Got the Stainless Steel Appliance and Granite Countertops in Your New Apartment, Now What?
You just moved into the apartment of your dreams, complete with a shiny new kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. But, do you know how to keep them looking new?
Granite countertops are relatively low-maintenance, are extremely durable and resistant to heat, stains and scratches. If cared for properly, they will keep their shine infinitely. They do require a bit of thought when cleaning, however.
Clean your countertops regularly with mild dish soap and water and a soft sponge. That is sufficient to pick up dirt, but not abrasive. Make sure you also wipe it dry when you are done. You might notice that standing water will be absorbed and cause a dark spot, but will evaporate in a few minutes. This is normal and is the nature of stone.
However, note that any liquid will also be absorbed, such as sauce, produce juices and oils – if not wiped up quickly, these will cause granite to stain. Still, it’s likely you can remove them by mixing baking soda and water into a paste, spooning it generously over the stain and covering it with plastic wrap, taping down the edges. Leave this overnight or even a couple of days before rinsing and wiping down.
Granite countertops can actually be damaged by many kitchen cleaning products deemed safe for other surfaces such as vinegar, citrus, ammonia, bleach and steel wool. Acids will dull and weaken the sealant and abrasive products will etch the surface.
Stainless steel appliances are a major upgrade from standard white or black plastic, and especially those awful shades of yellow from decades ago. They do require a bit more upkeep than those hardier coverings, however, as fingerprints, water spots and scratches show up easily.
Again, mild soap and water are your friend. Wipe, rinse, wipe again and then dry thoroughly to avoid water spots. There are also spray cleaners on the market specifically for stainless steel that can add a protective coating to reduce smudges and light scratches.
For stubborn grime, make a paste of baking soda and warm water, apply with a soft cloth or sponge, wipe with a wet towel and then thoroughly dry. For scratches, there are kits designed to remove permanent blemishes. You might need to check with your landlord to ensure proper usage.
Avoid using harsh abrasives, scouring powders, steel wool, bleach, and ammonia, all of which can damage the finish. Glass cleaner is also out (even if it’s already in your hand from cleaning the windows!).
You CAN have nice things, as long as you are armed with some simple steps to keep them looking their best.