5 Easy Tips To Care For Your Stone Benchtops

Stone benchtops are an enduring and beautiful feature of any home – they just need a little TLC to keep them looking their best.
These five easy tips on how to care for natural stone benchtops (such as marble, granite and travertine) will help preserve their innate beauty and maintain them in optimum condition for many years.

1. Basic cleaning

For everyday cleaning, a simple wipe down using warm water and mild pH-balanced household cleaners and a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge is perfect.  You can also use a weak solution of methylated spirits or white vinegar mixed with warm water (use a ratio of 1:8 as a benchmark) which is an environmentally-friendly option which won’t leave any streak marks.

DO use mild soaps, warm water and soft clean cloths or sponges.

DON’T use boiling water, abrasive scourers, harsh detergents, acidic chemicals, bleaches or oil-based cleaners like turpentine.

2. Prevent stains

Natural stone is porous and permeable and should be treated with an appropriate sealer to minimise staining and etching.  Try to avoid acidic, highly coloured or corrosive substances (for example beetroot, lemon juice, coffee, vinegar, food colouring, hair dye) from coming into direct contact with the stone benchtop as these may mark the surface if not cleaned up quickly.

DO use coasters and placemats to avoid the likelihood of stains – and clean up any spills immediately.   Your natural stone should also be sealed regularly.

DON’T leave stains for a long time and don’t or try and remove them with abrasive scouring pads or chemical cleaners.  Rather ask your stone supplier for recommended cleaning products.  Also, don’t leave metal items (such as cans, pins, nails etc) on the surface as they could rust and stain.

3. Avoid extreme heat
Just because natural stone is extremely strong and resilient doesn’t mean it can be used a workbench!  It’s heat-resistant as opposed to heat-proof, so don’t place extremely hot items (such as pots and dishes directly from the oven) directly onto the benchtop as prolonged exposure to high-heat items can result in discolouration or even cracking.

DO use trivets, insulated mats or hot plates.

DON’T put very hot items directly onto the stone top.

4. Avoid cutting directly on stone surface

Most natural stone products are extremely hard, so if you use your kitchen benchtop as a chopping board, your knives will come off second best!   Repeated cutting in the same area may also eventually wear down the polish and dull the shiny surface.

DO use chopping boards.

DON’T cut directly on the stone surface.

5. Be aware of vulnerable areas

Natural stone benchtops in the kitchen or the bathroom are extremely strong, but be aware of potential weak spots such as the joins and the front and back of the sink where heavy downward pressure may cause damage.

DO be aware of potential weak spots and remember that the stone is extremely strong, but the cabinetry beneath it may not be.

DON’T sit or stand on the benchtop – rather use a chair or ladder.

These five easy tips to care for your stone benchtops are just a guide only – and as each type of stone has its own unique properties, it’s always best to discuss a specific cleaning and maintenance programme with your stone supplier.

For free expert advice and other useful tips on how to care for your stone benchtop, you should contact Granite World on 08 9249 3009 or visit their website, www.graniteworld.com.au.  They’ve been supplying and installing premium granite, marble and engineered stone benchtops in Perth for over 15 years and will be more than happy to share their experience, advice and expertise with you.