People often take kitchen surfaces for granted, assuming that every part of the kitchen is extremely durable, and needs little caring. However, this is not entirely true. Kitchen countertops and islands are perhaps the busiest surfaces in a home, but seldom people realize that even the strongest countertop material can suffer from irreparable damage. Most kitchens are packed with utensils and appliances that should be handled with some precaution. We are not going to get preachy here. Instead, we will keep this discussion casual, helping you get acquainted with a few things that should never be done in any kitchen.
- Never be lazy about cleaning countertop spills
It’s agreed that granite and natural stone countertops are meant to last a lifetime, but you don’t want them to be spotted, scratched or wearing ugly discolored patches. These issues often arise when we are not proactive about a countertop spill. While plain water does little damage; gravies, sauces, juices, and food items with acidic content can ruin the countertop. More so, if you don’t clean the spill instantly. Procrastinating this creates long-term problems. Spills often seep into the invisible pores of countertop surfaces. This is hard to detect initially, but gradually this leads to spotting that does not respond to regular cleaners. Grease, oil, and acid stains have far-reaching disastrous consequences. Make it a rule never to do a quick wipe of any countertop surface in your kitchen after every use. Keep a duster handy for this and try to inculcate this habit amongst all the kitchen users.
Talking on the phone when cooking is a big no!
We have nothing against being digital and this applies to the kitchen space too. Tech-smart kitchen appliances make our everyday lives a lot easier, but you need to draw a line somewhere. We find many kitchen mishaps that occur due to folks trying to multi-task while having a conversation on the phone. Even if you are using a hands-free option, the cooking area needs your attention, and all distractions should be abandoned. Mixing the two is a recipe for disaster. It increases the chances of getting careless, which in turn can do a lot more harm than just ruining a dish. Accidents include cooking fires, knifing cuts, and tipping over. Just imagine the kind of harm you can do to yourself if you are distracted when using a heavy-duty food processor or immersion blender—lacerations and deep cuts that would need an immediate trip to the ER!
- Straight, Hard Edges in Kitchen are Unforgiving
We have addressed the issue of making the kitchen safer for children and pets. However, when it comes to the threat posed by hard, pointed edges, adults are equally at risk. The kitchen area witnesses constant movement, often hurried without being careful. It is not possible to expect that everyone will be mindful of maneuvering around and avoiding harder edges. Rather than reminding people, it is better to avoid such threats. Rounding off existing sharp countertop or cabinet edges is easy. Ensure the same when making any new installations. Try to keep the edgy appliances at a vertical distance, away from the zone of maximum footfalls. This applies across the kitchen—from the island to kitchen peninsula.
- Never Underestimate The Need For Utility Lighting
We see a lot of home décor specialists advise diffuse lighting and dimly let chandelier lights in the kitchen. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the approach. However, this shouldn’t eat into the basics of kitchen lighting—utility lighting where you need focused illumination. This is of prime importance for surfaces, like countertops, that are at the core of your everyday kitchen chores. Being inclined too much towards decorative lights and shunning natural light means creating shadowed/dark zones that can eat into your kitchen’s true storage potential. Try to explore the niche of tracking lighting for kitchens. This is a great way of bringing more illumination without compromising on the aesthetics.
Never Chop Without A Dedicated Cutting Board
There are two aspects of this. Firstly, cutting without a cutting board creates the risk of permanently damaging your countertop. Secondly, some countertop materials are extremely hard and can damage the knife’s blade. To save yourself from both threats, it is better to keep a cutting board handy at all times. In fact, we recommend maintaining a big and small cutting board on the primary and secondary countertop at all times. Wooden chopping boards are the best if you want to extend the life of your knife’s blade.
- Never Take Your Granite Slabs For Granted
Perhaps, we should have mentioned this as the first bit of advice because it is a commonly committed kitchen sin. There is this notion—granite countertops are rock-hard and no matter how much you abuse them, they will never bear any signs of damage. Well, the reality is quite different. Granite countertops too can crack. You cannot ignore instances of granite surfaces developing permanent scars and scratches. People tend to do the most neglectful things with a granite slab in place. For instance, they will step on the slab to access a kitchen cabinet rather than use a stepping stool. Dragging heavy appliances on the slab is another common mistake. In addition, though granite is an inherently strong material, you cannot test its limit with industrial-strength chemical cleaners.
These are just some of the few tips our creative team could think of, but we are sure there is much more to this topic. Why don’t you share some tips from your experiences?