Grease, food splatters, persistent stains. These are your kitchen’s best enemies. When they pay your countertops a visit, it surely takes more than a simple wiping to give your working surface that shiny look you desire.
Some people turn to their oven cleaners for help. But, before you decide to let its heavy chemicals remove the dirt from your countertops, you need to know how the oven cleaner can affect the place you put your food on.
The Effect of the Heavy Chemicals
There is a reason why the oven cleaners can work magic and even make your decades old oven shine like new – they are made from robust chemicals. You may not be happy to hear that oven cleaners possess hazardous ingredients such as salt hydroxide, butane, diethylene glycol mono butyl ether, or monoethanolamine (MEA).
And while you may not put your food on top of your oven walls, you actually use your kitchen countertops as a working surface for preparing your food. You don’t have to be a scientist to know that having toxic chemicals around can take a toll on your health. And the toxins of the oven cleaner can surely embed in your kitchen counter.
Oven cleaners are bad for your oven as well, but since you are not in direct contact with your oven, that is really not a sign for concern. But, using these toxic cleaners for your countertops that you and your whole family touch, and not to even mention, prepare your food on, is pretty much dangerous.
The chemicals from the oven can – to some degree – get absorbed by your kitchen countertop. And if you use the oven cleaner frequently, the leeching will only build up over time which may lead to a toxic situation.
How Do Oven Cleaners Work?
Have you ever wondered how the oven cleaner manages to make your oven radiate? It is thanks to their toxins that cause chemical reactions with the dirt inside your oven. That chemical reaction is what allows you to simply wipe the grime clean after you have applied the oven cleaner on that spot.
The bubbling reaction
The powerful toxic chemicals that the oven cleaners are made of produce a response to the dirt inside your oven. When these chemicals come in contact with the oven grease, they cause a bubbling reaction that eats away the dirt and allow you to clean your oven with ease. Doesn’t sound like something you’d want on top of your kitchen counter, right?
The bubbling reaction and your countertops
That being said, the oven cleaners are even more toxic for your dirty counter than they are to the clean one. The toxins are surely hazardous either way, but once that bubbling reaction occurs (which happens when the oven cleaner comes in contact with dirt), the chemicals pierce their way through the countertop and get absorbed. That’s why the contact with the countertop can easily spread these chemicals to your skin.
What Is the Effect of Oven Cleaners on Kitchen Countertops?
The Lasting Damage
You may think that your oven cleaner will only help you clean the stubborn stains and grease from your countertops, but its toxic chemicals will do much more permanent damage than you think.
Once the bubble reaction occurs, the robust chemicals of the oven cleaner can easily chew away the safety top layer of your kitchen counter.
Furthermore, when the cleaner’s toxins get in touch with food bits, many other responses can creep in that can cause your working surface to disfigure and even get permanently damaged.
However, not all countertops will react to this harsh cleaner the same way. Some work surfaces are more vulnerable to the toxins of the oven cleaner than others. Let’s have a review.
Oven Cleaners on Wooden Countertops
The most susceptible kind is definitely the wooden countertops that have a clear and varnish coating. The hazardous chemicals of the oven cleaner can easily soften the top layer and make it sticky and even gummy-like.
Although some wooden countertops are able to harden back up, others may never restore their primary look. This requires refinishing the surface.
Oven Cleaners on Tile Countertops
If you have a tile working surface, cleaning it with an oven cleaner is also not a good idea. If you leave the toxins for too long, this cleaner can eat away the top glaze and seriously damage the look of the countertop.
Oven Cleaners on Stone Countertops
Polished granite, marble, or other stone countertops may be more endurable than the rest when it comes to the chemicals of the oven cleaner, however, that doesn’t mean that cleaning them with its chemicals is recommended.
Although the chance of suffering serious consequences is low, the risk of dulling the finish and spotting the top is always present.
Oven Cleaners on Formica Countertops
Similar to the stone surfaces, countertops made of Formica have a low chance of suffering damages if the cleaner is rinsed and wiped immediately, however, there is always the chance of color damage.
A Better Solution
Choosing natural cleaners over chemicals is always a safer, healthier, and better choice. Cleaning stubborn grease by the natural way may seem like it requires a lot of work, but there are easy ways to do that.
Homemade all-natural countertop cleaner
For that purpose, you should always have a homemade all-natural countertop cleaner in hand. Here is how you can make one:
- Step 1: Fill a spray bottle with 4 parts of water (400 ml or 14 oz will do).
- Step 2: Then, add 1 part of white vinegar, in this case, 100 ml or 3.5 oz.
- Step 3: Add a dash of dish soap to the mix.
- Step 4: Close the spray bottle and give it a gentle stir, do NOT shake the bottle.
- Step 5: Spray your kitchen countertop and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.
- Step 6: And voila! Shiny as new.
Here is a video of how easy it is to make your natural countertop cleaner
The bottom line is that cleaning your countertop where you chop and prepare food with heavy chemicals is dangerous, not only for your health but for the countertops as well. Choose nontoxic cleaners instead and see how you can also wash the dirt off your counters the natural way.
Now I’m guessing you may wonder if I have any other handy tips? Let’s find out how many calories it has in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And my advice on how long it takes to thaw a turkey and how to do it properly.
Let me know what you think. Cheers!