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Cleaning your countertop: what do you use and why?

Alton Brown recommends a dilute solution of bleach for cleaning countertops, which seems like a good idea, but I have two fears: (1) our Corian countertops will develop a milky haze and, I fear, that once on there, the haze will not be removable. This will lead to my girlfriend killing me.

The second fear is that the bleach will get into the food--like when I am rolling out dough--and kill me.

What do you like to use to get your countertops really sanitary?

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  1. if i were in your position, i'd "ask" the manufacturer of corian.

    of course, i have my favorites, BUT my countertop is quartz and my favorites could end up being disastrous for your corian countertop.

    1. I have laminate and I just use 409 and Clorox wipes. When I had granite I used the wipes and a spray cleaner made for granite, forget the name of it though.

      1. I have corian, paperwork recommended ammonia or bleach

        I use bleach, about 2T to 16 oz of water.

        I bet DuPont has a web site with instructions

        If you are worried about using bleach, I bet Clorox has a web site with instructions

        1. Home-made water,ammonia, and a few drops of Dawn in a used squirt bottle for everyday use.We have Formica.
          When we are working with our hard ciders and meads we use a commercial sanitizer called StarSan. We wipe,dunk, soak,everything including us, with it. It is a non rinse product.
          If you are really worried about keeping a sterile kitchen,( we are not except when brewing/bottling), get some StarSan from a home brewing source.

          1. I use two sprays. 409 and then I use diluted vinegar behind it. I started using the vinegar because it makes the glass top stove really shiny. Then I thought about the fact that it probably gets the 409 chemical off the counters too.

            1. 70% rubbing alcohol

              Spells great

              1. I just use a 1 part white vinegar 4 parts water spray. For counters and fruits.

                1. Bleach solutions sanitize...then evaporate. No worries for contact with food. If you believe that, then you should stop eating out whenever a commercial kitchen is in the equation.

                  1. laminate. hydrogen peroxide (natural bleach) and water in a spray bottle. The stronger stuff they sell in cleaning isle. No smell. Not a fan of regular bleach it always gets on something I don't want it to.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: daislander

                      Spray bottle with water/hydrogen peroxide/few drops of iodine.
                      I use it everywhere in the kitchen/bathroom/laundry room.
                      About once a month I take all the everyday cutlery and dishes and put them in a sink with scalding water and a couple of T's of this mixture and let them soak until the water is cool enough to put my hands in. Then a hot water rinse and air dry.

                    2. Vim stainless steel gel and hydrogen peroxide. The first one to clean the surface, the second to disinfect. Works great, and nothing shows up with luminol.

                      1. Currently I have 40 year old white Formica counters in my kitchen, in great shape. I use Windex anti-bacterial all purpose for spills. A watered down ammonia solution for cleaning the stove. A watered down bleach solution for sanitizing. And a bleach containing paste/gel for deep stain removal (Soft Scrub with bleach.)

                        Once bleach is air dried or wiped up and dry, it can't get into food. Do you drink chlorinated water? If so, I assume you are still alive...

                        Dilute bleach can be used on Corian.

                        1. If you fear that your Corian will be damaged, go to a place that sells Corian and get a sample piece to experiement on. A little bleach won't kill you. I use Clorox Cleaner or Windex for my granite counter tops, no problems.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: treb

                            I have granite, and use Windex or Mrs. Meyer's line of stuff.


                          2. Fortunately, I live in a magic house (with Formica). I use a damp sponge which overnights in the dishwasher. Spouse uses 409 or equivalent when he cleans, which is 75% of the time.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: tcamp

                              I was teaching in a woodshop in a home for criminal teenagers, we had few supplies, had to scrounge everything. I had some old Formica counters in the stock room, one of the kids asked me repeatedly to use one of them for a project. I kept saying "no they are Formica." She finally said, "Mr.J, we don 't have anyone in this school named Micah, so why won't you let me use them?"

                              1. re: tcamp

                                I live in a "magic house" also. (Coming up on the 4th anniversary of Sam's death.) I wipe countertops down with a hot soapy sponge. When people are coming over and I'll be serving drinks and apps on the peninsula, I windex it.

                              2. When I worked in the kitchen cabinet department at a big box store, we'd write on the Corian with a ballpoint pen, then buff it out with superfine sandpaper or 0000 steel wool.
                                Any haze you get on the Corian is on the surface only, and can be buffed right off.
                                Here are instructions from DuPont:


                                1. Bleach in small amounts isn't toxic - in fact, if you're planning on storing water for some time (like in preparation for an earthquake) it's recommended to add a drop or two of bleach to a gallon of water.

                                  It is good, though, at getting stains out of porcellin and off formica: I normally just wipe down the countertops with a soapy sponge, but when I'm in a kitchen deep cleaning mood I'll lay paper towels over stained parts of the counter and spritz them with a strong bleach/water mixture. I'll also fill the sink with cold water, add a glug of bleach, and let it sit for about an hour. Gets it white as new. Caveat: do not do this wearing your favorite black t-shirt (or any other clothes you care about), or you will learn more than you care to about discharge dying.