Tips And Trick

Stone Countertops: How to Keep Them Clean and Looking Great

Stone countertops are an elegant and durable addition to kitchens, bathrooms, and other multi-purpose rooms. Whether you opt for concrete, granite, limestone, marble, quartz, or soapstone, it’s crucial to understand the proper care and cleaning techniques for each type of stone to avoid any damage. Below are some effective ways to clean various types of stone countertops.

Concrete

Although not immediately considered a stone, concrete countertops are made from a mixture of finely crushed stone, sand, cement, and water. After being poured into a mold and dried, the result is a durable solid surface that can be stained or left natural. Proper sealing is essential for easy maintenance of concrete countertops, and the sealant used should be resistant to acid, heat, and scratches. Follow the instructions provided for how often the sealant needs to be reapplied.

Daily cleaning should involve wiping the countertop with a mixture of one teaspoon of dish detergent and four cups of water, as acids are highly damaging to concrete. Avoid using harsh, abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads, and do not use distilled white vinegar as a cleaner. For homes with hard water, consider using a water softening system or a water conditioner in cleaning water.

If stains from strong acids, such as lemon juice, have etched the concrete, buffing or grinding away the damage and resealing the surface is necessary. It is best to hire a professional if this is the case. Discoloration stains caused by food, such as coffee or mustard, can often be removed with chlorine bleach. To remove oil stains, make a paste of baking soda and acetone and apply it thickly to the stain, then cover it with plastic wrap and leave it for 24 hours. The concrete will need to be resealed after cleaning.

If you have a budget that is not too much for a minimalist kitchen decoration, concrete countertops are an alternative choice that you can try made of marble and granite. You can make this textured countertop design with the addition of a mini ladder that you can use to place some of the flower vases you have. This concrete countertop has proven quality and durability. Textured Concrete Countertop> from @aft_construction

Another advantage that you can get from using a concrete countertop is that it has a surface with a stronger and denser structure so it is not easily porous, broken or scratched. You can apply this countertop design to your low-maintenance kitchen décor. This concrete surface will look more shiny when exposed to the reflection of sunlight that enters through the glass windows around it. Not Easily Cracked Concrete Countertop> from @zcounterform

When you use a kitchen countertop with concrete, it indirectly presents an industrial style. You can combine the existence of this countertop with storage drawers that have been painted in a variety of different colors so that they are ready to be made as the focal point of the room. When using a concrete countertop material, it is minimal for you to do an overhaul because it is broken or damaged. Industrial Style Concrete Countertop> from @victoria_road_restoration

Granite

Granite countertops are a popular choice for their wide range of colors and formations, making each slab unique. Not only is granite naturally anti-bacterial, but it’s also easy to care for with proper sealing.

For daily cleaning, it’s recommended to use a mixture of dishwashing detergent and water. Just mix a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and four cups of water in a spray bottle and give the countertops a quick spritz after food preparation. Avoid using harsh cleaners like foaming bathroom cleaners, vinegar, or lemon juice, which can dull the finish of granite. Using cutting boards and trivets is also essential to prevent scratches from sharp objects and gritty items. It’s important to follow the installer’s guidelines on resealing granite countertops as recommended.

For tough stains such as red wine or beet juice, a commercial stone poultice can be used or a homemade mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, which should be spread about one-fourth inch thick over the stain and covered with plastic wrap. Allow the mixture to remain on the stain for 24 hours, then wipe away and repeat as needed until the stain is gone. After cleaning, the stained area will need to be resealed to prevent further staining.

Apart from having a luxurious and modern appearance, the use of this granite countertop also has low maintenance that you can do any time after using this countertop area. What you can do now is spray cleaning fluid and wipe it using a microfiber cloth with a softer surface so as to minimize scratches on the surface of this countertop. Luxury Look Granite Countertop> from @haleofahouse

Take a look at this U-shaped granite countertop design, isn’t it eye-catching enough for you to copy? Yes, you can choose this granite material with a choice of brown colors which can add a warm atmosphere to the room. The advantages of this earth color also make it easier for you to combine it with other interiors that are used. There’s nothing wrong with applying brown granite countertop material in a farmhouse style kitchen decoration. U Shaped Granite Countertop> from @busolaevans

Limestone

Limestone countertops are a popular choice because they offer the luxurious look of marble at a more affordable price. Typically, limestone is white or off-white with natural, random patterns in the stone. However, compared to other types of stone, limestone requires more upkeep and care.

