While oven cleaners can be great for removing stubborn stains and grease from your oven, they’re not designed as general kitchen cleaners by any means. The chemicals in oven cleaner can be very strong, toxic, and corrosive, so you shouldn’t use oven cleaners on kitchen countertops.
Well, using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops can damage the countertop material and cause it to corrode, discolor, lose color, or just become completely unusable. However, there is more to it than that, and we discuss it all in this article as we bring you alternative ways to clean kitchen counters.
So what is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen counters? Let’s find out!
HAZARDOUS OVEN CLEANER INGREDIENTS
Your oven goes through a lot of stress. There are oil and food splatters, greasy baking sheets, and unbelievably high temperatures that bake all that grease and grime into the oven more and more with each use.
As such, oven cleaning chemicals must be STRONG to effectively clean oven walls. It’s not a good idea to use these potentially toxic chemicals to clean kitchen surfaces, especially countertops made of weaker materials like wood or laminate.
OVEN CLEANING CHEMICALS TO AVOID
So what exactly are these toxic chemicals in oven cleaners? Here are some of the main ingredients to look out for:
- Foaming agents
- Crystallization agents
- Sodium hydroxide (Sodium Hydroxide)
- Butane (Butane)
- Monoethanolamine (MEA)(Monoethanolamine)
- Monobutyl ether (Monobutyl ether)
- Diethylene glycol (Diethylene Glycol)
In addition to destroying the cooktop surface and fading color, these chemicals can pose health risks by getting into food and causing food poisoning.
Leftover oven cleaner residue on your countertops can react with the food you are preparing (cutting vegetables, etc.) and cause chemical reactions that further corrode the cooktop surface.
THE EFFECT OF OVEN CLEANERS ON DIFFERENT BACKING MATERIALS
So what is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops?
Well, it depends on the bumper material we’re dealing with. Oven cleaners contain ingredients that react differently with different materials, so their surface may be degraded or relatively unscathed depending on their composition.
Here we see what the effect of oven cleaner is on kitchen countertops made of stone, tile, stainless steel, Formica and wood!
Stone countertops are prone to tarnishing due to oven cleaner ingredients like sodium hydroxide, though they tend to survive oven cleaner much better than most surfaces.
This is because most stone kitchen counters are natural stones, stones that come from the Earth naturally. Granite and marble are examples of natural stones that are naturally inert and therefore difficult to discolor.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!
However, quartz ones have the highest risk of degrading and damaging color. That’s because this style of kitchen counter is engineered stone or “artificial stone” that is artificially assembled using specific pigments to add color.
These artificial colors are much more prone to color damage thanks to the harsh effects of oven cleaners. Natural rocks tend to be much harder in these settings.
INSTEAD YOU SHOULD TRY THIS
Stone countertops require slightly different cleaning depending on the type of stone, so be sure to read up on your specific stone material (granite, marble, quartz, etc.) to see what you need to do to clean it.
Never assume, always check!
However, you can usually use mild dish soap and warm water on stone countertops. You can also get cleaning products designed to work with specific surfaces like marble and granite.
If you have granite countertops, you should also regularly seal them with a granite sealer. This solution penetrates the stone and forms a protective barrier that makes countertops much more difficult to stain.
TILE OR SLAB TOPS
While tile backsplashes are not very common, many homeowners turn to oven cleaners when trying to clean these backsplashes because they are frustrated by how difficult it is to clean grout lines.
While it may seem like the chemicals in oven cleaner might help clean your dirty grout, it will do more harm than good, trust us.
When you spray oven cleaners on this surface, it will eat away at the top finish and start to cause problems with the grout after a while.
When it comes to tile cleaning, oven cleaners are not the answer.
This laminate cooktop is one of the toughest surfaces you can get, but it’s still vulnerable to the effect of oven cleaner.
No cap is safe!
Formica countertops can fade and see damage to their color and finish if cleaned with oven cleaners, so it’s not worth risking your oven’s appearance.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU USED OVEN CLEANER ON KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS
Okay, so you didn’t know about the effects of oven cleaners on kitchen countertops and now you’ve used them to clean them and you’re panicking.
Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. There are a few things we can do to help your kitchen countertops survive oven cleaner.
POLISH THE BUMPS
If your countertops are made of stone, flagstone, and basically anything that isn’t wood, you should clean them with regular countertop cleaning products and then give them a thorough polish.
This doesn’t always work, but polishing your kitchen countertop can help bring back some of that rich color and finish that oven cleaner may have eroded away.
HOW TO GET STUBBORN STAINS OFF KITCHEN COUNTERS (WITHOUT OVEN CLEANER)
Okay, you’re desperate to get some stubborn stains off your kitchen countertop, but now you realize the chemicals in oven cleaner products aren’t helping.
BAKING SODA METHOD
For stains that refuse to come off your kitchen countertops, look to the classic baking soda method:
- Combine equal amounts of baking soda (baking soda) and white vinegar in a small bowl
- Mix the 2 ingredients until they form a paste.
- Apply generously to the stained area
- Let the mixture sit on the stains for 24 to 48 hours.
This blend effectively absorbs countertop stains, helping you remove stains without the harsh chemicals used in oven cleaners.
Some homeowners also place plastic wrap over this mixture to help protect it and remove stains even more effectively. This method works on most kitchen countertops regardless of material.
DON’T USE OVEN CLEANERS ON YOUR STOVE TOP
Hopefully, this article has shown you that oven cleaner on countertops is not recommended.
While the harsh chemicals in oven cleaners are great for all the grease and grime found in your oven, the effect of oven cleaners on your countertops can be devastating and even ruin them entirely.
Obviously, we don’t want that.
Most of the time, soapy water and a little elbow grease will suffice. You should also try specially designed bumper cleaners and DIY stain removal solutions like the baking soda and white vinegar trick.
Regardless of how you clean your kitchen countertops in the future, we hope we’ve convinced you that using oven cleaners on these household surfaces is a VERY bad idea.