Steel appliances require regular attention to keep looking clean. Picture: Nikole Ramsay / E&S

If your fridge door is driving you nuts with splotched fingerprints, not to worry as there’s a quick fix. Use a small cloth dabbed in alcohol, slowly rub over the area. Then to make the stainless steel truly shine, add a few drops of lemon oil onto a cloth and rub it into the surface.

Wooden tops

Wood is a classic kitchen finish, creating an organic feel and is hard wearing. However, this natural product can quickly swell and is easily damaged by general household cleaners.

Got a wooden benchtop? Get to spills straight away to avoid lasting stains. Picture: Getty

Always clean up spills straight away. No matter the finish applied to the wood, water can still seep through and if left unattended, can badly warp.

To clean, it’s recommended to only use warm soapy water (rinse out sponge), as vinegar or acid-based cleaners are too harsh and can break down the glue that holds the benchtop or cabinetry together.

TIP: Keep a weak bleach and water solution in a spray bottle to sanitise wood countertops after they’re exposed to raw meats. Spray the surface and wipe away with a sponge, then follow with the warm detergent wash.

See moreHow to clean wood floors


Glass splashbacks can enhance your cooking area and look spectacular – but they’re easily smudged with splattered foodstuffs, and wiping can sometimes make them look worse.

So on trend, but glass splashbacks can get grimy easily. Picture: Nikole Ramsay / E&S

The trick to cleaning glass is not just what you use to clean, but how you clean. Always start from the top and work your way down, which will help to remove any drip marks.

The quickest method is using a squeegee – wiping the blade after each stroke.

Alternatively, wipe newspaper soaked in vinegar across the glass, then use clean newspaper to buffer for a streak-free finish.

Follow these tips and you’ll keep your kitchen sparkling all year round.

Originally published as How to clean different finishes in the kitchen by Elke Keeley. Author at