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Cleaning Your Stone Bench

Stone benchtops are increasingly popular in new homes and renovated properties. They can give any kitchen a luxurious look and add another level of quality to any design. Stone benchtops are very common in Australia. They're low-maintenance, easy to clean, and always look like new!

Engineered stone benchtops, also known as quartz, are made of crushed marble or quartz rubble and polyester resin. Engineered stones' most appealing feature is that it doesn't scratch easily. It is susceptible to the occasional chip, but this is easy to fix.

We all want our bench tops to look shiny and new, but how do you make that happen without any unpleasant chemicals? You don't need to buy fancy cleaners because most contain products you can find around the house.

In this article, we present to you a variety of solutions for cleaning stone bench tops.

5 Ways To Keep Your Stone Benchtops Stain-Free

Stone benchtops are attractive in nearly any kitchen, but if not properly maintained, they can attract stains.

Follow these guidelines to keep your stone free of stains:

• Wipe down with a moist cloth and warm soapy water regularly.

• Soaked up spills as soon as possible with a paper towel.

• Wipe off your bench with a clean dishcloth to avoid transferring oils that could discolour the surface.

• Use a spill pad under any metal container to avoid rust spots.

• Use a heat mat if you need to place a saucepan or a hot bowl on the counter. The bench may crack if hot materials are used.

Although some benches are non-porous, other materials on the market, such as marble, are more prone to staining than others. Wipe down the surface frequently with warm soapy water – household detergent will suffice – to eliminate any residue that could discolour.

Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to dry the surface to avoid streaks and a few drops of methylated spirits on the cloth for extra shine.

How To Get Rid Of Spills And Spots

• Act quickly whenever a spill happens to prevent staining.

• Soak up spills with a paper towel and wipe away.

• Use spray cleaner, cream cleanser, or ready-to-use surface wipes to clean with a warm soapy cloth or specialised products.

What Foods Discolour Stone Benchtops?

Even though colourful foods are healthy, there are a few things you should wash in the sink before preparing food. Here are some meals to avoid when working with stone tabletops:

• Beetroot

• Turmeric

• Oils

• Red wine

• Pasta sauce

• Tandoori or curry sauce

• Berries

• Fruit and vegetable juices

What To Do If A Stain Appears On Your Stone Benchtops

The first step is to stay calm if you spot a stain on your stone benchtop; you can fix most things with immediate action. With the kitchen being such an important area, it's essential that you keep it clean.

For engineered stone benchtops, the best way to care for your stone is with a warm soapy cloth, but that might not cut it. You'll need some tougher tactics now and then. Depending on the stain, you may be able to remove the majority of the residue with a simple wipe-down before attacking it with soapy water or a specialised cleaner.

Here are some suggestions for removing stains from stone benchtops:

• Steel wool and scourers are harsh abrasives that can harm the surface.

• Use a tiny amount of white cream paste on a very wet towel to wipe clean non-porous benches, such as Caesarstone, and let it soak.

• Contact your bench maker if you see a stain that you can't readily remove.

Some engineered stone manufacturers sell a variety of specialised cleaning chemicals to keep your kitchen benchtops clean. But there are lots of other hacks that can help as well.

Products That May Damage Engineered Stone

Products that can easily damage the surface of your stone benchtop include the following;

• Bleach

• Nail polish remover

• Oil-based soap bars and spray cleaners

• Scourers or abrasive cleaners

• Hot pots and roasting trays

Cleaning Products To Use On Engineered Stone

Use warm water and a soft, damp microfiber cloth with a little amount of mild, bleach-free, non-abrasive detergent for routine cleaning. Cleaning up liquid spills like fruits, vegetables, or food colouring quickly is essential. They might easily stain something if they're not attended to immediately.

Use a wet cloth and mild detergent since these liquids are usually more colourful. Some surface cleansers contain elements that may harm your engineered stone or cause the polished surface to deteriorate over time. A wet cloth and mild detergent clean, preserve and maintain your stone surface while effectively removing grime, oil, and grease.

