A house needs to be clean at all times. This goes for all parts of a home – bathroom, bedrooms, and of course, the kitchen. For one, people prepare meals inside their kitchens. Hence, it is important that it stays organized and neat. And for sanitary purposes, it needs to stay clean. During the time of coronavirus, cleaning and sanitizing the kitchen, as well as disinfecting your bathroom and all surfaces in your house, is a must-have.
One of the crucial parts in the kitchen is that beautiful quartz countertop that you invested on. For aesthetics, for personal choice, or for the love of a good and durable kitchen – regardless of your reason for choosing a quartz kitchen countertop, its maintenance remains vital. If you are wondering how to disinfect quartz countertops during COVID-19, this Granite Selections guide is just for you.
Ultimately, this begs the question about how you should clean it. And because its appearance and elegance need to be maintained, we begin to wonder what the best cleaner for quartz countertops is and how often we should clean it.
Today, we talk about the best ways to clean your quartz countertops as well the best quartz cleaner for your countertop (you can also use these guidelines for cleaning for coronavirus and read our in-depth post about disinfecting quartz countertops during COVID-19).
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Unseen dirt and other elements remain the number one enemy of quartz. What’s more, coronavirus germs can survive on quartz surfaces for about one to two days. This means that you should not just clean off the surface, but actually disinfect it. This eliminates germs and bacteria not visible to the naked eye. This also ensures that the food you serve to your friends and family is sanitary.
Use Soft Rags and Mild Detergents
The key to maintaining a tiptop quartz countertop is consistency. Meaning, you should, as much as possible, wipe your countertop with warm water and mild soap on a daily basis.
This is especially essential for busy kitchens, like those that are often bustling with constant cooking and prepping for meals. This includes restaurant countertops and big family kitchens.
This is also necessary to prevent dirt buildup. Simply put, when you clean every day, you get rid of dirt daily as well. Spots, stains, and other types of dirt will not have the chance to pile up and harden.
Plastic Scrapers are Key
In the event that gunk has already piled up, use a plastic scraper to get rid of the dirt. This prevents causing scratches on the surface of your countertop. This tool is perfect for removing superglue, stuck gums, and dried grease.
Of course, it is best to scrape the dirt off immediately. Hence, it would be perfect to keep a handy scraper in one of the kitchen drawers.
Use the Best Quartz Cleaner You Can Buy
There are products you can buy at home depot that are great for cleaning quartz countertops. Once you choose one that you are comfortable with, use it as often as necessary.
An important piece of advice: use the kind that does not contain bleach to prevent discoloration of your countertop. To this, people often ask if Windex is safe for quartz countertops. Quartz countertops are the reason why Windex created options with less bleach.
When choosing a product, always check the label for information on countertop safety and protection.
Stains and Spills
Of course, sometimes, the dreaded event occurs. Like when big spills that cause stains suddenly turn your countertop into a hot mess.
Again, if you have the cleaning products you need, this will not be much of a bother. Just spray the products and let them sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe with a wet cloth to remove.
But in times of emergency with no one to turn to, there is no better way to deal with the immediate threat than to do it the DIY way: using different home products.
One great alternative is rubbing alcohol. This is great for inky stains. After wiping the stain off with rubbing alcohol, make sure to follow up with warm water.
Another alternative is glass cleaners. While there are products for countertops, like Windex quartz countertops, you might not have them in stock. But, you most likely have a glass cleaner. This is still effective when used on countertops.
A word of caution though: not all quartz countertops are advisable to use glass cleaners on. Make sure to read the instructions carefully.
Looking for a quartz countertop to update your kitchen? Check our Bianco Pepper project to get inspiration for your remodel.
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Proper Maintenance For Preventing Countertop Damage
Cleaning quartz countertops does not just mean getting rid of immediate dirt. It is part of the entire process of maintaining the durability of your quartz countertop. Always remember that no matter how expensive your countertop is, without proper maintenance, it is bound to break down earlier.
Wipe stains immediately
As previously mentioned, instant cleaning after dirt and stains goes a long way.
Avoid overexposure to high heat
Nothing good ever comes from too much exposure to heat. The same goes for your countertop. Buy products that raise your pots and pans from the surface of your countertop. This way, you will not constantly put your pans atop your precious quartz.
Chopping boards are your friends
While it may seem tempting to chop away on your quartz surface – do not. Some people think it makes it look more authentic. Others are plain lazy to grab a chopping board. While some think that, the knives will not scratch.
Debunking these notions is very important. Nothing good ever comes from using knives and other sharp objects directly on a countertop surface.
Do not smash things on top of your countertops
While it is durable, you might tone down on the pressure you put on quartz countertops. Smashing things down does not at all help in maintaining durability. Know that excessive smashing will eventually cause brittleness and cracks.
Use the right products
As mentioned throughout this article, it is important to use the right products. While this is a bit tricky, you can help yourself with a little research. Most products these days have detailed instructions on how and where to use them.
Of course, if this is all too much to consider, then calling experts is the next big step to take.
For more information about disinfecting your countertops and cleaning your home during COVID-19, please, read our blog post.
