Your kitchen countertops are like plants or flowers that require sufficient care and maintenance for it to continually bloom. You cannot expect stunning looks when you have not properly watered or fertilized your plants. Similar thought goes for keeping the luxurious appeal of your stone kitchen countertops.

Installing the best kitchen countertops for your home may require a hefty investment, and you do not want that to just easily wear out, right? We understand where you are coming from, the very reason why we are sharing these tips on how to clean and maintain specific countertop materials.

Our stone specialists and technicians at Precision Stone Designs are sharing their best expertise and experience when it comes to proper cleaning and care for your customized kitchen countertops.

Granite Countertops

Granite stone is naturally imbued with finer grains and veinings which strikes an elegant and pristine look for your remodeling. Some types come in rich black or brown color which exhibits classic depth beyond any synthetic stone. For your classic or modern countertop, you can always lean on granite countertops.

Cleaning

Whether you have a cheap or high-end granite countertops, you must always avoid acidic and super basic solutions for it will dull your granite over time. If there are spills, you need to immediately wipe it off to avoid water-ring stains.

Use warm water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid, then stir. You can place this solution in a spray bottle and use a soft sponge or towel in wiping off the surface. Use another clean soft towel to dry up your granite countertop.

Despite the antibacterial properties of granite, you can do minor disinfection. Prepare a 50% alcohol solution and place it inside a spray bottle. Spray a few mist on the surface, then let it sit for like 2 to 3 minutes. After, wipe it dry with a soft microfiber or towel.

Maintenance

Your daily partner for maintaining the beauty of granite is your warm water and soft sponge. You need to have daily wipe down with its surface to avoid stains and mildews.

Likewise, you can use commercial granite cleaners sold online to get better results. Some of these cleaners have a polishing agent that makes your granite shine after cleaning.

Meanwhile, for weekly maintenance, you can always opt for the commercial granite cleaner. Use sufficient amounts to clean off edges and stubborn dirt sticking on the surface.

Always remember that your granite countertops need sealing maintenance every month or annually. For your annual sealing requirements, it is best to go for professional services as we have the right impregnating sealants for the purpose.

For your monthly sealing, you can go for topical stone polish substances. It is easy to use for you only have to wipe it off the surface of your granite countertops. It definitely makes your granite look fancy and removes smudges on fingerprints.

How to Repair

Fine scratch marks

You can use steel wool or sandpaper with high grit number to gradually buff the scratch marks.

Deeper scratch marks and cuts

It is best to call for a professional technician to remedy this problem. They have the right tools, experience, and products to repair and hide this problem.

Etch marks from acidic spills

You need to moisten the surface with water, and add sufficient amounts of granite polishing powder. After, use a soft towel and rub it against the etched surface with the granite polishing powder.

Once all etch marks are gone, dry the surface by wiping with a clean soft cloth. Make sure it is totally dried before applying topical sealants on the surface.

Minor cracks and chips

Shop for a DIY kit in any hardware store for repairing small cracks for stone countertops. Generally, the package comes with an epoxy, filler, and some mixing tools.

Make sure you have cleaned the cracked surface with a dilute ammonia cleaning solution. After, apply an excess amount of epoxy on the chipped off area and scrape off to level the surface. Then, let it dry for about 24 hours and buff the surface with sandpaper. Wipe off the surface with dust and dirt before applying a topical sealant.

Quartz Countertops

People go after this engineered stone because of its elegant looks with less hassle for cleaning and maintenance. Technically, this stone is made of 90% crushed quartz minerals and 10% polymer resin binders. Stone fabricators can readily adjust the veining patterns and color of your quartz stone to match your desired theme.

Cleaning

Daily Cleaning

There is nothing fancy when it comes to regularly cleaning your quartz stone countertops. All you have to prepare is your soft cloth and mild soap solution. You can use warm water for preparing your soap solution as it works best for quick removal of light stains.

Once you are done wiping the stained portion with soapy water and soft cloth, you need to properly dry it up by wiping with a dry clean towel. This helps you avoid getting dried soap suds in your quartz countertops.

Deep Stain Removal

1. Hardened stains

If you encounter a hardened stain from your quartz stone, you can use a plastic and flexible scraper. Never use steel wool, knife, or spoon for it can produce deep scratch marks on your customized quartz countertop.

2. Residue Films of Food and Minerals

You can use simple and readily available home products to remedy this problem. With that, you can use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to soften and remove the residue left behind by food debris and spills.

If you hate the pungent smell of vinegar, you can mix a little lemon juice or essential oil to mask its odor. After cleaning, make sure to rinse the area with water and wipe down with a dry towel. Likewise, you can place little amounts of topical sealants on the affected surface.

3. Stubborn Stains

If the first two options did not work, then you are dealing with a stubborn stain. Some of these stains include ink, oil-based stains, chewing gum, rusts, and others. If you want DIY cleaning, then shop for a commercial quartz cleaning solution online. Meanwhile, the next alternative will be hiring a professional stone cleaner.

