Food prep areas should be lightly cleaned after each use. Nearly all countertops do best when wiped down with a spray made of warm water and a mild liquid dish detergent. Be sure to leave the counter dry, since moist surfaces encourage bacteria growth.
It's important to use nonabrasive cleaners and sponges on all countertops; microfiber towels are a good choice, since they're able to grab food and dirt better than most other materials. Wood, concrete, natural stone, and engineered quartz countertops can all be sufficiently cleaned with the soap-and-water spray mentioned above. Avoid using vinegar on wood countertops, since it's powerful enough to dissolve the glue that holds the wood together. Concrete countertops should never be cleaned with bleach or ammonia since they may damage the sealant and dull the finish. Glass countertops should be cleaned with a nonabrasive glass cleaner.
Natural stone: Homeowners with natural-stone countertops like white Carrara marble or granite must be particularly careful with stains and spills since the stone can be porous. Immediately wipe up spills with a microfiber cloth to avoid staining or etching. For cleaning, use a wet sponge to wipe down the counter with a mild soap-and-water mixture, and dry with a towel (too much soap in the solution will cause streaking). Don't use ammonia or anything acidic on natural stone since it can dull the surface and leave lasting stains. If you prefer an all-purpose cleaner, consult with a natural stone retailer on what's best for your surface.
Good to Know
Most natural stone, concrete, and wood countertops need to be resealed every one to two years to keep them looking shiny and new. How to know when it's time to reseal? Sprinkle some water on your granite countertop. If the water beads up, your countertops are in good shape. If not, it's time to reseal them.