Regular Cleaning And Maintenance

Do not be surprised if your granite darkens when wet. When the water evaporates, it will return to its natural stone benchtop colour. Using stone-specific cleaning chemicals is the safest way to clean your granite benchtops. Mild cleaners and disinfectants are acid-neutral and pose no risk of harming the polish.

Dishwashing liquid and water, as well as spray-on cleaners like window cleaners, will clean your counters. Anything containing bleach, as well as any wipes or cleaners containing grit, should be avoided. You must wipe your tops until they are fully dry if you want to avoid water streaking while cleaning.

Do not use lime removal products if lime builds up near your faucet. The best solution is to gently scrape the lime off with a straight razor.

Scratches to avoid

Granite is made of quartz; it may be scratched by quartz or anything harder. Blades won't scratch granite, but chopping on your benchtop isn't a good idea because your knives can quickly dull. Certain stoneware dishes contain coarse silica sand, damaging granite when heated. When a pizza stone is used solely for cutting pizza, it can scratch granite countertops.

You should avoid chips

Granite chips are not that common. Chips are most commonly caused by slamming something against the edge of the benchtop. Most of the damage is caused by heavy pots and pans, as well as the bottoms of large bottles. Use caution when handling them near your stone. If a chip occurs and you discover a chipped piece, save it. It's usually possible to epoxy it back into place.

Caring For Different Types Of Benchtops

How to take care of your Uniquartz benchtop

Uniquartz surfaces require very little care. Polishing, sealing, or reconditioning are not necessary. The benchtops can be restored by lightly dusting them and then cleaning them with warm soapy water. On the other hand, avoid using abrasives or strong chemicals on the benchtops.

How to take care of your CaesarStone benchtop

Clean CaesarStone with warm water, a light detergent, or a good spray and wipe type cleaner. CaesarStone's hard, non-porous surfaces are almost maintenance-free, requiring no sealing to maintain shine, and are simple to clean. You may keep most CaesarStone benchtops looking new with just soap and water or a mild detergent.

Use a Norwex microfiber cloth and a non-abrasive gentle soap if necessary. To remove any residue, rinse well with clean water. Apply a non-abrasive home cleanser to stubborn stains or dried spills and rinse to eliminate residue.

Scrape away excess material using a plastic putty knife and then wipe away any stains or residual filth with a damp towel. This helps remove stuck stuff such as food, gum, nail polish, or even dried paint.

How to take care of your Silestone benchtop

You should clean up food and liquid spills as quickly as possible. You can clean with a damp cloth and warm soapy water daily. Ensure your cleaning product doesn't contain any of the following when looking for something to clean with; trichloroethane, methylene chloride, and high alkaline/pH levels.

Immediately rinse with water to negate the damage if any of these hazardous products are accidentally spilled on your stone surface.

Dos and don'ts to remember

• Clean the stone surface with a soft clean cloth with a mild detergent, stone soap, or specialist cleaner.

• After washing the stone surface with a soft clean cloth, rinse them thoroughly.

• Immediately wipe up spills using a paper towel.

• Use vinegar, lemon, and other cleaners, including bathroom, grout, tile, and tub cleaners, sparingly.

• You should not use abrasive cleaners.

Consult Local Kitchen Benchtop Experts

The fact that granite is a porous substance is the most significant aspect to remember while dealing with it. Any natural stone benchtop has properties that must be recognised to maintain the stone's beauty. Water, oils, grease, and chemicals can all infiltrate porous materials.

The supplier will seal your granite benchtop with a non-toxic sealant to protect it from stains upon installation. You should have it resealed every 12-18 months, and your local hardware store should offer a spray-on version that you can do yourself.

Although, sometimes, it's best to let experts handle your kitchen benchtop. Consult your local stone bench expert and have them give you tips on how best to install and care for your surface.