Some of the biggest draws for stone worktops are their durability against harsh forces that easily damage other materials. “Durability”, however, doesn’t equate to immunity! Even these super strong stone worktops are susceptible to chips, scrapes, stains and more. Knowing what to avoid for your surfaces, the protective solutions you can employ, and the correct methods of cleaning will save your counters from those potential damages.
Know What to Avoid
Your stone surfaces can’t act as a cutting board. Sharp knives can easily leave scratches, and will dull your knives. Be careful with cutlery—keep it off of the stone as much as possible. Placemats and napkins are an easily help! Another aspect of stone surfaces that many don’t realise is that they are actually very porous, meaning they’re able to absorb substances. Liquids and beverages with high amounts of pigment (like dyes or juice) can get into those pores and stain the stone. “Stains” can be invisible too—bacteria can also seep into those pores from raw meats left directly on countertops, essentially creating a spill of pathogens. Be careful with highly pigmented liquids, and never put raw meat directly on your countertops! Sanitise them after cook-prep to prevent any harmful particles from remaining on the stone.
An extra, precautionary measure you can utilise on your stone countertops is sealants, specially designed to protect stone surfaces from those spills that would otherwise sink into pores. Sealants act as an additional wall between substances and the pores of your stone. Impregnators go deep into the stone’s surface, providing a barrier on a more particular level but allowing more breathability. These have a higher longevity than many sealers but are expensive and need professional application. Topical sealers are some of the cheaper options, protecting surfaces from water and oil but risking stone discoloration. Different stone types require different sealant materials. Learn about your specific stone’s requirements, and the sealants that comply with those requirements.
Clean it Right
Harsh chemicals will break down the protective sealant as well as the stone itself. Keep cleaning substances simple! Water and dish soap or vinegar are totally sufficient for basic everyday cleaning… refrain from intense scrubbing. Special circumstances like spills from condiments, coffee, red wine, and more may necessitate different solutions like baking soda, pastes and oils. Be as basic and natural as you can with your cleaning solutions to protect your surface from deteriorating chemicals!
Research here the kind of stone you have: quartz, granite, marble, and more. Be prepared and aware of how to best protect your worktop and prolong its lifespan!