Protecting Your Kitchen Countertops: How to Safely Clean with Oven Cleaner

If you have spent a good amount of money on your kitchen, chances are you still take time to ensure it stays clean and well-maintained. 

Many may suggest reusing some of the cleaners for things in the kitchen, such as dishwashing soap, glass cleaner, or oven cleaner. However, is it a good idea? What does an oven cleaner do to kitchen countertops?

Oven cleaners may corrode, eat away, or damage the surface of your kitchen countertop. It is a very strong cleaner designed to remove gunk and baked-on food. As a result, you should not use oven cleaners to clean your kitchen countertop. Instead, use softer cleaners such as baking soda or dishwashing liquid.

This article discusses what oven cleaners do to kitchen countertops. Aside from that, we also discuss the best agents you can use to clean your kitchen countertops, regardless of what they are made from.

What Is An Oven Cleaner?

Oven cleaners are liquid-based cleaning agents to help you clean your oven. The formulation inside an oven cleaner is designed to remove tough, baked-on grease and grime in your oven. The chemicals inside an oven cleaner include sodium hydroxide, ethers, methylene chloride, and more.

An oven cleaner is a cleaning agent designed to help make cleaning your oven easier. It is commonly liquid and applied to your inner oven surface using a spray. You would normally follow up with some scrubbing to agitate the dirty grime before wiping the oven clean with a damp cloth.

Oven cleaners are formulated with strong chemicals. These highly alkaline chemicals may explain why oven cleaners may have a PH level of 13-14. Some of these chemicals include:

Sodium Hydroxide: You may know sodium hydroxide based on its more casual name, caustic soda. Its highly corrosive nature makes it an excellent choice for cutting through the toughest grime and stain. 

When mixed with water, it generates an exothermic reaction, which means heat is released, further helping it to take out tough grime and grease. Sodium hydroxide is a staple in many strong cleaning products, such as drain cleaners, pipe uncloggers, and oven cleaners. 

Methylene Chloride: Methylene chloride is also a popular chemical for use in cleaners, as it is known for its ability to cut into grease and oil. Aside from being used in oven cleaners, you may also see methylene chloride being used in pain strippers and degreasers.

You may be surprised by this, but methylene chloride is also used in removing caffeine from coffee. However, most coffee houses switched to using water instead, so you can spare yourself the worry about this. 

Ethers: Ethers are chemicals that typically function as solvents. Depending on the time, they may dissolve fats, waxes, or resins. Generally, you may see fat-melting ethers being used in oven cleaners. 

What Does Oven Cleaner Do To Kitchen Countertops?

Over cleaners are highly aggressive cleaners, which means they may either eat into or erode the finish of your countertop. Your countertop may lose its finish, become dull, and lose shape.

Oven cleaners are very aggressive cleaners designed to help you tackle the hardest of stains. As a result, they have strong chemicals and very high PH of 13-14. Oven cleaners are also commonly designed to be used on metallic surfaces, not others. 

As a result, this may mean that oven cleaners may be too aggressive to softer or non-metallic surfaces. Unfortunately, most countertop surfaces are either non-metallic or softer than metal. 

If applied on stone countertops, the oven cleaners may corrode away the stone surface, particularly if your cabinet is made of softer stones, such as sandstone or soapstones. On harder stones such as granite and marble, oven cleaners may take away their natural shine, leaving them dull.

Oven cleaners may do more harm if applied on laminated plastic or resin countertops. This is because oven cleaners may have solvents that can melt plastic or resin, meaning the oven cleaner may deform your countertop. 

As a result, it may be a bad idea to use oven cleaners to clean countertops. There are reasons why oven cleaners are given their name, which indicates that you should only clean your oven with them. 

What Are The Best Cleaners For Kitchen Countertops?

To clean kitchen countertops, you only need softer cleaners that can provide abrasive help but not too much that it erodes the finish of your countertop. Consider using baking soda, dishwashing liquid, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Different cleaners may work better with different countertop surfaces.

With kitchen countertops, it may be important to use cleaners that can provide adequate cleaning to help remove common stains. However, these cleaners should not be too strong to the point that they eat into your countertops. 

Fortunately, many common household cleaners are good enough to help you tackle common stains you may leave on your countertops:

Baking Soda

Baking soda works best with stone countertops like granite, quartz, or marble. It should also perform well with laminate countertops. Start by mixing baking soda and water until you form a paste. 

Spread the paste over the countertop, and allow it to sit for several minutes. Scrub a soft brush before wiping everything away with a damp microfiber cloth. If you do not have baking soda, you can replace it with hydrogen peroxide.

Dishwashing Liquid

Dishwashing liquid may work best with metal countertops, such as steel, aluminum, or chromium. Mix dishwashing liquid with warm water, and soak up some of the mixes with a soft brush. Lightly scrub the countertop surface before wiping everything away with a damp microfiber cloth.


Vinegar should work very well with wood countertops. Mix warm water with vinegar in a 7:3 ratio. Wet a cloth with the mixture, and use it to wipe the surface. 

If the stains are hard to remove, you can squeeze some lemon juice directly on the surface and add some salt. Allow the mixture to work for several minutes before wiping it away.

Final Thoughts