Maintaining and Caring for Natural Stone
One of the things that consumers take into consideration when purchasing a natural stone surface to be used as a kitchen countertop is the regular stone care & maintenance that goes into the material. After all, what good does it do to invest in an attractive kitchen countertop and then allow it fall into disrepair? In this article we will consider what goes into caring for natural stone surfaces and why it is important.
How to Care for Kitchen Countertops
We are going to start off the discussion by considering what goes into caring for natural stone kitchen countertops. Doing so will offer a sound basis for the information that we will consider later in the post. So let’s get right into the topic of how to care for natural stone surfaces.
Natural stone is porous to varying degrees. Some natural stone is more porous than other. This affects how easily a stone absorbs liquids. And the type of finish that a countertop surface has plays a role in the rate of the stone’s absorbency as well.
Protecting Natural Stone Countertops
One of the main ways natural stone is cared for and maintained is by reducing the absorbency of the stone. This is because certain liquids can get into the pores of a stone surface and discolor the material. When this happens, a stain removing product must be used to draw the stain out of the stone. There are a number of stain removers available and many of them work very well. But the easiest type of stain to remove is the one that never occurs to begin with. By using a sealant on the stone, you will protect the surface from oil-based and water based stain causing liquids that can mar the appearance of a surface. For kitchen countertops, you may consider using a food safe stone sealer like Skudo Universal periodically to maintain a protective barrier on stone. Skudo is the Italian word for “shield”, which aptly describes the concept of a natural stone sealer.
Cleaning Natural Stone
Another facet of caring for natural stone surfaces like granite, slate, soapstone, and quartzite is the cleaning. Cleaning natural stone is very much like cleaning other surfaces in the home. Different types of cleaning may be required. This is due to a couple of the points we have already mentioned. Namely, the fact that stone can stain and that these substances come in a couple of forms (oil based and water based). Food spills, splashes, squirts, and splatters are all ways that a countertop can become “soiled” so-to-speak.
We have already mentioned that a countertop needs to be sealed periodically. Yet, stone sealers are not permanent. In fact, stone sealers are susceptible to certain cleaners which can strip them from the surface and completely eliminate the benefits of applying the sealer. Because of this, you will need to be sure that your cleaner is formulated for natural stone. Cleaning quartz countertops does not require quite as much finickiness, but it is a good idea to research it if you have engineered quartz surfaces. Not all cleaners will clean natural stone without “cleaning” the sealer right off the surface. So use a pH neutral stone cleaner for natural stone as part of your stone care & maintenance. It helps retain the sealer you apply to the surface.
Benefits of A Stone Care & Maintenance Routine
Why is it good to care for and maintain natural stone and what is the best way to do it? The reason stone care is beneficial is because it keeps the countertop looking its best the longest. Additionally, maintaining the material eliminates the need for removing stains; which can be more time consuming.
One of the easiest ways to care for and maintain a natural stone surface is to adopt a stone care and maintenance routine. By periodically applying a sealer for natural stone and using a natural stone cleaner that is pH neutral, owners of natural stone keep the countertop or other surface from ever needing a stain remover.
As we have discussed, a good and regular