Stone benchtops effortlessly infuse sophistication into any home. The luxurious look of natural stone creates the perfect aesthetic to enhance any interior. While stone benchtops have many benefits, they require regular cleaning and occasional maintenance to retain their beauty and lustre. In this article, we’ll walk you through the correct method for cleaning your stone benchtops.
Whilst different types of bare stone would require unique cleaning methods, if your stone benchtop is sealed, the cleaning method is the same across all benchtop types. So whether your stone benchtop is made from marble, granite, Dekton (a combination of materials), porcelain, or neolith stone, provided it is sealed, then the following advice on cleaning will apply.
Preparation For Cleaning
Before you clean your stone benchtop, it’s a good idea to assess the stain itself to understand its composition. If it’s a stubborn, dried-on substance, you may need more time and effort to remove it. Otherwise, for sealed stone benchtops, you can usually tackle stains relatively quickly, as they are designed to resist staining to some extent.
Chances are, you already have the cleaning products you need right at home. Mild dish soap and warm water can effectively remove most stains. For tougher dirt or stains, you might need to opt for other household cleaners, like a window or glass cleaning solution. Whatever you use, it’s a good practice to wear gloves to protect your skin from any potential reactions.
When dealing with stubborn stains, avoid using the following:
- Abrasive household cleaning solutions
- Baking soda and/or vinegar
- Products containing Methylene chloride or Trichloroethane (ingredients found in paint strippers and removers)
- Oven/grill cleaning solutions
- Products with alkaline/pH levels (pH 8.5 or higher)
- Boiling water
The above substances may scratch, melt or dissolve your benchtop’s protective seal.
Generally speaking, most stone benchtops will be sealed during installation with a non-toxic sealer so that the stone beneath them is protected and stain resistant. If your stone benchtop is unsealed, it’s much more prone to permanent staining. Stone benchtops should be resealed every 2-5 years.
How To Clean Stone Benchtops – Step-By-Step Process
- Begin by dusting and wiping down the surface of your stone benchtop with a damp cloth to remove debris.
- Create a gentle cleaning solution using mild dish soap and warm water. Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the solution and wring out excess moisture. Avoid using abrasive cloths or sponges to prevent scratching the protective sealant. Do not use steel wool or abrasive-edged sponges.
- Carefully wipe the benchtop surface using the soft sponge. For tougher stains, allow the solution to sit on the stain for a bit before wiping it away. Rinse off the cleaning solution with a damp cloth and clean water. For stubborn stains, consider using a soft microfiber cloth.
- Dry the surface with a tea towel or other dry cloth to remove moisture and prevent streaking.
IMPORTANT: Avoid using boiling water on a stained benchtop, as even sealed stone is heat resistant but not heat-proof, and boiling water can potentially damage the surface.
Deep Cleaning For Removing Specific Stains On Stone Benchtops
If your stone sealant has been damaged or has worn off, and a stain has penetrated the stone itself, a deep clean may be required. It’s advisable to seek assistance from a professional, as they have the expertise and special products needed for this process, along with resealing the benchtop.
MSM Stone does not recommend attempting deep cleaning or resealing any of our stone benchtops on your own, as it may lead to irreversible damage.
Maintenance Tips For Stone Benchtops
To keep your stone benchtop in optimal condition, follow these straightforward maintenance tips:
- Promptly wipe up spills using a damp, non-abrasive cloth or soft sponge with a mild detergent solution to prevent staining.
- Use protective mats or coasters under hot dishes or pans on your benchtop to prevent heat damage, especially with rapid temperature changes.
- Avoid using harsh cleaning products or abrasive sponges and cloths, as this can scratch the sealed surface of your stone benchtop.
- Ensure your stone benchtop is protected with a non-toxic sealant. This will reduce the likelihood of permanent stains and water damage. Benches should be resealed every 2-5 years, depending on the level to which the sealant has worn off.
- Use a cutting board when preparing food, and avoid placing acidic items directly on the countertop.
- Never leave foods to rest on the benchtop for long periods of time, as the acids in the food could damage the sealant and create permanent stains.
- Be cautious with heavy objects to prevent chipping or damage. If possible, keep a heat-resistant placemat on your benchtop to place heavy or hot objects on. Cork placemats work well for this.
By following these simple steps for cleaning and maintaining your stone benchtop, you can ensure its enduring splendour for years to come. With proper care and attention, your exquisite stone countertop will remain a cherished centrepiece in your home.