How You Could Be Destroying Your Countertops Without Even Realizing It

Kitchen countertops take a beating. Day in and day out they withstand spills (page 5), appliances (page 4), and much more. While countertops made of seemingly solid materials such as wood, granite, marble, tile, seem extremely strong, everyday activities can cause them serious damage. Keep reading to learn how you may be destroying your countertops.

Not using a cutting board

Wooden cutting board

Cutting board | Didecs/iStock/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: There’s a big debate surrounding wood and plastic cutting boards.

“Fine scratches can disrupt the waterproof sealant on most countertops, making them more susceptible to damage down the road,” according to Bob Vila. For those with a butcher block countertop, foregoing a cutting board may be unwise because the finish of the wood becomes damaged over time. However, some people do choose to use knives directly on their butcher block counters.

Hint: Everyone is probably guilty of doing this.

Putting your keys on the counter

Kitchen counter with car keys

Keys | cj2a/iStock/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: Car keys are the most common item people lose, according to the Daily News.

Countertops are prone to scratches, which is why setting your keys on the counter is a bad idea. Don’t put handbags on counters either because they have bag feet — the metal dots on the bottom — that can scratch a countertop.

Hint: How groceries can ruin a countertop.

Leaving frozen food on the counter

Frozen food in the freezer

Frozen food |

  • Fun fact: More than half of American households have frozen potatoes in their freezers, according to Prepared Foods.

Setting a bag of frozen food on the counter, even when unpacking groceries, isn’t a good idea. As with spills (page 5), the moisture from the frozen food can cause damage to countertops, according to Angie’s List. After unpacking groceries, wipe down countertops to prevent stains.

Hint: How your coffee maker could be destroying your counter.

Hot appliances

Coffee maker

Coffee maker | John_Kasawa/iStock/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: Theodore Roosevelt supposedly coined Maxwell House’s phrase, ‘good to the last drop,’ according to Maxwell House ads.

“Temperature changes can cause some materials to crack,” according to Bob Vila. When in doubt, create a barrier between the appliance and the counter with a dish towel, cutting board, or a plate. The same goes for hair straighteners or curling irons in bathrooms.

Hint: Why you should always use a coaster.

Not cleaning up spills

Ice cubes falling dark liquor filled glass and splashing onto counter top

Spilled drink | frazaz/iStock/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: Billions of gallons of liquid refreshments not including alcohol are sold in the U.S., according to Yahoo.

Spills are especially troublesome for granite, marble, and butcher block counters. Why? Because spills can penetrate the surface, according to the DIY Network. Clean up spills immediately and always use coasters. Leaving a spill can cause stains.

Hint: Think twice before doing this to your countertops.

Excessive weight


Microwave | Vudhikul Ocharoen/iStock/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: Microwaves can weigh up to 70 pounds, according to Hunker.

“Placing heavy objects near unsupported edges or joints can cause cracks, ruptures, and fractures,” according to Bob Vila. Standing on a countertop to reach the top shelf of a cabinet isn’t a good idea. Neither is putting a heavy microwave on your counter.

Hint: Don’t use well-known cleaning agent on all counters.

Using the wrong cleaning supplies

House cleaning product variety

Cleaning supplies | Tatomm/iStock/Getty Images

Using incorrect cleaning products can wreak havoc on the life of a countertop. Don’t use vinegar on granite or marble surfaces because, over time, the surface will be dulled, according to the DIY network. However, vinegar is a great cleaning solution for butcher block countertops.

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Read more: How You Could Be Destroying Your Hardwood Floors Without Even Realizing It