What is the Effect of Oven Cleaner on Kitchen Countertops?

When it comes to oven cleaners, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. People often wonder what is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops. Some people believe that oven cleaner can damage your countertops, while others think that it’s the best way to clean them. In this comprehensive guide, we will dispel the myths and give you some useful tips on how to deal with the damage on your kitchen countertops safely and effectively.

Why Would One Want to Resort To Using Oven Cleaners on Kitchen Countertops?

Oven cleaners are typically harsh chemicals that are used to clean ovens. They can be in liquid, gel, or aerosol form and usually contain caustic soda (also known as sodium hydroxide) or lye. While these chemicals are effective at cleaning ovens without any scrubbing, they can also be dangerous if not used properly.

Why Would One Want to Resort To Using Oven Cleaners on Kitchen Countertops?

There are a few reasons that one might want to use oven cleaners on their kitchen countertops. The first is that it can be a very effective way to clean grease and grime. If the countertop is particularly dirty, then some people might resort to an oven cleaner as a solution.

In a similar way, another reason to use an oven cleaner on kitchen countertops are stubborn stains that won’t come out with regular cleaning products. Oven cleaners can sometimes loosen these stains so that they can be wiped away more easily. [1]

Why Oven Cleaners Are Dangerous to Kitchen Countertops?

However, there are also some significant risks associated with using oven cleaners on kitchen countertops, mainly because of the chemicals that they contain. Let’s take a look at some of the chemicals it includes.


Lye is one of the most common chemicals found in oven cleaners. It’s a strong alkaline substance that can cause serious burns if it comes into contact with your skin. In fact, lye is so corrosive that it’s often used to dissolve hair and grease from clogged drains and decompose organic matter.

Because it’s so aggressive, it’s pretty clear as to why you wouldn’t want to use an oven cleaner containing lye on your kitchen countertops.


One of the most common chemicals found in oven cleaners is monoethanolamine, or MEA. This chemical is used in a variety of cleaning products because it’s effective at cutting through grease and removing stains. However, it can also be dangerous if it’s not used properly.

MEA is a corrosive substance, so it can damage the finish on your countertop if it’s not diluted properly.
It can also cause irritation to your skin and eyes if you come into contact with it. Inhaling MEA fumes can also be harmful, so it’s important to make sure that you’re using the cleaner in a well-ventilated area.

Another thing to keep in mind is that MEA is flammable, so you should never use it near an open flame.

Methylene Chloride

Some oven cleaners contain methylene chloride, which is a carcinogenic chemical. This means that it can increase your risk of cancer. Methylene chloride is also a central nervous system depressant, which means it can cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Inhaling methylene chloride can also lead to liver damage and kidney damage. [2] ,[3]

Risks of Using Oven Cleaner on Kitchen Countertops

Now that we’ve looked at the main factors that make oven cleaners dangerous, let’s take a more detailed look at the risks associated with using them on kitchen countertops.

They pose risks to your health

The first and most obvious risk is to your health. As we’ve seen, the chemicals in oven cleaners can cause burns, blindness, and damage to your digestive and respiratory systems.

If you are prone to allergies or asthma, then you should be especially careful when using oven cleaners.
The fumes from the chemicals can trigger an attack, so it’s important to make sure that you’re in a well-ventilated area.

Another risk is that the chemicals in oven cleaners can easily contaminate your food. If there’s any residue left on your countertops after you’ve used an oven cleaner, it can easily come into contact with your food. This could potentially lead to poisoning.

They pose risks to your health

It’s also worth noting that some of the ingredients in oven cleaners are considered carcinogens. This means that they could increase your risk of developing cancer if you’re exposed to them on a regular basis.

They can cause a variety of damage to countertop surfaces

Oven cleaners are very caustic substances. Because of that, it can eat away at surfaces, which is why it’s such an effective cleaning agent. However, this also means that there is a risk of damage to your countertops if you use oven cleaner on them.

There are a few main risks associated with using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops.

It causes discoloration

Oven cleaner is very harsh and can cause discoloration and fading of your countertops. This is because it removes the top layer of your countertop, which exposes the lower layers. The lower layers are usually a different color than the top layer, so you end up with an uneven appearance, like white spots and blotches.

If you apply an oven cleaner to the aluminum countertop, it will cause the surface to turn black. This is because the chemicals in the cleaner react with the aluminum to create a new compound.

Discoloration is one of the most common risks associated with using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops. If you don’t want to risk discoloring your countertops, it’s best to avoid using this cleaning agent altogether.

It can wipe away the finish on countertop

Because oven cleaner is so abrasive, it can also wipe away the finish on your countertop.If you have a countertop with a protective coating, such as a sealant or varnish, oven cleaner can remove that coating.

It can wipe away the finish on countertop

This means that your countertop will be more susceptible to scratches, stains, and other damage. In some cases, it can even become sticky to the touch. So if you want to keep your countertop in good condition, it’s best to avoid using oven cleaner on it.

It triggers corrosion

Another risk of using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops is that it can trigger corrosion on metal countertops. The reason is simple: the caustic nature of the cleaning agent eats away at the surface of your countertop, which can lead to rust and other forms of corrosion.

Corrosion is a serious issue because it can weaken the overall structure of your countertop and can cause it to become brittle and eventually break.

Usually, manufacturers will print a “Corrosive” warning on the label of oven cleaners to indicate that this is a risk. If you see this warning, it’s best to avoid using that particular product on your non-corrosion resistant countertops.

