Natural stone countertops are a beautiful and durable addition to any home. Whether you have marble, granite, quartzite, or another type of natural stone, proper care and maintenance are essential to keep your kitchen remodel looking its best. By following a proper care and maintenance routine, you can prevent dulling, scratching, and other damage that can detract from the beauty of your countertops.
natural stone countertop care products
There are many products on the market specifically designed to care for natural stone countertops. Here are some of the best products to keep on hand to maintain your updated countertops:
- pH-neutral cleaner: Use a mild, pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for natural stone to clean your countertops daily.
- Sealer: Use a high-quality sealer to protect your countertops from stains and damage.
- Polishing and buffing compound: Use a polishing and buffing compound to maintain the shine of your countertops.
- Poultice: Use a poultice to remove stubborn stains from your countertops.
preventing stains & damage
One of the most significant benefits of natural stone countertops is their durability. However, they are not indestructible and certain substances can cause permanent damage if not cleaned up promptly. As a porous material, natural stone will absorb liquids quickly, so it’s important to stay on top of spills to avoid damage. For example, acidic substances like lemon juice, vinegar, and wine can etch the surface of marble and other types of natural stone, leaving a dull spot. Oil-based substances like cooking oils, room fresheners, and cosmetics can also stain the stone if not cleaned up in a timely manner.
what to do if you get a stain
If you do encounter a stain on your natural stone countertops, it is essential to act quickly. Blot the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the substance as possible. Then, use a mild, pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for natural stone to clean the area. If the stain persists, you may need to use a poultice, a paste-like substance that draws out the stain from the stone. Baking soda and water is a good choice for oil-based stains while baking soda and peroxide can work on color stains like wine and coffee. When in doubt, we recommend consulting a professional for the best poultice to use for your specific type of stone.
preventing scratches & etching
To prevent scratches and etching on your natural stone countertops, it is essential to use cutting boards and trivets. Avoid placing hot pots and pans directly on the surface, as they can cause thermal shock and damage the stone. Also, be mindful of acidic substances like lemon juice, vinegar, and wine, as they can etch the surface of the stone. If you do encounter a scratch or etch, consult a professional for the best course of action to repair it.
removing scratches & etching
If you do encounter a scratch on your natural stone surface, wash the area with warm soapy water, then dry the area completely and go over the area with a stone polishing paste. This also works on dull or etched areas on the countertop. You may need to reseal the surface if you notice it absorbs water or liquids quickly.
How to care for your natural stone countertops
Caring for your natural stone countertops is relatively simple, but it does require regular maintenance. Here are the best practices for keeping your countertops in top condition.
The first step in caring for your natural stone countertops is daily cleaning. Use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild, pH-neutral cleaner to wipe them down after each use. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the stone's surface. Also, be sure to dry your countertops thoroughly after cleaning to prevent water spots.
sealing your countertops
Sealing your countertops is essential to prevent stains and damage. Most natural stone countertops come pre-sealed, but it is recommended to reseal them every 1-3 years, depending on the type of stone and the amount of use. To determine if your countertops need to be resealed, perform a water test. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface of the stone and wait 10-15 minutes. If the water beads up, your countertops are adequately sealed. If the water is absorbed into the stone, it is time to reseal.
Caring for your natural stone countertops is important to keep them looking their best and to prevent damage. By following a proper care and maintenance routine, you can ensure your countertops last a lifetime. However, there is something to be said for countertops that age gracefully and develop a natural “patina” as they serve as the heart of your family's activities. Either way, your natural stone countertops will continue to be a beautiful and durable addition to your home. If you have questions about your natural stone countertops or if you are ready to design and build your dream kitchen, send us a message and let’s connect. Schedule a consultation here!