A study by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management showed that not all kitchen countertops are equal when it comes to how well they can be cleaned. In the study, each different surface was contaminated with nearly 2 billion E. coli bacteria, then the surfaces were washed and rinsed with soap and water, and finally with a vinegar and water solution.
The results demonstrate that stainless steel countertops are easiest to clean, with very few germs left after the simple cleaning procedure described above. More germs survive cleaning on surfaces like plastic laminate and wood surfaces, so stronger cleaning compounds are needed to sanitize these surfaces.
The study suggests that stainless steel is an excellent choice for a new residential or commercial food preparation counter.
(As a point of reference, after cleaning a stainless-steel countertop contaminated with 2 billion bacteria, there would only be 23 remaining. For a wood countertop, there would still be almost 1 million bacteria remaining after cleaning.)