Don't Take Stone For Granite: Caring For Your Stone Countertops

Home & Garden Articles

Stone countertops can be a stunning centerpiece to your kitchen. The textures and colors of natural stone are brought out by a professional who shapes and polishes the raw materials. The result is a beautiful countertop that makes your kitchen one of a kind. Stone countertops will last forever as long as they are properly cared for. Here are some tips. 

Sealing

Stone is a porous material that can be damaged by water and other liquids. It also traps bacteria easily. For this reason, stone countertops must be sealed in order to keep them looking their best and make sure that they are healthy surfaces for cooking and food preparation. 

When your countertop is installed, professionals will coat it with a sealing material. You will want to have it sealed again a year later. Some people have their countertops resealed every year just to be sure that they are protected. 

Everyday Cleaning

Caring for your stone countertops day by day requires some vigilance but is generally an easy task. Use a non-ammonia based kitchen cleaning spray for regular cleaning, or simply use mild soap and water. Be sure to blot up any spills as quickly as possible, especially if they are acidic. Avoid using anything abrasive, like a scouring pad, on your stone. 

You can buy cleaning products made specifically for stone, including polish that keeps countertops from becoming dull over time. 

Maintenance

While regular cleaning, polishing and buffing is enough to keep a sealed granite countertop looking great, other stone products require more maintenance. 

Some stone materials like soapstone require a periodic rub down with mineral oil. This helps the stone achieve its best color and protects it over time. 

Stain and Etching Removal

Etching marks can occur when an acidic material comes in contract with your stone countertop. These marks can typically be buffed or polished away using a polishing product created for stone. 

Stains from wine, sauces, blood or other sources can be removed from stone using a poultice. Tipnut.com shows you how to make your own poultice solution to help lift stains from stone. 

A poultice is created from an absorbing material like cornstarch, baking soda or flour. Then a liquid is added to create a paste. Often water works well, but dish washing soap, vinegar and even bleach can be used as well. 

One the poultice has been mixed to a thick, glue like consistency, it is spread over the stain and left to dry. The poultice will soak up the stain as it dries. Multiple applications may be needed. 

Chips and Cracks

Stone countertops are sturdy and strong, but they are vulnerable to chipping if you drop something heavy on them. If your stone countertop gets cracked or broken, you will need to have it repaired by a professional. 

Know Your Stone

There are several different types of stone that can be used for kitchen countertops. Each requires a slightly different type of care. Here are a few. 

  • Granite is a perfect choice for counter tops in a luxury kitchen. It is expensive, but it is also one of the strongest materials available. Also the natural markings and shading found in granite make the counter top a unique work of art in your kitchen. Granite requires polishing and buffing. 
  • Quartz is a popular type of engineered stone that is often used as an alternative to granite. Unlike other stone materials, quartz is not porous, so you don't have to worry about it soaking up bacteria, water and stains. This makes it much simpler to clean and maintain. 
  • Marble gives a gorgeous, clean look to a kitchen. However it is very porous and stains easily. Marble must be sealed, and spills must be wiped up immediately. 
  • Soapstone is a material that does not stain easily but that does need to be oiled periodically for proper maintenance. 

Stone is a wonderful choice for kitchen counter tops as long as you understand the specific rules for cleaning and the maintenance required. With proper care, you can enjoy the beauty of stone in your kitchen for many years. 

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3 December 2014

For the Love of Gardening

My name is Joyce Williams. Thanks for stopping by my website. I hope to provide you with some valuable information about gardening. I live with my family on an acre of land just outside of the city. While not huge, an acre provides me with plenty of room to do what I love: gardening. I have several different gardens on our property. There’s my rose garden, wildflower garden, vegetable garden, and dessert garden. We have lots of trees and shrubbery; there’s even a small pond complete with koi fish on our property. As long as the weather allows, I spend time every day outside in the yard. It doesn't matter what time of year, there’s always something to be done. I’m going to share some tips and information on keeping a garden alive and fresh. Enjoy!