Care and Maintenance of Stone Countertops
A stone countertop is a beautiful addition to any space. Whether your kitchen is covered in your favorite granite countertop, or your bathroom is decked out with quartz, a stone countertop is a gorgeous, unique, and customizable characteristic in any home. With all the careful thought that went into selecting your stone countertop, we want to ensure it stays in perfect condition, even after years of love.
To maintain the quality of your stone countertops, it’s important to clean the stone, keeping it free of stains and marks that can develop over time. We know a lot about stones here at Granite Selection, so we put together our recommendations for cleaning your stone that will keep them dazzling for years to come, no matter how many cook-offs and messy dinner dates they go through.
Daily Cleaning of Your Stone Countertops
Okay, so you’ve heard a stone countertop is pretty strong, so it can probably withstand anything, right? Well, sort of. While stone countertops are quite strong, the way you clean them daily can have a pretty significant impact on the health of the stone and their appearance over time. To avoid wrecking your new countertops and keep them looking fresh, follow these basic rules for daily cleaning.
- Have a microfiber cloth on hand to dust off your countertop daily – perfect for basic cleaning even when there hasn’t been a major spill.
- Dealing with spilled coffee or an accidental oil spill? Clean your counters with a mild soap and warm water immediately – it’s that simple, no expensive spray required. Or, use a cleaner that is specially made for the kind of stone countertop in your space.
- Always blot up spills as soon as they occur. Especially with acidic substances like coffee, tomato sauce, fruit juices and wine, these spills can stain your stone, so be sure to have a cloth or paper towel on hand to get to them quickly.
- Don’t use generic cleaning products and common household cleaners on your stone countertop. These harsh cleaners will actually make your stone more susceptible to staining!
Weekly Cleaning of Your Stone Countertops
When you get organized at the end of each week, you’ll also want to set aside some time to show your countertops some love. Here’s what you need to know about your weekly stone maintenance routine:
- Before you start, to ensure you get in all the nooks and crannies, remove everything from the surface of your countertop. We don’t want to miss a spot that will then build up over time, leaving marks on your fresh stone.
- Use a stone-specific cleaner. Did you go with granite countertops? Then you’ll use a granite cleaner in your weekly clean.
- Make sure you spray and clean the entire surface – catching all debris and dust that accumulates around appliances.
- If you notice a particularly bad oil mark that you hadn’t gotten to day-of (happens to the best of us!), make a paste using baking soda and water. Leave this concoction on the spot you’re hoping to mend, covering it and letting it sit overnight.
Monthly Cleaning of Your Stone Countertops
Temporary polishes can be used periodically to enhance the shine in natural stone and granite. These types of polishes are not for maintenance or repair and they are not what make the countertop shiny. Instead, it “enhances” the shine – similar to waxing a car – improves cleaning, and provides a small amount of protection.
If your granite countertop has become dull for some reason you will most likely need to consult a professional as no chemical or product will restore damage to a granite surface.
Yearly Cleaning of Your Stone Countertops
Time for a spring clean! While you kept up with the maintenance of your countertops daily, weekly, and monthly, a yearly check-in is necessary too to make sure your stone is healthy and strong for another year of cooking and entertaining. Each year, you want to examine your countertops to determine if they need to be resealed. Not sure what this entails? We’ve got you covered.
- If you’re noticing water around the sink is creating a darker pigment in the stone, it’s time to re-seal. This is actually a sign that your stone is starting to absorb water, which we want to avoid to maintain a strong countertop.
- Another simple way is with a water test. To do this, drip some water on your countertop in a puddle and take note of what happens. If the water forms in small beads, you may not need to reseal your countertop immediately. If it splashes on the surface and flows freely, it might be time to re-seal.
- Countertops don’t necessarily NEED to be resealed every year, that’s why this at-home test comes in handy, so you know if it’s time to show your countertops a little extra TLC.
Sealing Your Stone Countertops
As a general rule, an impregnating sealer should be applied to all natural stone. This does not mean that every stone MUST absolutely be sealed and resealed throughout its long life. Many types of granite and other stones never need any kind of sealing. If you wish to seal your granite, make sure you always test any type of cleaner and sealer on a small, inconspicuous area before applying to the entire surface in order to achieve desired results.
The easiest way to keep your stone looking great is to avoid bad habits that may damage it. Granite, marble, travertine, limestone, soapstone, quartz and solid surface are similar in many ways, but their differences require varying degrees of maintenance. However, if you utilize the Do’s and Don’ts of granite countertop care and cleaning procedures you’ll eliminate most potential problems.
- Blot up spills immediately especially acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, sodas and cooking oils.
- Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth. Hot water will do for quick cleanups, but using a specially formulated natural stone cleaner is recommended to keep your tops in the best condition and protect the sealer
- Dish soap won’t permanently damage your granite, but repeated use of soap will cause build-up and dull your countertop’s shine.
- Use coasters under all glasses, bottles, and cans.
- Use trivets and hot pads under pots & pans.
- Use cutting boards. Cutting on the stone will dull and damage your knives’ edges quickly.
- Use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners, degreasers or other common household cleaners.
- Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners.
- Use bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners.
- Sit or stand on your countertops.
- Store liquids or toiletry products directly on your countertop surface.
When you take good care of your granite countertops, they make your kitchen shine. Like this Caledonia granite.
A stone countertop may be strong, but to ensure it can withstand the test of every baking extravaganza, you’ll want to be sure to frequently clean and maintain it, keeping the stone healthy and stipsparkling for all of your plans. With these simple tips, including daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly check-ins, you’ll have your countertop looking brand new for years to come.
Excited to choose your stone? We have a great selection of high-quality stones in an array of colors at Granite Selection. Contact us and get a quick quote for your next renovation, and we will have your space refreshed with the perfect stone countertop for you.