How to sanitize countertops

Countertops collect bacteria, old food, and germs after cooking or preparing meals. Keep countertops clean by sanitizing before and after each use:

1. Wipe countertops with alcohol or sanitizing wipes
2. Allow surfaces to air dry or dry them with a clean microfiber cloth

Method 1


Step 1: Spray surfaces
Spray a solution of isopropyl alcohol with a concentration of at least 70% on countertops.

Step 2: Wipe surfaces
Wipe countertops with a clean cloth (preferably microfiber if available).

Step 3: Dry surfaces
Dry countertops with a fresh, dry cloth (preferably microfiber if available).

Method 2

Sanitizing wipes

Step 1: Wipe surfaces
Thoroughly wipe countertops with a sanitizing wipe.

Step 2: Keep surfaces wet
If necessary, keep countertop surfaces wet by re-wiping them every 30 - 60 seconds. Check the directions on the wipe container to learn more.

Step 3: Let surfaces air dry
Allow countertops to air dry.

What chemicals can clean and sanitize countertops?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between cleaning and sanitizing. Cleaning removes germs and debris by washing with soap and water. Sanitizing reduces the amount of harmful bacteria and germs with chemicals.

Clean countertops by wiping with a damp cloth soaked in warm water and soap. If available, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe. Then, dry countertop surfaces with a fresh microfiber cloth.

Always clean countertops before and after each use. Never leave spills to sit on surfaces for longer periods of time. Spills not only stain countertops, but they can also sink into porous countertops.

After cleaning a countertop, sanitize it with a sanitizing wipe. Thoroughly wipe countertops with the wipe and allow to air dry before use.

How to clean granite countertops

Granite countertops require special care, whether they’re sealed or not. Always clean granite countertops with warm water and dish soap before sanitizing. Remember to clean surfaces before and after each use, too. Cleaning clears away excess debris and food particles, and helps remove germs and bacteria.

Thoroughly wipe granite countertops with a damped cloth and a few drops of dish soap. If the countertop is particularly dirty, switch out the cloth for a fresh one periodically to avoid spreading grease and dirt. Then, use a damp (but clean) cloth to wipe away soap residue. Dry the countertop with a fresh cloth to avoid water stains.

Avoid using abrasive or highly acidic cleansers to clean granite or stone countertops. Harsher chemicals can strip away the protective seal on countertops that prevent staining. Plus, abrasive chemicals can even etch the stone leaving unsightly streaks and marks.

How to sanitize laminate countertops

Clean laminate countertops by wiping with a damp cloth and drops of dish soap. Try to clean countertops before sanitizing. After wiping with soapy water, wipe again with a wet, clean cloth to remove any leftover soap residue.

Thoroughly dry the laminate countertops with a fresh, dry cloth. Then, wipe each surface with a sanitizing wipe. Allow laminate countertops to air dry, or wipe dry with a clean cloth. Remember to clean and sanitize before and after each use.

Avoid using sponges (especially dirty sponges) to clean countertops. Dirty sponges collect bacteria, germs, and leftover food particles. Using a dirty sponge spreads bacteria and stains certain types of countertops.

Countertop cleaning and sanitizing do’s and don’ts

Use this quick reference guide to help keep countertops as germ-free as possible.

Countertop do’s:

1. DO use sanitizing wipes to sanitize
2. DO use warm water and soap to clean
3. DO use clean and dry microfiber cloths
4. DO dry surfaces with fresh cloths after cleaning
5. DO allow surfaces to air dry after sanitizing

Countertop don’ts:

1. DO NOT use rubbing alcohol with less than 70% concentration
2. DO NOT let spills sit on countertops for too long
3. DO NOT forget to clean and sanitize countertops BEFORE each use
4. DO NOT forget to clean and sanitize countertops AFTER each use
5. DO NOT use dirty cloths to clean or sanitize countertops

Summary: How to sanitize countertops

1. Clean countertops with soap and water
2. Dry countertops with fresh microfiber cloths
3. Wipe countertop surfaces with sanitizing wipes
4. Allow sanitized countertops to air dry
5. Clean and sanitize countertops before and after each use