With proper countertop maintenance, your new tops will always look beautiful and last a lifetime.
A good countertop maintenance routine is essential for keeping your new tops looking their best. What is needed for your countertops depends mostly on the material your surfaces are made of. As a general rule of any countertop maintenance, you should always try and wipe up liquids off your countertops right away. Don’t let liquids sit overnight, especially if they are high in acidity (i.e. lemonade) or prone to staining (i.e. red wine). Always use a soft, nonabrasive fabric or sponge on your countertops. Avoid using cleansers that are overly harsh or that contain acidic or alkaline ingredients. A mild soap or dish detergent is always best.
Granite, Quartzite and Marble Countertop Maintenance
Granite, quartzite and marble are all-natural materials. Of the three, quartzite is the densest and marble the least. Though all three are resistant to staining, they are all porous need to be cared for with a regular countertop maintenance routine.
Sealing All natural stone needs to be sealed on a regular basis. Granite, quartzite and marble countertops are sealed before they are installed but will need to be re sealed in about a year. There are several waterproof sealers that can be obtained online or from a home improvement supply store. When choosing a sealer, make sure it is nontoxic and appropriate for your countertops and lifestyle.
Daily Cleaning Natural stone countertop maintenance starts with a daily cleaning with a mild dish soap or specialty granite cleaner. Always use a soft rag or sponge and avoid overly abrasive cleansers or sponges as these could scratch and dull your tops.
Stains If a stain does develop on your natural stone countertops, there are a couple of things you can do. Try removing stubborn stains using a non abrasive cleaner such as Bar Keepers Friend. For more stubborn stains, make a poultice out of baking soda and water. Mix together until the mixture resembles a thick paste and smear over the stained area so that it is fully covered. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the plastic wrap and wipe up the mixture.
If you’d like to read more about the care of natural stone countertops, we recommend clicking here for a free electronic manual from the Natural Stone Institute.
Outdoor kitchen with Coffee Brown granite tops with a leathered finish. Home design by Giddens Homes.
Soapstone countertops are elegant, durable and very easy to care for.
Soapstone is a natural material that is mined straight from the earth. However, unlike granite, quartzite and marble, it is completely non-porous and thus completely resistant to staining.
Oxidation Soapstone will naturally oxidize over time. When it is first mined from the quarry, it tends to be a light gray in color. As it is exposed to air, water, grease and oils it will slowly begin to oxidize and darken. In order to expedite the oxidation process, many people choose to apply mineral oil to their soapstone countertops, which can be obtained online or from a home improvement supply store. Mineral oil will not absorb into the tops, as they are non-porous, but will simply oxidize the tops and bring out a darker, richer tone. You can reapply as often as you’d like. Simply wipe it on and leave it for a few hours, then wipe up the excess with a dry, clean rag.
Cleaning Soapstone is non porous and chemically inert, making it one of the easiest countertop materials to care for. No household cleaners will damage it, so you clean it daily using the non toxic cleaner of your choice.
Quartz and Solid Surface Countertops
Quartz and solid surface countertops are both man-made materials. Solid surface is purely resin based and quartz is a mixture of powered quartz and resin while solid surface is purely resin based.
Sealing Never apply any kind of sealer to quartz or solid surface countertops. Both of these materials are completely nonporous and do not need to be sealed – ever. Applying sealant to these countertops is never recommended, and in fact could ruin them so don’t do it!
Daily Cleaning Clean solid surface and quartz countertops daily with a mild dish detergent and soft rag. Do not allow liquids – especially those that are highly acidic or prone to staining – to sit on your quartz or solid surface countertops for an overly long period of time. Wipe up spills as they happen and never use an overly harsh or abrasive materials to clean them.
Stains Although quartz and solid surface countertops are stain resistant they are not stain proof. If a stain does develop, saturate it with a glass cleaner, let it sit for a minute then wipe it up. If that does not remove the stain, make a poultice out of baking soda and water. Mix together until the mixture resembles a thick paste and smear over the stained area so that it is fully covered. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the plastic wrap and wipe up the mixture.
Heat Never place a pan directly from the oven or cooktop directly onto a quartz countertop. It could melt the resin and cause discoloration. Always use a pot holder or metal trivets under hot pans to avoid damage.
Quartz countertops are very durable, stain resistant and easy to care for. Home design by Giddens Homes.
With proper care and maintenance, your countertops will continue to look beautiful for many years to come. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!