The steps I am about to give you are for a thorough counter wash. This might not be necessary every time you wipe down your counter but should be done every once in a while (every couple weeks if you use your kitchen a lot).
- Clean the appliances/junk off the counter and as you are doing that fill up your sink with hot, hot water - as hot as you can handle, wear gloves if you have sensitive skin.
- Get a cloth or green scrubbie wet and put a squirt of soap directly onto it.
- Scrub, scrub, scrub that counter. Get in all of the cracks and crevices. Pay special attention to where the counter connects with the sink or with the back wall as those are areas where gunk tends to build up. Don't forget about the wall next to the counter as dirt and grime tends to splash up onto that as well. You might want to use a toothbrush for the crevices - I find that the fastest way to go.
- Get a new cloth and throw it into the sink of hot water. Use this cloth to wipe off all of the soap suds. You will probably have to rinse the cloth out frequently as the soap will tend to bubble up. Just keep wiping and rinsing until the soap is coming clean.
- Spritz the counter with a sanitizing spray and wipe down with the well-rinsed cloth or with paper towel.
Hot water - hot water dries quickly and leaves your counter streak-free meaning you don't have to dry it to make it look all nice and shiny! I must admit though that sometimes giving it a good buff is quite satisfying.