The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kneading on countertops, what do you use to clean it first?

nougat's picture

Kneading on countertops, what do you use to clean it first?

Just randomly started wondering about this. I have corian countertops and always clean them with hot water before kneading, but what if you have been cooking before and the counter is dirty? Do you use something like Windex or 409 or Method and worry about residue? 

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

spray with vinegar let sit for  afew mins, and wipe with hot water, the vinegar will get rid of any nasties..if thats what your worrying about.

but i only do this aftr ive been preparing meats on my countertop....wich i do on a cuttingboard...but you dan never be to safe with meat :P...or cheese....


mrfrost's picture

I wipe/wash(scrub) mine with a light solution of dish soap. Then one or more wipes with the cloth rinsed with plain hot water.

Mason's picture

I spray my granite counter with method cleaner (grapefruit-based), then wipe it with wet cloth and drying with a paper towel.  

Then I spray with water and clean that off with paper towels again.  

I'm confident that any miniscule amount of cleaning product left on the counter after that will be insignificant.

Janknitz's picture

and always on a wooden cutting board near the sink for easy clean up.  The wood board we use is only for meat and gets a good scrub in hot, hot soapy water when done. 

My bread making takes place across the kitchen away from other food prep.  We have a pull out cutting board that has deep cuts in the center from abuse so we don't use that.  I put my marble board on top of the pull-out cutting board and--at about 2 inches lower than the counter--it's just the right height for me to knead and work the dough.  The marble board is for bread and pastries only, and I clean it up in the sink with soap and water just like the dishes. 

Since we have big tile counters with 1/4" grout lines (popular when the house was built in the 1980's, hideous today), the marble board is the only flat, smooth surface available for kneading or even scaling.  I hate my counters and I'd sure love to replace them with granite or another sturdy smooth surface--gotta buy some lottery tickets! 

flournwater's picture

Small towel wetted with white vinegar, wiped dry with clean towel.

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I have a plastic (aka Formica) counter top. I don't like it but I've tried wood and slate and marble and they all have drawbacks.

With this one I wipe it with hot water once, then again, then again, then again with a paper towel. Then I use it.

So far we haven't come to any harm - we're both over seventy and fighting fit. But there again I'm a slut ... I reckon that bacteria run away from us because they don't want to catch anything. 


Crider's picture

I don't like wood so much, formica is cheap, non-porous, and just happens to be what was so common in the mid 1970s! Nor granite countertops for me.

flournwater's picture

I'm in your camp with respect to granite, or marble.  I had formica for a lot of years.   But if you haven't tried Corian you're in for a surprise.  I had them installed last year; wonder how I ever got along without the stuff.  Unlike formica, which can't be resurfaced/polished if exposed to abrastive damage, Corian polishes up beautifully, is non-porous and wipes clean with ease.  My molded in sink means I don't worry about nasty germs colonizing under the rim of a drop in or under mounted sink either.  That's a real plus.

AnnieT's picture

Mary, I laughed out loud when I read your post! Maybe we should start our own over seventy slut section, especially as I just adopted another shelter cat and I know he can jump onto counters. I tell people that if they find a cat hair at least it's been baked. A quick wipe with a dish rag and hot water does it for me. Back to the shortbread - oh, I guess it's time to post the recipe again? I will if anyone wants it, A.

furbie's picture

I'd love your shortbread recipe!  thanks!!

caseymcm's picture

I spray two bottles simultaneously of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide which is supposed to kill more germs than nearly anything else, including chlorine bleach.  Don't mix them in one container though!

Then I wipe with a wet sponge to rinse and dry with a towel.  I love this method because I'm not worried about any residues.

Occasionally when the counter is really dirty or greasy I use some Method unscented spray cleaner, then rinse.

naschol's picture

I use the vinegar/peroxide method, as well, but let it sit for a couple of minutes and then wipe with a paper towel.  I actually use them alternately to clean my counters all the time.  Unless I used a new or just sanitized sponge, I would be afraid of reintroducing more germs to the counter.



fancypantalons's picture

You guys are *way* more meticulous than I. :)  A hot cloth wipe-down is all I ever bother with.  'course, I never let raw meat touch my work surface (that's what a dedicated cutting board is for), so I have less to worry about vis a vis cross-contamination.

smccull's picture

Spray the top of your counter with water and stretch "Saran Wrap" and lay flat.  The water holds the saran wrap in place and it makes the clean up easier.

vince hav's picture
vince hav

as someone that works for a med center i was surpised that no one said rubbin alcohol. it kills anything and dries quickly. oh an i sure hope the word "slut" means different there than it does here...haha

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I suspect that the word means the same here as wherever you are too - a loose woman. But such a woman probably isn't going to bother worrying about catching something from her worktops either :-)

As for me, I'm too old to be the former kind of slut, not that it ever appealed to me. I've enough with one man - and he's wonderful by the way and we still get on very happily.


Perhaps I AM a bit of a lut when it comes to him ...

vince hav's picture
vince hav

haha well glad to hear..about it not apealing to you and that yoiur guy is all you need..:)

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

on the over seventy slut section matter - yes, why not? If we can be bothered of course. 

I'll be President. Or Chairman. Or - oh no, not secretary, far too much work to do. Hmm. 

If there's just thee and me that will do fine, we MIGHT just tolerate others as long as they satisfy the rules: you must be over seventy and you must be a slut.


That'll do for me. Next agendum item?


... trying to plan for tomorrow:

We’ve been informed (today) that tomorrow No 1 son, his wife and two younger (18 & 15 yr old)  sons are coming, as is his oldest (25) plus fiancée and he’s just sent a text asking if his cousin (a daughter’s son) can come too, he’s 25 too. So they’re all adult sized and it’s going to be very cosy round the table … And three are diabetic.

No 2 grandson is a chef, he can help with the cooking. No 3 is a waiter, so can he with the serving. We don’t allow No 1 grandson to get near china or glassware EVER. He’s great at computer support but leaves a trail of shards wherever he goes J

Found a huge leg of pork in the big freezer, it’s now in brine and will cook nicely on the wood burning stove. I made lots of Christmas puddings of various sizes against the day. I’d better get preparing everything else! Luckily there’s enough wine and bubbly. One must get priorities right! But we discovered on Christmas Eve that there was no rum for rum sauce :-( Sent out Spouse (that's what they're for) to get some and he came back with two bottles, should 'see us out'.

Looking forward to it. No 2 daughter with family will come from Wales at some point as will No 2 son and wife from Wiltshire and his two huge adolescent girls. Hope not at the same time as the Welsh ones. Then there’s No 3 son and litter from across the city … he phoned tonight and was instructed not to come tomorrow. No 1 daughter lives in France so won’t be here. Be thankful for small mercies J

AnnieT's picture

Yes, I nominate you as President/Chairman and I'll happily keep the minutes! I have to admit that I was thinking more along the lines of a dilatory housekeeper than anything more exotic - will that disqualify me?

Dawned on me that I have no idea where you live? I haven't ever heard anyone but my mama say something will "see me out"! I use it all the time, even about the new (shelter) cat who is only two years old.

I took a shortbread shaped in a stoneware mold to my hosts yesterday and there were only crumbs left. Also took a Susan's sourdough loaf already wrapped for them to freeze - they cooked roast beef and Yorkshire puddings so the bread wasn't needed. Have fun with the visitors, A.

Forgot to wish all TFL members Happy Boxing Day!