Stainless Steel Countertops - A Popular Choice
Properties and care
Stainless steel is a very popular modern material for kitchen countertops because of its cool and sleek feel. Stainless steel is commonly associated with commercial catering organizations and restaurants – where cleanliness and a shiny appearance is very important. For the same reasons, stainless steel has become very popular in the home for providing this professional “restaurant kitchen” look. Another advantage of stainless steel countertops is that they reflect a great deal of light. This can be a boon to brighten up dark kitchens, but is also good for reflecting the color scheme of your kitchen off your countertops.
The great thing about stainless steel is that you can place hot objects like frying pans directly on the countertop without fear of damaging it. This means no need to fuss over trivets or heat pads in the middle of a hectic family meal preparation. And – true to its name – stainless steel will never stain, as many other natural surfaces are prone to do. It’s also very easy to clean with a damp cloth and never needs any special waxes or sealants for the lifetime of the surface. Stainless steel is also the only countertop surface that can be safely bleached – which means it can be made cleaner than almost all other surfaces.
There are a few disadvantages of stainless steel countertops. One is that they are notorious for showing fingerprints – so if you have children they might not be the best choice. Another disadvantage is that they can make knives blunt quite quickly and will show scratches from both knives and abrasive objects. Thankfully, newer brushed or textured stainless steel countertop finishes are excellent at disguising scratches. The final issue some people have with stainless steel surfaces is that they can be noisy if not properly constructed with a solid backing material like plywood.
Caring for Your Stainless Steel Surfaces
Use only mild detergents and surface cleaners – or try a home concoction of baking soda or vinegar and water. Avoid any cleaning agent containing chlorine. Glass cleaner actually works very well!
Some food stuffs if left on the steel for long periods will lead to staining. Popular ones include ketchup, mayo, mustard, vinegar (includes salad dressings) and even salt!
When you are polishing the countertop – scrub with the “polish lines”, not across them.