Maintenance

Indeed, quartz needs very little attention and doesn’t require sealing unlike natural stones. However, it is not totally the absence of maintenance because over time, your quartz will dull out due external factors in the environment.

1. Cloudy Appearance

Through time, the resin binders of your quartz starts to appear cloudy which eventually dulls out its color. To prevent this, you can use regular glass cleaners to wipe off the surface of your quartz countertops. Other cleaners you can use include Multi-Surface, 3M glass cleaning solution, and Windex.

2. Hot objects are a Big No

The resin binders of your quartz readily reacts when it comes into contact with hot items. It darkens and produces a burnt surface afterwards. The best prevention for this is using trivets or hot pads when placing hot pans or other cooking items on top of your engineered quartz stone.

3. Always keep them indoors

Quartz are never designed for outdoor countertops because it reacts with UV rays and moisture. Once it is exposed to such conditions for longer hours, its beautiful colors fade. This is the main reason why quartz are best for indoor use only.

How to Repair

When handling repairs for engineered quartz stones, you can buy a DIY stone countertop repair kit from any hardware store. The process is the same when repairing granite countertops using this DIY kit. Just make sure to level and buff the filler after it has completely dried for 24 hours.

Quartzite Countertops

This stone is typically mistaken to be quartz when in reality, it is not. Quartzite is a natural metamorphic stone that came from sandstone. They have almost parallel prices with marble and limestone because of the way it is sourced in the environment.

This is an excellent alternative for the lovers of marble stone but hates its soft and porous nature. Naturally, quartzite is more durable than glass so it can best fit your kitchen countertop.

Quartzite is a good choice for your floor, backsplash, and countertops. It has intricate veining patterns and has plenty of fine specks of gray and white hue. Meanwhile, the usual dominant colors of this stone are green, orange, blue, and yellow.

Cleaning

Daily

For your daily cleaning regimen, you need to use warm water and a mild dish soap solution. Dip your soft cloth into your basin of mild dish soap solution, and wipe unto your quartzite countertops.

After wiping it with soap, make sure to rinse off with water and then wipe down with a dry towel. This is needed to avoid soap scums on your countertops.

Stubborn Stains

For deep cleaning action, you can shop for commercial quartzite cleaners. Never use steel wool or knives in scraping off hardened stains. You can opt for a plastic scraper if necessary.

If you are still having a hard time, you can hire a professional stone cleaner. We have the right equipment, solutions, and skills to efficiently remove those stubborn stains.

Maintenance

Because it is a natural stone, it still has a slightly porous nature. You can quickly resolve this by either applying topical sealants or hiring a professional stone expert to apply impregnating sealants.

For better anti-stain and anti-bacterial properties, you need to hire a professional to inject impregnating sealants on your quartzite countertops. Meanwhile, for monthly sealing, you can opt for a topical sealant sold in hardware shops.

How to Repair

In repairing chips on quartzite, you can use acrylic or epoxy adhesives. You can go shopping on any hardware store for any repair kit for stone countertops.

For light scratches, you can use a steel wool or sandpaper to buff the surface in circles. Sprinkle a little water on the surface and scrub in circular motion to gradually ease out the scratch.

For cracks, it is best to use high-viscous epoxy for it can penetrate deeply into the cracks of your stone countertops.

For light and medium cuts, apply warm soapy solution on the surface then scrub lightly with sandpaper of high-grade. Meanwhile, if the damage on your quartzite countertop is severe, then hire a professional to fix it.

Marble Countertops

Marble countertops are one of the best choices when it comes to kitchen and bathroom remodeling. It has unique patterns and color transition which totally captures your eyes.

Among the types of marble, Carrara is the most sought after due to its stark white beauty and anti-stain properties. Despite the vulnerability issues of marble, still many homeowners are looking forward to installing one in their homes.

Cleaning

The main nemesis of marble are acidic solutions, so better put away your vinegar and lime juice from your precious marble stones. The usual materials you will need for regularly cleaning your marble stone countertops include neutral dish soap, warm water, soft cloth, sponge, spray bottle, and dry clean cloth.

Similar to other stones, you need to make your own dilute dish soap solution with warm water and place it inside the spray bottle. After that, spray a mist of it to your marble countertops and scrub the surface with soft microfiber.

Once done, rinse thoroughly with water and dry it up with the use of a clean dry towel. You can further disinfect the surface, by spraying a 50% alcohol solution and then wiping it dry with cloth.

Oily Stains

You can apply a mist of acetone or bleach on your marble countertop. Scrub it off with a soft towel, then rinse with water. Wipe it dry using your clean towel.

Organic Stains (e.g. coffee and tea spills)

You can create a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide and some drops of ammonia. Spray a few mist of this solution on the stained area and wipe it using a sponge or towel. After, use water for rinsing then dry it up by using a clean towel.

