What is the Effect of Oven Cleaner on Kitchen Countertops

The kitchen counter can be the most important part of your kitchen as it is the place where you prepare all your favorite dishes. People love to keep their countertops beautiful and clean but this is the place that becomes the dirtiest after cooking.

If you want to keep your kitchen countertops beautiful then you will have to keep them clean. If you ever thought that using an oven cleaner will be a good thing then let me tell you that you are wrong. An oven cleaner shouldn’t be used for cleaning a countertop as it can damage it.

It has many chemicals that aren’t good for your countertops. If you are using an oven cleaner to clean your countertop then you aren’t cleaning it, you are just corroding it. These chemicals are so harsh that they can worsen the stains on your countertop and this will make your beautiful place worse and it won’t even remove any dirt or stains in the first place.

Today we will look at the possible effects of oven cleaners on your kitchen countertop. We will also see why an oven cleaner damages kitchen countertops. Along with that, we will also see the risks to health after using oven cleaners and the best ways in which you can clean your kitchen countertops. This article is going to help you in every aspect so keep reading.

What are the effects of oven cleaners on kitchen countertops?

Oven cleaners are not good for your countertops as they contain harmful chemicals that can damage the appearance of the countertop and it will worsen the stains instead of cleaning them.

An oven cleaner is capable of melting away the protective finishes of your countertop very easily and then entering inside to damage the appearance. It will weaken the structure and your countertop will become more prone to food contamination. Trust me when I say that of all the cleaning agents present inside your kitchen the last thing to be thought of is an oven cleaner as they are the worst and you cannot use them for cleaning countertops.

They also possess health risks as they can cause quick irritation to your skin if you make contact and it can lead to long-term risks as well. Some of the chemicals present in them are also found in gas and antifreeze and one would never want to get their food in contact with such things. If you are using an oven cleaner to clean your countertop then you are directly letting your food come in contact with it.

Why does oven cleaner damage kitchen countertops?

Kitchen cleaners consist of Lye and alcohol. These are substances that can be dangerous for your countertops and health as well. Lye is a corrosive that breaks down other substances when it comes into contact.

Alcohol on the other hand liquifies, varnishes and finishes.


Lye which is sodium hydroxide is the most common ingredient that is present inside oven cleaners. It is also used for the process of decomposition of animal carcasses. This simply indicates how powerful it is.

Lye can be used for removing paint and therefore one should never use it on countertops that are painted and sealed. This includes:

  • Wood is porous and therefore all wooden countertops are covered or protected using a thin layer that helps in making the wooden countertop shiny, water-resistant, and helps to keep bacteria away. If you use lye on this then it will remove the finish and this will make the surface sticky. Even if the surface gets hardened again, it will still have stains that will damage the look. The holes in the finish will increase bacteria and food contamination.
  • If you have got a natural stone countertop constructed using granite or marble then they are stronger compared to wooden countertops. They are capable of handling harsh chemicals and cleansers. However, they can only be good enough for some time. Even stones are porous and therefore every countertop made of stone is sealed using polyurethane that makes sure that water absorption and bacterias stay away. If you use lye on and on then the protective seal will break down and this will cause spotting and color removal.
  • If you have a tile countertop then lye is capable of breaking down the top glaze. It will also damage and weaken the grout and therefore one shouldn’t use lye on the tile countertop.
  • If you have a countertop made of aluminum and steel then you should know that lye reacts to aluminum and steel. It will cause discoloration. Not only this, it is capable of releasing flammable gases and these gases will irritate your eyes and skin. They can cause a fire threat. Make sure that you do not use lye on metal countertops.
  • Formica Countertops are constructed of melamine resin bonded thermally and then painted or laminated to simulate the appearance of wood or stone. The lye damages the finish, leaves the material permanently discolored and weakens, and is more likely to chip.


Oven cleaners also contain alcohol and they can be either ethanol or MEA. These are substances that are strong and powerful.

They can cause permanent discoloration and damage countertops that are made of materials like vinyl, Formica, Corian. They aren’t as strong to damage countertops made using stone and tile however, it can make them dull the wooden countertops.

Possible health risks of using oven cleaners

There are different ways in which chemical compounds that are present in oven cleaners can be a risk for your health.

  • There are corrosive substances present in oven cleaners that can cause chemical burns and in the diluted form, it can also cause rashes and skin problems.
  • Volatile organic compounds known as VOCs are capable of releasing toxic fumes into the air. If you inhale them then it can cause headaches, dizziness, and asthma attacks due to difficulty breathing.
  • There are poisonous and toxic substances that are present and they are dangerous and fatal sometimes if you ingest them. When you use oven cleaners, they can stay on countertops and absorbed by porous materials like wood and stone.
  • Carcinogens can cause high cancer links.

How to fix the stains that oven cleaners left on your kitchen countertops?

Here are some of the things you can try out to remove the stains left by oven cleaners.

Apply vinegar

If you have used oven cleaner to clean your countertop or you accidentally spilled it on the countertop then you might see some stains and if you are thinking about how to fix this then you can make use of vinegar.

Vinegar will help you to remove the stains as it is an acid that will neutralize the lye and also slow down its power to damage the countertop.

