Grab This Laundry Staple To Give Your Kitchen Counters The Cleaning Of A Lifetime

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Maintaining a clean and hygienic kitchen is the cornerstone of a healthy home. However, achieving true kitchen hygiene can be more challenging than it seems. With spills, food particles, and bacteria lurking in every nook and cranny, it's a constant battle to keep countertops pristine. But fear not, for there's a game-changing solution: the clothes steamer.

The clothes steamer is a versatile tool that can do more than just straighten out wrinkles. Using a clothes steamer like the Rowenta Pure Pop retailing for $37.49 at Target or the Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam 1875W which costs $59.99 at Walmart to sanitize countertops is not only effective but also convenient. Start by clearing the countertop of any loose debris. Wipe it down with a mild, non-abrasive cleaner to remove surface dirt. Next, fill the steamer with water and let it heat up. For optimal sanitization, the CDC recommends setting a steam sterilizer to at least 250°F (121°C) — the temperature needed to kill most pathogens. Glide the steamer evenly across the countertop, holding it a few inches away. The high-temperature steam not only eliminates bacteria but also dissolves stubborn grease and grime. After steam cleaning, wipe your countertop dry with clean microfiber cloths to ensure there are no streaks left on the surface. 

For safety, always wear heat-resistant gloves and avoid direct contact with the steam. And remember, regular maintenance is key, so make countertop steam cleaning a part of your routine for a consistently spotless kitchen.

The limits of using steam power

While the clothes steamer is a kitchen superhero, it's not invincible. The steam cleaning method works best on non-porous surfaces like quartz and stainless steel, where the steam can work effectively. Non-porous materials prevent the absorption of moisture, making them unlikely to get damaged by the heat and water in the steam.

Unfortunately, porous surfaces like wood and marble, even when sealed, are not ideal candidates for periodic steam cleaning due to the microscopic openings in their surface. The moisture can damage these materials, compromising their integrity over time. Excessive moisture absorption can lead to swelling, warping, or discoloration, particularly in the case of wood. Also, since steam is hot, the heat it generates can cause the countertop material to expand, and then contract when it cools down. This expansion and contraction cycle can stress porous structures, potentially leading to cracks or other forms of structural damage, especially in materials like marble. For porous countertops, opt for gentle, non-abrasive cleaners or specialized solutions recommended by the manufacturer. Disinfecting wipes are also effective for quick sanitization. Remember to follow proper cleaning guidelines for each specific material to ensure longevity and performance.

So, while the clothes steamer can be a kitchen cleaning game-changer, it's essential to tailor your approach based on the countertop material. By adopting the right cleaning method, you can maintain a kitchen that's not only visually appealing but also a safe, hygienic haven for all your culinary adventures.