How are you Preserving your Kitchen Benchtop?

Our top tips for ensuring the best aftercare is taken once your new kitchen benchtop has been installed.

Once you’ve spent the time and money having your new kitchen design installed, nothing is better or more satisfying than sitting back and admiring the finished product, especially with a Jag Kitchens custom-sized and manufactured benchtop in place.

So nothing can be more upsetting than having your brand new benchtop tarnished with unnecessary scratches or stains from the everyday pressures of kitchen life. To avoid and prevent common kitchen accidents that can cause lasting damage to your new kitchen benchtops, we have put together some benchtop aftercare tips, as advised by the experts and manufacturers themselves.

Follow these simple benchtop cleaning tips categorised by benchtop material, and your kitchen benctops should remain looking good as new for longer.

Engineered Stone

For everyday cleaning of stone benchtops it is recommended to us warm water and a few drops of dish washing detergent with a soft cloth.The benchtop can also be cleaned with Lithofin MN Easy-Clean (use weekly or as required).

If you spill wine, coke, lemon juice or anything acidic wipe off as soon as possible. Tumeric, Curry Powder and other spices may stain, so also need to be wiped straight away.

Avoid cleaning the bench top with products containing bleach or with a high basic pH level as they may create whitish streaks. Other products that may mark the surface are industrial solvents, hydrofluoric acid, caustic soda, and varnish solvents. Grease-removal detergents for the kitchen may be used but once the stain has been removed, the area must be rinsed thoroughly with water. These products are usually basic and, if left to act on a quartz agglomerate for a long time they might change the surface, leaving stains (they react with the resin content).

Laminate Benchtops

Benchtops comprised of laminates such as Formica do not easily scratch or chip and will withstand normal wear and tear. They are also stain resistant, therefore the best cleaning agent for laminate benchtops is clean water and mild detergent. It is also recommended that you rinse detergent off with a clean, damp cloth and polish the surface dry with a soft cloth.

Though laminate benchtops are a hard, durable material, it is possible to scratch the surface, detracting from the smooth finish of your benchtop, so always use a chopping board and never cut directly onto the surface. Similarly, while laminate benchtops will resist the temperature of boiling water and hot cooking splashes, to avoid damage you should never place hot saucepans or oven dishes directly onto the surface. You’ll find laminate is one of the simplest materials to clean in case of spillages – just wipe clean with a soft cloth and mild solution of liquid detergent and water, then dry with a cloth towel.

Stainless Steel Benchtops

After use, stainless steel benchtops and sinks should be wiped with a soft cloth, rinsed and wiped dry. When the mains water is hard, it is particularly important that the steel is wiped dry, as this prevents the build up of a greyish film discolouration on the steel. Although stainless steel can withstand hard knocks, its surface can be easily scuffed or scratched by hard or sharp objects. This scuffing can look particularly bad when it occurs immediately after installation of the sink. The effect does, however, become uniform with age and the steel does not lose its attractive sheen.

Bleaches containing hypochlorite will attack stainless steel and cause pitting and staining. For this reason it is particularly recommended that a stainless steel sink should not be used for soaking washing in hypochlorite solutions for prolonged periods.

Certain foodstuffs can cause pitting and corrosion. Examples are citric fruit juices, salt, vinegar, mustard, pickles, and mayonnaise and should; therefore, they are recommended not be left on the surface for prolonged periods.

Acrylic Benchtops

For most residues, all you need to clean your an acrylic benchtop (such as Corian) is warm soapy water, ammonia-based household cleaner, or a dedicated countertop cleaner found at your local supermarket. Do avoid window cleaners however, as they can leave a waxy build-up that dulls the surface.

Experience has shown that a film builds up on the surface if water is left to dry on the benchtop. This film will dull the look of the benchtop making the finish appear blotchy and uneven. To prevent build up of the film, it is very important to wipe the benchtop completely dry after spills and cleaning.

Some colours may require more frequent cleaning to maintain a uniform finish. Darker colours tend to require more attention than lighter colors. Over time, even with proper care, your countertop will acquire a patina, changing the appearance of the finish.

Wood and Timber Benchtops

As wood is a porous material, oiling your wooden benchtops regularly is the best way to prevent splashes from potentially causing discolouration, warping or cracking. Try the ‘drop test’ to check if your worktops are sufficiently oiled: if a water drop beads on the surface of the worktop without soaking in, then the wood is well protected. Even so, you should always try to wipe up spills quickly to preserve aesthetic of the woodgrain.

Common Sense

  • Avoid Exposure to Temperature Extremes – Extreme or constant temperature changes may cause benchtops such as stone to crack through thermal shock and may also cause discolouration. Therefore, we suggest that hot pots and pans never be directly placed on the benchtop surfaces. It is also recommended that a hot mat or trivet be placed on the surface under cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock pots, or roaster ovens.
  • Use Trivets or Chopping Boards – While most benchtops are somewhat resistant, we recommend you do not cut on the, directly. Use a cutting board or trivet to ensure your benchtops remain optimal.
  • Do Not Stand or Sit on Your Counter Tops -There is sometimes a need to change a light bulb above the bench etc, however standing or sitting on your benchtop may cause it to crack and generally will void a warranty.

Alongside our own benchtop manufacturing plant, we work with trusted partners to adapt ideal kitchen benchtops to enhance your space. Having our own benchtop factory has allowed us to halve the industry-standard wait time for a stone benchtop to five working days after your cabinet installation.

Book a free design consultation to discuss benchtop options within your new kitchen design, or pop in to see us in the Jag Kitchens Showroom, located inside the Danske Mobler building at Botany Town Centre.

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