What is the right way to care for your bathroom countertops without damaging the natural or engineered stone? Do you know what to do or not do? Here is a guide to general cleaning tips and methods for the top materials used for countertops and the unique characteristics of each.
Solid surface, a man-made acrylic material, is non-porous, which means it’s stain-resistant and does not require any sealing. Solid surface countertops are an excellent option for those who want their bathroom remodeling project done quickly and affordably. Not only do they offer the same look as other more expensive materials, but you can also customize the shape because of its thermoformable abilities. This means your shower base, walls and countertop can all be the same material, while fitting together seamlessly. They are also available in a variety of colors and patterns to fit your design taste.
Solid surface is one of the most durable manufactured materials and don’t require regular maintenance. Should the countertops become scratched or damaged, they can be easily repaired.
Cleaning solid surface countertops is relatively easy. All you need is a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the countertops. For dirty areas, use mild dish soap and water. You can use most general and ammonia-based cleaners and towel dry.
For stubborn stains, you can use a mild abrasive cleaner or a paste made from baking soda and water.
Here are some tips for taking care of your solid surface countertops:
- Keep your countertops free of sharp objects, excessive heat, and strong chemicals.
- Solid surface countertops are resistant to heat, but it is recommended to never place a hot appliance directly on them.
- Never use oven cleaners or other strong chemicals on the countertops.
Quartz countertops are considered engineered stone. However, they are created by combining crushed natural quartz with resins to bind it and pigments to give it color. They are incredibly durable, stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and non-porous, so they never need to be sealed. They mimic the look of natural stone without the upkeep and maintenance.
Quartz countertops are a perfect blend of beauty and functionality. Homeowners and designers turn to quartz because of its versatile and beautiful designs, colors, and patterns. Quartz was once only available with a polished finish. Today, you can get countertops with a honed, sandblasted, or even embossed finish.
Cleaning quartz countertops is simple and easy. For every day cleaning, all you need is mild dishwashing detergent and a soft cloth. Even though quartz is resist to stains, it’s necessary to wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to dry. For heavier or dried stains, use a surface cleaner and a nonabrasive sponge.
Here are some tips for taking care of your quartz countertops:
- Avoid acidic or harsh cleaners and scouring pads because they can damage the surface.
- Don’t place hot appliances directly on the surface.
- Quartz is a hard surface, but sharp objects can scratch the surface.
- If you use a commercial quartz countertop cleaner, always read the label instructions.
Granite countertops are a classic, high-end material that offers an authentic aesthetic. This natural stone is very durable and heat resistant (good for hot curling irons), withstanding stains better than other stones; however, it does need regular maintenance to prevent spills from soaking into the surface over time. They should be sealed periodically to protect your granite countertops from stains and color fading.
The best way to clean granite countertops is nothing more than mild dish detergent, water, and a soft sponge or cloth. However, if you use a commercial granite cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Afterwards, dry the countertops with a soft cloth to eliminate streaks. If you can’t remove certain stains from your granite countertops, it may be time to have them resealed.
Here are some tips for taking care of your granite countertops:
- Seal your countertops every six-twelve months to prevent staining and discoloration.
- Wipe up spills immediately with a damp, soft cloth.
- Never use harsh cleaners or abrasive sponges, which can scratch your countertops.
- Household liquids including vinegar, lemon, lime, ammonia, or ammonia-based cleaners can etch granite.
- Do not use disinfecting wipes with citric acid or cleaning products with lemon scents because they may also contain citric acid.
Marble is a classic, beautiful natural stone that is often used in bathrooms for a high-end luxurious look and feel. However, it needs more care than other countertop materials because it is softer and more porous. Experts recommend sealing marble countertops every three-six months for protection against staining.
Marble is highly susceptible to acidic solutions. Any acidic liquid, whether a splash of lemon juice, spilled soda, red and white wine, fruit juices, and many others, can eat away at the surface and create dull spots known as etches.
Very gentle and frequent cleaning is best for marble countertops. Use only mild cleaners, avoiding any that contain acid, including lemon and vinegar.
Apply any product to a soft cloth first rather than directly onto the marble.
However, removing stains from marble can be trickier than routine cleaning. The key is correctly identifying the origin of the stain and then applying the appropriate cleaning solution or paste.
An oil-based stain like milk or makeup will darken the stone and must be dealt with chemically. Organic stains like coffee, tea, wine, or fruit, should have a hydrogen peroxide solution and a few drops of ammonia to remove the stain. Other stains like paint, water rings, and metal all have different methods and solutions for removing them from the countertops.
Here are some tips for taking care of your marble countertops:
- Clean any spills as soon as possible.
- Hot tools may damage the marble’s surface over time.
- Do not leave the countertops wet because it can eventually dull the appearance
- Always check and follow the instructions on any marble cleaners.
In conclusion, keep these tips in mind while using and cleaning your countertops. If cleaned and maintained properly, your bathroom countertops can last a lifetime.