Tips for Disinfecting Quartz Countertops
Now you’ve learned how to properly clean and maintain your quartz countertop so it remains stain and bacteria-free. But the coronavirus is a different monster entirely. So we definitely shouldn’t just be learning how to disinfect quartz countertops, but also how to disinfect our countertops to remove the coronavirus and stay COVID-19-free and safe.
Currently, the world is in the midst of a pandemic because we don’t fully understand the virus. We do not know how long it can live on our surfaces. So far, scientists have only been able to figure out that it can live for a few hours on metallic surfaces. But what about stone surfaces?
Because we do not know how long it can stay on stone surfaces, we don’t know if we can get infected with the virus by simply touching it. Nevertheless, we should treat any surface like it’s still infected, just to be sure. Here’s how sanitizing quartz countertops work:
Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands and a face mask to protect your face (an N95 or a surgical mask).
In a spray bottle, mix 1 part bleach with 10 parts water and spray the entire countertop surface. Bleach is a very strong substance and you might be worried about using it on your quartz, but you shouldn’t worry, this is a diluted solution and it won’t cause any discoloration or damage. Do not wipe it off immediately. Leave the disinfectant on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping it dry.
When using rubbing alcohol, use a 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol solution. Spray the entire surface generously and wipe the entire surface. Repeat the procedure again at least once.
Discard the piece of cloth that you used and grab a new one. Rinse the countertop surface with water to remove all traces of the disinfectant.
Immediately throw away your disposable gloves and mask.
It is recommended to clean quartz surfaces daily and disinfect them at least twice a week. Scientists believe that ordinary household disinfectants are enough to sufficiently get rid of the coronavirus. By following the steps above, you can make sure that your family is safe and COVID-free.
Can you use disinfecting wipes on quartz?
No, you can’t use disinfecting wipes on quartz countertops.
Disinfecting wipes contain citric acid as their primary ingredient and are not diluted in any way. When you use these wipes to clean your countertop, they will weaken the seal on your countertop’s surface leaving them vulnerable to discoloration.
Top 7 Mistakes When Caring for Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are a bit pricey so damaging them is a costly mistake. You won’t have to spend a lot of money on repairs as long as you avoid these 7 mistakes when caring for quartz.
1. Not wiping spills immediately
Spills are bad news for quartz countertops. If you let any type of spill sit for too long on your quartz, this may cause the surface to stain. Quartz is often marketed as being highly resistant to stain but it is important to remember that the stone is not completely stain-proof. This is why you should always wipe and clean spills as soon as they happen. Yes, there are ways to remove stains but it’s a long process. The best way to avoid stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Wiping spills immediately is the best practice in maintaining quartz countertops.
2. Using an inappropriate cleaner
Using any cleaning product that is not recommended to be used on quartz countertops will cause lasting stains. Avoid both acidic and alkaline cleaners as these will break down the bonds between resin and quartz and permanently damage the surface. Harsh, acidic cleaners like lemon, lime, and vinegar will weaken the sealant of the countertops’ surface over time and will make the surface more prone to staining.
There are cleaners that are safe to use for cleaning quartz countertops but using dish soaps, antibacterial soaps or hand soaps mixed with water is enough to keep your countertops clean and beautiful. You can use this soap and water mixture for the daily cleanup of your quartz and it will be just as effective as any quartz cleaner in the market.
3. Using abrasive brushing pads
Do not use cleaning pads that are in any way abrasive to wipe your countertop because this may cause small scratches on the surface. These small scratches are not noticeable but they will cause your countertops to lose their shine and luster. Using a microfiber cloth in cleaning quartz is recommended by experts because this type of cloth is soft, highly absorbent, and doesn’t leave any watermarks.
4. Setting hot items directly on the countertop
Quartz is highly heat resistant but it is not entirely immune to heat. Don’t set hot pots or pans directly on your countertop because extreme heat will damage the resin of the countertop’s surface causing it to discolor. Discoloration caused by heat damage usually can’t be fixed and you will need to replace that entire slab of stone to get rid of the damage.
In addition, sudden extreme changes in temperature can create thermal expansion and cause the surface to crack. Always use cooking pads or trivets when you have to put something hot on your quartz countertop to guard it against direct exposure to heat.
5. Cutting foods without using a chopping board
Prevention is the key when it comes to caring for quartz countertops. With the right amount of force, any sharp metallic object will cause permanent scratches on the surface. This is why you should always use a cutting board when cutting up foods to prevent any scratches from happening.
6. Using metallic objects to scrape the surface
Let’s face it. No matter how careful we are, spills still happen and once in a while, you will need to scrape off the gunk on the quartz surface as part of your countertop’s maintenance. When you do this, use plastic objects such as a plastic knife or a scraper, and never use any sharp metallic objects.
7. Using hot water to clean the surface
Make sure that when you clean your countertop, the water that you use is at room temperature or only mildly warm. This is to avoid damaging your countertop’s resin.
What can be better than a clean kitchen? A new kitchen!
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Paul Batashev is the owner and CEO of Granite Selection. The company began in 2011 Pay Less for Granite and has been transforming homes since 2011 with its expertise as a kitchen countertop company and manufacturer of fine custom granite countertops.