If you’ve gotten yourself a solid surface countertop then we can understand your delight. But whether acrylic or polyester, proper care and maintenance of solid surface countertops is important to keep them pristine and in good condition.
Fortunately, solid surface countertops are pretty easy to maintain, and sets it apart from natural stone countertops. Failing to properly maintain natural stone countertops can lead to problems because its pores make it stain easily and can promote bacterial growth. This makes solid surfaces popular, especially in Asia.
But that doesn’t mean that you can get careless. Durable as they are, solid surfaces are not invulnerable. With that in mind, here are a few essential tips you need to know and do to keep your solid surface countertop in good condition for years to come.
Solid surface countertops are soft materials, and cutting directly on these surfaces will cause chipping or scratching. Always use a cutting board.
Chips and scratches aren’t only aesthetically unpleasant but will also catch stains easily and poses a hygiene hazard when gunk and germs start to clog and fester. It’s also not easy to clean it out.
Polyester typically has a melting point of 260 degrees Celcius while acrylic at around 160 degrees Celcius. When cooking it’s common for a pan on stove to get as hot as 166 degrees Celcius, if not hotter.
Thus, putting a hot pan or dish directly onto an acrylic countertop is a no-no, and even on polyester it just isn’t a very good idea.
Don’t get the wise idea that more is better and start using abrasive scrubbers thinking it would remove a tough stain; because it’s going to remove more than that!
Scrubbing with an abrasive scrub can cause fine scratching to something much worse. The severity of the damage can range from dulling to outright gashing.
This type of damage is particularly noticeable on dark coloured, high-gloss finishes. Minor scratching can be polished away with the right tools and technique. Depending on your level of knowledge you might want to consider D.I.Y. repairs as detailed in the point below.
It’s always tempting to want to do your own repairs, but it’s important to first assess the type and extent of damage.
While it is possible to gently polish away minor scratching, deep cracks and nicks require filling with cyanoacrylate (super glue) or epoxy filler. More severe damage may require a new piece of the solid surface material cut out to replace the damaged parts. This task could be too complex for the average homeowner to accomplish.
Therefore, it might be better to get a professional with the right tools, replacement parts and skills to have a look at the problem.
Avoid strong cleaners like bleach, thinners or acetone. Use ammonia-based cleaning products or soap and water instead. Strong cleaners have a nasty habit of leaving solid surfaces marked or discoloured. If any of these cleaners do come into contact it is best to wash it away quickly with soap and a flush of water.
Glass cleaners are ammonia-based and are abundant on the market; most hardware stores should carry them. Vinegar can be used to dissolve calciferous buildup (white calcium salt).