Many people use oven cleaners in their kitchen countertops especially when they are dealing with stubborn stains. However, what a majority doesn’t realize is the effect of oven cleaners on kitchen countertops. Because of that, it is important to ask, what is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops? This question begs for our in-depth scrutiny, thus, I will give this topic my utmost attention.
But even before we address that question, there is something more. It is important to understand what is contained in most oven cleaners.
Although oven cleaners have become common, the damage is real. Interestingly, there are cheap alternatives you can try at home to keep your kitchen countertops not only sparkling clean but also last for many years.
What Is The Active Ingredient In An Oven Cleaner?
Most oven cleaners for kitchen countertops today contain a mixture of ingredients. Depending on the brand you normally use, chances are you might not realize the damage the oven cleaner can bring on your kitchen countertop.
Because of that, it is imperative to check the label before buying the type of oven cleaner you praise for removing grease, sticky fats, and other stubborn stains. If you have used oven cleaners for some time, you may have realized that over time, you start to see changes on your kitchen countertops.
While some of the ingredients of oven cleaners are friendly to kitchen countertops, a few are quite dangerous and can cause gross damage to your kitchen countertops. Some of the main ingredients you’d expect to find in oven cleaners are:
- Sodium hydroxide;
- Foaming agents.
- If upon confirming that the oven cleaner in your house has any or all the aforementioned ingredients, you should stop applying them on your kitchen countertops. Otherwise, soon or later, these ingredients will cause serious damage on your kitchen countertops thus ruin your kitchen for good.
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Now that you know what ingredients present in oven cleaners you should avoid, it is time for the big question …
What Are The Effects of Oven Cleaners on Kitchen Countertops?
Without hyperbole or exaggeration, oven cleaners have adverse side effects on kitchen countertops. In this part, I will address how certain oven ingredients will affect your kitchen countertop.
If it happens that, your kitchen countertop is covered with synthetic or vinyl materials, and you use oven cleaners that contain alcohol, you will notice, after some time that the materials will start to discolor.
You may ask why this happens. One important thing to note about alcohol is that it is a renowned solvent. Besides, alcohol tends to work fast on the surface of the two materials. Therefore, if you use oven cleaners that contain alcohol, it will not be long before you see the results.
- Sodium Hydroxide
Sodium hydroxide is perhaps the main ingredient in many oven cleaners. Besides, many paint strippers contain this ingredient. Applying sodium hydroxide on a countertop that is either sealed or painted will definitely cause serious side effects.
The ingredient is also known to cause substantive damage on tiled or stoned kitchen countertops.
The worst thing about sodium hydroxide is that it causes complete discoloration of aluminum. If you don’t want to lose your aluminum-stripped kitchen countertop, you need to stop using oven cleaners that contain even a little amount of sodium hydroxide.
Now that you know how some of the oven cleaners will affect your kitchen countertops, perhaps you are wondering, if that is all. Well, that is not all.
- Something to Remember
While some of the ingredients present in oven cleaners can affect your kitchen countertops, you can look for cleaners that do not contain the ‘bad’ ingredients. Besides, you can repair, replace, or change your kitchen countertops completely.
However, did you also know that it is on your kitchen countertops that you chop, slice, dice, grate, peel, and cut most of your foods? Besides, it is on your kitchen countertops that you place your fresh vegetables and fruits as you prepare them. During this time, harmful chemicals may infiltrate your food.
It is especially dangerous if you place your food immediately after using oven cleaners on your kitchen countertop, something that can lead to you and your family ingesting some of these harmful chemicals. If that happens, the result is uncountable health complications.
To avoid that scenario, it is advisable to clean your kitchen countertop using a lot of water after applying oven cleaners.
What Materials Are Affected Most By Oven Cleaners?
Even as we think that oven cleaner ingredients are harmful, the degree of their adversity differs from one kitchen countertop material to the other. The following are kitchen countertop materials that are most affected by oven cleaners:
Wood – While many people prefer using wood on their kitchen countertops, it is imperative to know that wood is perhaps the weakest and most fragile of all the materials used to make kitchen countertops. Oven cleaners can devor wooden kitchen countertops within a short time.
Stone – Granite or stone kitchen countertops are deemed the most durable kitchen countertop material. While that is true, stone of whatever kind is not immune to harsh oven cleaners that contain ingredients we talked in the preceding section.
Steel – True to its name, stainless steel shines and does not often contract stains. However, this material is also not immune to certain oven cleaners. In fact, if a bad or harsh ingredient affects stainless steel kitchen countertop, it is likely to discolor, lose its taste, and in the end remain with permanent stains. Nonetheless, other homeowners prefer using stainless steel kitchen countertops because they can spray the kitchen countertop with silver or aluminum sprays.
Tile – Oven cleaners tend to give tiled kitchen countertops a mild approach. However, this does not take too long before the tiles’ top glaze is finally eaten up by the oven cleaners. After this, you would not like the new look of your tiled kitchen countertop.
Formica – Like its counterpart, stones, Formica kitchen countertops are not affected fast as other materials. Although oven cleaners can eventually discolor formica kitchen countertops, the damage will not come fast if you rinse the Formica countertop using clean water immediately after applying an oven cleaner.
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Alternative Products You Should Use To Clean Kitchen Countertops
Use oven cleaners that do not contain the harsh ingredients we have mentioned throughout this article. If anything, read the label to ascertain the available ingredients before you purchase any oven cleaner.
As already seen, oven cleaners can cause serious damage on your kitchen countertops. However, you are not left without a choice. There are a few things you can use to clean your kitchen countertops and make your kitchen remain clean all the time.
Vinegar and clear pasta or baking soda are the best and first alternative. For these ingredients to work, you need to know how to mix them in their correct portions.
I know how desperate it can be when your kitchen countertop is greased all over with stubborn stains. However, try as you may, you may not salvage your kitchen countertop if you continue to use oven cleaners that contain harsh ingredients. For that reason, try as much as you can to avoid oven cleaners that will finally damage your kitchen countertop. If anything, use the two simple and cheap alternatives we have highlighted above.