View Countertops Photo GalleriesThere’s no such thing as a maintenance-free countertop. But proper care of your countertop can keep it gorgeous for years. Here’s what you need to know about caring for our countertops.
A mild, non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner will do for regular cleaning. Rinse and dry with a cotton cloth. Do not use cleaners that contain abrasives, acids or ammonia. Clean up spills quickly. Spills such as wine, tomato-based foods, citrus, vinegar, or oil can damage the finish. Granite needs to be sealed regularly to protect it from stains. You can check to see if your granite needs sealing by sprinkling water on it. If it does not bead up, but soaks into the stone instead, the granite needs sealing. Your granite supplier can help you find the right products to care for your granite.
Marble can be very porous, and is susceptible to staining. Use care when doing food and drink preparation on marble, as it can not only stain, but chipping and scratching. Protect marble by using trivets and coasters for setting food and drinks on it. Dust marble countertops with a clean, damp cotton cloth twice a week. A cleaning with a clean cloth dampened with warm water is usually enough. If you need more cleaning, a mild dish soap is recommended. Apply marble polish regularly to keep the shine. Marble should be sealed once every year or two.
Soapstone is heat-resistant, acid-resistant and non-porous. Soap and water is the only cleaner required. Soapstone can scratch. Fixing scratches can require either dry wax or sanding. If you would like a more lustrous finish, you need to apply a wax or mineral oil to the soapstone regularly.
Quartz and Engineered Stone
These materials are popular because they do not have to be sealed as natural stone needs to be. For cleaning, use a clean, damp cotton cloth. If necessary, use a mild household cleaner. If something is stuck on the surface, let the cleaner soak in for about 10 minutes before cleaning. A scrubbing sponge designed for non-stick cookware is good for stuck-on items. Do not use abrasives such as cleansers or steel wool. Use trivets for hot items. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Like quartz, the lack of having to seal it makes solid surface popular. Warm, soapy water will do for most cleaning. Rinse and dry thoroughly to prevent blotchiness. Check manufacturer’s guidelines before cleaning.
Acids such as citrus, vinegar, wine and tomato sauce can damage the finish. Coffee and tea can stain. Clean both types of spills immediately to avoid damage. Soap and water is recommended for cleaning. Do not use abrasives such as cleansers or scouring pads. To keep the shine, it needs to be sealed every year or two. Check your manufacturer’s guidelines for more information on sealing and maintenance.
Tile can be a countertop that is creative and fun. To clean tile, use a mild soap or detergent, and thoroughly rinse to prevent a soap film from forming on the tiles. Adding white vinegar to the rinsing water may help prevent the film. Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or scrubbing pads. To clean the grout, use a mild bleach solution and a toothbrush. Grout should be sealed regularly to prevent staining.
Laminate is a stylish choice that is also wallet-friendly. A mild soap or detergent, and water, is sufficient for most cleaning. For stains and stuck-on food, gently use a stiff-bristled brush. Always rinse and dry laminate after cleaning. Do not use abrasives, scouring pads, steel wool, or acidic products. Always use trivets to protect laminate from heat. Use coasters when setting glasses or mugs on the counter to protect it from stains. Consult your manufacturer’s guidelines for more details.