How can you keep your countertops from getting damaged over the holidays?
Holidays are a hectic time if you’re the designated cook in your household. This is especially true when you’re forced to do the majority of the meal preparation on your own. Accidents tend to happen when you’re in a rush. Many a cook is probably guilty of juggling more pots, pans, trays, and bowls than they can reasonably handle. This circus act can be hard on your countertops. Here are a few things to avoid when you’re cooking those holiday meals that may save you the headache of repairing or replacing your countertops in the future.
Hot pots, trays, and pans
Leaving a hot pan or tray on the countertop can do quick and sometimes irreparable damage to its surface. Prolonged or repeated heat exposure will affect glass, natural stones (sealed or otherwise) and laminate all to varying degrees. If you can’t help but have more pots and pans than you can manage on your stove top, be sure to put down some insulated kitchen countertop mats. Also make sure that anything hot on the countertop is kept away from the edges of the counter with their handles facing inward, to avoid some risky accidents while you’re moving about the kitchen.
Spills and Stains
Depending on the type of countertop you have, dealing with stains from food spillage during prep might be simple, or it may require a bit more care. Laminates and Quartz are very stain resistant, and you’ll likely only have to worry about running over it with a damp towel. Unsealed hardwood or granite countertop, whether new or just in need of resealing, can be a bit more challenging as these materials can be more porous. This is especially true if your countertop is older or unsealed. You’ll want to clean up spills quickly before they have a chance to set into the kitchen counters. Marble counters should have spills cleaned quickly as marble is a softer and more porous stone.
A few tips to remember
Now, not all countertops are created equal and some may give the impression that they’re all but indestructible (we're looking at you, quartz and granite). While it’s true that some materials are more resistant to certain forms or wear and tear than others, keep in mind that resistant materials are not impervious to damage. No matter what a countertop is made of, it should never be used an excuse to treat your countertops carelessly. To avoid unintentional harm to your countertops and prolong their use, practicing a few basic rules will save you from future troubles. You’ll want to double down on these rules during the holiday season, as the rush of the holidays can make even the most routine person a bit forgetful.
Tips for protecting your countertops:
- Do not place hot pots or pans or trays on your countertop without adequate protection. Use trivets if you have them or a heat-resistant material (even your oven mitt can do in a pinch).
- Use coasters for glasses and cups to avoid leaving behind liquids on your countertops that may go unnoticed.
- Clean up spills and liquids quickly using a damp towel (paper or otherwise).
- Use a cutting board to avoid leaving stains or scratching your countertop.
- Avoid placing dirty dishes directly on the countertop for extended periods of time.
- Avoid cleaning your countertops with abrasive solutions or coarse materials like steel wool, instead opting for mild dish detergent or approved cleaners. This to avoid scuffs and scratches or removing sealants or finishes from your countertops.
A little bit of extra care will go a long way towards protecting your countertops during the hectic holiday season. Use these precautions and tips to keep your countertops around for years of your holiday exploits in the kitchen.