It’s no secret that natural stone countertops are beautiful – they’re durable, low maintenance, and come in a variety of colours. But these beauties can be daunting to keep clean! In this post we’re looking at why it’s crucial to keep these areas clean and provide some tips for keeping your natural stone kitchen countertops looking their best.
Why is Cleaning Crucial for Natural Stone Countertops?
As we mentioned before, natural stone is highly durable and low maintenance. But there’s a catch: it needs to be kept clean! Just like with any porous material, dirt and grime will absorb into the surface of your countertops if not cleaned off regularly.
If this dirt isn’t removed regularly, damage can occur. The dirt will eventually start to wear down the sealant that’s protecting your countertops, and this will lead to staining. In addition, if food or liquid is allowed to sit on the surface of your countertops for too long, it can cause bacteria growth. So make sure you’re cleaning your natural stone countertops regularly to protect them from both staining and bacteria growth!
Tips for Cleaning Natural Stone Countertops
1. Always Use a Soft Cloth or Sponge
Using a rough cloth or sponge can damage the surface of your countertops. If you apply too much pressure, you could scratch the sealant, which will make it easier for dirt and stains to stick. In addition, if you don’t use a soft cloth, the pressure from rubbing the surface with a hard object can cause micro-fissures to appear. These fissures make it more difficult to clean your countertops and can also lead to bacteria growth.
2. Don’t Use Vinegar or Abrasive Cleaners
Vinegar is a natural product that you may want to use around your home, especially if you’re worried about the environmental impact of other cleansers. But you should be careful about using it on natural stone countertops. Vinegar can cause etching- a process in which micro-scratches are made in the sealant of your counters by acid, making them easier to stain and harder to clean. In addition, vinegar can remove the sealant from your countertops over time, causing staining and pitting.
Abrasive cleaners should also be avoided when cleaning your natural stone countertops. These cleaners contain particles that can scratch the surface of your counters. Not only will this make them more difficult to clean, but it will also damage the sealant and make your countertops more susceptible to staining in the future.
3. Clean Your Countertops Regularly
In general, you should clean natural stone countertops daily, at least. If they’re used more often than that- as is the case in many kitchens- it might be a good idea to clean them after each use. This will help keep dirt and grime from being left on the surface and will help keep your countertops looking their best.
4. Wipe Spills Immediately
If you spill something on your countertops, make sure you wipe it up right away. Not only is this good hygiene practice, but it will also help prevent staining and bacteria growth. Liquid spills should be blotted up with a soft cloth or sponge. If the liquid contains sugar or acids, such as lemon juice or vinegar, use a neutralizing cleaner to clean the area.
5. Dry the Surface Immediately After Cleaning
As we mentioned before, water and natural stone don’t mix. This is because the surface of your countertops will absorb any moisture that’s left on it. If you don’t dry them after cleaning, this can cause damage to the sealant and lead to staining. So make sure you always dry the surface of your countertops immediately after you’ve cleaned them.
6. Always Use Clean Water to Rinse
When you’re done cleaning your countertops, make sure you rinse them with clean water. This will help remove any leftover cleaner or dirt and will help keep your countertops looking their best.
Protecting Your Countertops With a Sealant
One of the best ways to protect your natural stone countertops is by using a sealant. This will help keep dirt and stains from sticking to the surface and will help keep your countertops looking great. In general, you should be applying a sealant to your countertops once a year. But if you live in a high-traffic area or if your countertops are exposed to harsh chemicals, you might need to seal them more often.
Natural stone countertops can be a wonderful addition to your home, and they require very little in the way of maintenance. But it’s important that you take care of them properly, including following the simple rules we’ve discussed. If this seems like complicated work or you don’t have the time to do it, you can always hire a trusted a natural stone cleaning company like Rock Doctor Granite & Quartz Cleaner. That way, your surfaces can be cleaned effectively and safely.1