Countertops might as well be one of the best investments you can make for your home and it’s not a small purchase too. Countertop is not just an investment, it’s also a responsibility as you have to take into consideration the steps you need to take to care for your countertop as well. More about that later though.
First, we tackle the types of countertop materials that you can get. There are many forms of countertops that you can get for your home. First are synthetic countertops such as those made from PVC, glass, and concrete. These are cheap but are definitely less durable and valuable as compared to the other types of countertops.
Then you have your engineered stone countertops like quartz. These are natural stones that are mixed with binding resin. The result is an inexpensive natural stone that’s not cheaper than synthetic materials but is definitely more durable and valuable. Next, and not the least, we have natural stone countertops.
Natural stone countertops are slabs of stone which are mined directly from quarries and then shipped to sellers worldwide. Of all the natural stone countertops, the best we’ve found is marble. Marble is currently the most expensive and best countertop material you can get for your home but it is far from being perfect.
Like other natural stones, marble is durable and beautiful but the problem is that it suffers from getting dirty easily. In fact, you can even get permanent stains on your marble if you aren’t careful. This time around, we are going to talk about some tips on how you can clean your marble kitchen countertops.
Marble – What You Need To Know
Before we talk about what you need to do to clean your marble countertop, let’s first talk about what it is important that you do so. Like many other natural stone countertops, marble is a porous material. What this means is that marble has tiny pores or holes in it – holes so tiny that it cannot be seen with the naked eye.
These holes are there naturally and in fact, they are a part of the reason why you see beautiful veining on marble countertops. The problem now though is that because of its porous quality, liquids can seep into a marble countertop surface and this can be a problem. It’s easy for the liquid to seep in but it’s near impossible for them to get out.
What this means is that if any dark colored liquid like coffee, wine, or soy sauce spills on your countertop surface, there’s a good chance that you’re going to leave a permanent stain there. These permanent stains are as we said – are there indefinitely. You can lessen the color of the stain but good luck completely removing it.
The good news is that marble countertops undergo a process called sealing. This meticulous process involves coating the marble countertop with a sealant that makes it somewhat water and stain proof. However, the sealant does wear out over time meaning you have to do it regularly – or at least once a year.
What You Should Do
When it comes to stains and dirt on your marble kitchen countertop, what you’d want to do is make sure that there’s a cloth or any non-abrasive wiper nearby. Good cloth is fiber cloth as these are clean cuts of cloth that don’t feature any abrasion whatsoever. You can also use a soft sponge but make sure not to press too hard when wiping.
A lot of people make that beginner’s mistake of using abrasive cleaners on the surface of their countertop and they’ve come to regret it eventually. Now that you know about it, you can prevent the mistake from happening as well.
This is important because marble countertops are actually prone to scratching. Wiping it down with steel wools, brite, or any other abrasive material is a bad idea as it can put an indefinite scratch on the surface. If there is a crust that has stuck to the surface, you should soften it with hot water first so that it can be wiped down with the cloth.
Having a cloth to wipe down the marble surface immediately is essential because the key to keeping your countertop clean is fast action. The faster you remove the spill or the stain, the lesser the chances of your countertop getting stains. It should always be within arms reach especially when you are cooking.
As for picking which type of cleaning agent you should use for your countertop, you need to be very picky as well. Remember that discoloration can occur when using marble countertops. We highly suggest softening any crumbs or dried liquid on the surface with hot water. This makes it easier for you to clean later on.
As for the cleaning agent itself, make sure to use a combination of mild dish soap and water. This is the perfect solution to clean your countertop surface with. Alternatively, you can buy one of those multi-surface cleaners you can find at hardware stores as well but these can be a bit more expensive.
Last but not the least, make sure that your marble countertop’s surface is always up-to-date when it comes to its sealing. This is a service that you can often avail at the place where you bought the marble countertop from. Not updating your marble’s sealing can lead to scratching and staining problems in the future.
The key is being very gentle with your marble countertop. Durable as it may be, there are a few vulnerabilities in it. As long as you maintain good care of it and you are in no way reckless, you’ll be having a countertop that can last you a lifetime.
What You Should Avoid
As much as possible, you need to avoid having spills occur on the surface. While water and other clear liquids are okay, you’d definitely not want to have dark-colored liquids like soy sauce and cola spill on the surface. Remember, these can cause serious staining on the surface of your countertop.
Aside from being careful, what you can do is place a synthetic mat on the surface of your countertop when you are working with dark colored ingredients. Just in case a spill happens, you’ll be able to avoid any staining on your countertop’s surface. Of course, you’ll want to partner this with quick action when it comes to wiping away stains.
We also highly suggest investing in a good and durable butcher’s block. These are slabs of wood you can cut meat, veggies, and fruits in. They are also a safe means to prep your ingredients without having to risk staining on your countertop surface. A good butcher’s block can last you for years so it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
As for the material you clean the surface with, you’d definitely want to avoid any materials that are abrasive. Even if you are very careful with it, you risk the chances of causing serious scratches on the surface of your countertop which is definitely something you wouldn’t want to happen as these can cause permanent scratches.
When cleaning your countertop surface, make sure to avoid any hard chemicals like bleach and hard detergents. While these can sanitize the surface, what can happen is that they can cause serious discoloration on your countertop as well. This is especially the case when it comes to bleach.
Like stains, the discoloration you can get from using chemicals are going to be permanent on your surface. That being said, avoid cleaning the surface with acidic cleaning ingredients like vinegar or lemon as well. Again, these can cause discoloration problems on the countertop’s surface too.
If you think cleaning your countertop surface is too much work, you can hire maintenance cleaners who can do the job for you. You can expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars on cleaning with their help yearly. It’s a good way to keep your marble countertop clean as these are the pros doing the job. Moreover, they can suggest more things on how you can improve the cleanliness of the surface as well.
Cleaning your marble kitchen countertop isn’t exactly hard but it does take a lot of know-how and work. If you are knowledgeable enough, you can make sure that your marble countertop stays in pristine condition up until the end of its days. The key is quick action to ensure that none of the stains stay.
Becoming a good owner of countertops also means becoming a good home owner. Natural stones like marble gain value over time so it’s only a must that you clean and maintain this countertop inside your home and kitchen. When the time comes that you want to sell your house, a marble countertop in perfect condition is going to up its value significantly.
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