A Clean, Organized Kitchen: Counter Care 101
Think about your kitchen counters as they currently are. You likely have many items stacked on their surfaces — from appliances like blenders and coffeemakers to mixing bowls, cutting boards, fruit and more. Even when your kitchen is clean and spotless, you probably still have these items nestled in your corners and lining the back of the countertop. This is perfectly OK — after all, you’re living in your home and it’s unrealistic to keep it staged perfectly with Pinterest levels of aesthetic minimalism. However, if you want to keep an organized kitchen and your granite or other natural-stone or quartz countertops looking their best, it is a good idea to keep them cleaned properly from time to time.
Want to hit the best balance between a kitchen that’s ready-to-use and one that’s beautiful? Here are our top tips for cleaning stone counters and keeping them looking good through daily life.
Your Step-By-Step Guide to Clean, Uncluttered Stone Countertops
Wondering what to keep on your kitchen counters or how to keep them organized and clean while in use? Consider these time-tested cleaning and decluttering tips.
1. Remove everything from your countertop; replace only high-use items.
Since our kitchen countertops are high-use areas, items tend to accumulate on them — even if we occasionally store our countertop appliances. From time to time (perhaps once a season), take everything off your countertops; clean every inch and corner with a gentle yet effective stone cleaner, and only place back the items you use frequently.
2. Clean your countertops with products made to work.
One good rule of thumb is to forget everything you’ve seen on Pinterest or read on social media when it comes to stone care — there’s a lot of misinformation out there. In particular, DIY cleaning products with vinegar, lemon or bleach are far too harsh for natural stone and quartz countertops. Even soap and water aren’t ideal! Natural stone is porous and will suffer a lot of damage if exposed to these substances. Quartz, meanwhile, is made of more than 90% crushed natural stone and has the same sensitivity. Instead, rely on products that stone care experts have relied on for decades to gently clean and shine natural-stone and quartz countertops.
3. Seal your granite or other natural-stone countertops to protect them against stains and etches.
Our countertops see a lot of use; we cook on them, snack off them, have family gatherings around them and expose them to a lot of harsh substances. By sealing your countertops regularly, you’re providing your granite or other natural stone with an additional layer of protection to fend off stains and etches. (Pro tip: Seal frequently). Truth is, you can’t over-seal natural stone surfaces. Frequently sealing granite countertops and all other natural stone surfaces maintains maximum surface protection, penetrating stone surfaces to provide superior, long-lasting resistance to staining, etching and soil build-up. Regularly check the integrity of the seal with an at-home water test. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, the water is penetrating the stone and it’s time to reseal. Quartz, on the other hand, is non-porous and doesn’t need to be sealed.
4. Clean up spills when they happen.
It may not seem like it, but many of the foods we eat and drinks we enjoy are very harsh, especially on porous natural stone. If we happen to leave spilled coffee, wine, oils or other liquids on our countertops, if not cleaned up quickly, they will break down the protective seal and penetrate the pores of the surface – leading to stains or possibly etches. No one is perfect, and spills are bound to happen, so be prepared for when they do! Keep a few time-tested stone-cleaning products within an easy arm’s reach of your countertop (e.g., in a kitchen cabinet or underneath the sink), as well as some microfiber cloths or paper towels. That way, whenever you do spill something, you’ll be able to protect your countertops and take care of it right away. Worried about the stains you’ve already accumulated?
Need to treat your stone countertops to some extra TLC? We have you covered. Talk to us here on Live Chat, contact us at 800-475-7866 or email us. Your kitchen counters go a long way toward making your home look and feel safe, pristine and welcoming. It’s important to make sure that your countertops are gleaming — it’ll keep you happier (and healthier) with that one simple step. By using products specifically made for stone care and establishing a consistent care routine, you can make your natural-stone and quartz surfaces look good for years to come.