How to Disinfect Bathroom and Kitchen Counters

Time for some real talk: Counters are breeding grounds for all kinds of nasty germs. Just thinking about the airborne germs that invade kitchen and bathroom counters makes me shudder.  

That’s exactly why it’s so important to disinfect your kitchen and bathroom counters. Trust us, the toast crumbs that blend into your granite aren’t the only things that secretly live there.

Can preparing food on a dirty kitchen counter make you sick?

Knife holder

The good news is that your counters are pretty easy to disinfect. An added bonus? It doesn’t even take long. The bad news, though, is that food made on dirty counters can definitely make you sick. 

In the University of Rochester’s Health Encyclopedia, they recorded, “Bacteria can spread anywhere in the kitchen . . . without you knowing it. If the bacteria get into food, they can cause foodborne illnesses.” They went on to list countertops as one of the most common places illness is spread: “Most people use their countertops not only for food prep, but also for possibly contaminated items such as grocery bags, mail, or household objects.”

Because kitchen counters are used for so many things in addition to food, the likelihood that they house germs is very high. But no need to worry, because armed with a rag and some disinfectant spray, you can get those counters germ-free in no time. 

What products won’t cause damage to my kitchen and bathroom counters?

Woman holds a fruit while standing at a kitchen counter

While some products like bleach are great for cleaning and getting rid of germs, depending on what your countertops are made of, they might not be the best option.

For example, granite countertops are typically made with a sealant to protect the stone, but that sealant can weaken over time, especially when exposed to harsh chemicals.

To be safe, look up how to clean your specific countertops. You can even get cleaners made especially for things like quartz, limestone, and granite. If you’re feeling confused, remember that you can never go wrong with dish soap, hot water, and a hefty dose of elbow grease.

If you don’t mind a little DIY, we have a fabulous solution for disinfecting any countertop, including those made from stone. Here’s how to make it:

In a 1-liter spray bottle, drop in about 4 tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol and 4 drops of dish soap. Next, fill the bottle with warm water and gently shake the solution. Voila! An amazing disinfectant made in less than a minute.

Our favorite way to quickly disinfect countertops is the SurfaceSoap UV sanitizing wand. With just a swipe, you can kill 99.99% of germs in seconds.*

How to prevent extremely dirty countertops

Clean countertop

The easiest and most effective way to prevent extremely dirty countertops is to clean them regularly. If you’re wondering how to do that effectively, we have a few suggestions for you.

  • Wipe off your counter with a microfiber cloth before using your cleaning solution. (Depending on the material your countertop is made of, scrub pads might scratch its surface.) This will remove the various debris on your counter before you disinfect it. 
  • Allow the cleaning solution to sit for a few minutes (most cleaning solutions you buy from the store will you give you a set time) before wiping it down. This allows the disinfectant to have a chance to work its magic.
  • Consider countertops that are less porous, like quartz, granite, and laminate and thereby less likely to harbor bacteria.

Our top 5 favorite cleaning products for kitchen and bathroom countertops 

While we love our suggested DIY disinfectant for treating kitchen and bathroom countertops, there are also some great options you can get at the store (or order online). Here are our top five favorites for cleaning your kitchen and bathroom countertops:

 
1. Method Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner

Product description: “This handy germ-buster is made with a formula that tough on grease and grime and easy on surfaces. Plus, you’ll be happy to know that it kills 99.9% of household germs—including influenza A flu virus, staphylococcus aureus, rhinovirus and salmonella enterica. So all that’s left behind is a fresh scent and a smile.”
 
2. Method Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner

Product description: “If you’re not used to sweet-smelling essential oils + tough cleaning power in one, you’re in for a serious surprise. This patented disinfectant formula may smell like heaven, but it cleans like heck, and kills 99.9% of household germs (specifically: influenza A, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella enterica and E. coli). Made specially for the bathroom, this spray is optimized to target soap scum and hard water stains. Despite the tough guy routine, it’s gentle on hard non-porous surfaces. Surprises are nice. Unless you’re a germ.”
 
3. Honest Disinfectant Spray

Product description: “A powerful antibacterial spray that kills 99.9% of the germs your fam comes in contact with daily, and effectively fights against the cold + flu viruses. Made without harsh chemicals and chlorine bleach.”
 
4. Bona PowerPlus Antibacterial Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner

Product description: “Clean without compromise. Bona's PowerPlus Antibacterial Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner cleans and disinfects with the power of hydrogen peroxide. This ready to use antibacterial cleaner kills 99.9% of household germs.”
Product description: “Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore, Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes can be used against SARS-CoV-2 when used in accordance with the directions for use on the product label on hard non-porous surfaces. . . . Use these convenient disinfectant wipes that have a light herbal lemongrass citrus oil scent. Effective on non-porous surfaces such as countertops, floors, food preparation surfaces, doorknobs and more. Like with all cleaning products under no circumstances should they ever be consumed or otherwise administered on or into the human body.”

 

Disinfecting your countertops can certainly feel like a chore, but it’s so important. By making sure your kitchen and bathroom countertops are germ-free, you decrease your family’s risk of getting sick. If any chore is worth it, that one certainly fits the bill. 

What are your favorite cleaning products for disinfecting your bathroom and kitchen countertops? Tell us in the comments below.

*SurfaceSoap UV was tested by BIOSCIENCE LABORATORIES, LLC against Salmonella enterica (ATCC # 10708), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC # 6538), and HCoV-OC43 (Zeptometrix #0810024CF). SurfaceSoap UV was tested by scanning glass slides containing these microbes and shown to kill up to 99.99% of the previously specified bacteria, and 99.9% of the specified virus strain. Tests were performed with the SurfaceSoap UV moving at 3 inches per second and held 1 inch from the exposed surface.

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