Natural stone countertops are elegant and exquisite additions to your kitchen, bathroom, or office. They are best placed in areas where they can be well-appreciated most, and are often designed as conversation pieces for the homeowner to show off their style and tastes to their guests. However, natural stone countertops are notoriously difficult to keep clean and disinfect.
Granite, marble, quartz, and soapstone are all popular materials that can be used as natural stone countertops, either for functional or decorative purposes. These stones are fairly high maintenance, and poor upkeep can make these materials look shabby instead of sophisticated.
This is why as a homeowner, you will need to understand the importance of proper care for your natural stone countertops, and how to clean or disinfect them without damaging the material. Here is a list of 5 ways you can clean your natural stone countertops, regardless of what type of stone your furniture is made of.
1. Hire Professional Cleaners
As far as cleaning marble countertops goes, professional cleaners can handle it better than any DIY method, as they have the proper cleaning solutions needed to get every stain, scratch, and grime out of your natural stone countertops.
If you’re not confident in your own cleaning abilities, or simply do not have the time to clean your home yourself, hire professional cleaners!
Looking for an experienced professional cleaning company? Trust in Luce Cleaning Experts for an all-around, top to bottom cleaning of your home! They certainly know how to clean natural stone furniture, tiles, and flooring so you can be sure they can do the job right.
Avoid using acidic cleaners or any form of acid on natural stone, including lemon juice and vinegar. The general rule for natural stone surfaces is to avoid acid altogether as the acid eats away at the stone through the protective sealant, causing a rough, white patch to form. This patch is called an etch mark, and can only be removed by polishing and sealing the stone.
There are commercially-available natural stone cleaners on the market that are formulated to clean marble, granite, limestone and more, without damaging the surface or causing etch marks. Go ahead with cleaners like Stone Care and Granite Gold instead of your usual all-purpose cleaning solution.
If you can’t find a cleaning solution that is safe for natural stone, you can easily make your own at home with just some liquid dish soap or castile soap diluted with water. Add 2-3 tablespoons of liquid soap or castile soap to a liter of water, and use this solution to clean your natural stone countertops. Avoid scented soaps and detergents as they may contain harsh chemicals.
Steer clear of bleach as well. Bleach may not be an acid, but its high alkalinity makes it a corrosive cleaner that can eat through the protective sealant of the natural stone countertop. Stick to milder ingredients, and disinfect through other means instead.
Most natural stone materials can withstand the high heat of steam cleaning, especially since steam cleaners only heat an area for a few seconds at a time. If you’re having trouble looking for mild disinfectants safe for natural stone, use a steam cleaner to disinfect your countertops, floors, and even tiles instead.
Steam cleaners clean with just vapor, so you don’t need to worry about harsh chemicals and cleaners creating etch marks on your exquisite natural stone surfaces. Go over each area of your countertops no more than twice, and allow the steam to kill off any microbes and germs that may be on the surface.
We recommend disinfecting your natural stone countertops with a steam cleaner after you’ve already wiped it clean, and removed stains. Disinfection should be the last step of your cleaning routine. Check the manufacturer of your countertops as well for other disinfection options you can safely do for your natural stone countertops.
5. Polish and Reseal on Schedule
Not a lot of homeowners know that their natural stone countertops will need polishing and resealing every now and then to keep that smooth, glossy surface for long. It is inevitable that you may scratch the surface of your countertops with day to day activities, but if the scratch is superficial, it can be easily polished away.
Don’t worry about whittling down your countertops! Professional marble and granite restorers should be able to maintain the thickness of your countertops as they polish the surface. They will only polish off a miniscule amount, so your countertops will continue to look elegant.
The sealant would help to minimize stains, and make the stone waterproof as well. A good sealant should be glossy or matte, and will have no bubbles on the surface. Pick a high-quality, durable sealer that is waterproof, greaseproof, and heat-resistant for the best protection of your natural stone countertops.
What can I use to clean natural stone?
If you have natural stone countertops, you know how beautiful they can be. But you also know that keeping them clean can be a challenge. Here are some tips for cleaning your natural stone countertops:
1. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your natural stone. These can damage the surface of the stone and leave it looking dull.
2. Instead, use a gentle soap and warm water. You can also use a stone cleaner specifically designed for natural stone countertops.
3. Be sure to wipe the surface of the countertops clean after each use. This will help prevent dirt and grime from building up and causing streaks or stains.
4. If you do get a stain on your natural stone countertop, don’t panic! There are several ways to remove stains from natural stone. You can try using a poultice or other commercial cleaner specifically designed for removing stains from natural stone.
5. With proper care, your natural stone countertops will last for many years. Just be sure to follow these tips for keeping them clean and looking beautiful!
What should you not put on a stone countertop?
1. Don’t put hot pots or pans directly on the countertop. Use a trivet or pot holder instead.
2. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your countertop. Stick to gentle, soap-based cleaners.
3. Don’t cut directly on the countertop surface. Use a cutting board instead.
4. Wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining.
5. Don’t stand or sit on the countertop. This can damage the surface.
6. Don’t place heavy objects on the countertop. This can cause damage or cracking.
7. Don’t let food or liquids sit on the countertop for long periods of time. Wipe up any spills right away.
8. Don’t expose the countertop to extreme temperatures. This can cause damage to the surface.
9. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and cleaning of your particular countertop material.
Is vinegar safe for natural stone?
Yes, vinegar is safe to use on natural stone countertops. However, it is important to remember to always dilute vinegar with water before using it on your countertop.
You should also avoid using vinegar on marble or other porous stones, as it can cause etching. When cleaning with vinegar, be sure to rinse the surface afterwards with clean water.
Is Windex good for cleaning granite countertops?
The answer to this question is a little bit complicated. In general, it is not advisable to use Windex or any other ammonia-based cleaner on natural stone countertops.
The ammonia in these cleaners can actually damage the sealant that is applied to the countertops, and this can lead to staining and discoloration.
However, if your countertops are properly sealed, then you should be able to use a diluted solution of Windex without any problems. Just be sure to rinse the countertops well afterwards and dry them with a soft cloth.
If you are looking for a good all-purpose cleaner for your natural stone countertops, we recommend using a product like StoneTech Professional All-Purpose Cleaner. This cleaner is designed specifically for natural stone, and it will not damage the sealant on your countertops.
What should you not clean granite countertops with?
Avoid using abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or steel wool when cleaning granite countertops. These can dull the finish or even scratch the surface. Instead, opt for a mild soap or detergent and a soft cloth. You can also use a granite-specific cleaner, which you can find at most home improvement stores. Just be sure to read the label and follow the directions carefully.
Can you use Pine Sol on granite countertops?
Yes, you can use Pine Sol on granite countertops. However, you should always test a small area first to make sure that it does not damage the surface. When cleaning, be sure to rinse the area well afterwards.
Can you use baking soda on natural stone?
Yes, baking soda is safe to use on natural stone surfaces. When cleaning natural stone with baking soda, make sure to dilute it with water so that it forms a paste. Apply the paste to the surface and scrub gently with a soft cloth or brush. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and dry it completely.