Due to its porous nature, limestone is prone to scratching and discoloration, but with appropriate sealing and maintenance, limestone countertops can last for many years.

Daily cleaning: Avoid harsh or acidic cleaners when cleaning limestone countertops, and instead opt for a commercial limestone cleaner or warm water mixed with dish detergent. Use a soft cloth to clean the countertops daily after food preparation. Avoid sponges or scrubbers that may scratch the finish.

Stain removal: Limestone is softer and more porous than other stones, making it vulnerable to stains from dark-colored and acidic foods such as red wine, black tea, and coffee. High temperatures can also cause the stone to scorch or burn. To remove stains, create a paste using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, apply it generously to the stained area, cover with plastic wrap for 24 hours, and then wipe it away. Reseal the affected area afterward.

If scratches occur and are not too deep, they may be lightly buffed out using 0000-grade fine steel wool or car polishing compound. Always reseal the area after cleaning.

Besides having natural ingredients, limestone countertops are also more resistant to changes in the weather in the room. The appearance also looks exotic when combined with a gold faucet that looks shiny. The color that is owned from this limestone material is beige which seems neutral and will never fail. Natural Limestone Countertop> from @studioreydesign

Not only in the kitchen, you can also apply the use of limestone countertops in farmhouse or rustic style bathrooms. When you apply it with a farmhouse theme, you can combine reclaimed wood mirror frames that look shabby chic with a splash of plain white. Lavender flowers are a natural decoration addition. Limestone Vanity Countertop> from @to_mimishousewego

Marble

Marble is a countertop material that is highly prized by professional chefs due to its cool surface temperature, which is perfect for pastry making. However, it is quite porous and can easily be stained and scratched. Although sealing can help prevent staining, acidic foods can quickly etch the marble surface.

To keep marble looking great, it’s important to wipe up spills immediately and clean marble countertops daily with mild dish detergent and warm water using a soft cloth. Avoid using scrubbing sponges or any type of harsh cleaner, including vinegar and glass cleaners with ammonia. Marble countertops should be resealed every three to six months to help prevent staining.

To remove food stains or rust marks left by metals, create a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, apply liberally and allow it to dry before wiping away. Repeat as needed. Many stains will gradually fade over time.

To remove scratches and etching, use a marble polishing powder, following the product instructions carefully and using a light scrubbing touch to prevent damage. Remember to reseal after polishing.

There’s nothing wrong with using marble for your home bar countertop design. One of the advantages that you can get is low maintenance and easy to clean because it has a very smooth surface. Choose and use only marble countertops in dark colors for a dramatic look that can never fail. White marble fiber is a favorite blend that can present a monochromatic theme. Black Matte Marble Countertop> from @leatherxconcrete

Marble kitchen countertops have a favorite pattern that many people like because they can instantly present a modern theme. For a neutral, calm and not tacky look, you can choose it in white only so that it is suitable when combined with the use of white floors and ceilings as well. The advantage of white in this kitchen room is that it makes it look wider and more open. Marble Kitchen Countertop> from @allthingshomestyle

You can get a modern, sleek and shiny look entirely when you use a marble countertop which is dominated by black and white. This material is not only applied to countertop use but can also be tried on the storage cabinet section where you can make maximum use of it. A flower vase is an additional decoration that you can place right next to the sink. Marble Countertop and Cabinet from @himeraestudio

Quartz

Quartz countertops are composed of engineered stone made by mixing quartz crystals with resins and colored pigments to form a slab. This process results in a nonporous surface that does not require sealing or resealing. However, the color of quartz may fade if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. Additionally, the resin used in the manufacturing process may become damaged if subjected to extremely hot items.

