How to Clean and Maintain your Stone Benchtops
When you want to add a unique, classy or contemporary feel to your indoor space, using stone benchtops is the best way to do so. Stone benchtops prove to be undeniably versatile and durable however, to ensure that they stay in their stunning condition for years to come, it’s essential that you properly clean and maintain them, as some stone materials are prone to breakage and scratches, which can look unsightly in your kitchen.
Here at Aurora Stone, we want our customers to get the best value for their money, so aside from offering the premium quality stone benchtops Perth residents are raving about, we also provide tips that can ensure the longevity of your purchase. As such, we’ve put together this guide to teach you how to clean stone benchtops. Keep in mind that the treatment varies depending on the material.
General Things to Consider with Marble, Granite, and Travertine
So, how do you clean granite and other natural stone materials most effectively? Well, you’ll be delighted to know that the general care and maintenance is relatively easy; you only have to periodically wash them with clean, warm tap water along with neutral (ph-7) cleaners. It’s advisable to use ‘soap-less’ cleaners because they minimise filming and sticking; however, other cleaning agents would suffice, including mild, biodegradable and phosphate-free liquid dish soaps, powders or soap flakes. The only thing that you would have to ensure is that they’re fragrance-free and that you rinse them off thoroughly.
Steps in Cleaning Stone Benchtops
- Wet the stone surface with clean, warm water.
- Use the cleaning solution and wash the surface in small overlapping sweeps. If the surface is vertical, start from the bottom up.
- Thoroughly rinse the surface, using clean, tap water.
- Use a cotton-flannel or soft cloth to dry the surface.
- Let the surface air-dry.
Any type of spills should be removed immediately and rinsed with warm water. Make sure you place coasters under all glasses, especially those containing citric juices or liquors, and as for cooked dishes, it would be advisable to put them on top of hot-plates. In general, if you prevent the surface from getting stained, you can save a great deal of effort and time trying to find remedies and cures. Even if you have polished stone benchtops, you should give it the same consideration and care as to what an excellent wood finish would get.
How to Repair Damages on Marble and Travertine Benchtops
So, we’ve taught you how to clean stone benchtops however, what would you do if your marble or travertine countertops got stained, etched or damaged? Well, don’t panic because there are still some things you can do to fix these issues.
As we’ve mentioned, you should always use placemats and coasters to avoid getting stains from dishes and drinking glasses. Keep in mind that marble is vulnerable to all types of stains, including water rings. Avoid leaving any spilt substances on the surface for an extended period of time, including juices, oils, greases, alcoholic beverages, cosmetics and even standing water.
In general, you should avoid acid-based cleaning products when trying to remove these stains. In a separate article, we’ve listed useful tips for adequately caring for marble benchtops. Make sure you check it out to discover how you can effectively deal with stains and etching.
Things to avoid when you have Granite Benchtops
Avoid placing hot oven pots and other items directly on your stone benchtop, as doing so will subject the material to extreme thermal shock. It’s true that granite can resist heat up to 200 Celsius in temperature, however, if you regularly place hot items over it, you will reduce its strength and will start to notice hairline cracks on the surface.
It’s also worth mentioning that compared to the darker ones, lighter coloured granites are more susceptible to staining, but you can avoid these stains by immediately wiping spills. Granite benchtops also have stain-resistant sealers, so it’s advisable that you reseal the surface accordingly to prevent exposing the material and putting it at risk of more stains.
Granite benchtops are not prone to scratching – you can even cut food directly on the surface, and it will not be affected. Despite this, however, we still recommend using cutting boards. When you repeatedly use a knife over the same area, the sealant will eventually wear out.
Avoid applying too much downward pressure on the weak parts of your granite benchtops, which typically include the back and front of the sink, as well as the cooktop. Doing so will cause the area to crack or break. Granite may be a strong and reliable material, but it will not contract or expand to any measurable degree. As such, you should not subject it to excessive weight, extreme temperatures or stress.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Engineered Stone Benchtops
Due to the features of engineered stone, it requires minimal maintenance, meaning that you can just perform daily routine cleaning to keep its appearance like brand new. We recommend using warm soapy water with mild detergent along with a damp cloth when cleaning the surface. When removing adhered materials like nail polish or food gum, use a sharp blade to scrape them away.
If there are stubborn marks, you can use household bleach to get rid of them effectively; however, you should use this cleaning agent with caution because it is considerably stronger than other products. You can also use a non-abrasive scrubber to clean other stubborn dried spills or stains thoroughly.
The great thing about engineered stone benchtops is that they can tolerate brief exposure to moderately high temperatures; however, we still advise that you avoid placing hot pans, pots, electric frying pans and oven trays directly over the surface for a prolonged period. To keep the sealant intact, it would be best to use a trivet or hot pad.
Like any other stone countertop surface, engineered stone can be permanently damaged when exposed to strong solvents and chemicals that undermine its physical properties. Because of this, we’d recommend that you avoid products that contain methylene chloride or trichloroethane, such as paint strippers or removers.
If you want to learn more about properly caring for your stone benchtops, do not hesitate to get in touch with Aurora Stone– we will gladly answer any question you might have and assist you in choosing the most suitable stone material for your needs and preferences!