How to Care for Your Countertops
So, you finally decided on a countertop for your new kitchen! Congratulations. Now it’s time to learn how to keep your countertops looking as beautiful as the day they are installed. Today, we are going to share with you how to care for our favorite countertops: granite, quartz, and marble.
It is important to apply a high-quality sealer to your granite countertop. Sealants are available at any home improvement store and are simple to use. This sealer will not only help protect your countertop from stains, but also help give it a beautiful shine. Despite the fact that sealing will help protect your countertop from stains, it is important to be diligent with clean up. If a spill is left it can penetrate the surface of your countertop, and if left for too long granite will absorb it.
As far as general maintenance, clean your countertops with soap and water. Cleaning chemicals can strip your seal allowing your counters to be more susceptible to stains. If possible, it is best to keep your counter completely dry at all times. Avoid leaving wet containers on countertops. Olive oil bottles are known to be difficult to keep dry. Consider storing these in the cabinet rather then directly on your counter.
Always use a cutting board as your countertops and your knives will both suffer from direct contact with the other. For added safety, use a trivet under hot pots and pans. Though granite can stand heat without a thermal shock, grit trapped between the counter and the pan can cause damage to your counters.
One of the things that makes quartz different from the other counters is it doesn’t require sealing. Sealing is a treatment that has to be done throughout the life of your countertop. Without the need for sealing, you will save time and money. It’s a synthetic, or man-made, material. The resin in your countertop material makes your counters nonporous so they are resistant to mold, mildew, and odor causing bacteria.
Even though, your countertops will resist permanent staining it’s still important to wipe up spills before they dry. This will help make your overall maintenance much simpler, because it will prevent you from having to spot clean specific stains. If you end up with a dried stain, you can combat this with a glass or surface cleaner and a bit of elbow grease.
For everyday use, avoid acidic or alkaline cleaners on your counters. Soap and warm water will do the trick. It’s also important to use trivets or hot pads as the resin in your counters can melt at temperatures of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, make sure to always use a cutting board. Even though your quartz counters are hard they are not hard enough to withstand your knives.
Like granite, marble is a porous material. Because of this, it is important to seal your marble countertops. General cleaning is fairly simple. All you need is soap and water. Just make sure your soap is non-acidic! If you prefer, you can also use a stone cleaner specific to marble instead of soap.
Marble is mainly composed of calcium carbonate. This is what makes marble sensitive to acidic substances. If any amount of acid is left on your countertop, whether it is an acidic cleaner or a drop of lemon juice, can eat away at your countertop creating etches. Some people choose to leave their etches believing it is part of natural beauty while others choose to file down the top layer and re-polish it when they believe their counter has a significant number of etches.
It’s important to use cutting boards and trivets throughout every day use. These steps will help prevent etching. If you take simple steps to care for your marble daily this will prevent the need for polishing and restoration in the future.
Different countertop materials require different types of care, but if you practice simple, everyday care you will find that the upkeep of your countertops is quite simple. If you make a habit of using trivets for your hot pans, coasters, and cutting boards you can ensure that your countertops will look beautiful for many years to come.