Holiday Cleaning Guide - Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is almost here and it will likely soon look like a warzone in your kitchen so let's go through some basic triage to help you and your countertops survive the day.

The Main Stain Culprits:

Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce on black marble

This sweet and tangy holiday classic will surely find its way onto your table this Thanksgiving. Whether it's from a can or from scratch there might be a risk of the heavily red pigmented sauce reaching your countertops. If that happens and you see it and wipe it up quickly before a stain can even set in, phew the crisis has been adverted. However if you didn't spot it the moment it happened and the stain has had a chance to sit for a while here are some tips to help save your countertops.

First you need to know your stone, our your countertops quartz/engineered stone or do you have natural stone?

Quartz- Quartz countertops are usually pretty stain-resistant however sometimes something as strong as an acidic red liquid like Cranberry Sauce might leave a pale pink mark if left to sit for long enough. If that happens reach for a non-abrasive cloth or sponge and a very gentle cleaning solution such as dish soap, or glass cleaner as long as it does not contain vinegar or ammonia. Don't try adding anything like baking soda or Bar Keepers Friend, those are your enemies if you don't want to damage your countertops further.

Marble/Natural Stone- The Natural Stone Institute recommends cleaning with 12% hydrogen peroxide (hair bleaching strength) and a few drops of ammonia if the stain persists after trying to clean with soap/water or a gentler stone cleaner.

The stone cleaner we would recommend is Granite Gold

Granite Gold is great company not only for their dependable products but because they actually donate part of their proceeds to Folds of Honors, a charity that provides scholarships for family of fallen or injured veterans and first responders.

Gravy & Grease Stains

Gravy boat on quartz

For more fatty or oil based stains try using Acetone (your basic nail polish remover) that should work on both engineered and natural stone surfaces. We recommend testing it on a usually covered part of your countertops first (such as under the toaster or fruit bowl etc.) just to make sure there is nothing added to the acetone you are using that might make the stain worse. If you are nervous about using straight acetone try mixing it with dawn dish soap to draw out any grease.

Red Wine/Dark Liquor

Couple of glasses of wine and a cheese plate

Try as you might we know there is always that one relative who still doesn't understand the purpose of a coaster. If you notice a ring on your island after the thanksgiving mayhem is over here are some tips to try before excommunicating said relative. If you have light countertops a Mr. Clean Eraser is always a great product to have on hand for such emergencies. If the last thing you want is to run the store you can also try making your own diluted bleach solution to tackle the stain (8 parts water : 1part bleach) but again test a bit of the solution on a usually covered part of your countertops first before using it on the stain.

For darker countertops try using warm water and baking soda before using any bleach.

Warning Never mix bleach and ammonia together!

What to do after removing the stain?

*You will want to reseal your countertops, bleach even extremally diluted bleach can dull stone surfaces so to get that shine back pick up some *Miracle Sealant, here is a link to one we recommend.

If unfortunately nothing has worked for your stain you will want to contact a stone or restoration specialist we recommend reaching out to they have a large network of professionals across the US and will help you find someone in your area.

Resources for further information:

  1. Stains, Be Gone: How to Remove 6 Common Countertop Stains
  2. The Natural Stone Institute Care Guide
  3. 3 Products to Never Use on Granite and What You Should Use Instead