An excellent, shiny countertop is very inviting. You feel like a kitchen expert being able to maintain it. With all the grease and stains that come with cooking, it is often impossible to do so. You start searching for cleaners, but more often than not, they do not work. So, you turn to oven cleaners. Do they work? Let us find out.
What are oven cleaners for?
As the name implies, it is for cleaning ovens. Baking is fun, but the mess it leaves behind is revolting. Splatters are everywhere, and the grease makes it very untidy. It seems impossible to make it spic-and-span again. It is at this point where oven cleaners come in.
Many people trust oven cleaners for the stubborn mess baking leaves behind. It is both unsanitary and unpleasant, using the oven repeatedly with yesterday’s soils on it. This product helps in keeping the sanitation of the place and the sanity of the cook!
What are oven cleaners made of?
Check the label of your oven cleaner. What do you see? Toxic chemicals! Yes, this product is harmful to a person. You have to make sure that you handle it well. It is not safe to have direct skin contact. It is also bad for the lungs. So wear hand gloves and a mask when you use it.
What makes an oven cleaner potent is the presence of the harsh chemicals. Most cleaners contain water, sodium hydroxide or lye, isobutane propellant, acrylic copolymer, sodium Laureth sulfate, and for some variants, fragrance. You do not need to be familiar with all of them. Just keep in mind that they are very potent and can be harmful if not properly handled.
How does an oven cleaner work?
The strength of the above ingredients makes it possible for the oven to end up looking new. You will see bubbles forming when you pour it on grit and grease. This chemical reaction causes the dirt to loosen up so that you can easily wipe it clean.
An oven cleaner is alkaline. It is this property that enables it to cut through grime and oils. It helps break down their chemical composition to eliminate the dirt efficiently. It is also the reason why you have to be careful around it.
You will see that it does not only leave the job done. Once you remove the impurities, you end up with a shiny oven. It is an instrumental kitchen partner. You probably have one at home. If not, you should get one.
Is it suitable for countertops?
You use the countertop to prepare food in the kitchen. It is the most frequently used area there. You want to keep it clean always, not only because you want it to look good, most importantly, because it is where you make what you serve your family.
If the oven cleaner is a powerful grease, grime, and dirt eliminator, perhaps it will work on countertops, too, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Why is an oven cleaner not a good idea for countertops?
Due to the strong chemical content of an oven cleaner, it can damage the surface of your countertop. It can erode the material making your once shiny countertop looking dull. Yes, you remove all the dirt and stains, but the trade-off is just too high.
The chemical will seep through the wood, metal, or ceramic surfaces. It destroys the luster of the materials they made it. It damages the coating of tiles. You may be happy with the cleanness of the countertop, but the resulting visuals will disappoint you.
Food safety problem
Your food preparation can be affected by the contents of the oven cleaner. We discussed earlier how toxic the ingredients are. Most of the chemicals linger on even after you have used them on the countertop for quite some time.
These substances may transfer to the food that you are preparing. Ingesting them may cause allergies, or worse – food poisoning. In short, it is not safe to use this cleaner for things you use for food.
Not only is it harmful when ingested, but it also has the same effect when inhaled. The potent smell can cause nausea or allergies, especially to those with respiratory problems. You will subject the whole household to this when you use an oven cleaner on your countertop.
Moreover, it is also highly flammable. Some of the ingredients that do not quickly evaporate may cause a fire if they contact a trigger. Since this is an open space, there is a high likelihood of that happening, and you would like to prevent that.
What should you use as a countertop cleaner?
Many cleaners are available in the market. However, no matter how safe they claim to be, you know that chemicals are not easy to eliminate. Instead of endangering your household with these substances, why not go natural?
There are many natural alternatives for cleaning countertops. They are easy to make and are very useful. They are also very safe and cheap. Below, you will find two of the most common cleaners you can use. You will be surprised because these are stuff you always have at home.
Baking soda paste
You read that, right! Your lowly baking soda is an excellent ally in cleaning countertops. It is especially useful in removing oil stains and grease from stone, granite, and marble surfaces.
All that you need to make this cleanser is some baking soda and water. Simple, right? First, you need to get a bowl and pour some baking soda in it. Gently add water. Do not soak it. Add slowly until the consistency becomes pasty.
For the application, you may use your hand to cover stains. That is one of its additional advantages. Since it is so mild, it is safe to apply without protection. It is gentle on the skin. It is also a food grade.
Leave the paste on the stained materials overnight for maximum performance. In the morning, rinse it off and wipe dry. You will be amazed at the results. Try it!
Vinegar solution spray
Vinegar is a natural antiseptic. You can use it on almost anything without damaging them. From wood to vinyl and stone, this is the cleaner you can fully trust!
In making a vinegar solution spray, you need a spray bottle. Pour in one and a half cup of vinegar and around 2 cups of water. Stir the solution and begin applying on surfaces.
You may also add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid to this solution to produce deeper cleaning. Doing so helps make the surface even shiner afterward. If you do this, instead of just wiping the solution with dry microfiber, use a soaked one instead. Then finish it off by drying the counter.
The quantity that you need to prepare will depend on how much space you need to clean. Follow the formula 1 ½ to 2. Increase or decrease accordingly.
Using the above cleansers have many advantages. They are easily accessible since they are always present in your cupboard. They are cost-efficient. You don’t even have to set aside a separate budget for them. They are safe for your family’s overall health, and they accomplish what you require of them.
Now that you know the alternatives, it is time for you to stay away from harmful chemicals. Do not even experiment with oven cleaners for your countertops. Go the natural way and enjoy cleaning without fear of any unfortunate aftermath.