What Is the Effect of an Oven Cleaner on Kitchen Countertops: Chemist Explains

Oven cleaners are great detergents that help in getting rid of stubborn stains and grease off the oven. However, they are not designed for all cleaning purposes in the kitchen.

What is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops? Oven cleaners can damage kitchen countertops, even ones that are made of stone. An oven cleaner has a pH level of 11 to 13, meaning that it is alkaline based which can dissolve sealants that are on countertops.

According to chemists at ReAgent Chemicals, oven cleaners are corrosive due to their high pH level. Also, they contain methylene chloride that can dissolve a sealant that is on granite.  A sealant is needed to protect the integrity of the granite.

Oven Cleaner On Quartz Worktop

Quartz is a type of stone with a hardness of 7 on the Mohs Scale, and therefore, it is very durable and chemically unbothered by the majority of substances.

These stones are at the highest risk of color damage and degradation since the style is engineered and artificially assembled along with different pigments to obtain certain colors.

Oven cleaners tend to be a bit toxic and cause damage to quartz countertops. It leaves an unfinished, unsealed surface that will cost you a lot to repair. Oven cleaner strips off its sealer.

A quartz worktop that has been damaged with an oven cleaner cannot be restored. Oven cleaners left in contact with the surface cause permanent damage to the surface.

Which Is the Best Alternative

Quartz countertops need a less harsh cleaner or detergent-like mild dish soap and warm water using a sponge and a bowl.

You can use isopropyl rubbing alcohol for tough stains, a glass cleaner, or stain remover like Goo Gone.

Steps To Clean A Quartz Worktop

  1. Dip a sponge in a bowl filled with a mixture of warm water and soap.
  2. Scrub off any dried food or dirt using the rough side of the sponge to remove excess buildup.
  3. Rinse off the surface using clean water.
  4. Use a safe cleaning spray or degreaser to wipe off the grease on your quartz countertop.

How To Prevent Quartz Countertop Damage?

  1. Clean up any mess on the surface immediately.
  2. Avoid placing hot items on the surface like crock pots or hot pans.
  3. Always use a cutting board while chopping vegetables or meat.
  4. Avoid harsh cleaners like the oven cleaner.

Oven Cleaner Stain on Granite

Granite is a material used to make countertops, and it is usually resistant to damage. It makes the kitchen countertops shine with a naturally intrinsic look.

When oven cleaner is used to remove a stain on the granite countertop, the top layer of sealant is destroyed by becoming soft, sticky, and gooey.

It can even harden back, creating an uneven surface, but mostly it becomes sticky and doesn’t harden back to its normal state.

Granite is resistant to heat and scratches, and the kitchen always looks neat since it is made up of 100% natural material.

At first, you may not notice the damage caused since oven cleaners work very well in removing stubborn stains, but the more you use them, the worse the surface will become.

Maintaining its appearance, you must always be swift in the kitchen to ensure anything that pours on the surface is wiped out immediately.

Steps To Clean Granite Countertop

It is good to use natural cleaners or make a mixture of natural ingredients to avoid damaging the protective layer of your stone.

  1. Clean as soon as you make a mess using an excellent quality absorbent kitchen cloth
  2. Use natural products to degrease or remove stains from the surface of the granite.
  3. Spray the solution and let it sit on the stained area for about 10 minutes before you start cleaning.
  4. Clean in a circular motion since it creates friction that helps to remove the stains easily.
  5. Rinse the area using warm water and leave it to dry up.

Here is a video that explains how to clean granite countertops that is easy to follow:

Table – Responses from others regarding what they use to clean their granite countertops

What Others Use to Clean Their Granite CountertopsPercentage of Responses
Some people use dawn dish soap to clean their stone countertops daily45 %
409 Natural Stone Cleaner that works on both granite and marble surfaces18%
Miracle 501 Impregnator for sealing countertops that are made from granite9 %
Lots of people simply use Windex on their granite countertops each day28 %
data was found on various forums on kitchen cleaning methods

How To Remove Oven Cleaner Stains From Worktops?

Oven cleaner is a very corrosive product that damages anything it gets into contact with.

If it gets into contact with your worktop, you can only save the situation by cleaning it up as soon as possible.

If left uncleaned for some time, the result is constantly eroding the surface, causing permanent damage to the worktop.

Tile Countertops

Tile countertops are not common, but most homeowners turn to oven cleaners to clean the worktops because of the frustrations caused by the difficulties of cleaning grout lines.

The chemicals in the oven cleaner do more harm than good in cleaning the tiles, although it may seem like it is helping.

The oven cleaner eats out the grout when sprayed on the worktop surface. The top finish starts wearing off, and problems start arising after a while.

What To Use Instead

When cleaning a tiled worktop, try using warm water and dish soap. Put the mixture in a spray bottle or a bowl.

Scrub the tiles vigorously using a cloth or a sponge until they look sparkling clean.

Steps To Removing Oven Cleaner Stains From Worktop
  1. Wipe the countertop with wet paper towels as soon as the oven cleaner spills. Do not delay and repeat 2 to 3 times.
  2. Pour some water on the area and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then clean up the area using a rag or sponge.
  3. Repeat the process using hot soapy water to remove any remaining stains of the oven cleaner. Do it 2 or 3 times.

