Cooking at home can be a delightful activity but often comes with a side serving of stubborn stains on your kitchen countertops. Your kitchen countertops may be splattered with oils from the various delicious food that you prepared.
Simply wiping down your kitchen counters won’t be sufficient. To remedy this, many people think that it is a good idea to use oven cleaner on kitchen countertops. However, they do not consider the effect of oven cleaners on kitchen countertops.
Is it safe to use oven cleaner away from your kitchen counter to avoid damaging it? Read ahead as we discuss the effect of oven cleaners on the kitchen countertop in detail.
Understanding Oven Cleaners
Before we proceed to understand the effect of oven cleaners on kitchen countertop, it is a good idea to discuss oven cleaners. These cleaners, as the name suggests, are used to clean your oven. They contain harsh chemicals that help in removing difficult stains and cleaning any drippings.
It eliminates the need to scrub down the walls of your oven. Using oven cleaners can easily clean the grease from the bottom of the oven. It is the most difficult part to clean as it gathers drippings and juices that have gathered into a mess.
The heavy chemicals in the oven cleaner act as an excellent option that will remove the mess in your oven quickly to result in a cleaner oven. After baking a good dinner, you won’t have to spend hours in your kitchen tackling the mess.
What Makes Oven Cleaners Good for Your Oven?
Oven cleaners often come in the form of a spray bottle, paste, or other forms and are strong options for a clean oven. The strong chemicals react with grease and oil to allow for a bubbling reaction.
The reaction works to loosen and pull the grease and dirt out. You can now easily wipe the dirt and grime clean. Hence, the effects of oven cleaners are excellent and helpful when used in ovens. They can make your oven look as good as new.
To enable the bubbling reaction, an oven cleaner is alkaline in nature. Hence, it will leave your oven not just clean but also shiny and pleasing to the eye.
Can You Use an Oven Cleaner to Clean Your Kitchen Countertops?
We now arrive to the big question to discuss the effects of oven cleaners on a kitchen countertop. To begin with, it is not a good idea to clean your kitchen countertops with an oven cleaner. Read ahead as we discuss a few reasons for the same.
Chemicals in Oven Cleaners
There are many harsh chemicals present in an oven cleaner that make it unsuitable for the stubborn stains on your kitchen countertop. These include sodium hydroxide, diethylene glycol mono butyl ether, butane, or monoethanolamine (MEA). These ingredients prove quite corrosive to your kitchen counters.
They are also considered to be toxic chemicals. Hence, they are not the best option for your health either. Here are a few other chemicals that make using oven cleaner for your kitchen counter a bad option.
Lye is mixed with water to make a corrosive solution that can wipe any surface clean. However, lye is one of those toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your skin and eyes if they come in contact with it.
The lye chemicals in the oven cleaners on kitchen countertops can also harm the protective layer of the kitchen countertop. Whether these are granite countertops, quartz, or vinyl, the use of lye can make the kitchen countertop surface look lifeless.
Hence, you may want to skip the oven cleaner when you choose products to clean your kitchen counter.
This chemical is often found in an oven cleaner and should not be used as a countertop cleaner. It’s also very harmful and can be dangerous if ingested.
Ethers are very volatile and are great for degreasing surfaces. Yes, it can get rid of stubborn stains on kitchen counters. However, their corrosive nature can do more harm than good to your countertop.
If you are working with an oven cleaner that contains ethers, it can also prove harmful to your mucous membranes, if inhaled.
This chemical is produced as a by-product of the oil-refining process. One of the examples of such substances is kerosene. These may be mildly toxic as well. When regularly used to clean kitchen countertops, their ill-effects can add up over time.
They are volatile and can be inhaled easily as well. Hence, they contribute to the ill effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops. It is, therefore, best to avoid oven cleaners made from this and the above chemicals.
There are also other chemicals like methylene chloride. All of these make a toxic cleaner and the heavy chemicals can eat away at the top layer of your countertop gradually.
Hence, it is best to avoid these while cleaning the stains on the kitchen countertop at home.
Reactions with the Kitchen Counter
There are various material options for your kitchen counters at home. There will be a layer of paint and varnish over your kitchen counters. Adding oven cleaners on kitchen countertops can make them react with the paint and varnish to eat away at the top layer.
