No stone surface is indestructible, but with proper care your surface will remain beautiful for years to come.
The fabrication process is the most stressful on the stone, and if it doesn’t break at that point, it never will under normal circumstances and on properly installed supports in your home.
Do not lean on sit on the weak spots on your stone surface – the narrow areas in front of the sink and cook top. Do not sit or stand on suspended areas of the counter.
Placing a hot saucepan directly from the stove onto any countertop is not recommended. Granite can withstand very high temperatures, but rapid changes from hot to cold and vice versa may crack the granite. Avoid setting very hot materials on top of seams.
Cleaners not formulated for natural stone may damage it. They may discolor, scratch or etch the surface and they often degrade the sealer.
Granite is quartz-based and can only be scratched by quartz or a harder material. Diamonds will scratch granite. Some stoneware contains rough silica and may scratch the counter. Some pizza stones may scratch the counter. Other granite will also cause scratches, so if you are using a marble or granite cutting board make sure it has rubber or felt feet. White granite and engineered quartz are scratch resistant, cutting directly on the stone is not recommended mainly to avoid your knives becoming blunt.
Chips are most often caused by banging something heavy into the edge of the countertop. Take care when handling heavy objects such as pots and pans around the edges of the countertop and sink cutout. If a chip occurred and you have the piece that chipped out it can usually be glued back into place.
Avoiding stains and etch marks
The best prevention is to wipe up spills immediately. A good sealer will impede the absorption rate of liquids, thereby preventing stains. Highly acidic substances (e.g. orange juice, wine, soft drinks, vinegar, salad dressings) will etch most marble, travertine and limestone whether the stone is sealed or unsealed.
Outdoor Stone Care
Cleaning stone installed outdoors is no different than cleaning your indoor counter surfaces. Mild dish soap and warm water or any stone cleaning product will work. You should clean the stone as soon as possible to avoid staining.
When granite is properly installed and cared for, it will not crack due to normal weather conditions. Certain gas fire pits generate extreme heat so special precautions need to be taken when installing a stone surround.
Leaving garden tools on the stone can leave rust stains. To remove rust stains, mix baking soda and water and use a soft bristle brush to agitate the rust, then wipe clean. For stubborn rust stains you may need a rust remover. It is commercially available and can only be used on granite (it cannot be used on limestone or marble) and should be tested in an inconspicuous area.
Do not allow accumulations of wet leaves and debris to remain on the stone for extended periods of time. If you do not use your stone for long periods of time you may want to cover it.
Use trays under Citronella candles and clean any oils as soon as possible.
After the winter, rinse off debris and clean with soap and warm water, and then with a stone cleaner.
During the summer stone countertops installed outdoors can become very hot, especially the dark colors. Cool the surface using tepid, not cold, water. The sunlight will not affect the granite, but we recommend using umbrellas or awnings to prevent the granite from becoming too hot to touch.
Care Tips for Natural Stone Surfaces
Natural stones such as granite, marble, limestone and onyx are incredibly durable, but just like any other surface in your home they require proper care to maintain their beauty for many years. Caring for your natural stone countertop is not more difficult than caring for any other surface such as wood or leather. The main difference is in the cleaning agents. Since natural stones have a delicate mineral composition, cleaning them with products not formulated for natural stone may cause damage.
After your stone surface is installed it is sealed with an commercial grade penetrating sealer, which fills in the pores and impedes the absorption of liquids. Let the sealer set for approximately four hours before placing any objects on the stone surface. Some surfaces may show a rainbow film once the sealer sets. This can be cleaned by rubbing fine steel wool (#0003) over the surface. It will not hard the countertop and will restore shine.
Good rule of thumb: never use anything that you would not use on your hands.
Follow the basic guidelines below to keep your stone surfaces looking beautiful for years to come.
Clean your stone surface regularly with a safe cleaner made for natural stone
Clean especially thoroughly near cooking and eating areas
Blot immediately any spills, especially liquids containing acids, alcohol and oil, in example: lemon juice, vinegar, wine
Use placemats under any objects that may scratch the surface
Use coasters under glasses on marble, especially if they contain citrus or alcohol
Use a cutting board; cutting on granite will not damage it but since granite is harder than metal you will end up with very dull knives
Reseal your natural stone yearly; do not wait until you start seeing stains
use plain dish soap as it leaves streaks and residue that attracts dirt
use cleaning products that contain lemon, vinegar, ammonia, bleach or other acids as they break down the protective sealer
use powder cleaners (Comet) or cleaners that contain an abrasive
use cleaners that contain acids (grout, tile or tub cleaners)
paint nails, or perm or due hair near natural stone vanity tops
leave wet bottles, such as hair spray, perfume, or household cleaners on the surface
use cleaning products like Windex, Formula 409, CLR, and Soft Scrub and others as the chemicals in them will dull and etch the stone over time
allow water to stand around sinks - it can cause calcium buildup over time
cut directly on the stone, always use a cutting board
Enjoy your new stone surface and always remember, if in doubt, don't apply a cleaner or cleaning technique!
