3 Ways to Protect Kitchen Countertops

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They come in all shapes, sizes and materials — ranging from industry standards like laminates and natural stone to more eco-friendly options like poured concrete or bamboo — but the basic rules of care remain the same.

1. Wipe up spills immediately. The longer a spill sits, the more likely it is to penetrate any porous surfaces — such as stone countertops or the grout between ceramic tiles — and leave a stain.

2. Educate yourself about the materials used. There are more options available than ever before, making it crucial to identify the maintenance needs of different materials. This will determine the maintenance schedule required to protect the surface and approach any accidents; when in doubt, start with water and a soft cloth, as even vinegar and lemon can harm standard surfaces like marble and granite.

3. Line work surfaces before using. Smooth natural surfaces, like marble and granite, maintain a cool, even temperature ideal for working with dough, but they will easily stain if oil isn't wiped off immediately. Lay out trivets and kitchen towels to protect countertops from hot surfaces, and always use a cutting board with a knife. If working on a textured surface, line it with mats or wax paper for easier clean-up.