5 Popular Countertop Surfaces & Tips for Keeping Them Clean
Nowadays, countertops can come in all sorts of materials, including both natural stone and manufactured surfaces. With so many different options, it can become confusing to know how to clean and care for countertop surfaces to preserve their beauty and functionality.
With countertop fabricators creating so many beautiful products, customers want to ensure that they care for their countertops properly. Without the proper care instructions, customers may end up voiding any manufacturer warranty, meaning that a countertop replacement would be a costly out-of-pocket expense.
To avoid this situation and ensure customers are happy with the quality of the product, it’s important for them to know how to properly care for the countertop surfaces in their home.
1. Granite, Marble, and Quartzite
Granite, marble, and quartzite are some of the most versatile and popular countertop surfaces. These natural stones are highly durable, heat-resistant, and offer beauty that can’t be matched. However, they must be cleaned in a particular way to avoid damage to or discoloration of the stone.
The best tips for cleaning granite, marble, and quartzite countertops include using a specialized stone cleaner, such as Rock Doctor’s Granite and Stone Cleaner, and avoiding abrasive cleaners like bleach, ammonia, or anything acidic. For daily cleanups, warm water and a soft cloth are usually sufficient for wiping away crumbs or other particles. It’s also important to seal these countertop surfaces every year or so to avoid scratching, etching, or damage from moisture soaking into the stone.
Quartz is an engineered stone made by mixing roughly 90 percent natural quartz with resins and polymers for design and color. Because quartz countertops are manmade, they can be manufactured in various colors and designs to mimic natural stone or have their own unique appearance. Quartz is also a relatively easy stone surface to care for, making it a popular choice for many homeowners.
Similar to granite, quartz countertop surfaces should be cleaned with a specialized cleaner rather than with alkaline or abrasive household cleaners. Quartz is a nonporous stone, meaning that with daily upkeep, these countertops can not only maintain their smooth texture but surface bacteria can also be easily eliminated from them.
Concrete countertop surfaces offer a rustic yet clean look and are extremely durable. Concrete countertops are made with a mix of mortar, sand and pigments, and they can be made to imitate natural stone, wood and metal.
Concrete is a porous material, meaning it is prone to staining over time. Upon installation, it’s best to have concrete sealed to prevent any permanent damage to its surface. When cleaning concrete countertops, stick to nonabrasive cleaners to avoid damaging the sealant. A combination of soap and warm water is usually the best option for cleaning these surfaces.
4. Solid Surface
Solid surface countertops have been used in kitchens and bathrooms for years because of their nonporous and easy-to-repair qualities, making them a timeless piece to add to any home. Because they are a synthetic material, these countertops come in various styles and colors. Homeowners looking for a countertop option that’s more affordable but don’t want laminate will find that solid surface countertops are a great option.
When cleaning solid surface countertops, a damp microfiber cloth and a standard household kitchen spray, ammonia-based household cleaner, or countertop cleaner work best. Warm soapy water is also a great option for cleaning up spills and residue. As you wipe the countertop surface, use circular motions with the cloth.
Keep in mind that film is known to build up on solid surface countertops if water is left to dry on them. Because of this, try to clean up spills immediately and dry the countertop as much as possible after cleaning.
5. Sintered Stone and Porcelain
Sintered stone and porcelain countertop surfaces, sometimes referred to as part of the Mineral Surfaces category, are similar in appearance and how they are manufactured. Both types of stones are made using the sintering process, meaning that powdered material is heated and compressed to a specific point to form another material. This process creates a countertop surface that is durable, nonporous, and chemical-tolerant.
The composition of sintered stone and porcelain can vary depending on the manufacturer. Generally, these surfaces can be cleaned with a damp cloth or a common household cleaner. However, if you want to use specific chemical-based cleaners, it’s best to follow the instructions of the specific manufacturer for the right cleaning techniques.
With so many countertop surfaces on the market, it’s always best to be in the know about how certain surfaces can be cleaned and what cleaners to avoid. Your countertop surfaces are bound to last for many years to come with the right cleaning and care protocols.