As your countertop occupies a rather large area in your kitchen, it would be in your best interest to preserve its original appearance through frequent maintenance and cleaning. Ensuring that stone countertops last for years involves more than just a wipe down with a kitchen rag once a month. Though thankfully the sealants and tools available nowadays makes caring for them a breeze.
Although stone counter tops are highly versatile and durable, they still require periodic cleaning to keep them looking good for many years to come. You will need to wipe the surface clean with a cloth and water every day to remove oil splashes, coffee stains, dust, and suchlike. Warm and soapy water will be good enough to clean the surface and you should avoid using abrasive cleaners or strong detergents to clean the stone countertop routinely. Detergents that are more abrasive may damage the surface and weaken your countertop.
Applying sealant onto your stone countertop is necessary to keep your countertop in mint condition. Sealing helps to seal up the pores in the stone so that spills and stains will not penetrate the surface easily. This gives you more time to remove a stain before it creates a permanent mark on your countertop. If you have a marble countertop, you should apply the sealant once or twice a year for maintenance. Meanwhile, a granite countertop can be maintained with sealant once a year. Your local stone counter top specialist will be able to recommend the best sealant for your stone.
Besides the routine cleaning, you must also take pains not to place any scalding utensils or pans directly onto stone counter tops. Although a stone countertop is highly heat resistant, frequent exposure to sudden changes in temperature will weaken its structure and damage the surface. You should place hot pans and pots on a stand instead of directly onto the countertop if they are over 300ºF. However, anything under 300ºF can be placed on the stone countertop without causing any damage.
Guest post written by Andrew Knight of the stone countertop supplier United Stone Melbourne of Australia. By the way, did you know that Australians call countertops ‘benchtops’? No matter what you call them or where you’re from, stone counter tops are a stunning, durable option to add to any kitchen or bathroom and the care requirements are the same.