If you browse our catalog or visit any one of our showrooms, you’ll encounter an impressive array of countertop options. Marble, granite, quartz, quartzite…the list goes on. While our options are undoubtedly stunning, keeping them looking pristine with the proper care is a paramount to-do for any countertop owner. We’ve outlined best practices for your countertop of choice, ensuring you get the most out of your surface — in a preserved, brilliant fashion — for as long as possible.
Do Marble, Granite, and Quartzite All Require the Same Maintenance?
Marble, granite, and quartzite each have their own unique selling points, as well as their own cleaning and maintenance needs. While they are all natural stone, their individualistic properties lend themselves to varying best practices as far as cleaning, disinfecting, and general upkeep tasks.
Disinfecting Your Natural Stone Countertop
Hot water and mild dish soap should be adequate for sanitizing. However, if you desire to use a disinfectant to go after bacteria, go for 70% isopropyl alcohol, let it sit on the counter for 3-5 minutes, and rinse with water. Dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
Marble Countertop Maintenance
Over the years, your marble countertop will acquire a distinctly charming patina — a highly sought after feature that adds character to your slab. However, there are still things you can do to protect and preserve your marble countertop.
Seal Your Marble
Marble is among the more porous stones, and sealant is needed for whatever finish is on the countertop to preserve its beauty. It’s recommended you wait at least 24 hours after sealing before polishing. Water-based sealers may be optimal for polished marble, whereas solvent-based formulas may better protect honed-finish marble. Under regular use, a sealant should last about a year before it needs reapplication.
Clean Your Kitchen Countertop Daily
Wipe down your marble countertop every day using a soft cloth, a mild dish soap, and water. Clear spilled food and beverages immediately before they can seep in and result in stain or discoloration. Keep cutting boards and coasters nearby to prevent staining substances from coming in contact with your kitchen marble counter. Additionally, refrain from placing piping hot pots or other cookware straight onto marble, as you run the risk of it discoloration or burning of the surface.
Remove Stains and Etching
For stain removal, clean with a paste of baking soda and water for oil-based stains or hydrogen peroxide for water-based ones. After application, cover paste with plastic wrap, let sit for a few days, rinse off paste, and repeat the process as necessary.
Stains aren’t the only thing to beware of; marble is prone to what is referred to as etching — dull marks on the surface caused by acidic substances such as lemon juice, vinegar, and tomato sauce. This will take a more aggressive approach by stepping up to a cleanser like Soft Scrub or Ajax with bleach applied with an abrasive sponge.
Granite Countertop Maintenance
Granite is naturally antibacterial, and armed with the proper sealant, relatively easy to care for.
Blot Up Spills as Soon as Possible
Acidic substances such as wine, coffee, fruit juices, and sodas won’t etch granite as they do marble. However, they could potentially stain the surface. Additionally, cooking oils may leave a stain if not tended to.
Clean Surfaces With a Sponge or Soft Cloth
Using a specially formulated natural stone cleaner is recommended to keep your countertops in the best condition while protecting the sealer, but hot water will suffice for quick clean-ups. Dish soap will not permanently damage your granite, but repeated use of soapy water can lead to build-up and dull its shine.
Utilize Trivets and Pads Beneath Hot Pots and Pans
While using coasters on dense or properly sealed granite isn’t absolutely necessary like marble, it is still good practice. The same applies to hot pots and other cookware right off the stove; they can be placed on the granite without problems, but in rare cases of heat being applied over time, they can suffer thermal shock and crack. Should your countertop sealant become compromised or discolored due to the heat, several store-bough restorative products can be used for repair.
Quartzite Countertop Maintenance
As with most natural stone countertops, prevention is essential! Quartzite is relatively low-maintenance as long as you take basic precautions and use adequate cleaning products.
- Ensure your quartzite is sealed at least annually. This helps prevent stains and keep your counter looking radiant for years to come!
- Give a daily swipe with a damp cloth and a drop or two of mild detergent. Alternatively, you can wet down a micro cloth and dust off the stone.
- Do not use abrasives or vinegar or citrus-based cleaners. While white vinegar and half a lemon may go a long way for other areas in your space, acetic and citric acids can slowly eat away sealants.
- If stains occur, you can remove them with a commercial poultice or baking soda and water paste. To do this, spread a thick layer of the paste over the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and wipe clean after a day or two.
Looking to Learn More About Natural or Engineered Stone Countertop Maintenance? Turn to Colonial Marble & Granite!
We understand a new countertop is a significant investment, and you want to preserve its beauty and functionality. For more information about our products, including everything from gray leathered granite countertops to White Sand quartz countertops, or for additional information about caring for your countertop, reach out to the team at Colonial Marble & Granite today!