- By: Ethan
- Tags: bathroom, clean, countertop surfaces, germs, kitchen, Kitchen Countertop, materials
- Category: Bathroom, blog, Home Improvement, Recommended
- 0 comment
Most people believe that the bathroom is prone to be the germiest of all the rooms in the home. However, that is proved to be a false statement as it turns out that your kitchen is a bigger germ magnet than your bathroom.
Since we cook in the kitchen, there are some real health risks that make it possible for the build-up of many germs. There is no doubt that home is your sanctuary, and your kitchen is the heart of it — it is more than just a space where you spend your time cooking, but a gathering place for family and friends as well.
That being said, why would you not want this important room in your home to be one of the cleanest spaces? With the right materials, your kitchen can not only be easier to clean, but a breeze to maintain as well.
Beyond the headline-making coronaviruses, there are also other germs to be aware of and protect yourself against, especially in the kitchen where food is prepared. For example, salmonella, listeria and coli are historically some of the dangerous disease-causing bacteria that are commonly found lurking around the kitchen. The Los Angeles Times (Pro Tips On Keeping Your Kitchen Clean) shared some strong advices for keeping your kitchen as clean as possible, including:
- Wash dirty dishes, cutting boards and other kitchen utensils immediately.
- Wash your hands at all times.
- Have a cleaning routine that includes wiping down surfaces regularly.
- Remove the trash frequently.
- Clean up as you cook.
- Ensure that the raw meat does not touch anything else and use a separate cutting board to prevent cross-contamination.
- Avoid “double-dipping” when you taste your culinary creation. Use a new spoon each time.
GERMS IN THE KITCHEN
It is not shocking that the kitchen is the dirtiest, as the room is the most commonly used space in the entire house. Lots of people and perishable items are the perfect combination of germs to gather.
Most importantly, one does not necessarily need to be a germaphobe to want to minimize germs in the kitchen. If you are in the midst of remodeling your kitchen, we have a few good tips to keep the germs at bay that includes materials that can help keep your kitchen cleaner and more sanitary.
Unfortunately, many beautiful materials like wood and natural stone are porous. In the tiny recesses on these surfaces, the chances of bacteria-breeding is extremely high especially when they find exactly what they need — food, moisture and a comfortable temperature.
We suggest a non-porous countertop surface for your kitchen to further reduce the risk of harmful bacteria, viruses and other less-desirables like fungus and mold. Other than being free of naturally occuring cracks or fissures, these surfaces are not prone to etching, staining as well as divots.
NON-POROUS KITCHEN COUNTERTOP SURFACES
Staying healthy is about prevention — eating nutritious food, getting plenty of fresh air and exercise, sleeping enough to feel rested. Another important factor, of course, is preventing the spread of illness. That means washing our hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue, and wiping down surfaces in the home to keep them sanitary at all times.
Besides a regular cleaning routine, non-porous materials are the key to reducing germs in your kitchen. It assures homeowners that undesirable substances such as germs do not penetrate your countertop surface. It is important for you to choose countertop materials that will help minimize germs since your countertops are constantly exposed to things that can hold germs on a daily basis.
1. QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
There is no doubt that quartz is one of the most durable and hygienic countertop surfaces. This man-made engineered stone countertops is made from a combination of natural minerals held together using polymers and resin. Therefore, quartz countertops are non-porous with no presence of bacteria to be found. This makes it even easier for daily recommended maintenance for your quartz countertop — all you need is a non-abrasive cleaning cloth with soap and water.
If ultra-clean countertops are important to you and your family, you will definitely appreciate quartz countertops more. It is impossible for germs to penetrate the surface as the engineered surface is poreless. By simply using an antibacterial cleanser to wipe the surface, your countertop will be clean and germ-free.
The quartz countertop cost is comparable to natural stone, and often a bit less. But perhaps the best reason to choose quartz counters is that sealing is never needed to maintain its non-porous qualities. You simply need to wipe it with a gentle cleanser such as dish soap, and dry with a soft cloth to keep the counters looking as good as new. What makes its maintenance even easier is that bleach and harsh chemicals that are bad for the planet as well as your own indoor environment are not required.
2. SOLID SURFACE COUNTERTOPS
Like its name suggested, solid surface countertops are a strong, seamless slab of material that can be installed as entire countertops or a specific area of the countertop, which is ideal for dough-rolling and chopping. If you are looking for countertops that are durable, dent-resistant, stain-resistant and can be easily repaired, then a solid surface countertop is your best choice.
Most solid surface countertops are some form of plastic and these high-performing countertops are usually made primarily from acrylic with a few additives while others are an acrylic/polyester blend. The vast majority of solid surfaces are non-porous and its non-porous slab is what makes the countertop resistant to stain, making it ultimately free from bacteria, mold and germs.
There are plenty of surfaces that can be marred, sometimes permanently by such things as grease spots, makeup or lipstick, hair dye, shoe polish or even permanent marking pens. On a solid surface countertops, all of these stains can be easily removed with water or an abrasive cleaner. Because of its stain-resistant quality that prevents the growth of bacteria, a solid surface is invaluable in healthcare settings like hospitals, doctors offices, gyms and retirement homes. Of course, kitchens and bathrooms as well.
For cleaning, only a soft, cotton cloth and warm, soapy water is needed. Homeowners are strictly advised to never use harsh commercial cleaners on solid surface countertops which can lead to possible damage and avoid using window cleaners either, as it leaves a waxy build up on the surface.
3. LAMINATE COUNTERTOPS
Once regarded as a cheap, low-end alternative, laminate countertops can be found in many higher-end homes nowadays. For those who wish to have an affordable countertop material that offers a various range of design options, or anyone who wants to build their own countertops, a laminate countertop surface is a great choice.
Since one of the favoured habitats of microbes is mold, countertop materials like specialized laminate countertops inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses, as they provide prevention of the overall growth of mold and mildew. Because of its non-porous surface, homeowners will not have to deal with problems like sanitation.
However, when compared to other materials in the market, laminate countertops tend to have a shorter life and even the best of them can be susceptible to burns, chipping or delamination. When the seams come in contact with excessive water, the countertop may swell and create more opportunities for bacteria, fungus or mold. If serious damage occurs, an entire countertop replacement is typically required.
The laminate countertops are made from plastic resins that make the countertops extremely easy to clean and resistant to stains. For daily cleanings, simply use a soft, cotton cloth and soapy water or mild household cleaners. These countertops can be easily scratched so avoid using abrasive cleaners. It is also important to note that you should be cautious with laminate as it is not resistant to heat, placing a hot pot directly on the surface can lead to a burn mark or discoloration.
4. GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
Highly known for its exceptional beauty and durability, granite countertop is a naturally porous stone and is perhaps the most sought after countertop material.
When compared to other types of natural stones like marble, granite is not as porous but this does not necessarily mean that it acts as a sponge. Fortunately, granite does not absorb much liquid, so it is impossible for harbour bacteria. Once sealed, the porousness will be reduced and easier to keep clean and sanitary.
Choosing a polished finish is another way to increase the cleanliness of granite countertops. Unlike a honed finish, a polished finish seals most of the pores on the surface of the stone, which means a polished granite is less porous than other finishes and repels moisture with ease. This makes it even more effective in preventing the stone to harbour bacteria.