Clean the countertop daily with a soft white cloth and a neutral cleaner or household detergent such as Dove. Household cleaning products like dish detergent, Windex, Lysol Disinfectant, or 409 can be used, but may leave a film. A solution of vinegar and water works great to remove streaking, smudges, and body oil.
Simple preventative measures can go a long way in protecting your countertops. Make sure to use cutting boards, trivets, and cooling racks. If you have bottles of cleaning liquids (like dish detergent), keep them in a dish to avoid water building up underneath them. Take the time to wipe off water around the faucet and fixtures each day to avoid calcification. If you let it go, it can eventually require a stone restoration to remove, but cleaning even once a week will help keep your counters free of mineral buildup.
Spills should be wiped up immediately. Blot the spill with a clean paper towel. If the countertop stains, a poultice may need to be applied. Use the flat side of a razor blade for removing stuck on tape residue, dried paint, glue, dried food, etc. Use #0000 or finer steel wool to remove dried water spots, smudges, hazy areas, and for general cleaning to bring out the shine. Do not use the steel wool wet. Use a pencil eraser to remove aluminum trails.
Natural stone countertops are generally sealed at the time of fabrication. Resealing is up to the individual. We recommend countertops be re-sealed every 1-4 years, depending on the application, the sensitivity of the individual, and the type of stone. Granite impregnators, cleaners, and disinfectants are available at most home improvement stores, or can be ordered online. Applying the sealer is easy – simply spray the sealer on the countertop, let it sit for a minute, and wipe up the excess. Always follow the instructions on the bottle.
Important note: a sealer doesn’t make the stone stain-proof. It provides an extra barrier of protection between your stone and whatever touches it, which gives you extra time to clean up whatever you do spill on the countertop. Acidic foods are the worst offenders. Don’t use any acidic cleaning products, such as a vinegar-based window cleaner. We just wipe up a spill — no matter what it is — with a wet sponge right away, and our countertops look great.
Marble is a softer, calcium-based stone that is prone to scratching, staining, and etching. Even when protected with a sealer, marble can etch in seconds. Homeowners should expect marble to gain a patina over time, and to show the history of its use on the surface of the stone. I tend to think of marble as being like a leather jacket – you can’t expect it to look brand new forever. The more you live with it, the more it will wear. To many, that’s the beauty of this kind of stone.
That said, there are steps you can take to help protect your marble countertops from damage. Use caution when working with acidic products, like tomatoes, citrus fruits, juices, alcohol, and vinegar. Clean up spills as soon as you can with a soft cloth or sponge. Use trivets, cutting boards, and coasters religiously. Clean your countertops on a daily basis using a mild soap or stone cleaner. Re-seal your marble countertops regularly, and always follow the instructions on the label.
Quartzite is as beautiful and exotic as it is durable. It’s nearly twice as hard as glass, and harder than the blade of a knife. It is also resistant to common kitchen acids, and won’t etch when exposed to things like lemon juice or vinegar. Depending on the type of quartzite you have, it may not be necessary to re-seal them, either. In some cases, the stone is so dense that it won’t actually accept a sealer.
Care for your quartzite by wiping your countertops regularly with a gentle cleaner, water, and a soft cloth or paper towel. We recommend using cutting boards – not because your knives will scratch your quartzite, but because your quartzite will dull your knives!
Soapstone remains popular as a countertop material due to its rich tones and resistance to heat and chemicals. Soapstone is a hydrophobic stone with an absorbency of near-zero, meaning it does not absorb water. It retains heat well and is not damaged or scorched by hot cookware. Finally, soapstone has a porosity of nearly zero, making it a naturally sanitary food prep surface that won’t harbor bacteria or absorb liquids.
Caring for soapstone countertops is simple: little more than water and a gentle cleanser is needed for regular cleaning. Despite the ease of maintenance, it’s important to keep in mind that soapstone is a soft stone that will scratch. Most soapstone scratches can be easily disguised or removed using mineral oil (for smaller scratches) or sandpaper (for larger scratches). Preventative measures like cutting boards can help keep scratches to a minimum.
It is not necessary to oil or seal soapstone. The choice to do so is purely aesthetic, as oiling or sealing it will help enhance the depth and richness of the stone.