Mess is a normal part of many of our days. It’s created in every room of the house, and when it’s left untended, it builds up and causes chaos. This, of course, happens in the kitchen as well. In this blog, we are going to explore the topic of cleaning your countertops through a look at such things as deep cleaning, removing stains, preparing for sealing, and more.
In this section we are going to look at some effective deep cleaning tips and techniques on all kinds of countertop materials. To begin, you should always attempt to avoid using abrasive cleaners for any material type as such cleaners could damage the finish. Also, using microfiber cloths is the best choice for countertop cleaning.
A simple mixture of dishwashing soap and water is usually a good way to clean your granite countertops. But sometimes you may need something a little stronger. In that case we recommend a cleaner that can be used for all kinds of stone including granite, marble, quartzite, and soapstone. By many sources, this Weiman spray is considered to be the best granite and stone cleaner. For the cleaning process, simply spray and wipe gently until all the grime and dust is gone.
Although quartzite is the strongest natural stone countertop material, its finish and shine are still delicate like other stones. It should be treated with the same care as granite. The Weiman spray also works well on this material.
Soap and water, the granite and stone Weiman cleaner, or any all-purpose cleaner will work for porcelain countertops. Since porcelain is a non-porous material, it needs virtually no maintenance besides some daily cleaning.
Soapstone is cleaned like the rest of the materials, except that after deeper cleaning, you may want to apply a coat of oil. Applying oil can help to protect the shine and veining and to help prevent stains. This is not necessary, however, since it is mostly an aesthetic enhancement.
Marble, Dolomite, and Hybrid
Dolomite and hybrid are similar to marble in design and durability. But since they are both naturally a blend of marble and granite, they are a bit stronger. All of these materials can be cleaned just like granite or quartzite, but be sure not to use anything harsh like a scar pad or tough chemicals on the finish.
Marble countertop with decorative edibles.
Spills and accidents occur every once in a while, but it’s good to be sure you wipe them away as soon as possible. In the case that it was too late of a cleanup, and you are left with a stain, you should know some ways to remove them. And that’s what this next section is all about.
Natural stone countertop materials like granite, marble, quartzite, and dolomite can all have stains removed the same way. Some simple stains, like ones that were only left for a few minutes, would likely come out with some stone cleaner. Even a simple mixture of half water and half vinegar should be sufficient. Once you’ve left the solution for a few minutes, wipe with a paper towel or microfiber cloth.
Another option you can try is some household alcohol, or for lighter colors you can also try bleach. With oil stains, a mild degreaser could also be a solution.
If the stain is more stubborn and still won’t come out, you may need to use an overnight method. If so, mix a thick poultice paste with baking soda and water, and leave it covered with some plastic wrap with air holes. In the morning, clean up the area with water, and gently brush away the remaining paste. That’s just about the best solution to getting rid of stains in natural stone. If that still doesn’t work, it may be time to consult a professional.
Removing stains from quartz and porcelain is very similar to natural stone. However, because quartz and porcelain are non-porous, they are very stain resistant. But like any material, they have the possibility of being stained if spills are left too long. Most cleaners will work for quartz and porcelain, but it is still advised to avoid using potentially damaging and abrasive cleaners. Any solutions like a mixture of baking soda and water, household alcohol, or water with vinegar could work as stain-removing solutions.
Since soapstone is a non-porous material, it has a bit of a different process for removing stains than other natural materials.
The first thing you can do is to spray a ph-balanced cleaner on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Weiman’s granite & stone cleaner is a good choice for this.
Next, dampen a microfiber cloth and rub in a circular motion until the stain disappears. If you see that it will not come out, move on to step 3.
In this step, you are going to need some 80 grit sandpaper. Proceed to scrub gently on the stain until the stain is removed. This may take a while, but if you use any stronger grit, there is a high possibility that you can scratch the counter.
Once the stain has disappeared, clean up the area, and apply a thin layer of mineral oil over the area with a clean cloth. It is recommended that you oil your countertops about every two months or so to prevent your soapstone countertops from staining again.
Beautiful marble countertops with mitered island.
Preparing For Sealing
In this section we are going to discuss the step-by-step process of preparing and cleaning your countertops before sealing.
Step 1: Clear your counters
The first thing you need to do to prepare for sealing your countertops is to completely empty the counters.
Step 2: Scrub the surface
The next step is to scrub and clean the surface of dust and grime. If crumbs and messes are left behind, it can ruin the protection of the sealer. Ensure that the countertops are left completely clean.
Step 3: Remove stains
If you have stains on your counters, this is the time to remove them. It’ll be way more difficult to remove stains after sealing. The reason for this is that you’ll have just applied a layer of protection, like a shield. In order to remove the stain, you would have to get through the sealant layer which means messing up your work. In case you didn’t read it or see it above, there is a guide for dealing with stains on all kinds of materials.
Step 4: Disinfect the surface
The last step, after you’ve cleaned the mess of removing stains (if you needed to), you need to disinfect the surface. Clorox wipes or something similar, or simply an easy 50/50 mix of alcohol and water can do the trick.
Once you’ve finished these steps, you’re ready to move onto the sealing process.
Best Cleaners to Have on Hand
There are a ton of countertop and stone cleaners out there, so we’re going to narrow down some of the best, most popular options and the products or mixtures we recommend.
You can make many homemade cleaners, but some simple, effective mixtures are solutions of dishwashing soap and water, household alcohol and water, and vinegar and water. These all work for both cleaning and disinfecting.
The above image shows some good everyday cleaning options. Method Daily Granite Cleaner, Weiman Granite & Stone, and Therapy Clean Granite & Stone Cleaner are shown. Our main choice is the Weiman cleaner as you can see from above.
To conclude this blog, cleaning is not a very difficult process. From deep cleaning and stain removal to sealing preparation, it does seem like a lot to do to keep your countertops in good condition. However, a little work and simple, daily cleaning can be very beneficial and keep your countertops shining for years to come.
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