In general, it’s best to avoid using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops. If you do decide to use it, be sure to take the proper precautions and follow the instructions carefully. [1], [2], [4], [5]

How to Fix Oven Cleaner Stains

But what if you’ve already used oven cleaner on your countertop and you’re now dealing with the consequences? In this section, we’ll take a look at how to fix some of the most common problems associated with using oven cleaner on kitchen countertops.

Use vinegar to remove streaks and stains

If you have streaks or stains on your countertop, one of the best things you can do is to use vinegar to remove them. Vinegar is a natural acidic cleaning agent that’s gentle enough to use on most surfaces.

Frequent use of this method is not recommended for granite and natural stone countertops as the acidic nature of vinegar can damage the polyurethane sealant that protects them.

To use vinegar to remove streaks and stains, simply mix a little of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Then, dip a clean cloth into the mixture and use it to wipe away the streaks and stains.

You may need to repeat this process several times before the streaks and stains are completely gone. However, if you’re patient, you should be able to get rid of them without too much trouble. Once you’ve removed the streaks and stains, be sure to wipe your countertops down with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.

Use baking soda and water to remove discoloration

If you have a stained granite countertop, you will want to use a less acidic solution to remove the discoloration. Baking soda is a great alternative because it’s gentle enough to use on most surfaces without damaging them.

To use baking soda to remove stains, simply mix baking soda and water to create a paste. Then, use a clean cloth to apply the paste to the stained area, cover it with a plastic wrap and let it sit for at least a day before wiping it away.

Make sure to test baking soda paste on a small inconspicuous area of your countertop first to ensure it doesn’t damage the surface.

Buff the surface with beeswax

Wooden countertops can be particularly difficult to clean because they’re so porous. And as you may know, aggressive cleaners can easily penetrate the surface of a wooden countertop and cause permanent damage.

If you’ve used an oven cleaner on your wooden countertop, one of the best things you can do is to buff the surface with beeswax. Beeswax is a natural wax that’s gentle enough to use on most surfaces.

It will help to protect your countertop from future damage, remove the stains and it will also provide it with a nice shine. To use beeswax, simply rub a small amount onto the surface of your countertop with a clean cloth.

Alternative Ways to Clean kitchen Countertops

If you’re looking for an alternative to oven cleaner, there are a few other options you can try. The best option will depend entirely on the material of your countertop.

Alternative Ways to Clean kitchen Countertops

For example, if you have a wooden countertop then you would want to use a non-abrasive cleaner like a warm water and vinegar solution. After cleaning the surface with this solution, be sure to dry it thoroughly to avoid any water damage.

If you have a granite countertop then you can treat it with a DIY cleaning solution made with equal parts water and mild soap.
Simply apply the solution to the surface with a clean microfiber cloth and then wipe it away. You should also rinse the area afterwards with clean water.

The same method can be used for tile and stainless steel countertops. This may not be as effective for tougher stains, but it’s a good place to start. If you have some annoying greasy stains that won’t get off at all however, you may want to purchase an appropriate cleaner for each surface instead. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging your countertop.

Formica countertops can be cleaned with an all purpose cleaner or again, a soapy solution. Just make sure you don’t use any abrasive cleaners or scrubbers on this type of surface as it can scratch and damage the material. [1], [2], [4]


Does oven cleaner lighten granite?

Granite is a natural stone, so it can be affected by harsh chemicals. Oven cleaner is quite toxic, so it’s not recommended that you use it on your granite countertops. Stone counters are pretty resistant to the damage caused by oven cleaners, but it’s still not a good idea to use it on them. Not only will oven cleaners cause granite to dull after being constantly exposed to the chemicals, but they will also strip away the sealant that protects it.

How do you remove oven cleaner from granite?

Oven cleaner can be difficult to remove from granite, as it is a porous material. You will need to use a gentle cleaning agent, like baking soda and avoid scrubbing the area. Be sure to rinse the area well afterwards to avoid any damage to your countertop.

What is the effect of oven cleaner on kitchen tops?

In general, oven cleaners should not be used on kitchen countertops. The chemicals in these cleaners can penetrate the surface and cause permanent damage. The damage can range from etching and dulling the surface to stripping the protective layer, making the countertop more vulnerable to damage and stains.

Useful Video: Super easy oven cleaning tutorial | FAILSAFE


Oven cleaners are an excellent way to deal with stubborn grime in ovens, but what about their effects on kitchen countertops? Because they contain aggressive and toxic chemicals, oven cleaners can harm not only your health, but also the surface of the countertops. Namely, oven cleaners can remove the protective coating that keeps your countertop looking shiny and new; they can cause the material to dull; and they can leave behind stains and streaks. They certainly can be used to clean countertops, sure but if you’re looking for a safe and effective way to clean your oven, consider using safer alternatives like vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda. Thanks for reading!


  1. https://www.caesarstoneus.com/blog/what-is-the-effect-of-oven-cleaner-on-kitchen-countertops/
  2. https://countertopadvisor.com/what-is-the-effect-of-oven-cleaner-on-kitchen-countertops/
  3. https://igozen.com/toxin-free-oven-cleaners-part-3-monoethanolamine-mea/
  4. https://kitcheninfinity.com/what-is-the-effect-of-oven-cleaner-on-kitchen-countertops/
  5. https://knbcabinet.com/what-is-the-effect-of-oven-cleaners-on-countertops/