Do you know what happens when you spill a bottle of nail polish remover over an espresso stained coffee table? The nail polish remover completely strips away the espresso finish in seconds. That’s what happens. I learned this tidbit of information from making the grave mistake of doing my nails on top of my coffee table. One clumsy move later and viola! My coffee table looked like this.
Certain chemicals found in household products should never be used on stained finish products like kitchen countertops and wooden furniture. Here are five chemicals to avoid using when cleaning countertops.
- Acetone – Acetone is an industrial solvent used to remove paint, stain, varnish and shellac. This is the chemical solvent found in nail polish. It is designed to remove fingernail paint and can remove other finishes too. Unless you want your furniture to look like mine, never do your nails over any stained surfaces.
- Ammonia – Ammonia while good to use as a disinfectant on tiled surfaces is not good to use on quartz countertops. Ammonia has high Alkaline which causes it to corrode the finish.
- Bleach – Chlorine bleach is a very strong disinfectant but it can also corrode the finish. While some recommend it ok to use sparingly on countertops to disinfect, it must be wiped down with water after applying. Bleach if left to sit on a surface will stain.
- Concentrated acids – Concentrated acids such as hydrocyanic acid, hydrofluoric acid, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, and nitric acid all need to be avoided as well. These acids corrode surfaces and leave damage.
- Oil soap – Most soap are made with animal oils leftover from the animal fat. These fatty acids if left to sit overnight on your countertop may leave cloudy white stain botches on the counter surface.
There are some alternative solutions that can be used for cleaning countertops and other hard surfaces. Disinfectants that contain chlorine dioxide do not corrode and require no water rinse after being applied. Similar to chlorine bleach, this chemical compound is a strong disinfectant cleaner, but is not as toxic as bleach. Chlorine dioxide cleaners can be used on quartz countertops and painted wood surfaces. However, this chemical compound should not be used on granite countertops as granite is a very porous stone. A better chemical to use on granite countertops is Hydrogen Peroxide (30% -40% by volume). Hydrogen Peroxide works well in removing organic stains like coffee, tea and mustard.