The best way to do that? Clean them properly.
Although cleaning probably wasn’t the answer you wanted to hear, it is critical in keeping your countertops in great condition for years to come — and it’s not as much of a grueling process as it may seem. Let’s talk about the best practices for how to clean your natural stone countertops, whether they be granite, quartz, or marble.
How to Clean Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are one of the most durable stone countertop options available, but that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from regular cleaning. And while there are plenty of commercial granite countertop cleaners available, your best bet is to use just warm water and dish soap. It’s a gentle solution that won’t cause any harm to your countertop’s sealant.
A good routine cleaning regimen for granite countertops involves the following steps:
- Remove appliances, equipment, and decor to expose the full countertop surface
- Wipe off any crumbs or debris with a dry microfiber cloth or sponge
- Dampen your cloth or sponge with warm water, then add a few drops of dish soap
- Scrub the countertop surface thoroughly
- Wipe countertop with a different cloth dampened with just warm water, then let dry
Sometimes, however, you might be faced with a stubborn spot of food or drink residue that won’t wash away with the dish soap/warm water combination. In those cases, you can try making a paste by mixing baking soda and warm water, scrubbing firmly, then rinsing with water.
Another Homemade Granite Countertop Cleaner Option
Although it’s not recommended for daily use, there is a great homemade granite countertop cleaner that’s a bit more comprehensive in terms of disinfecting. It can provide great results when used once per week or biweekly. Simply combine the following ingredients into a spray bottle:
- 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol
- 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
Spray the cleaner onto your countertop surface, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. The disinfecting properties of the alcohol combine with the degreasing properties of dish soap to make a great all-around cleaner.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are often even more durable and low maintenance than granite countertops. They’re naturally stain-resistant, so they don’t even require a sealant.
However, their recommended cleaning regimen is exactly the same as granite’s; a microfiber cloth with dish soap and warm water is guaranteed to provide the best results.
One difference to keep in mind is that although quartz is naturally resistant to stains and scratches, it’s not resistant to extremely high temperatures. Remember to make good use of your hot pads, and to use lukewarm water when cleaning.
How to Clean Marble Countertops
Marble is regarded as the most luxurious countertop option, but it’s not the most durable. It’ll stain and scratch if not cared for properly, and its sealant won’t do much to protect it if it’s affected by harsh chemicals.
Therefore, it’s even more important to use gentle cleaning products on it. Similar to the others, dish soap and warm water on a microfiber cloth is your safest bet.
Things to Avoid
If you follow the natural stone countertop cleaning instructions described above, your countertops are sure to look gorgeous for quite some time. However, if you do choose to go a different route, just make sure to stay away from the following things. They’re known to ruin the quality of your countertop’s quality, durability, and shine.
- Harsh cleaners – Any product that’s highly acidic or basic (e.g. vinegar, bleach, ammonia) can ruin your countertop’s sealant.
- Abrasive pads – Any type of abrasive pad or sponge could scratch your countertop if used too often or aggressively. A soft microfiber cloth is a safe alternative.
If your stone countertops are looking a little dingy or damaged, talk to the team at Kowalski Granite & Quartz! We can steer you toward the right products to use on your stone countertops, or help you refinish them to bring them back to sparkling condition.