If the stain doesn’t come off with plain water or hot soapy water, go to the next step.

  • Clean the stained area using a multipurpose or all-purpose household cleaner according to the label instructions. Rust is listed as a type of stain it gets rid of.

Remember to go through the countertop’s user manual to ensure the product is safe, or you can test it on an inconspicuous area of the worktop.

Easy-Off On Granite

Easy off is a heavy-duty oven cleaner that is alkaline. It may etch or damage granite surfaces.

It has a label that cautions users to put newspapers on the worktops made of granite or any other material like tiles when using easy off oven cleaner.

If easy-off spills on granite, it is possible to treat the problem right away, and some rust-like stains will disappear.

The affected area should be cleaned by using a watery paste of Zud cleanser. The paste should be left to sit on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes, then wipe the residue off gently using paper towels.

If the product is not available, the alternative could be paper towels soaked in water and left to sit for some time. Rinse the area continually for a few applications.

How To Restore Granite Countertop Color?

If there has been something sitting on a section of the granite countertop, you may notice a color difference.

The darkening of the surface causes the color difference due to a lack of light exposure. However, the issue can be approached in two ways.

You can darken the rest of the area to match the affected area, or you can choose to lighten the affected area to match the granite back to its original color.

The below solution is only used to restore granite affected by light exposure and not grease or food buildups.

What Is Required

Clean rags (white)

Stone color enhancer

Baby oil

Steps To Fix Discoloration By Darkening The Surface

  1. Apply a tiny amount of baby oil to the rag
  2. Rub it over the lighter area, and if the surface is poorly sealed, the oil may stain.
  3. Once the surface darkens to your desired shade, use the color enhancer to make it permanent.
  4. Let the stone color enhancer sit for about 15 minutes and wipe the excess off the surface using mineral spirit.

What Is Required

Easy-off oven cleaner (sodium hydroxide-based)




Steps To Fix Discoloration by Lightening the Surface
  1. Spray some easy-off oven cleaner on a cloth and not directly on the granite surface
  2. Wipe the affected area with the fabric and let it sit for 1 minute to test the results.
  3. Clean off the oven cleaner with soap and water to prevent easy-off from sitting on granite for too long and causing damage.

Do Oven Cleaners Leave Streak On Counter Tops?

Wiping off Shiny Countertops can leave annoying streaks. It applies to all polished finishes on natural stone countertops, glass countertops, stainless steel, and solid surfacing.

Using an oven cleaner on your kitchen countertop will automatically leave streaks of food residue, grease, and other grime.

Many people prefer buying a special streak-free spray for cleaning such countertops, and others use warm water and a drop of PH balanced dishwashing soap.

To clean the countertop using warm water, put a drop of PH balanced dishwashing soap on a clean dishcloth, dip it in some warm water, and use it to wipe down the countertop.

Those streaks can also be caused by the same greases broken down by dishwashing soap on dishes and cookware.

What Should You Use To Clean Kitchen Countertops?

Countertops are made up of varied materials, and no one method can fit all. Below are a few ways to clean varied materials of countertops.

How To Clean Quartz Countertops?

Below are methods used to clean quartz countertops.

Items Required


Dish soap

Non-abrasive glass or surface cleaner

Non-abrasive sponge

Microfiber cloths


the quartz crystals appear to recreate their natural counterparts look without a lot of maintenance. They can be cleaned using mild soap and water.

Stain Removal

Countertops made of quartz are stain resistant. However, if you encounter a strain that can’t be removed using soap and water, use a non-abrasive sponge and a glass cleaner.


The director of brand marketing for Caesarstone, Erika Nissen, says that, since quartz is engineered stones, they don’t need to be resealed to stay in pristine condition.

How To Clean Marble And Granite Countertops?

Below is a method used to clean marble and granite countertops.

Required Items

Baking soda


Dish soap

Plastic wrap

Hydrogen peroxide

Microfiber cloths



You may use a mixture of warm water and a mild soap used in everyday cleaning, followed by a microfiber towel to polish up the stone.

It is good to avoid abrasive or acidic chemicals in some cleaners, which may strip off the sealer and etch the stone.

Stain Removal

To get rid of the stains on marble or granite countertops, make a sticky substance using baking soda and water to remove oily stains or hydrogen peroxide for stains that are water-based.

Apply the paste to the affected area and cover it with plastic wrap. Tape down the edges all around and let the paste sit overnight or for a few hours.

Rinse it off and repeat the process if you still find some stubborn stains on the affected areas. Remember to do a spot test before anything to ensure the color or finish of the stone will be intact.


Surfaces made of granite or marble are known for their tough durability, which matches a rock.

However, they need to be resealed often to protect them from getting stained. Granite should be resealed once a year, while marble after every few months.

Final Thoughts

Oven cleaners on kitchen countertops are a big mistake. The harsh chemicals in oven cleaners are suitable for the grease that has been baked onto the surface and oven grime.

Using soapy water and a little demanding work does magic. There are a lot of other hacks that can be used to clean the kitchen countertop. Read this article to get enlightened.

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Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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