You have found the countertops of your dreams. They have been installed and are stunning. If you want to keep them looking this way for years to come you will need to know how to clean and maintain them properly. Here is everything you need to know about how to clean surfaces made of granite, marble, quartzite, and quartz.
How to Clean Natural Stone Countertops
Proper natural stone countertop maintenance and cleaning are fundamental to keep them as beautiful as the day they were installed. Let’s take a look at how you care for each type of stone you may find in your kitchen or bathroom.
Granite is popular because it usually has a polished finish that brings more light to an area and can make a room feel more spacious. Since this is one of the main features of choosing this material, you will want to maintain it as long as possible. To maintain this look, it is necessary to clean the countertops on a daily basis.
It is very important to use a cleaner that will not damage the surface or finish. Using store bought general cleaners is problematic because many of them contain abrasive particles and acidic ingredients. These can harm the finish and cause it to appear dull or even cause scratches.
The best cleaner for granite countertops is actually one that you can easily make yourself. Simply fill a spray bottle with plain tap water and a few drops of dish soap. This makes a perfect spray cleaner for daily use on granite countertops.
To prevent scratches use a soft microfiber cloth. Don’t use any kind of abrasive sponge. Do not use a dishrag or your dishwater. Small particles could be caught on the rag or in the water that may scratch or damage the surface.
When you install granite countertops, expect them to last well beyond a decade. That doesn’t mean they will keep their perfect appearance that long without some help. Most will need to be resealed every 3-5 years depending on the sealer and amount of use.
If dullness or a very slight etching is the problem, you might want to try a polishing powder. A polishing powder specially designed for natural stone countertops and a soft cloth can often bring back the shine you want.
Marble has been prized as a decorative stone with diverse applications since antiquity. It is prized in modern kitchens for its strength and the cool temperature that it maintains.
Although it is a very strong material, marble can scratch and stain because it is porous. Porous materials absorb spills easily. This is why it is so important that you are vigilant when it comes to cleaning up any spills that might occur as soon as they happen. In the end, this will make your daily cleaning easier too.
While sealing will help to combat stains and etching, it is not a sure prevention. Your best option is to be as careful as possible.
Mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth are the best method of daily cleaning for marble countertops. It is important to avoid any cleaners with acidic components such as vinegar because they can actually damage your countertops.
While you can use specifically designed polishing powders on marble, just like on granite, one big difference is that marble should be sealed far more often than granite. You should seal your marble countertops about every 6-12 months, possibly more depending on use.
Quartzite cleaning and care are very similar to that of marble and granite. It is best to use a mild soap with warm water to wipe down the surface of the countertop on a daily basis.
When choosing a soap, stay away from detergents with abrasives or a high pH. You can opt for a cleaner made especially for quartzite countertops or you can mix your own mild soap with warm water. Once per year, you will want to seal the surface so that its porous nature doesn’t allow the absorption of stains from red sauces, wine and similar agents.
How to Clean Stained Stone Countertops
Unsightly stains are one of the few things that can really ruin your natural stone countertops. There are many cleaners that are not appropriate to use because the cleaner itself can dull the surface.
The best way to remove the stain is to either buy a stain remover designed for your specific surface or to make one yourself. The best stain remover that you can make at home for your countertop is a mix of peroxide and baking soda. Mix them into a thick paste that can be spread on the countertop.
You don’t want the mixture to be runny because it needs to stay in place. Spread it over the stain and cover it with plastic such as plastic wrap. Allow time for it to work before wiping it away with a soft cloth.
How to Clean Engineered Stone Countertops
Quartz is a naturally occurring part of many kinds of stones. However, it is not a solid stone that slabs can be cut from without engineering. This is why quartz is considered an engineered stone. In most cases, quartz countertops are made of more than 90 percent quartz.
Quartz countertops are not as sensitive as natural stone countertops. They aren’t as susceptible to acidic foods and cleaners because they are nonporous and do not need to be sealed. You can use most mild household cleaners on them, window cleaner being one of the best cleaners for engineered stone.
One thing to watch out for with household cleaners is any abrasive agent because those could still cause slight etching over time
How to Remove Stains From Engineered Stone
Since the quartz is engineered it is non porous and it doesn’t need to be sealed. This specific quality makes staining a quartz countertop very difficult. However, it is not impossible.
The most likely issue may be a paint spill, nail polish or foods that are very acidic or strong in color/dye. The best thing to do in these situations is to use a damp warm cloth to try soaking the area first. If needed, using liquid Bar Keepers Friend or Soft Scrub no bleach very sparingly may help.
Do not use turpentine, nail polish remover, or a strong chemical agent like oven cleaner to clean quartz countertops as the chemicals can be damaging.
How to Polish Engineered Stone Countertops
If you want to polish quartz countertops it is best to buy a product made for polishing quartz. Be careful to follow the directions of the product carefully so you will get the end results you want.
Make sure anytime you clean or polish engineered stone countertops like quartz that you use a soft clean rag unless there is a rag or sponge that comes with the specific product that you choose.
Have Questions About Countertops?
If you have questions about your stone countertops or countertop care, visit the countertop experts, Masters Countertops online or at the showroom.