Care & Maintenance 

Natural stone

One of the biggest fears people may have about natural stone is the maintenance it requires. You'll find caring for your natural stone is easy. Warm water, mild dishwashing liquid, and soft clean cloth are generally all that's needed to maintain your countertop surface. The best care you can give your natural stone is preventive care. By following a few suggestions, your countertops will last a lifetime while maintaining a brand-new appearance. 

Cleaning and Maintenance

1. Avoid using cleaning products with any kind of acid or abrasive; they may cause de-colorations or scratches.

2. Do not stand, kneel down on or sit on your countertops, as they could crack or break. 

3. Do not place hot pans or other objects directly on your countertops. 

4.  Natural stone countertops are surprisingly resilient to stains like citric acid, coffee tea, alcohol, or wine, and virtually impossible to scratch. However, as a preventive measure, wipe up any spills on the countertops within a reasonable amount of time and do not let liquid sit on the countertop overnight. It is important to note that the stone is most prone to staining by oil. Be careful not to place any pots or frying pans with oil traces on the bottom on the countertop surface. Blot oil and acid spills as soon as they happen, and clean with mild soap and warm water to avoid any harm to your countertops.

 

 

If the oil stains remain, there is a special cleaning procedure for the removal of deep-seated, time-set dirt and grime. A general poultice with baby or baking soda and water is the best remedy. First, moisten the surface of the stone with the same liquid that made the paste. Then apply the poultice paste to the stone surface about ½” thick. Tape plastic sheeting over the poultice area, and allow it to sit for 48 hours. Remove the poultice with a spatula, rinse the cleansed area with clean water, wipe off excess water, and allow the surface to dry.

Natural stone tends to attract soap scum. Rinse with hot clean water on a regular basis and use a paper towel to dry. Another way to remove lime build up , soap scum, stains or dried spills, is to use a straight razor blade in a gentle scraping motion. Do not use lime removal products or cleaning products that contain ammonia, as this will affect the seal on the stone.

 

For stubborn stains you can also use dry steel wool grade 00, or a no-scratch Scotch Brite pad to try to remove them.

Avoiding Chips

Chips in natural stones are not a common occurrence. When they do happen, chips are most often caused by banging something into the edge of the countertop. Take care when you handle heavy pots and pans around your profiles as these are the most prone to cause chipping. If a chip does occur and you find the piece that chipped out, hold on to it. Most of the time it can be epoxied back into place.

Sealing

Perform the paper towel test to determine whether your natural stone needs to be sealed. Some types of stone never need sealing and adding sealer to these types will just make a mess. Soak a paper towel or a white cotton towel. Place the water-soaked towel on the counter and wait about 5 minutes. Is the area under the paper towel dark from the water soaking into the stone If it is discolored, your stone needs to be sealed to resist water-based spills and stains.
 

Perform the solvent test to see if an oil stain will enter the stone. Simply dab some paint thinner on the countertop and leave for 5-l0 minutes. If, after you remove it, it doesn’t darken the stone, neither will an oily staining agent such as cooking oil. If it does go dark, you should use a solvent-based sealer to protect against oil-based stains.
 

In short, if the stone goes dark with either water or paint thinner, then seal. lf there is no color change alter testing with these two liquids, you do not really need a sealer on your natural stone countertop.

Engineered Quartz

Quartz countertops are extremely resilient. Routine care and cleaning is very simple, and with basic precautions to prevent stains, dents or scratches, quartz countertops can lend beauty and a sense of permanence to a home for decades. 

Cleaning and Maintenance

1. Quartz can be cleaned easily with a mild detergent, water and a soft cloth or paper towel, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

 

2. Abrasive cleansers or harsh scouring pads and cleansers that contain bleach should not be used with quartz. Engineered stone surfaces do not require polishing to keep them shiny and smooth, but they should be cleaned gently to maintain their distinctive shine. Some quartz colors and finishes liked honed, matte, etc., are more sensitive to grease or finger-prints and may require extra care during routine cleaning.

 

3. Avoid using metal knives and utensils directly on the countertop, as metal may scratch the quartz. When chopping vegetables, slicing bread or preparing other foods with sharp utensils, use a cutting board to prevent scratches. 

 

 

4. Quartz countertops can be damaged by direct exposure to heat. When cooking, use trivets or heating pads to guard the countertop surface against direct exposure to hot cookware or coffee pots. To remove grease from your quartz countertops, use a product recommended for stone care. Harsh cleansers should not be used to remove grease or other cooking stains. Gently scrape away hardened grease with a plastic knife before applying cleanser.

5. While quartz countertops are resistant to scratches, scuffs, dents, stains and burns, these surfaces are not damage-proof. Homeowners must take care to avoid exposing quartz countertops to permanent inks, markers or dyes, as these substances may not be removable. If a countertop is marked by a permanent marker or dye, rinse the area with water as soon as possible, then apply a cleansing product approved for stone care if the stain is still visible. Clean the area again with water after applying the cleanser. 

Avoiding Chips

Chips in quartz are not a common occurrence. When they do happen, chips are most often caused by banging something into the edge of the countertop. Take care when you handle heavy pots and pans around your top profiles as these are the most prone to cause chipping. If a chip does occur and you find the piece that chipped out, hold on to it. Most of the time it can be epoxied back into place.

Sealing

Quartz countertops are made of very cohesive materials. Because of this, they do not exhibit a porous characteristic unlike natural stones like granite or marble. But they are made with a combination of natural stones! Do quartz countertops need to be sealed then? The answer to this again is no. Even if quartz countertops are made of different stones, a permanent seal on their surfaces is created during the fabrication process. As a result, people get strong, enduring, and visually pleasing countertops for their homes.