Are you corroding your kitchen countertops by wiping them? What impact does oven cleaner have on kitchen counters? Many kitchen cleaners include chemicals that might harm the material and sealant on your kitchen countertops. They aggravate the stains rather than eradicate them, and they might cause them to become permanently dull and discolored.

What Is The Effect Of Oven Cleaner On Kitchen Countertops

What Is The Effect Of an Oven Cleaner On Kitchen Countertops?

Oven cleaners dissolve the protective coatings and soak them into the countertop material, causing it to lose its look, weaken its structure, and become more susceptible to food contamination. Oven cleaners are the worst cleansers you may use to clean your kitchen countertops out of all the cleaning goods in your kitchen.

Even worse, oven cleaners can also damage your health—from instant irritation upon contact, to long-term risks. Some of its chemicals are also found in gas and anti-freeze. You would never dip your food in these products, but you are pouring them on your countertops where you prepare your family meals. Other ingredients have been classified as carcinogens by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Why does Oven Cleaner damage kitchen countertops?

Almost all oven cleansers include lye (a caustic that degrades material when it comes into touch with them) and alcohol (which liquifies varnishes and finishes).

One of the most prevalent constituents in oven cleaners, paint strippers, and drain decloggers is lye (sodium hydroxide). It’s also been used to degrade animal corpses, demonstrating its corrosive capabilities.

You should never use lye on a countertop that has been painted or coated with a clear finish since it has been used as a paint remover. This includes the following:

  • Because wood is porous, all wood counters are coated with a thin layer of finish to make them lustrous, water-resistant, and germs and other microbes resistant. Lye removes the finish and may even make it sticky and gummy when it comes into touch with it. Even if they harden again, permanent stains will remain, and your kitchen counters will need to be sanded and restored. The “holes” in the finish also enhance the danger of bacterial infection and food poisoning.
  • Natural stone worktops, such as marble and granite, are often more durable and resistant to aggressive cleaners—but only at first. All counters are treated with polyurethane to prevent water and bacteria absorption since stones are permeable. The protective barrier breaks down after repeated exposure to lye, resulting in spotting and discoloration.
  • Lye degrades the grout that keeps tile countertops in place by breaking down the top glaze.
    Steel and aluminum. Aluminum and steel react with lye, resulting in permanent discoloration. It may also emit combustible fumes that irritate the eyes and skin while also posing a fire risk. On metal countertops or containers, never use lye.
  • Formica Countertops are constructed of melamine resin that has been thermally bonded and then painted or laminated to look like wood or stone. The lye eats away at the finish, leaving permanent stains and discolouration, as well as weakening the material, making it more susceptible to chipping.


Ethanol or MEA are both types of alcohol that may be found in oven cleansers (monoethanolamine). These are powerful solvents that may permanently damage synthetic materials like vinyl, Formica, or Corian surfaces.

Of stone or tile counters, the alcohol is less likely to cause apparent damage, but it may fade the sheen on hardwood worktops.

What are the health risks of using oven cleaners?

  • Chemical compounds in oven cleansers may be hazardous to one’s health in a variety of ways.
  • Chemical burns may be caused by corrosive compounds; in diluted form, they can produce rashes and skin sensitivities.
  • Toxic fumes are released into the air by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They may induce headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulties, and asthma episodes when breathed.
  • When consumed, poisonous or toxic chemicals may be harmful and even lethal. Oven cleanser may linger on the surface for a long time or be absorbed by porous materials like wood or stone. Carcinogens have been related to increased cancer risk.
Ingredients Type of Substance Health Risk
Lye (sodium hydroxide) Corrosive
Skin: Rashes, itching, burning sensation, chemical burn, and permanent scars. Eyes: Burns, swelling, pain, and blurred vision. Ingestion: Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Source: CDC, CCOHS
Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (also called 2-butoxy ethanol) Volatile
Classified hazardous substance  
Dizziness, Lightheadedness, Coughing and wheezing, Nausea, Vomiting, Damage to liver and kidneys, Damage to fetal development.
Source: NJ Hazardous Substance Face Sheet, WHO  
Ethylene Glycol Volatile
Eye irritation and swelling, Throat, and respiratory tract irritation.
Source: CDCEPA
Methylene Chloride Solvent
Classified hazardous substance
Classified workplace hazard by the OSHA Poison    
Headaches, Dizziness, Nausea, Eye irritation, Damage to the liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system.
Source: CDC, EPA
Petroleum Distillates Volatile Headaches, Drowsiness, Nausea, Eye irritation, Throat irritation, Skin Irritation
Source: CDC

How can I remove the stains left on my countertops by oven cleaners?

Use vinegar. If you spilled or sprayed oven cleaner on your kitchen counter by mistake, attempt to wipe the area using vinegar. Vinegar is an acid that may assist in neutralizing the lye and slowing its deterioration.

Combine baking soda and water in a small bowl. Stains on granite and marble surfaces may be removed with a baking soda or water paste. Scrub gently, since baking soda is highly abrasive. Rather than that, pat it on the damaged region, seal it in plastic wrap, and set it for several days. (Always do a spot test on a tiny, concealed area of any homemade paste or cleaner to see if it will harm the stone’s polish and color.)

Combine baking soda and dishwashing soap in a small bowl. Light stains on steel surfaces may be removed using a mixture of dish soap and baking soda. A soft cloth should be rubbed into the afflicted region, making careful to travel in the direction of the grain.

Buff encased in beeswax. Buff in beeswax to remove white spots from wood and laminate surfaces. This contributes to the restoration of shine and leaves a protective coating that repels water and microorganisms. Additionally, tinted polishing oils might help conceal discoloration.

These techniques may assist in concealing or minimizing the appearance of stains left behind by oven cleaning. Certain stains, on the other hand, may be too deep to remove, and discoloration may be permanent. You may refinish your countertops. This returns them to their natural state and coats them with a protective coating to prevent future harm.

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What are the best ways to clean kitchen countertops?

Oven cleaners are intended for use in ovens. If you want to remove persistent stains and filth from your kitchen countertops, seek a solution that is created specifically for that material. The following are some possibilities.

Wood countertops

Use a non-abrasive cleaning or prepare your own with warm water and white vinegar. Using a spatula, scrape away any hard or sticky residue. To avoid water stains, wipe the counters thoroughly dry after cleaning. If a light discoloration occurs, massage half a lemon with salt on the affected region and wash away with the water and vinegar solution.

To enhance the protective barrier and prevent warping, cracking, and discoloration, apply oil or wax to hardwood countertops on a regular basis.

Stone, marble, and granite countertops

Natural stone is sturdy and simple to clean, which is one of its advantages. Only soap, water, and a microfiber cloth are required. Cleaning materials and equipment that are abrasive or acidic may harm the stone. Vinegar should never be used on this sort of surface since it will dull the finish.

Quartz countertops

Quartz is scratch and stain-resistant, but you must be cautious not to damage the resin. It may be cleaned with soap and water. If you need to use a more powerful cleaner, seek one that is PH-balanced and rinse it off as soon as possible.

Laminate countertops

Laminates are very low-maintenance, requiring just water, liquid detergent, and a soft cotton towel to clean. Cleansers containing acids or alkali, which might cause discoloration, should be avoided.

Steel countertops

Soap, water, and a microfiber towel are all you need to keep stainless steel surfaces clean and bright. Stainless steel cleaners are available for purchase, which may help remove stubborn stains.

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