Now, the kitchen countertop will be susceptible to moisture that can gradually damage the top layer. The kitchen countertop is also a space that you make use of to place food.
If chemicals like sodium hydroxide react with the food bits, it can prove harmful to anyone consuming the food. Further, the food can react with the chemicals in the cleaner to leach into your kitchen countertop in spots.
It can disfigure your kitchen countertop and make it full of holes and an uneven surface. These effects of oven cleaners on kitchen countertops should keep you away from them.
Fumes from Chemicals in Oven Cleaners
If the chemicals in oven cleaners are inhaled, it can cause allergic reactions in some people. They leave behind strong fumes and you may have to wear protective gear when you use them.
If the fumes are inhaled, they can lead to light-headedness and feelings of nausea. In some people, the chemicals in these cleaning agents can also cause migraines. The use of the cleaner can lead to fumes that also irritate the eyes.
While removing stubborn stains, you will also notice that the cleaner leaves a strong odor behind. These are often hydrogen gas that is also very flammable. If kitchen countertops are aluminum, it can react strongly and discolor them.
Yes, it is true that the temporary effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops use is a clean kitchen with no stains. However, the fumes from an oven cleaner can lead to various health issues. As we know, in the long run, the kitchen countertop at home will look unsightly and uneven.
Oven cleaners tend to be more harmful to kitchen counters that have dirt on them. When the chemicals in the cleaner react with the dirt and grime, a bubbling process occurs. During this, any dirt is trapped and it makes it easier to clean the countertop.
One issue with this reactive process is that the particles in the dirt pierce into the exposed countertop. This moment is also additionally harmful as it can affect your skin if it comes in contact with it.
Effect of Oven Cleaner on Kitchen Countertops of Each Material
The material of kitchen countertops can influence the effect of oven cleaners on them. From wooden countertops to tile countertops, the cleaner can have a different effect on each. Read ahead as we discuss the various reactions.
Effect of Oven Cleaner on Wooden Countertops
Oven cleaners can be most harmful to wooden countertops. It is because they are varnished. This can contribute to a classic look for your home kitchen. However, an oven cleaner on a wood countertop as they tend to soak it quickly.
In general, wood tends to absorb liquids quickly. Hence, it can deform, discolor, and even bend. Hence, wood is a material that can easily be damaged by exposure to moisture for some time.
Oven cleaners may eat up the varnish coating by softening it and dissolving eat. It leaves the material susceptible to water damage. The surface may also feel gummy and sticky.
Once affected, you may have to get this kitchen countertop professionally retouched.
Effect of Oven Cleaner on Granite Countertops
Granite countertops or stone countertops are used to make the kitchen look aesthetic. Many people who spend a lot of time in the kitchen opt for stone countertops as they look most pleasing to the eye.
However, such natural materials require a little more care when it comes to ridding them of stains. This is also true for other stone countertops like marble, in addition to granite. When an oven cleaner is used here for a long time, it leads to a coarse look on the stone.
It can also change the color of the stone. The stone countertops may also turn dull and lifeless as the oven cleaner corrodes the upper layer.
Do note that these countertops suffer the least damage from using an oven cleaner in cleaning them. However, whether the stone is marble or granite, it is best to avoid oven cleaners to clean stains on stone countertops.
In this way, you can avoid any damage to the surface of stone materials. With marble countertops, you can simply make time to routinely wipe down the counter with water and a cloth. It is one trick that may help in cleaning this material right.
Effect of Oven Cleaner on Tile Countertops
If you don’t want to damage the look of tile countertops, it is best to avoid oven cleaners like sodium hydroxide here. Tile is one of the materials that can lose its sheen and color when it is exposed to chemicals like those found in an oven cleaner.
Whether you use liquids or stone, the impact of oven cleaner use on tile can make it less glossy. This countertop cannot tackle the chemicals in an oven cleaner. As materials for countertops, tiles can also be tough to remove and replace.
Tiles also tend to absorb the harmful chemicals found in oven cleaners. While the cleaner may work very well on your bathroom tiles, the ones in your kitchen are also home to your food.
Hence, like granite countertops, tiles should also be kept away from oven cleaners.
