Bamboo countertops are a favorite among homeowners who are eco-conscious because of their earthly beauty and freshness. If they are made of high quality bamboo and built according to strict specifications, they can be put to heavy-duty use, such as that of kitchen countertops.
Since they are basically made of materials that can absorb liquid and dirt, it is important that you take good care of them to keep them always looking shiny and fresh. In this regard, it will be to your advantage if you will get the best quality of bamboo that you can afford. Bamboo is quite delicate but if your bamboo is of high quality, it can withstand any reasonable amount of stress you can give it.
With that said, let us consider some essential things that you need to keep in mind when cleaning a bamboo countertop.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning A Bamboo Countertop
• Harsh Detergents and chemicals – they will damage the sealing and lamination of the countertop surface.
• Abrasive Materials – they can cause ugly scratches on the countertop surface.
• Don’t use excessive force when wiping dirt and stains – small grits can be included in the dirt and stains which can be forced and dragged into the countertop surface. This will create unsightly scratches.
Safe Materials You Can Use For Cleaning:
• Organic, biodegradable wood cleaners and mild detergents
• Scrubbing sponge that are non-abrasive
• Soft and non-abrasive cloth
• Household Ammonia
• Homemade alternative bamboo surface cleaner: ¼ cup of white vinegar mixed with one quart of water.
• Get into the habit of wiping off spills and cleaning dirt once you see them on the countertop surface. This will prevent them from seeping into the bamboo surface. Use a soft, non-abrasive dry cloth for wiping and drying.
• For daily cleaning, only use organic or biodegradable wood cleaners that don’t have harsh chemicals.
• System of cleaning: Don’t tackle the whole countertop surface at once, but work on a small area, dry it, and then proceed to another area until the whole countertop surface is cleaned and dried.
Cleaning Dirt and Stains
If any type of liquid and dirt is allowed to get in contact with the bamboo countertop, it will cause the deterioration of the seal and lamination of the surface. In time, the surface will lose its shine and become rough. Cleaning the surface is therefore very important in maintaining its shine and freshness. Following is a method you can use in removing stains or dirt in your bamboo countertops.
• Get some lukewarm water and pour it into a small bucket.
• Put a small amount of salt into a dish.
• Get a non-abrasive cloth to be used for wiping.
• Steps in cleaning:
1. Sprinkle a small amount of salt sufficient to cover the stained area.
2. Dip the non-abrasive cloth into the bucket filled with warm water and squeeze it dry.
3. Rub the cloth over the area covered with salt in a gentle manner so as not to cause scratches on the surface.
4. At this point, the stain will be lifted if you’re successful.
5. If not, make a stronger solution by mixing 3 teaspoons of household ammonia and 3 teaspoons of salt and dissolve them in 1 quart of water.
6. Rub this solution as in step 3.
7. If you are successful in removing the stains, wipe the cleaned area using a clean and soft non-abrasive cloth until the area is dried, or you can leave it to dry by itself.
8. When fully dried, polish the cleaned area to restore its shine.
Ways You Can Preserve The Finish Of Your Bamboo Countertop
• Don’t let UV rays fall onto the bamboo countertop surface for long periods of time. This will cause deterioration in its surface finish. Use window blinds or any appropriate cover to protect the countertop surface.
• Don’t let hot water come in direct contact with the surface. This will destroy the seal and the laminate of the countertop.
• Always use trivets and hot pads when you are putting hot pots and pans over the countertop surface. Don’t ever let them get direct contact with the bamboo surface.
• It is a good practice to oil the countertop surface once in a while to protect the seal and the laminate. Use organic oil, not chemically based oil.
• Once a year or at least once every two years, schedule a resealing and re-laminating of the countertop surface. This will go a long way in preserving the freshness and shine of the countertop surface.