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How to Care for your Countertops

How to Care for your Countertops

While it's tempting to wipe down your countertops with whatever multipurpose cleaner you've got at home, it could be dulling or damaging them. There’s more to cleaning kitchen countertops than just swiping at the counter with a cloth and cleaning products. To clean your countertops properly—and without damaging the material your counter is made from—you need to know what types of cleaners are safe for your countertops, as well as those you should avoid at all costs. 

We've put together a list of tips to care for your countertops and keep them looking beautiful for years to come.

Quartz Countertops

Care Information

Thermal shock or “hazing” can occur when a hot pot, pan, dish, kitchen tool, or any other hot receptacle or object is put on the countertop. After using certain kitchen utensils, such as frying pans, pots, and other items that give off heat, do NOT place them directly on the surface. Trivets or hot pads should always be used. 

One of the most notable features of Silestone quartz is their high impact resistance, however you should avoid any impacts on your countertop, as chips are caused by impact. Quartz is also extremely scratch resistant; however it can be scratched when proper care is not used. Do not cut food or other items directly on your countertops, instead use a cutting board as part of your proper homeowner maintenance. 

Routine Cleaning and Maintenance

Due to their low porosity, Silestone surfaces are highly resistant to household stains. We recommend you use a cleaner specially formulated to clean Silestone surfaces such as Weiman Quartz Clean & Shine. The best alternative would be water and neutral soap. Finish off by rinsing the surface with plenty of water and drying it with a soft cloth.

Stubborn Stains

For difficult stains, spray quartz cleaner onto the affected area and leave on for 2 minutes. Scrub with a gentle scouring pad (the same ones you can use for glass-top stoves), rinse with plenty of water, and dry. 

Here's some additional information about the proper cleaner to use for different types of stains.

STAIN TYPECLEANING PRODUCTCLEANING TOOL
FoodNeutral Soap & WaterWet Soft Cloth
InkEthanolPaper Towel
Grease Stains or OilNeutral Soap & Water or WindexWet Sponge
Rust or MetalHydrochloric Acid*Paper Towel
LimescaleLimescale Remover* or VinegarWet Sponge
Other Stains (Food Coloring, Wine)Diluted BleachWet Sponge
*Apply hydrochloric acid or limescale remover on paper towel first instead of directly on the stain

Granite Countertops

Care Information
Granite countertops are an extremely durable surface, resistant to scratching and heat, however it is strongly recommended that cutting boards and trivets are used. Granite is a very durable work surface and countertops are sealed to help resist staining, however some household chemicals and acidic liquids will break down the sealer. When spills occur, wipe them up immediately. Granite countertops should be washed with Glass Plus or any other non-ammonia based product. Take special care not to use ammonia products as they may damage your countertop’s surface. 

For everyday cleaning, you can use soap and warm water or any cleaner that is designed for use on granite. Apply the cleaner and wipe your counter down with a soft cloth. Make sure you use only cleaners or soap that are pH neutral instead of acidic cleaners such as vinegar and ammonia. Acidic cleaners can remove sealant from your countertop, which leaves the surface vulnerable to damage. 

Sealing your Granite
Granite countertops should be thoroughly cleaned and resealed once a year, or sooner if they are exposed to heavy use or are a lighter color. To check if your countertop needs to be resealed, pour a small amount of water on a section of your granite and wait for about 10 minutes. If the water beads up on the surface, your sealant is still effective. If the water sinks down into the surface, you should re-seal your countertop as soon as possible. 
To reseal your countertop, use a granite sealer and follow the directions on the label. Depending on the product, you will either pour the sealer onto the countertop or spray it on if the sealer is in a spray bottle. Coat your countertop with the sealer and wait for 5 to 10 minutes. If the sealer absorbs completely within 5 minutes, add an additional coat. After 10 minutes wipe off any excess sealant with a soft cloth, then let your countertop sit for 24 hours to let the sealant take effect.

Removing Stains
If your granite is not sealed properly it may stain. To remove oil-based stains like grease or milk, make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain, cover it with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the plastic wrap, and let it sit for several hours. After letting it sit, remove the plastic wrap and wipe the paste away with a damn, soft cloth. For water based stains such as juice, coffee, and wine combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and follow the same steps as removing an oil-based stain. 

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Martha & Rachel

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