What Makes for a First-Rate Porcelain Cleaner?
Porcelain is a type of hard surface made from a clay-like material that is baked at high temperatures. It is used in a large number of applications, including tableware, decorative items, electrical insulators, and dental work. It is also used for a number of household surfaces, including toilets, sinks, tiles and even countertops. Knowing what kind of porcelain cleaner is safest for your surfaces is key to keeping your porcelain looking sublime.
The Basics of Porcelain
Unlike granite, which is basically a slab of rock cut to the dimensions of your countertop, porcelain is a ceramic product formed by heating raw materials (including kaolinite) at extremely high temperatures (generally between 1200 and 1400 °C (2200 to 2600 °F). As with any other stone, there are advantages and disadvantages to using porcelain.’
Pros of Porcelain
Cons of Porcelain
The Look: Porcelain is available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and finishes.
Price: Quite often, porcelain is as expensive as (or sometimes more expensive than) similar-sized granite or quartz countertops.
Non-porous: Unlike stones such as granite and marble, porcelain is a non-porous surface and doesn’t require sealant. It is also more heat-resistant than other stone materials.
Labor: Laminating (also referred to as “building up”) the edges of a porcelain countertop can be time-intensive, adding costs to the installation. Additionally, there are limited edge options.
Durable: Porcelain is both stain- and wear-resistant, so it maintains its looks and integrity in high-uses situations. In addition, it required less maintenance than granite, as a sealant never needs to be applied.
Damage: Although porcelain is robust, they can be cracked if a heavy object is dropped on it, such as a hammer or a pot filled with water.
Know the Difference: Glazed vs. Unglazed Porcelain
Glazing is an additional step taken during the manufacturing of the tile. Glazing is a layer of a paint-like substance, typically colored, which is applied during the creation process. It gives the tile a high gloss appearance and is sometimes preferred due to the virtually unlimited number of colors and patterns it provides. Glazed is commonly found on porcelain tiles, which are often used on countertops or floors. Glazed tiles aren’t typically as sensitive to water or cleaning products as unglazed tiles.
How to Properly Care for Porcelain
Similar to other stones, such as granite, porcelain, while a durable surface, is susceptible to damage by accidents and carelessness. In a kitchen environment, spills and accidents are normal, but knowing how to properly remedy these spills will help keep your porcelain countertop looking spectacular for a lifetime.
Generally speaking, cleaning and caring for a porcelain countertop is low maintenance when compared to other popular surfaces like quartz and granite. Tips for cleaning a porcelain countertop include:
- Use a slightly abrasive sponge or a grout cleaning brush, never a steel wool pad.
- For a more complete clean, use a safe deep-clean formula like Granite Gold® Shower Cleaner.
- Bleach, alkaline cleaners and solvents are safe for use on white porcelain, however, chlorine bleach can damage the finish of colored or vintage porcelain.
- Avoid products that use hydrofluoric acid (and its by-products), as they can irreversibly damage your porcelain.
Establishing a Cleaning Routine
Typically, porcelain needs to be cleaned when there’s a spill of any type using the above-mentioned guidelines for proper cleaning. However, you should take time to clean porcelain, particularly high-touch surfaces, at least once a week. Generally, though, porcelain is immune to many fungi, bacteria, dust mites, mold, and other common irritants.
Make Your Porcelain Shine with Granite Gold®
Maintaining the beauty and integrity of your porcelain countertops requires the right products. Created by a third-generation family of stone care experts, Granite Gold® will help keep your porcelain in pristine condition. For more information on our premium cleaning and maintenance products, call 800-475-7866 or visit GraniteGold.com.