Effect of Oven Cleaner on Quartz Countertops
Quartz is also one of the natural materials that are often made into tiles. Cleaning stains off a quartz countertop is a process that should not use oven cleaner. The surface of this countertop can be penetrated by the oven cleaner and damaged over time.
Effect of Oven Cleaner on Stainless Steel Countertops
There is a misconception that stainless steel kitchen countertops will not be affected by oven cleaners. For stainless steel, merely using dishwasher soap is enough for cleaning it.
Using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops made of stainless steel can instead lead to added stains. It can make the surface of the material look unpleasant. One of the main reasons for this is that stainless steel materials also come with a small portion of aluminum.
If you are using sodium hydroxide, it can discolor the aluminum leading to a stained look. This discoloration can even prove permanent.
Effect of Oven Cleaner on Laminate Countertops
Many kitchen countertops are made of laminate materials. These are not as durable as the other options. However, by caring for the material well, you will be able to keep the material good for a long time.
Hence, it is best not to expose it to chemicals in the oven cleaner. It can cause damage to the surface of these countertops. It can make the color fade, and the chemicals in the oven cleaner can even result in bent and deformed material.
Removing An Oven Cleaner Stain Off Kitchen Countertops
Some of you might be suffering from oven cleaner stains on your kitchen countertops from the previous application. Now that you know the effect of oven cleaners on kitchen countertops let’s help you deal with these stubborn stains.
Oven cleaner is a corrosive product, and it can damage your delicate kitchen countertops. You can follow these simple steps to get rid of those stains forever.
The first step is to wash the oven cleaning solution from the surface with a wet cloth. It would be best if you tried to clean the solution as soon as it spills so that you can easily take it off. The more you delay this process, the more difficult it will be for you to remove the stain.
The next step is to spill some water in the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 mins. Doing this will help the stain to come off quickly. After 15 minutes, you can utiwlize a sponge or a rag to brush the surface.
After scrubbing the surface, it’s time to clean the countertop with some hot soapy water to take the remaining stain or color. You can repeat this step two or three times till the stain comes out. After repeating this step a couple of times, if the oven cleaner stains do not come off, you can follow the next step.
The oven cleaners can leave a stubborn and disappointing color patch on your countertops. Even after following the above steps, if the stain does not come off, you must try using something more potent. You can clean the countertops with a multipurpose cleaner.
Always apply the multipurpose cleaner according to the instructions given on the label. Also, don’t forget to read your countertop’s care and maintenance manual before using such products. There are a few other tools that you’ll require for this step.
- dish soap
- multipurpose household cleaner
- paper towels/clean cloth
Cleaning Countertops The Right Way
Whether you own a wood countertop or a quartz countertop, you can learn how to care for your countertops the right way in this article. These simple measures will make your countertops sparkle and shine like its new. Let’s see how you can keep your kitchen countertops spick and span!
Cleaning Wood Kitchen Countertops
The traditional kitchen countertops are made from wood. If you want to keep your wood countertops look like it’s new, you should get a non-abrasive or natural cleaner. The best thing to do is to mix your cleanser with a splash of white vinegar and some lukewarm water.
You can try using a microfiber cloth or a scraper to take any stubborn food residue or stains. Make sure to dry the wood countertops after complete cleaning so that they dry quickly.
The solid-wood and butcher-block countertops require proper sealing. These countertops are prone to cracking and warping. Though there are a variety of options, you can still go through the less toxic route. Try using wax or food-grade oil to seal your precious countertops.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops
If your kitchen countertop is made from stainless steel, you’re in luck. The stainless steel kitchen countertops require the least maintenance among all the other materials. For regular cleaning, you need to wipe them with soapy water.
However, if you want to stay on top of the scratches and smudges, you can get specific solutions and cleaning gears. It would help if you were not using steel wool or scrubbing pads on your countertop.
You don’t need to seal the stainless steel kitchen countertops. The stainless steel surfaces never lose their color or shine if you take proper care. Many people prefer applying a coat of stainless-steel polish to get the luster back.
Cleaning Laminate Kitchen Countertops
Cleaning laminate kitchen countertops is relatively easy. Give a skip to the abrasive oven cleaners and go for something mild while cleaning the laminate countertops. It’s best to go for natural or non-chemical liquids for this type of countertop.
