Why Does a Kitchen Countertop Get Moldy? (Mold Facts)

Suppose you have spent a pretty hefty sum of money to design, remodel and rebuild your kitchen. However, several months into using it, you notice mold on the countertop. This may make you unhappy and want to replace the countertop altogether.

However, rather than going nuclear by replacing the countertop, it may be a good idea to think about why it gets moldy in the first place? Why does a kitchen countertop get moldy?

A kitchen countertop can get moldy due to high humidity and poor air ventilation in the kitchen. Mold loves this type of environment and so can grow well. Some countertops have natural holes and crevices in them, which may also trap moisture and make it easy for mold to grow. 

This article explores the reason why your kitchen countertop can get moldy. After that, it describes the step-by-step process you can take to remove mold from your countertop.

Why Does A Kitchen Countertop Get Moldy?

A kitchen countertop may get moldy due to exposure to excess moisture and poor humidity. Some countertops also have small holes and uneven surfaces that further encourage mold growth. These molds can be removed using vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

In many cases, kitchen countertops get moldy due to exposure to excess humidity, lack of ventilation, and lack of cleaning. At times the surface of the countertop may also encourage mold growth.

Excess Humidity

Mold thrives in humid places. When you think about it, the kitchen is probably one of the most humid areas in the house. 

You do a lot of washing, with water splashing around occasionally. On top of that, you release hot, humid air from the oven and stove while cooking. We haven’t even discussed the hot, humid air your dishwasher and tumble dryer may release while operating. 

If not managed well with proper ventilation, this humidity may contribute to your mold problem. You may see mold on the cabinet, wall, backsplash, or even on your countertop. In fact, your kitchen countertop may be more likely to catch mold if you live in a warmer climate.

Lack of Ventilation

Humidity is common in kitchens. However, why do only some kitchens have mold problems? The key may lay in ventilation. A well-ventilated kitchen is less likely to have mold issues. 

Suppose your countertop or other parts of your kitchen are showing mold. In that case, this means you may have excessive moisture with poor ventilation. As the moisture is produced, it stays and lingers in the air, encouraging mold growth.

Perhaps you may need to see how to increase air circulation in your kitchen, such as installing windows, fans, or ventilators. They should help extract and remove the hot and humid air from your kitchen. 

Lack of Cleaning

Another major reason kitchen countertops can get moldy is a lack of cleaning. During cleaning and food preparation, we may leave food and liquid spills. If not cleaned up immediately, they can become a food source for mold to grow. 

Other sources of mold growth may be sponges and dishcloths. They may provide food and humidity for mold growth if you do not replace or wash them frequently enough. 

Surface Of The Countertop

In some countertops, they may not be completely smooth. For example, some natural stone countertops, such as marble or granite, may have small holes and crevices. These are natural and are seen as ‘imperfections’ to be appreciated. 

Some softer countertops, such as wood, may also develop holes and pits over time, usually from impact from heavy, sharp objects.

These small pits and uneven surfaces may trap moisture over time and become a place where mold can grow. This is because, during regular cleaning, your dishcloth may not be able to reach into these pits and crevices to clean them.

How To Remove Mold From Kitchen Countertops?

You can remove mold from kitchen countertops such as granite or marble with white vinegar. Spray an equal mixture of water and white vinegar on the countertop, and leave for up to 15 minutes. Scrub with a soft brush, and wipe down with a damp cloth. Dry the surface and inspect the results.

Removing mold from stone countertops is not rocket science. They can be done safely and easily with your humble white vinegar. The following cleaning steps should work well on stone- or wood-based countertops.

  1. Start by preparing the cleaning solution. Mix equal portions of warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. 
  2. If you prefer a more tailor-made solution, pick up a mold and mildew cleaner bottle to replace the vinegar-water mix.
  3. Look around your countertop. If there are other surfaces nearby that may react to the vinegar, cover them up with time tape and cloth. 
  4. Now start by applying the cleaning solution. Spray the moldy area with the cleaning solution. Apply generously. 
  5. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for up to 15 minutes.
  6. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the moldy area. A soft brush is usually enough, as hard ones may damage the surface.
  7. When scrubbing, use a circular motion. This ensures your scrub bristles can cover and clean up smaller pits and crevices well. 
  8. It may also be good to scrub slowly to ensure the scrub bristles have time to reach into the pits and crevices as well.
  9. Once you finish scrubbing, wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove vinegar and mold stains. 
  10. Observe the surface for any remaining mold. Repeat steps 4 to 7 until all mold is removed. 
  11. Wipe dry with another piece of cloth. Enjoy your mold-free countertop!

One thing about using vinegar to remove mold on countertops is the smell. If you are the type that cannot handle the strong smell of vinegar, consider wearing a breathing mask to avoid breathing too much vinegar in. 

You can also use other cleaners that may work well with molds, such as hydrogen peroxide or bleach. However, these stronger cleaners may not be suitable for your countertop. 

Consider checking with your countertop maker to see the most suitable agents to clean mold from them. This ensures you do not damage your countertop.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to maintain proper air ventilation in your kitchen to prevent mold growth on your kitchen countertop.

You can also take steps to minimize moisture accumulation by wiping down your countertop regularly and ensuring that it’s properly sealed.

If you notice mold growth on your countertop, it’s important to address the problem promptly to prevent it from spreading and potentially causing health issues.