Use baking soda and water

If you are having a countertop made using natural stones like marble and granite and if you spilled oven cleaner on it then a mixture of baking soda and water will be helpful.

You can use baking soda along with water to remove the stains on marble and granite made by oven cleaners. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that while using baking soda you don’t have to scrub you can instead try patting it on the area that got affected due to oven cleaners. This is because baking soda is abrasive. After patting the area you need to cover it with plastic and leave it for a few days.

Before carrying out this technique you need to make sure that the baking soda isn’t affecting the color and finishing of the marble or granite. For this, you can try out an experiment on some other place that is small and hidden and see if there are any effects of baking soda on marble and granite.

A mixture of baking soda and dishwashing soap

If you have a countertop that is made using steel then you can try out this technique. A mixture of baking soda and dishwashing soap will help you to remove the little stains caused by oven cleaners on your steel countertop.

To remove the same unit to the mixture on the affected area using a small cloth. Try using a soft cloth so that you do not scratch the surface.

Buff in beeswax

If you have a countertop made using wood and laminate at your place then you can try buff in beeswax.

Buff in beeswax will help you to restore the shine and will also leave a protective layer on your wooden countertop.

All these methods are effective but they are only good enough for small stains. They can help you to minimize the stains left by oven cleaners on your countertop. However, if the stains caused by the oven cleaners are too deep then they won’t be able to fix it. You need to refinish your countertop in such situations to get the appearance and protective layer back.

Best ways to clean your kitchen countertops

If you want to remove stubborn stains and grease from ovens then an oven cleaner is the best thing to use but they are only meant for ovens. For kitchen countertops, you cannot use an oven cleaner.

The chemicals present in the oven cleaner are strong that can easily damage your countertop therefore you should try out some other ways that are safe to use for cleaning your countertop. We will look at the different types of countertops and how you can clean them.

Wooden countertops

If you have a wooden countertop then you should only use a non-abrasive cleaner and if you don’t have one then you can make one on your own. You can mix warm water with white vinegar for that.

Make use of a spatula to scrape hard and sticky residue present on the counter. After you are done cleaning your counters make sure to wipe them dry completely so that you don’t get water stains later. In case you notice discoloration you can take a lemon and cut it into half to rub it with salt on the affected area and then wipe this down using water and vinegar.

If you want your kitchen countertops made of wooden to be strong then you can try applying oil and wax regularly. This will strengthen the protective seals and prevent any kind of damages.

Stone, marble, and granite countertops

A countertop that is made using natural stone is always going to be stronger and durable than others. The best thing about these countertops is that they are very easy to clean.

All you are going to need is soap, water, and a microfiber cloth. You should know that you cannot use abrasive or acidic cleaning products and other materials that are sharp that can damage and scratch the stone. You should not use vinegar on such surfaces because it can easily dull the finish. If you want to keep your stone countertops in a good condition then you should reseal them at least once a year.

Quartz countertops

Quartz countertops are good with scratches and stains and they can easily resist them. Here, you need to be careful about damaging the resin.

You can easily clean it using water and soap but if you are thinking of using strong chemicals then you should ensure that they have balanced pH levels.

Laminate countertops

Laminates are the best kind of countertops when it comes to cleaning as they do not require any chemicals. You can simply clean them using water, any liquid, and some detergents.

You should not use any cleansers that are high in acids because they will cause discoloration.

Steel countertops

If you have a steel countertop then you can simply clean them using water and soap. If you are going to use cleansers then get the ones that are specially made for cleaning steels.

Best cleaning products for kitchen countertops

I have mentioned some of the best products that you can use for cleaning your kitchen countertops.

Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

This is a very useful product you can buy for cleaning your countertop. It is made using natural ingredients so you won’t have to worry about any damages to your countertop.

It is also good for your health and has no effects. This product is environmental-friendly, cruelty-free, and you also get many pleasant smells.

Click here to buy


Better Life All-purpose cleaners

This is a plant-based all-purpose cleaner and it is good to use on kitchen countertops. It won’t damage the surface and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. It won’t irritate your skin as well.

Click here to buy


TriNova Granite Cleaner and Polish

It is best for cleaning countertops that are made using natural stones like marble or granite. It won’t dull the finish and it will clean all the stains properly.

You can also use this cleanser on laminate, quartz, Formica, Corian, and many more.

Click here to buy


Miracle Wipes for Granite and Stone

Remove any stains off your counter quickly and conveniently. The PH-balanced mixture will not tame the end of the stone and aid to showcase your countertops’ lovely veining and color patterns. Sulfates, parabens, alcohol, and other products are also free.

Click here to buy


Cerama Bryte Stainless Steel Polish

Eliminates dirt, fingerprints, strings, and tin. It also contains mineral oil for the surface to keep your counter bright and straightforward.

Click here to buy



Oven cleaners are meant to clean stubborn stains present inside your oven. You cannot use an oven cleaner on any type of kitchen countertops as it contains harmful and powerful chemicals that can damage the countertop.

It will dull the finish and cause discoloration. If you are thinking of using oven cleaner for cleaning your countertops then I would recommend not to do that. However, keeping your countertops is mandatory and important and that’s why you can try out other alternatives. I have mentioned different ways to clean your kitchen countertops. I have also mentioned some of the best products for you. I hope this article was useful and informative.

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