When you visit the countertops showroom, you’ll see an astonishing number of countertop options. From Marble, Granite, Soapstone to Quartz, each has its selling points and cleaning and maintenance needs. Some are easygoing and low-maintenance (here’s looking at you, Quartz), while needier ones demand constant attention. That’s why it’s critical to keep in mind the maintenance and cleaning of the countertops you’re deciding to buy.
It’s essential to take proper care of your countertops to keep their surface looking good. It’s tempting to wipe your countertops with whatever cleaners you’ve available at home; it could be dulling or damaging them. It depends on the material, what kind of maintenance your countertop needs, and how to clean and remove stains without any damage. Cleaning can be as simple as wiping it with soapy water or oiling it regularly.
When it comes to cleaning your kitchen and bathroom counters, one method does not fit all. Here are some expert tips for cleaning countertops of various types and keeping them in great shape.
How to Clean Marble Countertops?
Marble is the diva of countertops. It is a beautiful stone but porous and soft, making it vulnerable to stains, abrasions, and heat. It is not the best choice for kitchen countertops if you compare it with other natural stones. Carelessness can put you in a lot of work removing stains and making repairs.
It’s pretty easy to clean Marble on daily basis! You just need a soft sponge or dishcloth dipped in warm water and mild dishwashing liquid.
After cleaning, dry it with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking. Use of abrasive or acidic cleaners, including vinegar and lemon citrus, because they can dull or permanently etch the stone.
Spills of wine, coffee, and carbohydrate can quickly stain the Marble even if it is sealed. To absorb the spill, use a sponge or paper towels; wiping will spread it, causing more damage. Rinse the affected area with plain water and a liquid dishwashing cleanser or detergent and rinse several times. After washing the place, dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Once the stain has set on your Marble countertop, each of its types has a different solution to remove. You can clean oil-based stains with acetone, bleach, household detergent, or ammonia. (Don’t mix any of these chemicals.) For coffee and tea stains, mix a few drops of hydrogen peroxide with a few ammonia drops. Rust stains require a poultice to help draw out the stain. You can clean ink stains with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. First, ensure with spot test that any method won’t affect the stone’s color or finish.
Marble needs care like wiping up the spills immediately and sealing. Proper sealing makes the Marble more resistant and durable. You can check the sealant by leaving a few drops of water on the Marble surface. If the water absorbs into stone, it’s time to reseal your marble countertop.
Placing hot pans right of stoves directly on marble countertops can cause them to crack. Trivets are life saviors for Marble tops. Marble is susceptible to scratches, so always use a cutting board for food chopping and preparation. Use coasters under coffee cups of wine glasses to avoid stains. Acids will quickly etch the stone, so make sure to keep acidic foods away, such as citrus, vinegar, and tomatoes, to contact Marble. Always place coasters under wine glasses and coffee cups to help avoid stains.
To seal a marble countertop, hire a professional, or follow the given instructions if you are doing it yourself. Before sealing, wash your marble counters completely with mild liquid dishwashing detergent, then rinse and dry them well. Spread or spray the sealer on the surface and let it absorb into the stone for 5 to 15 minutes. Wipe off the excess and buff it with a dry cloth.
Read more here on choosing, maintaining, and cleaning Marble.
How to Clean Granite Countertops?
Granite is more rigid and less porous than other natural stones like Marble and soapstone. It makes this stone more resistant to stains and abrasions. Granite can easily be the top choice for customers because of its high resistance against stains, heat, and scratches. According to the Natural Stone Institute, most granite countertops don’t need to be sealed, but a sealer will make it even more moisture-resistant than it already is.
Daily cleaning of Granite is effortless, just like Marble. You can clean Granite countertops with a nonabrasive sponge or cloth dipped in warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Use a microfiber cloth for drying to avoid streaking. Never use acidic cleaners or vinegar and citrus; those chemicals react and eat away at the stone.
To disinfect your countertop, make a solution of water and rubbing alcohol of equal proportion and use it as a spray. After a few minutes, wipe it with a wet cloth and dry it with a microfiber cloth.
Sealing of granite countertop also requires some professional, but you can do it by following the instructions needed. You need to clean Granite first and dry it well thoroughly. Now you can either spray or spread the sealer on the surface of your countertop. Let it absorb into the stone for 5 to 15 minutes, then wipe off the surface with a dry cloth. Keep a check on your granite countertop to see when you need to reapply the sealer. A good rule of thumb is to reapply it anytime drops of water no longer bead up on the surface.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops are tough and can resist a fair share of abuse. In hardness, Quartz is intense, and it tops many of our countertop tests. It doesn’t allow water to absorb on its surface. Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed like other natural stones because of its high resistance and waterproof features.
For routine cleaning, wipe down the countertop with a damp cloth or paper towel. And, if necessary, use a small amount of nonbleach, non-abrasive cleansers. A solution of rubbing alcohol and water will also work for cleansing and disinfection. For stubborn or dried-up spots, use a soft and non-abrasive cleaner or scrub.
To fight food stains on your countertop, follow these steps:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, one cup of flour, and enough water to make a paste.
- Apply it to the stain and cover it with plastic to slow down drying.
- After 24 hours, remove it with warm water and a soft cloth.
For ink stains, soak a cloth with Goo Gone or a comparable oil-based product, and rub it into the stain. Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove any residue.
Unlike many other natural stone countertops, Quartz needs practically no maintenance. Mishandling and dropping heavy objects on it can crack or chip it. So be careful with those cast-iron pots and pans. Using proper trivets can enhance the life of your countertops.
How to Clean Soapstone Countertops?
Soapstone countertops are naturally nonporous and relatively stain-resistant. They give you a natural look without the hustle; no sealing is required. Soapstone tops are very good at resisting heat. But they are highly vulnerable to scratches and abrasion.
An edge Soapstone countertops have over other natural stones is that they are resistant to chemicals and acids. So you don’t need to be over conscious about harsh chemicals and acidic foods etching it. Cleaning of soapstone counters requires only water and a mild all-purpose cleaner or liquid dishwashing detergent. Scratches and tough stains can be removed with very fine sandpaper (do not use rougher than 80 grit). Or hire a professional for removing scratches.
Naturally, soapstone’s color is light gray, but oiling darkens it to rich charcoal color. When oiling soapstone for the first time, pour mineral oil directly onto the surface. Spread the oil uniformly by rubbing it over the entire surface with a dry cloth. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then wipe off excess oil.
For a couple of years, oil it once a month, depending on how dark you want your soapstone. When water leaves noticeable spots on the surface, it’s time to re-oil your soapstone countertop. You can place hot items directly on soapstone, but dragging them can cause a scratch on it.