Molds and Mildews

Prepare a solution 75% bleach and 25% dish soap liquid. After, apply a substantial amount of this solution on the affected area of your marble and scrub it using a sponge. Once all molds and mildews are gone, rinse it off with warm water for further disinfection.

Paints

Paints can harden over time, so you can use a flexible plastic scraper or spatula for peeling the hardened layer. You can also brush or scrub the stained area using a soft cloth and paint stripper. Be sure to rinse with water after removing the stain.

Stains from Inks and Pens

For lighter ink stains, that can be readily removed using 10% to 20% hydrogen peroxide solution. Use sponge or soft cloth for scrubbing out the stain.

Meanwhile, when removing large stains, you need to prepare a poultice for it. Apply that paste-like poultice around the stained area. Locked it down using a painter’s tape and let it sit overnight. After, remove the tape and the poultice to check the effectivity of stain removal.

Your second convenient solution for hard-to-remove stains will be hiring a professional stone cleaner.

Maintenance

Etching and scratch marks the most important things you must prevent from your precious marble countertops. With that, you must put away acidic liquids like vinegar, bleach, lemon, and others from your marble stone.

Take note, marble is naturally porous and susceptible to stains, so better wipe spills immediately on your marble countertops. You can also use coasters to avoid water from dripping down from your glass down to your countertop.

Despite the heat resistance of marble, its sealant film will be compromised if you allow hot pans to directly touch its surface. You need to use trivets and hot pads for this matter.

Applying impregnating sealants is suitable for a year of protection and let a professional do it. You can still do monthly sealing but that is with the use of topical sealants.

How to Repair

Repairing chips while you still have the chipped piece

1. You need to isolate and mark the chipped off area with a tape. We advise doing it in a square tape perimeter style for convenience.

2. Clear that area with debris by scrubbing it with a soft cloth and acetone.

3. Apply an epoxy glue on the chipped off area and the underside face of the chipped piece. Then, stick the chipped piece on the chipped off area and apply pressure for better adhesive results.

Repairing chips without the chipped piece

1. Purchase the same color of marble dust from any stone supplier or hardware.

2. Make a square border of tape around the chipped off area. This is needed so that the putty or epoxy won’t spread beyond the chipped off area.

3. Prepare a mixture of marble cement and that marble dust (similar color with your countertop). Mix thoroughly using a putty knife.

4. Apply a level amount of the mixture putty on the chipped off area. Then let it dry for 12 to 24 hours.

5. Once it is dried, you need to buff the surface to level and even out its surface. Use sandpaper with a grit number of 400 to 600.

6. You can apply a topical sealant afterwards.

Porcelain Countertops

This countertop material is very famous in Europe and has reached its influence in the United States. For a more affordable price, you get parallel looks and elegance with marble stones but its beauty is only surface deep.

Nevertheless, porcelain gained substantial market demand due to its reliable resistance against heat, scratch, and stains. Its glossy surface brightens up your room with even less pendant lights hanging on top of your island and kitchen countertops.

Cleaning

In keeping your porcelain countertops hygienic, you need to have regular, weekly, and month cleaning action. For reminders, the products you can use for your porcelain counters include mild detergents, dilute bleach, powder detergents, and dish soap solution.

Steel wool and other abrasive scrubbers are a big no no for your porcelain. Likewise, avoid any substances containing hydrofluoric acid as it can damage the beauty and composition of your countertop.

You can use warm water and a soft towel to wipe down corners, surfaces, and edges of your porcelain countertops. For better results, you can opt for liquid detergents but ensure to rinse it after with water.

Meanwhile, if you face stubborn spots from biological and organic stains, better consult a stone expert on how to deal with it.

Maintenance

Porcelain is easier to maintain compared to marble because it is naturally non-porous and better hard. Using warm water, liquid detergent, and soft microfiber is your best partner for daily cleaning your classy porcelain stone.

Typically, porcelain does not require annual impregnating sealants but for better results, we still recommend you to have a professional stone cleaner to do this. This improves the glossy appearance and anti-stain properties of porcelain.

When your porcelain countertop is sealed, you need to use trivets and hot pads to avoid those sealant films from getting burnt. Likewise, use wooden boards when chopping ingredients on your kitchen countertops. 

How to Repair

There are plenty of DIY stone repair kits in stores and hardwares near you. It is an all-around kit to mend minor cracks and chips from your porcelain countertops. When there are chips, you need to keep the chipped off piece and glue it down using a cement-based putty. You need to dye it with a similar hue to your porcelain countertop.

For porcelain countertops with solid color, filling those cracks and chips can be slightly invisible. However, for those with visible patterns, the filler will be visible at some angles.

If you need a hand for repairs, don’t hesitate to contact a professional stone technician for this matter.

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