If you love cooking at home, then you probably have a good countertop cleaning agent right underneath the cabinet. Some recipes like cheese n mac, salad, do not get your countertop messy. But if you’re planning to make deep-fried chicken wings for a family night then you will need a good countertop cleaner. And one thought that strikes our mind is using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops.
But are oven cleaner a good solution for shiny clean countertops? Can you use an oven cleaner on granite countertops? Would they harm laminate? And the list of questions goes on. Excellent cleaning abilities of oven cleaner have gathered it so much of popularity. But are they safe to use? You’ll surely get to know by the end of this article.
What is an Oven Cleaner?
Oven cleaners go by its name, are meant to clean ovens. This strong chemical solution is capable of removing the stubborn stains and drippings off. You will not have to scrub walls of your oven as long as you have an oven cleaner by your side. If you have not used a frying pan splatter screen then don’t worry as all the oil splatters on the oven walls will come off easily with a gentle rub. While walls are easy to clean, it is the bottom inside of the oven that takes elbow grease work.
That baked mess on the floor of the oven is not something that water and dishwasher soap will do. But it is extremely easy for an oven cleaner to clean your dirty oven. Be it food particles, grease, juices, debris, or drippings, the strong chemicals present in the oven cleaner can get the mess off easily within a few rubs. You can make a delicious baked dish for dinner and will not have to worry about spending the rest of the evening cleaning the oven.
Why are they so good at Cleaning?
Well, all the credit goes to the strong chemicals. When you spray the solution over grease and oil, a bubbling reaction takes place. This reaction helps pull out the grease or oil from the surface so you can easily wipe them away. Oven cleaner is alkaline that helps to loosen the dirt and grease trapped in the surface. This chemical reaction is what makes cleaning a breeze. Along with removing stubborn particles, oven cleaners leave the surface shiny.
Oven Cleaner: Right Cleaner for Kitchen Countertop?
The excellent cleaning ability of the oven cleaner makes its way to the top of a cleaner’s list. But in reality, oven cleaners are a bad choice for your kitchen countertops. And the same chemicals that are great for cleaning oven are culprits to your shiny countertop. Initially, you may see all the grease, oil, coffee stains, etc disappearing from your countertop. But soon you’ll realize that it was not a good idea to clean kitchen countertop with oven cleaner. Even using it for counted number of times takes the shine away from the surface.
Be it a wooden, tile, stainless steel, or granite countertops, using oven cleaner will ruin them. Strong chemicals penetrate the shiny layer of wood and make it soft, more like gluey. Whereas, in the case of tile, the chemicals might eat away the coating as well as damage the grout. And never use an oven cleaner on a stainless steel kitchen countertop because instead of cleaning the surface, it will leave it with ugly marks and stains. So conclusively, the oven cleaner is not the right cleaner for your beautiful kitchen countertop.
Effects of Oven Cleaners on Countertop:
- Toxic chemicals present in an oven cleaner are bad for both countertops as well as you. When you clean the countertop with these chemicals they tend to remain there for a while. And these harmful chemicals tend to mix with the food resting on countertops. This leads to potential health risks.
- If you’ve used an oven cleaner before, you might have smelled the odd gas coming off the solution. This gas is nothing but hydrogen that is highly flammable, especially when it reacts with aluminum. Also, it discolors the metal permanently with the only solution left is to replace it.
- Certain heavy chemicals like Iye wears away the protective layer of the countertop. It badly damages granite, vinyl, and quartz counter leaving them dull and lifeless.
- If swallowed or inhaled, oven cleaners might trigger allergies.
- Oven cleaner is caustic which is why you’re advised to wear thick plastic gloves while using them to prevent skin irritation.
- Strong fumes of oven cleaner might make one feel nauseated, light-headed or in the worst case, give a migraine.
- These strong fumes can also irritate eyes so it is better to wear protective eyewear before you start spraying the solution.
Alternative Way to Clean Kitchen Countertops
Rather than spraying harsh chemicals over your shiny countertop, go for a natural cleaner. They are just as effective as an expensive oven cleaner but far safer and budget-friendly. You can make a natural countertop cleaner at home using simple kitchen ingredients. Take a look below and you can easily make a natural cleaner for countertop within minutes.
Natural Cleaner 1(General Cleaning)
This natural cleaner is best for overall cleaning. You can use it on stone, wood or vinyl surface.
- A spray bottle
- Water(2 cups)
- White vinegar(1-1/2 cup)
- Dishwashing soap(optional)
- Mix both water and vinegar in the spray bottle. You can decrease or increase the quantity according to the size of your countertop.
- You can add a few drops of dishwashing liquid if you wish. The liquid will help to clean the surface as well as bring the shine back.
- Now you have to stir the mixture gently. Remember not to shake it but stir.
- Spray a generous amount of solution all over the messy countertop and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
- Wipe the counter sides as well.
Natural Cleaner 2(For Oil Stains)
This method is great to remove oil stains from granite countertops naturally. You can also use it on other stone counters such as marble.
- Baking soda
- In a bowl, add baking soda and enough water to make a thick paste.
- Now apply the paste on the oil stains with the help of a spoon. You can also use it on coffee or ketchup stains.
- Leave the mixture overnight and rinse it off the following morning.
- You can redo it again if the stains are not faded away completely.
Now that you know what all chemicals are inside an oven cleaner, you might want to avoid them. However, not all oven cleaners in the market are full of chemicals. There are a few natural countertop cleaners out there that effectively cleans the surface. Or else, there’s always an option to make natural cleaners at home. Not only are these chemical-free cleaners effective but also affordable. Elongate the life of your countertop and keep it look shiny new for years with a safe yet effective cleaner.