Daily cleaning: Quartz countertops are easy to maintain because they are not easily scratched or damaged by acidic foods. You can use a glass cleaner or any non-abrasive household cleaner for daily cleaning. Abrasive scouring pads should be avoided.

Stain removal: Quartz is highly resistant to staining, but dried paint or nail polish can be removed with a plastic putty knife. Permanent ink stains may be difficult to remove, so it is advisable to protect the surface when using Sharpies.

The advantage of choosing quartz stone for countertop decoration is that it has an aesthetic pattern and of course a strong and temperature resistant surface. It’s not enough to stop here, but you can also get an environmentally friendly, non-toxic and radiation-free touch. You can use it with a touch of white for a neutral design that can be combined with the use of cabinets and kitchen islands that have been repainted in white and blue. White Color Quartz Countertop> from @penngranite_wilkesbarre

When it comes to decorating a kitchen with a farmhouse theme, there’s nothing wrong with using quartz stone in the countertop area. The design of this countertop can be combined with cabinets that have been repainted in jet black for a touch of color scheme that blends in perfectly. Gold accents on the use of faucets and cabinet handles add color to the room. Modern Farmhouse Quartz Countertop> from @dandltile

Not easily broken and not easily scratched is the use of quartz countertops which can be applied to the modern farmhouse style kitchen decoration section. This quartz material has white splashes with black fiber patterns that can work well together in one room, only apply to the kitchen island. The lighting that is bright enough in this room makes your kitchen usable during the day and at night to the fullest. Not Easily Scratched Quartz Countertop> from @custom_granite_fabrications

Soapstone

Soapstone countertops are an easy-to-maintain option for your kitchen. Although nonporous, soapstone is not as hard as some other stones, which makes it susceptible to scratches and chips if hit with heavy objects.

Daily cleaning: Soapstone countertops are often enriched with mineral oil to deepen their natural gray color. For daily cleaning, any household cleaner and water can be used, but it is best to avoid scouring powders and pads.

Stain removal: Since soapstone is nonporous, food and acidic substances do not leave stains. If the surface is scratched, you can rub mineral oil into the area to hide scratches and discoloration caused by hard water spotting.

Decorating the countertops and sinks with the same choice of material, namely soapstone, gives a finished look to a vintage kitchen decor. Perform routine maintenance using a microfiber cloth on the surface of this countertop to minimize scratches over time. Another advantage that you can get is that it is resistant to stains and hard enough so it doesn’t break easily. Soapstone Sink and Countertop from @kateabtdesign

Soapstone material usually has a gray color which can be combined with blue kitchen cabinets. This will offer an antique and historic look to your kitchen décor. Also combine with walls made of paverstone for an eco-friendly look. When this soapstone countertop is damaged, you can sand it and you can easily do it yourself so it’s more budget-friendly. Neutral Color Soapstone Countertops> from @homeonanashvillehill

Additional Tips

Make sure to shield stone countertops from hot items by using trivets that allow airflow under the hot item. Slow cookers, in particular, can expose counter surfaces to heat for several hours, which may cause thermal shock and crack the stone countertops. Avoid standing or sitting on stone countertops since small fissures in the stone may cause cracks if subjected to excessive weight. Use a step stool instead.

Clean up spills immediately since most stone is sensitive to acidic foods, including wine, citrus juices, vinegar, and salad dressings. Be careful when handling foods that contain excessive artificial and natural dyes like Kool-Aid and beets. Even sealed stone countertops can be etched by strong acids or harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach or ammonia. Avoid chopping or slicing directly on the stone counter to prevent scratches and always use a cutting board.

If your stone countertops have been finished with a sealant, keep in mind that the finish won’t last forever. Normal wear and tear removes the finish. The frequency of resealing depends on the type and quality of the stone as well as the color of the stone. Light-colored stone usually requires resealing every one to three years while darker tints can go three to five years. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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