Care Tips for Engineered Stone Surfaces
DuPont Zodiaq, Caesarstone, Silestone, Cambria, Hanstone, QuartzMaster, and PentalQuartz are brands of engineered quartz surfaces. Countertops manufactures from quartz have a composition of 93% quartz and 7% resin and pigments. The vibro-compacting process makes this surface non-porous and exceedingly durable. No sealing is necessary, because it is virtually impervious to stains and penetration of bacteria, making for simple maintenance.
Follow the basic guidelines listed below to keep your engineered stone surfaces looking beautiful for years to come.
use a cutting board to prolong the life of your knives
clean the surface using soft cloth, warm water and soft soap, such as dish soap
use all-purpose household cleaners to remove stubborn spots; spray on the spot and allow it to work for a moment before wiping it dry with a soft cloth
always use a trivet under hot items
use a plastic scraper to remove any stuck residue
place hot pans or cooking utensils directly on the surface, rapid temperature change can cause damage
use electric skillets or crock pots while in direct contact with the quartz surface
use abrasive pads or sharp metal tools to remove stuck-on spills
use harsh chemicals such as oven cleaners, floor strippers, paint thinners, drain cleaners, etc., on the surface
use abrasive pads often as they may dull the surface finish
Enjoy your new stone surface and always remember, if in doubt, don't apply a cleaner or cleaning technique!
Care Tips for Soapstone Surfaces
Caring for soapstone is different from caring for any other natural or engineered counter surface. Soapstone is impenetrable and does not need to be sealed. Nothing will cause a permanent stain and cleaners, acids and heat that can damage other counters will not damage soapstone.
All soapstone has a grey color. Soapstone can be left natural or it can be oiled to enhance the color, which turns to black, dark grey, or dark green. Oiling is recommended to ensure that the stone will darken evenly. Mineral oil or dry wax formulated for soapstone can be used to coat the surface. The oil or wax does not seal or protect the stone – it simply speeds up the darkening process. Applying too little or too much oil or wax will not harm the surface.
Oiling or waxing a soapstone countertop is easy. It should be done as soon as the counter is installed. You can clean the counters with a spray cleaner of your choice (antibacterial cleaners work great on soapstone). After the cleaner has evaporated, you can apply oil or wax. Apply some mineral oil or wax on a soft cloth and start from the back of the counter and work your way forward. Remove excess oil until the counters don’t feel slick; the oil will not “sink in.” Oiling is recommended as soon as the previous coat has started to fade away (evaporate). Soapstone will lighten back up a few days after the first oiling, so you will want to treat the counter each time this happens. Most soapstone takes approximately three coats of mineral oil to reach its final color. The stone will hold the oil longer every time you apply it and after about the sixth or eighth month the stone will stay permanently dark.
To clean the soapstone you can use any common household cleaner. Acids and chemicals have no effect on it, but some harsher solvents may remove the mineral oil treatment.
Soapstone is softer than marble and granite and more prone to scratches, but scratches can be easily removed. Lightly sand any scratches with 180 grit sandpaper in a circular motion. Follow that with 220 grit sandpaper, but this time using water. Clean the counter and apply mineral oil in that section until it matches the rest of the counter. To save yourself the work of repairing scratches always use a trivet and cutting board.
Dry-Treat, an Australian company, is the world leader in sealing technology for porous building materials.
STAIN-PROOF™ Provides long lasting protection and comes with a 15 year written warranty.
Benefits of using STAIN-PROOF™:
Guards against surface staining
Premium water and oil repellency
Makes cleaning easier
Controls moss and mildew
Ideal for indoor or outdoor use on kitchen counter tops and floors, dining rooms and entertaining, public and commercial areas.
Suitable for a wide range of surface materials from fine natural stone, to concrete, brick, terracotta, and grout.
More than 98&% breathable, so material can release water vapor and expand/contract naturally.
Maintains slip resistance of the surface
Maintains the original look of the surface
Protects against efflorescence, freeze-thaw damage and salt attack
Stone Art Design, Inc. is an Accredited Applicator of Dry-Treat STAIN-PROOF™. Ask us about STAIN-PROOF™ when you order your stone.
For more information on Dry-Treat STAIN-PROOF™ click on the photo on the right.