Looking for a single cleaning product safe enough to restore any countertop, no matter what it’s made from, to its original, like-new luster and vigor while removing all stains at the same time? It’ll be in Aisle 1 next to the pot of gold and magic carpet. But if you want a real cleaner that will take care of both unsightly blemishes and shine your countertop to its maximum appearance potential, here are some suggestions appropriate to the countertop’s composition. Most of these cleaners are probably items you already have in your home.

Plastic Laminate: To keep plastic laminate countertops looking fresh, regularly apply a light furniture or appliance wax to provide a guard against stains and scratches. Never use abrasive cleaners and steel wool, but a double-sided pad with a sponge on one side and a fiber scrubber on the other works wonders when lightly dampened with water.

Granite: Granite countertops are vulnerable to acid- and vinegar-based cleaning products, so use only warm water with a bit of soap on a soft cloth or a wet sponge to clean the surface. Make sure the granite was properly sealed before cleaning, though, because granite is porous and can absorb the water.

Cambria Quartz: Cambria quartz gives you the look, feel, and durability of granite without being porous.  A mild soap and dishrag or sponge can be used to clean the countertop on a daily basis, and spray cleansers that do not include ammonia may also be used. Ammonia base cleaners such as glass cleaners can permanently dull the surface of granite or quartz tops over time.

Formica: Formica doesn’t like abrasive cleaners — including ammonia or bleach — so clean it only with a mild soap on a soft cloth with warm water. Wipe up spills immediately; once a stain sets in it’s practically impossible to get out. A household glass cleaner can also be used to remove streaks and return Formica to its original shine.

Solid Surface: Solid surface countertops, such as Corian, are easy to care for because they’re non-porous. It is recommended that every two to three months you clean the entire countertop with an abrasive cleanser such as Comet with a Scotch Bright pad to keep your top looking shipshape.  Don’t press hard – go over the entire surface in a light circular motion with the cleanser and rinse thoroughly.

For more expert cleaning tips, call Fahy Kitchens at (315) 735-8181 or fax to (315) 735-2829. Fahy Kitchens is located at 1908 Oriskany Street West in Utica, N.Y. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are appreciated.

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