Also, refrain from using any scouring pads or steel wool for the cleaning process. Though the laminate is any easy surface, it’s prone to scratches and easy damage.
laminate tops the charts for durability and practicality. This strong and robust material does not require any sealing. However, it’s not indestructible – it’s better to utilize trivets and cutting boards to avoid burns and scratches.
Making Cleaning Solution For Kitchen Countertops At Home
Natural cleaners are always better than store-bought or chemical cleaning solutions. With these home-made solutions, you don’t have to worry about the effect of cleaner on kitchen countertops.
Home-made Cleaning Solution – 1
This cleaning solution is only apt for wooden, stone, laminate, and varnished wooden countertops. Unlike harsh oven cleaners, this cleaning solution does not require any chemicals.
- Spray bottle
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- Dishwashing soap or liquid
- Take the white vinegar and pour it into the spray bottle.
- Add 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap or a small piece of soap bar.
- Close the spray bottle tightly.
- Keep shaking the bottle until you see bubbles inside it.
- The solution is ready, and now you can spray it around.
- Wipe the solution from the countertop using cotton or microfiber cloth.
Home-made Cleaning Solution – 2
You can try this cleaning solution with granite countertops. This cleaning solution will also work with other stone countertops.
- Baking Soda
- In a small pot, take one cup of water.
- Next, add 5-7 tablespoons of baking soda to that pot.
- Mix the baking soda and water solution with a spoon till it has a paste-like consistency.
- Apply and spread this paste on your countertop and areas with stains.
- Let the paste sit on the countertop for a full night.
- The next morning, wipe the paste with a wet cloth.
- Repeat this process until the stain disappears.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use oven cleaner on countertops?
The effects of oven cleaners on kitchen countertops are going to surprise you. The chemicals in the oven cleaner can cause discoloration and stains on your countertop. Especially on surfaces like laminate, quartz, and tiles, the oven cleaner can have a terrible effect. We highly recommend not to try oven cleaner on kitchen countertops.
Can I use dish soap to remove stains clean countertops?
Practically, dish soap is one of the safest solutions to clean the countertops. The dish soap is more subtle than most cleaners available in the market. However, you should not apply it regularly, as it can lead to fading and discoloration.
Can white vinegar sterilize my countertop?
Since vinegar has acid, it can destroy numerous bacterias and viruses. The vinegar can also remove foul odor from the kitchen utensils and countertops. Using lemon and vinegar on kitchen furniture and appliance is a traditional practice in many households.
You can apply vinegar on your countertops to get rid of bacterias and dirt.
What is the best material for cleaning countertops?
You can apply dish soap, vinegar, water, and baking soda to clean up any dirt on your countertop. Using baking soda and vinegar will help you to take off stubborn stains easily. However, overusing these items might call the opposite effects.
To retain the luster and shine, it’s best to wipe with plain water every day.
Does oven cleaning solutions damage a concrete surface?
If you are using oven cleaners several times on the concrete countertop, it can decay the upper layers. As each day passes, you will be able to notice the inner elements like brick pieces, stone, and sand of your concrete countertop. It’s better to use a more subtle cleaning alternative on concrete tops.
What happens if you leave oven cleaner on for too long?
Depending upon the surface material, the oven cleaner can have an instant reaction on the countertop. Leaving the oven cleaner can for longer durations cause permanent damage to your countertops and other surfaces. Your countertop may discolor, fade, and look damaged after leaving the cleaner for too long.
The Bottom Line
The countertops are the centerpiece of your kitchen; there are useful and add to the decor and aesthetics. It would be best if you never tried an oven cleaner on kitchen countertops. The best way to clean your precious countertop is by using natural cleaners. In case you don’t have the time to make a natural solution, you could opt for a safe store-bought cleaning solution.
The oven cleaners are not only bad for your countertops, but they also affect your health significantly. Especially if you have a brand new countertop, it’s best to opt for natural solutions. We hope this article answered all your questions regarding the effect of oven cleaners on your kitchen countertop.
Meanwhile, if we find any other awesome hacks for cleaning your kitchen countertop, we’ll surely let you know!