How To Properly Care For Stone Countertops
Quartz, Granite and Marble are all highly desirable stone to use for countertops in homes. But do you know how to properly care for them?
It's no secret stone countertops are all the rage with homeowners. New builds and remodels alike have owners calling for the stone counters! They seem to be worth the investment as well as installing countertops made of granite or another type of natural stone can potentially increase your home’s value by up to 25 percent of its retail value.
Caring for stone countertops however, requires a little extra effort especially depending on what type of stone you get. Here are 2 of the most common countertop materials and care instructions.
Quartz is a beautiful stone with a great finish. A big pro for quartz is that is never needs to be resealed.
"Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining 90% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface. The appearance depends on how the quartz is ground: coarsely ground quartz produces a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz produces a smooth look. Extremely hard and durable; glossy sheen; non-porous and stain-and-crack resistant; does not require sealing or resealing; wide range of colors; easy to clean with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth." The Kitchn
How To Maintain Quartz
The main thing to do with quartz countertops is to immediately clean up spills and keep heat away. Bob Vila outlines some great care guidelines,
"Quartz Countertop Care
- Clean fresh spills with dish soap and a soft cloth, e.g., microfiber.
- Use glass or surface cleaner, along with a nonabrasive sponge, to remove stains.
Though quartz will resist permanent staining when exposed to liquids like wine, vinegar, tea, lemon juice, and soda, or fruits and vegetables, it’s important to wipe up spills immediately—before they have a chance to dry. Take care of fresh messes with mild dishwashing detergent and a soft cloth.
For dried spills or heavy stains, your best bet is a glass or surface cleaner, a nonabrasive sponge (sponges designed for nonstick pans are safe and effective), and a little elbow grease. Keep a plastic putty knife handy to gently scrape off gum, food, nail polish, paint, or other messes that harden as they dry.
Should you find yourself confronting a particularly sticky situation, your stain-busting might require a couple of extra tools.
- Removing cooking grease. If dinner was great but the counter took a beating, use a degreasing product, such as Krud Kutter or Easy-Off. Kitchen degreasers loosen and remove the grease from the quartz countertop surface. Follow the degreaser manufacturer’s instructions for use.
- Removing permanent marker.Permanent markers are supposed to be, well… permanent. When the kids get creative, make sure your counters are protected from their artistry by first putting down placemats or kraft paper, so the only thing they leave behind is a happy memory. Should you find an ink or permanent marker stain after craft time, moisten a cloth with Goo Gone (available on Amazon) or a comparable product, and rub it into the stain. Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove any cleanser residue."
Granite is by far the most popular and most widely used stone countertop among homeowners. How Stuff Works outlined an overview of granite. They said,
"With its heat-resistant qualities, granite doesn't blister; it's also unlikely to scratch or chip. When used for kitchen countertops, it's far superior to marble, synthetic and laminate. It's also better-looking and has a luminous, dimensional quality when polished.
Granite is made up of interlocking mineral crystals, the most common being feldspar and quartz. But an array of other minerals can be included, and these make each piece of granite unique. Feldspar is the white mineral you see in granite; the light gray veins are quartz; and the black is typically mica [source: Keidel]."
Care of granite is relatively simple. Luckily it does not scratch easily. Some basic care instructions via Countertop Speciality:
"Do: Blot up Spills Immediately
Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, and sodas will not etch granite like they do marble, but they could potentially stain the surface. Cooking oils may also leave a stain if not wiped up.
Do: Clean Surfaces Using a Sponge or Soft Cloth
Using a specially formulated natural stone and granite cleaner like this Granite & Marble Cleaning Spray is recommended to keep your countertops in the best condition while also protecting the sealer. However, hot water will do for quick clean-ups.
Dish soap won't permanently damage your granite, but repeated use of soapy water will cause build-up (yes, even if you rinse) and dull your countertop's shine. So, regularly using dish soap for cleaning granite countertops is not recommended.
Do: Use Coasters Under all Glasses, Bottles, and Cans
Again, granite won't etch and using coasters on dense and/or properly sealed granite is not an absolute necessity like with marble, but using coasters is just a good practice to protect all bath and kitchen countertop surfaces.
Do: Use Trivets and Hot Pads Under Pots & Pans
Yes, you can take a hot pot off the stove and put it right on granite countertops without any problems. It is possible for granite (or any stone or quartz) to suffer "thermal shock" and crack, but rare. You don't want to put hot pans on any other surface except for soapstone."
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