When choosing countertops for your kitchen, one of the most pressing concerns is how easy it will be to maintain your countertops to make them last. With so many countertop materials, it can take time to determine what material will look and function the best in your unique space. Perhaps the most important quality is simple day-to-day care that does not require extensive treatments or elaborate cleaning.
Stainless steel is one of the best options for those looking for a low-maintenance, long-lasting option due to its durable and non-absorbant material. If cared for properly, stainless steel countertops can last a lifetime, making them an optimal choice for commercial and residential kitchens. More importantly, stainless steel countertops do not require extensive cleaning after use, as wiping up spills and messes with a damp cloth is all that is generally needed.
As you consider stainless steel as an option for your countertops, you might wonder: are stainless steel countertops stain-resistant? Does stainless steel absorb germs and odors? Are stainless steel countertops heat-resistant? Does stainless steel rust? How can you care for your stainless steel counters? What are the different types of finishes for stainless steel?
Are Stainless Steel Countertops Stain-Resistant?
One of the main reasons stainless steel countertops are easy to maintain is their stain-resistant surface. You can spill almost anything on stainless steel and it will not stain.
Plus, the smooth non-porous surface makes it much simpler to wipe up without worrying about irregular surfaces where food residue could remain.
Does Stainless Steel Absorb Germs or Odors?
Unlike concrete countertops or butcher block, stainless steel has a non-porous surface that does not absorb liquids, germs, or odors, making it simple to wipe up and maintain a hygienic surface.
This is ideal for kitchen countertops where messes and spills are commonplace and a significant benefit for homeowners considering using stainless steel for their countertop surfaces.
Are Stainless Steel Countertops Heat-Resistant?
Like soapstone and quartz countertops, stainless steel as a kitchen countertop material is, in fact, heat-resistant, so you can place hot pots and pans on your counters without fear of damaging the surface.
Stainless steel can withstand up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. However, prolonged exposure to high heat can lead to discoloration, so minimizing how long you leave hot cookware on your cooking space is essential to maintaining a stainless steel countertop.
Does Stainless Steel Rust?
Unlike other metals, stainless steel is rust-resistant. Stainless steel contains chromium and nickel, which creates its rust-resistant characteristics.
While prolonged contact with strong acids or bleach can lead to corrosion or discoloration, simply avoid this problem by wiping up spills immediately and avoid exposing your countertops to corrosives or prolonged heat.
How Can You Care for Your Stainless Steel Counters?
To clean stainless steel countertops, use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the surface along the grain of the metal to remove fingerprints, smudges, and water spots. When using glass cleaner or other cleaning products, wiping away the solution is essential to avoid water spots or streaks.
Avoid slamming or dragging cookware on your countertops to prevent scratches and dents. Stainless steel countertops fabricated with a minimum of 16 gauge material will help avoid denting the surface with a heavy object.
For scratches and abrasions, use the rough side of a sponge or a Scotch-Brite pad and brush in the direction of the grain to blend them out. Considered a benefit, as light scratches accumulate over time, the surface will leave behind a soft patina, that offers an appealing aesthetic for any kitchen design.
What Are the Different Types of Finishes for Stainless Steel?
There are several types of finishes for stainless steel, each offering unique benefits; for the most part, caring for your countertops is the same for each finish, though some types may require unique care.
A brushed finish is one of the most common finishes for stainless steel sinks and stainless steel countertops. This finish provides a reflective and polished look that is sleek and compliments stainless steel appliances well.
Antique matte is less reflective than a brushed finish and is ideal for a more subdued or traditional design. This finish blends in scratches and helps hide finger prints.
Stainless steel countertops are not difficult to maintain as they are stain-resistant, heat-resistant and rust-resistant and do not absorb germs and odors.
Stainless steel counters can easily be cleaned with a dampened microfiber cloth or mild cleaning solution.Different finishes offer unique benefits like ease of care and damage prevention. Normal scratches and abrasions can be blended in or left to create a natural patina.
Overall, caring for your stainless steel countertops simplifies your day-to-day clean up tasks while maintaining the peace of mind that your countertops will last a life time.