When it comes to choosing countertops for your Hill Country luxury home, you have plenty of options. There are natural stone surfaces, such as marble, granite, soapstone, or slate that are very popular because of their natural beauty and unique patterns. There are also natural wood surfaces that are favored by some because of their versatility and warmth. Here’s a post that compares the features and benefits of various countertop materials.
Stainless steel counters (and sinks) however are another popular choice for current homes. One reason they are popular is that they lend a sort of hip, industrial-chic look to a kitchen. But homeowners also choose these countertops because of their durability and low maintenance.
There is a difference, however, between “low-maintenance” and “no-maintenance.” And while stainless steel is easy to take care of (and a lot less prone to damage than some of the other options), you’ll still want to give it a little bit of attention. Here’s a look at some simple steps that will keep the stainless steel in your Hill Country kitchen spotless.
- Begin With the Basics. One of the best ways to protect your stainless steel countertops is to simply keep them clean. You will, however, have to resist the temptation to clean with conventional abrasive cleaners. That can actually damage and dull your sink and or countertops. Instead, just use a couple of drops of dish soap and some warm water. A dish soap that’s really good at cutting grease is great. That keeps dirt and dust from sticking to the surfaces. You can just use a regular dish rage or a micro-fiber material. That will prevent scratching as well.
- Get Anti-oxidants For Your Kitchen. We’re really not suggesting that you put your kitchen on a diet. The fact is that even stainless steel can oxidize over time. It may not actually look like rust, but it can build up as a film on the surface. A little bit of pumice powder mixed with water into a pasty consistency can be applied to the surface (with the grain of the stainless) and then rinsed off with warm water. You may not even notice that the surface has become oxidized, but one look at the black cloth in your hand will show you what’s been accumulating on your counters.
- Think Beyond the Sink. When it comes to cleaning surfaces in the kitchen, it’s easy to focus on the sink and on the counters. It’s likely, however, that you will have other stainless steel surfaces in your kitchen. You may have stainless steel appliances or hardware on your cabinets. Human hands tend to have natural oils in them that are easily transferred to handles. And let’s face it, when we’re making something in the kitchen we don’t always have the ability to wipe or wash our hands when opening a drawer or a door. Luckily, it’s not that hard to keep these surfaces clean. Just use a microfiber cloth to wipe things down regularly (once a week really should suffice). There’s no need for chemicals or cleaners. Another surface to think about is the stainless steel hood over your stove. The combination of cooking grease, moisture, and dust can create an unattractive film on the surface. Wipe it down weekly. A weak mixture of dish soap and warm water is fine. Then rinse out the cloth and run it over the surface again to pick up any soap residue.
If you’re looking for additional ideas for the kitchen in your new Hill Country home, check out this article that looks beyond countertops when planning essentials for a great custom kitchen.