Marble is a beautiful, elegant and timeless stone. If you’re in love with the look of marble, there’s probably no substitute. However, to retain marble’s beauty, a little extra care is required. Don't worry, it's worth it.
Don’t let spills sit. Clean up any messes immediately to reduce the risk of staining and etching. Don’t use abrasive scrubbers or rough cloths when cleaning, because they can scratch the stone. For big messes and deeper cleaning, follow the steps below.
Use cutting boards, trivets and coasters. Marble is by no means fragile, but it is susceptible to damage from extreme heat, sharp edges, wet spots and a number of chemical reactions. Cutting boards, hotpads or coasters aren’t always needed, but they are a simple precaution that will help prevent damage.
Avoid contact with acids. Never use vinegar or citrus solutions such as lemon or orange for cleaning marble. In fact, avoid contact with these substances altogether. Marble is very sensitive to acids. They can eat into the surface leaving discoloration and rough spots. You’ll hear the term “etching” a lot when learning about marble. Etching is a corrosive chemical reaction that occurs when acids interact with the stone. It causes physical damage to the stone. You can learn more in our Marble FAQ.
Here are a few items to avoid using on marble countertops:
The best way to clean marble is with non-abrasive dish soap and warm water. Make sure it’s a pH neutral, non-acidic soap. Apply a thorough covering of the soapy water. A spray bottle can be used to evenly distribute the soap solution. You can gently scrub the stone with a soft cloth if needed. Don’t use rough sponges or scrubbing cloths, just a nice soft towel.
Next, use a clean wet cloth to wipe away the soap. It's sometimes helpful to use another spray bottle with plain water to rinse the counter. You may need to repeat this step a few times to make sure you get rid of all the soap residue.
Finally, use a clean, dry soft towel to dry the countertop thoroughly. After wiping away all of the moisture, a final pass with a chamois or microfiber cloth will add some shine. Don’t leave any water behind. Marble is porous, so standing water and liquids that penetrate unsealed areas could lead to stains or etching.
There are a number of marble-specific cleaning products and polishes available in stores. Many of these products are fine, as long as you make sure they're made for marble and not some other stone. Also, make sure you have reviewed your stone manufacturer/installers guidelines for cleaning your specific stone, as methods may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
The best way to help your marble countertop retain its natural beauty is to seal your marble regularly, make frequent cleaning a habit and follow preventative maintenance suggestions. A little TLC will help your stone counter last a lifetime.
Quartz is non-porous, which makes it one of the easiest countertop surfaces to maintain and clean.
As with any stone countertop, it’s a good idea to clean up spills right away. Even though quartz is non-porous and stain resistant, it is not completely stain proof. Spills left to sit for long periods of time can cause discolorations. Plus, the longer a stain sits, the harder it becomes to clean.
Here are the dos and don’ts of cleaning quartz countertops:
Many people use Windex® or similar cleaners to help shine their countertops, while this is okay for most quartz, you should avoid cleaners with bleach or ammonia. Windex®, for example, comes in an ammonia-free version.
The real key to caring for quartz is to be gentle. Don’t use any harsh chemicals or cleaning tools that can scratch the surface. Long-term, the real goal is to avoid scratches. The resins used to seal quartz protect the stone, but scratches allow food and other substances into the stone. This can cause damage and stains.
If you avoid cleaning with sharp or abrasive products and/or harsh chemicals, you’ll help prolong the life and beauty of your quartz countertops.
Quartz is an engineered stone, meaning companies manufacture it, so it’s not 100% natural. Different brands of quartz may have slightly different instructions for care, so check with your manufacturer or installer to make sure you know the best methods for cleaning your countertops. If you have questions, give us a call at 316-946-0530.
Sealed granite countertops are easy to clean, but there are a few things you should know before cleaning to help you protect your countertops.
First, most granite requires sealing about once a year to protect the stone from stains and scratches. The amount of time the sealant lasts can vary depending on how often use your countertops, how hard you use them and the type of sealing used. It’s important to know the state of your seal before cleaning.
Unsealed granite or a countertop where the seal has worn off will allow the stone to absorb liquids and spills, potentially creating stains. To test your seal, put a couple of drops of water in a few spots on your countertop and wait a couple of minutes. If the water soaks into the stone, it is probably time to reseal. If the water remains beaded on the surface of the granite, the seal is good.
When it comes to caring for granite, the number one rule is be gentle. Here are the dos and don’ts:
A solution of 50% water and 50% isopropyl alcohol (91% or less) can be used occasionally to restore the granite's shine.
While some commercial cleaners are okay, they may break down the seal faster. It’s best to use only dish soap and water. Cleaning granite is simple: just mix warm water with a mild dish soap and wipe the countertops gently until clean. After cleaning, dry with a microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel cloth to get rid of streaks. It's that simple.
If you need to scrape something off your granite countertop, be careful. Don't use metal or anything with sharp edges that could damage the stone or sealer. Try a rubber spatula or plastic pastry scraper.
Preventive maintenance goes a long way with granite. If you clean up spills quickly, seal regularly and avoid using anything abrasive on the countertop, you can expect your granite to retain its beauty for a lifetime.
If you have questions about caring for you granite, or about new countertop installations or repairs, give us a call at 316-946-0530. We provide service for homeowners and contractors in the Wichita area.