Beautiful natural stone counters are highly durable and look great in the modern kitchen. They’re a great option for the chef who loves to try new recipes in the kitchen. With some simple care and maintenance, you can preserve your natural stone surface’s beauty for generations to come.
How can you keep your natural stone countertops looking new?
Natural stone countertops are durable, unique, and a lovely addition to any home. However, certain activities can cause damage to natural stone. A few proper precautions will keep your countertops looking brand new for years to come:
- Daily Maintenance and Cleaning
- Preventing Staining and Damages
- Handling Stains and Scratches
1) Daily Maintenance and Cleaning
Wipe down your countertops every day with a gentle cleaning chemical. If you can’t find specialized cleaning solutions designed especially for natural stone, mild dish soap will do just fine. Wet a soft, preferably microfiber rag in warm water and gently rub the soap on the surface of the counter. Rinse the rag and wash off all the soap.
When it comes to cleaning natural stone, the gentler the materials you use are, the better your results will be. Acidic cleaning solutions such as vinegar or bathtub cleaner could break down the sealant and cause significant damage to the stone underneath. Similarly, abrasive cleaning solutions or scouring pads can scratch the finish and expose the stone to further damage. Stick with gentle cleaners to keep your natural stone in excellent condition.
Pro Tip: You may have heard of using lemon juice as a natural alternative to stronger acidic cleaners. Lemon juice can cause the same damage to natural stone countertops as stronger cleaners–don’t use it!
2) Preventing Staining and Damages
A few special habits will greatly reduce your chances of scratching or staining your natural stone countertops. Use placemats or coasters under glasses, dishes, and silverware that could scratch the finishing. Clean up any spills, especially of acidic food, right away to prevent staining. Most importantly, never place anything straight from the oven onto a natural stone counter! The sudden heat can soften the sealant or even cause cracks to form in the countertop slab. Place a hot pad or cooling rack on the counter first.
3) Handling Stains and Scratches
Despite your best efforts, stains and scratches will sometimes occur. To remove a stain, begin by clearing the area and blot up the staining material. Don’t wipe it up–that will only spread the stain further. Wash the area several times with mild soap and warm water. If the stain persists, use a small amount of hydrogen peroxide diluted in warm water to gently wash the area. This should remove the worst of the discoloration. If all else fails, get in touch with your countertop contractor for help.
You can likely handle a mild scratch in a kitchen countertop finish on your own. Using a buffing powder or solution specially designed for natural stone, gently buff the area with a soft cloth or buffing pad. Continue buffing until the scratch is no longer visible. For particularly deep or extensive scratches, get in touch with your countertop provider and avoid using that part of the counter until it’s fully repaired.
Maintaining Your Beautiful Stone Countertops
Natural stone countertops add a touch of elegance to any kitchen and are certainly a durable choice. However, they do require more involved care than other types of stone. Make sure you know the type of maintenance your stone surfaces require and how much time you can dedicate to them.
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