Connecticut Stone Maintenance Program

How to Clean Stone Counters Like a Professional

Natural stone is one of the most gorgeous options for countertops. With so many alluring colors, intriguing vein patterns, and unique types available, there is a natural stone that will provide the wow factor to any kitchen. However, since it is a natural, sometimes-porous substance, you need to be very careful with how you clean it. If done incorrectly, you could potentially damage your kitchen counter. Here’s an overview of what types of cleaning products to use, how to use them, and how to target any type of stain.

Products to Use for Stone Countertop Cleaning

The safest, most reliable way to clean your stone countertops is with the cleaner your stone supplier recommends. These cleaners are made to be gentle, yet effective, and come in different varieties depending on the type of stone countertop you have. However, if you want to try to use your own cleaner, there are some rules you must follow:

  • If you have a calcareous stone countertop (such as limestone, travertine, onyx, marble, or serpentine), you will want to make sure to stay away from any highly acidic cleaners that include vinegar and lemon juice. Siliceous stones (such as sandstone, slate, quartzite, or granite) can usually handle these types of cleaners, but always test a small, inconspicuous area first.
  • Do not use any scouring creams or powders (like the type you use on porcelain bathroom fixtures). They are very abrasive and may scratch your stone countertops.
  • Most types of rust removers on the market include a small amount of hydrofluoric acid. It attacks the minerals found in natural stones and they should never be used on a stone countertop.

Stonetech Revitalizer Cleaner vs. Regular Stone Cleaner

The Stonetech line of natural stone cleaners and protectors is one of the best, ready-to-use solutions on the market to date. With products like the Revitalizer cleaner and protector, everyday messes can be cleaned while reinforcing the protection of your stone or ceramic tile. Other surfaces like granite, slate, and sandstone can also safely be cleaned while leaving a fresh citrus scent behind. For extra protection, Stonetech also offers BulletProof sealer, a unique extra strength stain protector for natural stone, protecting surfaces for up to five years.

If not using a cleaner designed for stone countertops, your best option is to use a mix of liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. This combination is gentle enough to keep your stone in excellent condition while still eliminating germs. Just be careful you don’t use too high of a concentration. If you do, you risk leaving behind streaks and a film. Always rinse off the surface after using the soap solution and then dry it with a gentle cloth.

Your Shortcut to Stain Removal on Stone Countertops

With so many chemicals that can potentially ruin your stone countertop, it can be intimidating to try to clean up a stain. Luckily, there are safe solutions for almost every type of stain you will get on a countertop. But first, you need to identify what the stain is. If you are unsure, try to narrow it down by reliving what was going on around the countertop when the stain was made and evaluate the shape, color, and size of the stain. Once you have figured out what caused the stain, you can get to work removing it.

  • Oil-Based – Whether it’s from cosmetics, cooking oil, or grease, oil-based stains will alter the color of the stone and need to be dissolved with chemicals. The best option is a gentle liquid cleanser that contains mineral spirits or acetone.
  • Organic – For coffee, tea, food, and other organic stains on the countertops, use 12 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of ammonia.
  • Ink – From the kids’ art projects to your own mishap, ink stains are very common on countertops. On a light-colored stone, you can use either bleach or hydrogen peroxide, and on a darker stone, acetone or lacquer thinner will do the trick.
  • Water Spots/Rings – Water rings are created when hard water accumulates on the surface of the stone. To get rid of them, buff the countertop with dry 0000 steel wool.

These are just some of the stains you might come across on a countertop. While most of them can safely be removed, there are some stains that you won’t be able to get off yourself. If that is the case, you will want to call Connecticut Stone. Our stone experts can help identify the stain and use advanced techniques (such as using a poultice) to remove it.

How to Keep Your Stone Countertop Clean

Once your stone countertops are clean and looking like new, take the next step to prevent them from staining in the first place. This can include sealing the stone, which adds a level of stain resistance to the surface (sealed stone is still not stainproof). You will also want to use coasters under any type of beverage and trivets under hot pots and pans to protect the counter from water and heat marks. And anytime you do have something spill, always blot it with a paper towel as quickly as possible. Do not wipe up the spill because that will cause it to spread. Then flush the area with mild soap and water, rinse clean, and dry.

Natural stone is a stunning option for a countertop, and as long as the proper tips for cleaning stone countertops are followed, it will remain looking like new for years to come. To learn more about how to safely clean your stone countertop or purchase cleaning and sealer products visit Connecticut Stone’s website today, and have it quickly shipped to someone’s home or project site!