How to Clean the Trickiest Kitchen Surfaces

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How to Clean the Trickiest Kitchen Surfaces

Do not get tripped up by finicky marble or stainless steel.


Fingerprints on the fridge, stubborn cooked-on stovetop grime, and unsightly stains on stone countertops—every kitchen has a few elements that can stand in the way of you getting the satisfaction of a sparkling finish, no matter how much elbow grease you apply. A few of those cases can be confronted by working smarter, not harder, and relying on task-specific tools. Here are a few tips for how to handle some of the most commonly troublesome kitchen textures.


Do not resort to crazy tricks for your glass cooktop

Low-profile glass cooktops have risen in popularity lately, and for good reason. They look sleek, do not have any major crevices for food to get stuck in, and are available with induction burners. But they can present a tricky cleaning challenge if anything like a splash of sauce gets hardened on there by the heat.


Double down on shine when it comes to stainless steel


When cleaning stainless steel surfaces like refrigerator doors, it is recommend brushing in a circular motion, which will buff out streaks, disguise any big scratches, and leave you with a pretty buffed texture.

For an extra gleam, there is a solution right under your nose. While oiling your refrigerator or toaster might seem odd at first, buffing in a thin coat of mineral oil will not only restore that factory-fresh shine, it will also create a bit of a protective shield from fingerprints. That gunk-repelling power will make it easy to do a quick maintenance wipe with a soft cloth or sponge every day or so, limiting daunting deep cleans.


Go gentle on your countertops and stone surfaces

What is the best material for counters? It is an endless debate. But regardless of if you are team stone or favour a composite surface, prevention is key. Once you have scorched, scratched, or chipped these surfaces, it can be tricky and costly to replace them. Invest in some attractive trivets and hot plates to hold any hot pans coming off the stove, and consider keeping an old-fashioned spoon-rest handy to avoid stains from sauces or spices. And while granite is ideal for rolling out pastry or kneading bread dough, avoid exposing it to any acidic foods like lemon or tomato, which can etch and damage the stone itself.

When you are doing your nightly kitchen clean-up, do not just absentmindedly reach for the heavy duty scrubber that is on your sink. Designate a guaranteed non-scratch sponge, as your regular go-to. The extra-wide sponge is easy to hold and makes quick work of large surface areas, and can lift up stuck-on stuff without doing any damage. 


And do not be afraid to get a little aggressive with woods

Woods are some of the trickiest kitchen surfaces to keep looking fresh. Constant use, dish soap, and the abrasions of sharp knives all pummel away at any protective finish on your cutting boards or butcher blocks. This will leave an opening for water and juice from meat or fruits to soften and dull the texture—if you have ever taken a cutting board out of the sink and noticed it feels a little mossy or slimy, that is exactly what we are talking about.

When your workhorse wood pieces get to that point, do a bit of refinishing to bring them back to their former glory. First, give them a good once-over with something textured, like a scrubbing sponge. The beautiful thing about wood is that little knife scrapes will turn into a rich patina that just gets more beautiful over time.

When the wood is dry, follow up with a medium-grade sandpaper. Follow up with a more finely textured paper. You will be left with a velvety, smooth surface with plenty of character. Seal everything up with a coat of food-safe finishing balm—usually a combination of beeswax, a neutral oil. Rub in a generous coat and let it soak in overnight, then wipe away any excess in the morning. Happy chopping!